Don Joaquin (Jose Mari Avellana) adopts the young orphan Gabriel (Jomari Yllana/Richard Gomez) who grows up in a sprawling hacienda with his daughter Carmina (Guila Alvarez/Dawn Zulueta) and his son Milo (Gio Alvarez/Michael de Mesa). An envious Milo is subsequently banished after beating up Gabriel. As a young girl, Carmina loves to fantasize about royalty and being a princess with Gabriel as her prince. All is well for Gabriel and Carmina until the old Don dies and the vengeful Milo throws Gabriel out of the house to live in the stable as a farmhand. Carmina and Gabriel, being passionately in love, spend all their time together on a promontory near the sea until Carmina meets the rich and prominent Alan Ilustre (Eric Quizon), who dazzles her with expensive gifts and his wealth. Carmina begins to doubt her future with poor Gabriel. Overhearing Carmina's sentiments, Gabriel is heartbroken and goes away to return after a few years to exact his revenge on Milo and reclaim Carmina.