MANILA — Without a doubt, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” has made its mark in Philippine pop culture.
Coco Martin’s titular character Cardo has become synonymous to being “immortal,” at least according to playful comments from long-time viewers.
And yet through Cardo’s numerous near-deaths — on top of his many triumphs and tragic experiences — the ABS-CBN series hasn’t loosened its hook on Filipino viewers.
Throughout its four-year run since September 28, 2015, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” has been the undisputed No. 1 TV show in the country.
That’s a long, long time to be staying on the top spot.
To put that duration in perspective, here’s a list of facts that show just how much can change in a span of four years, from politics, to sports, and showbiz:
1. Cardo has seen two sitting Philippine presidents.
Rodrigo Duterte succeeded Benigno Aquino III on June 30, 2016.
2. There have been two national elections since ‘Ang Probinsyano’ premiered.
Duterte was elected president in 2016, while midterm officials were voted into office in 2019.
3. The Philippines has produced two Miss Universe winners since 2015.
Pia Wurtzbach became the third Miss Universe from the Philippines in December 2015. Catriona Gray, meanwhile, is still reigning after her coronation in 2018.
4. Two Filipinos were crowned Miss Earth in the last four years.
Angelia Ong and Karen Ibasco respectively won the international Miss Earth pageant in December 2015 and November 2017.
5. Manny Pacquiao has had six boxing matches since Cardo’s introduction.
Pacquiao fought Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in May 2015, four months before ‘Ang Probinsyano’ premiered, so that match is not counted. After that defeat, the boxing champ recorded one loss (against Jeff Horn in 2017) and five wins, most recently over Keith Thurman in July 2019.
6. Hidilyn Diaz won eight medals from international weightlifting events within the duration of ‘Ang Probinsyano.’
That count excludes Diaz’s gold from the Asian Championships in 2015, which happened weeks before the primetime series debuted.
7. There have been four ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ winners since Cardo started his anti-crime crusade.
Miho Nishida and Jimboy Martin were the victors of the “737” edition in November 2015, while Maymay Entrata was named “Big Winner” of the “Lucky” season in March 2017. The most recent titlist is Yamyam Gucong of the “Otso” edition, which ended in August 2019.
8. Tawag ng Tanghalan will have produced three winners by the exact fourth anniversary of ‘Ang Probinsyano.’
That count includes the grand champion to be named on September 28, Saturday, following the steps of 2017 winner Noven Belleza and 2018 titlist Janine Berdin.
9. Box-office queen Kathryn Bernardo starred in five films in the past four years.
Two of those movies were record-breakers: 2019’s “Hello, Love, Goodbye,” which is currently the highest grossing Philippine film of all time; and 2018’s “The Hows of Us,” which previously held that distinction.
10. Three actresses have been attached to play Darna in Star Cinema’s big-screen adaptation since Cardo showed up.
Liza Soberano succeeded Angel Locsin in May 2017, until she, too, withdrew from the role due to an injury outside the project. Jane de Leon was introduced as the new Darna in July 2019.