The Panday (blacksmith in the Filipino language), whose real name is Flavio, is a fictional Philippine comics character created by writer Carlo J. Caparas and artist Steve Gan. His adventures were serialized in the series Ang Panday in Filipino Komiks in the 1970s. The character took his place in Philippine pop culture when the comics were adapted to film, starring Fernando Poe Jr. as Flavio and Max Alvarado as his archenemy Lizardo. The film spawned three direct sequels as well as other more loosely connected films.
After a meteorite falls from the sky, Flavio, a noble blacksmith, forges its ore into a dagger (balaraw in Filipino), which magically turns into a sword when he raises it and points to the sky. He uses this sword to fight the evil Lizardo and his supernatural minions who are oppressing his hometown, and other evil forces.
Flavio is a normal human and has no special powers or skills, except for his swordsmanship. He uses his magical blade to fight his supernatural enemies. The blade hums when danger is near and can cut through anything without resistance. He uses a shield on occasion, which is likewise forged from a meteorite. Flavio wears a distinctive costume, composed of a red vest and dark pants.
Besides Flavio's love interest, supporting characters in the series include a boy sidekick and an old hermit-like adviser.
The Ang Panday original film series consisted of four films: Ang Panday ("The Blacksmith", 1981), Ang Pagbabalik ng Panday ("The Return of the Blacksmith", 1982), Ang Panday Ikatlong Yugto ("The Blacksmith, Part Three", 1983), and Panday IV: Ikaapat na Aklat ("Blacksmith IV: The Fourth Book", 1984). These films all starred Fernando Poe Jr. as Flavio and Max Alvarado as Lizardo. After four films starring Poe, other Panday films continuing the storyline of the original series were produced. However, they are independent sequels and do not share the same continuity.
Pandoy, Ang Alalay ng Panday ("Pandoy, the Assistant of the Blacksmith", 1993) is a parody of and homage to the series, starring comedy actor Joey de Leon. In the absence of the genuine article, stable boy Pandoy serves as the Panday, forging a magic sword out of a meteorite and fighting pirates and white slavers. The film features a subplot of Pandoy having to choose between two romantic interests.
Dugo ng Panday ("Blood of the Blacksmith", 1993) stars Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. as a descendant and namesake of the original Flavio and Edu Manzano as the villain. Centuries after the first Flavio's death, his descendant finds the balaraw because of his pure heart, and takes up his mantle as the Panday. Meanwhile, Lizardo's brain has been transplanted to an alien robot body (played by Manzano), while his head (still played by Alvarado) is preserved in a tank. Eventually, the new Panday destroys the robot and kills the head. In addition to the traditional Panday garb, this Flavio bears a medallion bearing an image of a meteorite.
Hiwaga ng Panday ("Magic of the Blacksmith", 1998) stars Jinggoy Estrada as Guiller, a gunsmith, and Kris Aquino as Emily, his love interest. As Flavio, the original Panday (depicted as fighting Japanese invaders in World War II) dies, he plants his magic sword in a wall, and only one with a clean heart and noble intentions may pull it out. In the present day, Guiller, an expert gunsmith and protector of the poor, meets Emily after both are taken hostage by criminals. Guiller becomes the new Panday after he retrieves the balaraw and fights a kidnap-for-ransom gang. The sword is melted and reforged into a shotgun which fires bullets and stun rays. It magically turns back to a sword when needed. Unlike all other incarnations of the Panday, Guiller wears contemporary casual clothes.
Ang Panday, a 2009 reboot of the series, stars Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. as Flavio and Philip Salvador as Lizardo.
In 2005, ABS-CBN aired a live-action Ang Panday television series. It features a young new Panday named Tristan, played by Jericho Rosales, Heart Evangelista as Eden, his love interest, and Victor Neri as Lizardo. Philip Salvador plays a version of Poe's character who appears in the introductory episodes. In this version Flavio forges his dagger and a church bell for his community from the meteoritic ore, and has a personal grudge against Lizardo, who murders his wife. After beheading his enemy, Flavio plants his weapon into the bell, and is taken up into the heavens. However, Lizardo's brain is still alive, and Tristan, a man from the present time, becomes the Panday in Flavio's stead.
In 2010, after its MMFF movie, starred by Bong Revilla Jr., was released, GMA Network has already planned to have the biggest project, Panday Kids. Panday Kids is a spin-off from the classic novel of Carlo J. Caparas, which is about the three young descendants prophesied to combat evil and preserve the Panday spirit. It stars Robert Villar, Sabrina Man, Julian Marcus Trono, Jackie Rice, Polo Ravales and JC de Vera. Marvin Agustin is playing the main nemesis of Flavio, Lizardo, played recently by Philip Salvador from its MMFF movie. Iza Calzado, who is from the recent movie, is reprising the role of Maria Makiling.