Gagambino first appeared in the first issue of OFW Super-Stories (September 14, 2007), one of Carlo J. Caparas' short-lived line of komiks magazines published by Sterling Publishing. As written by Caparas and illustrated by Karl Comendador, Bino was a hard-working, mild-mannered janitor who just happened to keep a giant carnivorous spider for a pet.
The comic version of Bino did not possess any special abilities. He was just an average joe who relied on his pet to bail him out of trouble.
In 2008, Gagambino was adapted into a television series which aired weeknights on the GMA Network, premiering on October 20th of that year.
The premise of the show, as near as I can remember it, is as follows: ages ago, a radioactive meteor crashed to Earth, causing several insects in the vicinity to grow to gigantic size. A blacksmith then took what's left of the meteor and forges it into a sword-- whoops, sorry, wrong story. No, the meteor was forged into a spider-shaped medallion which gave its wearer mystical powers, as well as control over the giant insects. Using the medallion, the giant insects were banished into an underground cavern, which in time became overrun with other giant mutated creatures and plant life.
The medallion was then handed down through generations. However, the one next-in-line to be the medallion's keeper, a woman named Abresia, had turned to the dark side and sought to use its power for evil. Meanwhile, a group of children had stumbled onto the strange underground realm, encountering the giant insects and gaining their powers in the process. One of them, a boy named Bino, also earned the friendship of a friendly giant spider, nicknamed "Gamby." Years later, Bino and his childhood friends must reunite and form the Liga Insekta ("League of Insects") to do battle with the malevolent villainess.
Unlike in the comics, the TV version of Gagambino is depicted as more of a traditional costumed superhero. Also, Gamby the Spider is a kinder, gentler giant in comparison to his more vicious comic counterpart. To illustrate this, his eight eyes are even arranged to form a smiley face!
Actor Dennis Trillo plays Bino Bayani alias Gagambino. While he does not spin webs or stick to walls like an actual spider, he does possess the proportional strength and agility of one. He can leap great heights and has an advanced healing ability. He can also grow sharp spines on his forearms. As a child, he exhibited the ability to grow fangs, but he hardly used this power as an adult. He is also skilled in the martial arts.
He's also a bit of a jerk. For one thing, he doesn't seem too motivated in being a superhero (as if your parents' murder isn't motivation enough). Also, he cheats on his girlfriend, which causes her to go nuts and turn evil. More on her later.
Actress Katrina Halili usually gets typecast in bad girl roles, but she gets to play the heroine for once as sexy starlet (call her a bold star and she'll kill you) Lucy Gutierrez, also known as Lady Mantisa. In fact, she ends up being the most heroic character on the show. As Lady Mantisa, she can transform her hands into razor-sharp mantis claws.
Isabel Oli plays Bernadette Albuento, codenamed Alakdanessa. She has a venomous thrashing scorpion tail hidden in her hair.
Glaiza de Castro is Leah Albuento a.k.a. Super Bee (Really, these codenames aren't the best, but I guess they must be running out of ideas at this point). She sprouts large bee wings on her back which enable her to fly.
Emilio Garcia, a disfigured scientist who creates the Liga's costumes and gadgets. Love that rocking helmet. They later gave him a new one that exposed half his face, but it didn't look as cool as the original.
Scary is the new sexy?
Jean Garcia is Divina/Abresia, the show's main antagonist. Well, for the first half of the series anyway. She had the power to control swarms of locusts whose bite could turn people into zombies. She could also fire bolts of energy and, using the spider-medallion, could even resurrect people from the dead. Then she lost her powers, turned good, got married and lived happily ever after. Which kinda sucks because it was basically her fault that the other villains turned bad. Yet she gets to have a happy ending?
Polo Ravales is Harold Santiago or-- just plain Harold. He has super strength, invulnerability, and huge beetle wings which give him the ability to fly. One of Bino's childhood friends, he decides to be a bad guy instead. Probably upset that everyone has a cool codename while he's stuck with "Harold." And that goofy headgear.
Nadine Samonte, Celine Lopez was supposed to be the show's love interest. Then she found out her mother was secretly the evil insect queen Abresia. Later, she found out she wasn't her real daughter after all, causing her mom to flat out abandon her (and this was after she turned good!). And on top of that, her boyfriend, the big-shot superhero star of the show, was cheating on her! Can you blame her for going insane and turning into a supervillainess?
One last thing I'd like to point out just because, this show also appeared to be a strong supporter of cremation. Every time a character died, they would burn the body in the backyard.
To close this overview, here are two more Gagambino clips, though they're not actually from the show itself. They appear to be fight scene test-footage performed by Dennis Trillo himself.