Aryana is a Philippine fantasy series produced and aired by ABS-CBN. The series premiered on May 7, 2012. It features a mermaid Aryana, portrayed by actress Ella Cruz.
Aryana narrates the journey of a girl as she struggles in the awkward but exciting adolescent stage while trying to escape her inevitable destiny as a mermaid on her fourteenth birthday.
Two mothers from entirely different worlds play major roles in the story. Ofelia is a human, who struggles for the acceptance of her mother-in-law, and hopes that with the birth of her daughter she will gain the happiness and acceptance of her husband's family. Neptuna, an adult mermaid with a bright orange-and-gold scaly fish tail and matching bra whose pure and strong motherly love for her daughter, Perlita, knows no bounds and will do anything to make sure she is safe and happy. Neptuna's daughter Perlita was fascinated with humans and dreams of living happily with them, often going near the seashore to watch the humans. She even once stole the mystical pearl that can transform a mermaid into a human and back at will. Unfortunately, when she went near the seashore to watch humans who were watching and playing with firecrackers, a drunken villager played with a dynamite. Victor, Ofelia's good husband, confronts him and unknowingly throws the dynamite into the part of the sea where Perlita was hiding. Neptuna went to warn her daughter, but was not able to make it in time. Thus, she saw the death of her dearly beloved daughter and angrily promises to do everything she can to make Victor and Ofelia feel the intense pain and sorrow of losing their own beloved daughter. Ofelia and Victor's child, whom they named Aryana, was then born. As Ofelia was hoping for, she gained the acceptance of her mother-in-law.
During Aryana's baptismal celebration, Neptuna (as a human woman) steals newborn Ayrana, making her as her own daughter for a while until she discovered that she cannot make Aryana a complete mermaid unless her mother gives her to her willingly. Reluctantly, Neptuna gave Aryana back to Ofelia with the agreement that on Aryana's fourteenth birthday she must give her back to her. Ofelia desperately accepts, and with no intention of giving her daughter back, she runs away from their seaside village and goes to the urban city to forget about the mermaid curse on her daughter, just as Neptuna thought she would. Everyday, Ofelia gets a reminder that her daughter is and will forever belong to the sea when she turns fourteen. Aryana, who does not know that she is forever cursed to become a mermaid on her fourteenth birthday, lives out her dream of being a professional swimmer; unaware of her inherent mermaid abilities over water. As she faces her inevitable destiny of becoming a mermaid, Aryana is torn between choosing the sea and the surface world of humans where her heart belongs.