Real Name: Dyesebel
Known Relatives: Unnamed surface world parents (identified as Lucia and Tonio on the 2008 TV series); Banak (mermaid who adopted Dyesebel); Fredo (the man Dyesebel falls in love with and eventually marries)
Base of Operations: Unknown
First Appearance: Dyesebel
Powers/Abilities: Mermaid, able to live on or under the sea.
History: Dyesebel is unique among the merfolk for she is the only mermaid born of human parents from the surface world. A mermaid from birth, she is shunned by the superstitious due to her physical form. After her father is killed by an angry, superstitious mob, Dyesebel is taken to the ocean by her mother where she is sent into exile since her chances for survival are greater there than on land. The young girl-mermaid is found by Banak who adopts her and takes her to their kingdom where she is welcomed into their community. Years later, a jealous mermaid named Dyangga makes Dyesebel's life miserable among the denizens of the sea which leads Dyesebel to try returning to the surface world. She meets a kind, handsome young man named Fredo who falls in love with her and protects her, but the she is kidnapped by Fredo's jealous former girlfriend's new boyfriend and displayed at the circus. She is subsequently rescued by Fredo and is brought back to the ocean where she is again told that although Fredo doesn't want to see Dyesebel go, he'd rather let her go than see her hurt by evil men on the surface world. This time around, Dyesebel returns with a magic conchshell that transforms her into a full human form and returns to Fredo where they marry.
Comments: Created by Mars Ravelo.
The first person to play Dysebel on the big screen was Edna Luna in a 1953 film made by Gerry de Leon for Manuel Vistan Production/Premiere Production. Later, in 1973, the actress Vilma Santos, who also played Darna four times, portrayed Dysebel in a second movie, "Si Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe". Thanks to Raffy for this information.
Jess Fernandez notes that in the third version, "Sisid, Dyesebel, Sisid" (1978), made by Sampaguita Pictures, Alma Moreno starred as the half-fish, half-human. Then in 1997 Alice Dixson portrayed the character, followed two years later by Charlene Gonzales.
Regarding Vilma Santos, Raffy provided a detailed breakdown of "Action Hero" career, although he notes that "of course, she's accomplished many things since then and has done more serious dramatic roles and won international acting awards". I've split that career breakdown between the relevant characters:
First she played Darna. Then:
1973- "Dyesebel" (also a Mars Ravelo character from Comics) -The best one that shows the Mermaid riding on a giant seahorse, fighting against a Giant Octopus and is being helped by electric eels to fight the behemoth, Mermaids galore!! and Dyesebel's "Magic Conchshell" that turns her human.
Then back to Darna
Raffy also informs me that Dyesebel appeared in Kampeon Komiks (Champion Comics) from 1975, and sent me the two photo images of the character used on this page. He notes The best one is the version with Vilma Santos from 1973. The other pic is actress Charlene Gonzales in a newer remake. Both these movies were directed by the same director- Emmanuel "Maning" Borlaza.
Thanks to Dan Ramon P. Geromo for sending me some origin information about the character, and providing the image of the comics version of Dyesebel.
Both Raffy and Jess Fernandez have informed me that Dyesebel appeared recently in the 2005 Darna TV series, where she played a significant role by helping Narda to continue her mission of protecting the world from evil forces. Ara Mina played Dyesebel in the Darna TV Series (GMA 7). Alice Dixson, star of 1997 remake was also in the series playing Jangga, the leader of the mermaids.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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