7 Kontrabidas We Love To Hate (And Sometimes, Just Love)

7 Kontrabidas We Love To Hate (And Sometimes, Just Love)

Villains—we can't help but love them.

As proven by these young kontrabidas in some of our favorite teleseryes, it’s not always exhausting rooting for the anti-hero.

Related: It’s Not All Evil: Deconstructing The Beauty Of Female Villains

This Women’s Month, we’re supporting women’s rights (and sometimes, their wrongs). Kontrabidas have been a Filipino pop culture staple for decades now, and not just because a story often needs a villain. Kontrabidas bring plenty of spice to a teleserye, and a Pinoy series would perhaps not be as interesting if a kontrabida wasn’t there to stir, ahem, stuff, up.

As time passes by, though, villains and kontrabidas have become more complex, no longer just the epitome of utter nastiness. The more layered antagonists, anti-heroes, villainesses, and kontrabidas become, the more engaging a story is—because people and situations aren’t always black-and-white. It’s a testament to good writing and characterization when we still end up loving or rooting for a kontrabida whether it’s because of their storyline or how they’re portrayed. And honestly, even if we hate them, then the actors would still be doing a great job.

From their biting insults and intense physicality—who doesn’t love seeing a good sabunutan moment?—to their comeuppance or redemption arc, these young kontrabidas in more recent teleserye history have us seething, relating, and even empathizing with them (or not).


At times spectacularly frustrating, but wholly entertaining, Maris Racal in her first kontrabida role as Irene Tiu recently emerged as a standout in romance drama Can’t Buy Me Love (2023-present). The spoiled, wealthy young woman is often at odds with her sister Caroline (Belle Mariano), but her arc is a highlight of the teleserye.

Softened to audiences partly due to her kind-of almost romantic relationship with her complete opposite, Snoop (Anthony Jennings), and the humor the series brings to their characters, Irene is a formidable kontrabida that’s found herself on people’s faves list very quickly.


Resident school bully and spoiled Aguerro daughter Z from youth thriller-drama Senior High (2023-2024) has a unique character evolution that was developed with modern values and issues in mind. While she doesn’t make the best choices when it comes to dealing with her peers, her storyline added new levels to her character. Z’s ending was pretty kind to her, and satisfactory, too.

Daniela Stranner earned herself praise for standing out in the series, her acting always full-steam ahead. The intensity between Z and Sky every time they’re on screen together is crazy, almost quite literally the visual depiction of “shooting daggers out of their eyes.”


Alexa Ilacad showed off her villainess acting chops in horror drama The Killer Bride (2019-2020) as the confrontational and outspoken Luna Cruz-Dela Cuesta, who claims she’s the long-lost daughter Emma of “The Killer Bride” Camila dela Torre (Maja Salvador) and fights Emma (Janella Salvador, and the real Emma) for Elias’ (Joshua Garcia) affection. She’s a true-and-through spoiled brat and maldita, but sometimes you can’t help but say she’s queen.


Arguably one of the most infamous young kontrabidas of the millennium so far, Marga Bartolome (Andrea Brillantes) is the arch enemy of Cassandra Mondragon (Francine Diaz) on hit teleserye Kadenang Ginto (2018-2020). Both daughters caught in the middle of a family feud, the antagonistic relationship between the two leads have led to plenty of everlasting pop culture moments and memes.


One of the most popular villainesses in Philippine pop culture, Valentina is the arch enemy of superheroine Darna in Mars Ravelo’s comic series Darna and its subsequent adaptations. Most recently, Janella Salvador’s portrayal of the kontrabida in Darna (2022)—as human lawyer and philanthropist Regine Vanguardia as well as her alter ego Valentina—was layered and complex, breathing new life into a well-known villain and bringing her to a new decade.

Her chemistry with Jane de Leon’s Narda/Darna also led to one of the most popular pairings as of late, JaneNella, with people constantly clamoring for them to do more projects together.


Kyline Alcantara’s breakthrough role as a kontrabida in GMA series Kambal, Karibal (2017-2018) saw the young actress embody the rage and taray iconic to kontrabidas in a horror-fantasy drama. Kyline played the nakakagigil Cheska de Villa across Bianca Umali’s Crisan Bautista, who’s dealing with having to live with the spirit of her deceased sister Criselda.


Kaila Estrada found herself one of the most prominent breakout actresses of 2023, what with her antagonistic roles in Can’t Buy Me Love and Linlang in the same year. Kaila earned rave reviews as the docile-wife-turned-woman-scorned Sylvia Samonte-Lualhati, especially after the heated confrontation between her and lead star Kim Chiu, who plays Juliana Alcantara-Lualhati. While being classically kontrabida, Kaila was able to portray Sylvia with plenty of depth.

Who is your favorite recent teleserye kontrabida? Show them some love below.

Continue Reading: 6 Maris Racal Performances That Are The Definition Of Scene-Stealer