Sunday, 2 April 2017

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We’ll find out more about the different lives our leads have lead after two years and how much they’ve changed and how they’ve stayed the same (or how this series has a thing against moving on: NOBODY EFFIN MOVES ON. Well, aside from Amanda and it took her a decade and a half before she finally let go of her resentment about her husband’s death).


Recap

Benjie drives home from the dinner his new house. Unlike the confident and successful lead architect we saw in the presentation that had the world in his hands, we see a broken man. Despite his success, he is in anguish because he knows he achieved all that by deceiving and hurting the one girl that mattered.

Another character has not changed: Badong, who Arman scolds for still being stingy. From driving someone else’s tricycle in Pelangi, he now has three “share a ride” vehicles. Arman also has not changed; he always sees through Badong, especially concerning his feelings for Sinag. He makes that age old excuse of being afraid of losing his friendship with Sinag and Arman tells him that Sinag was not that kind of person (thus showing that his excuse was just a cover up for his spinelessness).

Two years after, things are looking up for the whole Obispo household. Nanay Sally and Tatay Teddy are busy with exhibits and client presentations (cuz they’re renowned artists yo!), Sol’s computer project is qualified for an international competition and Tala is growing up to be an artist in her own right. Sinag watches her whole family contentedly, saying she cannot ask for more. Tatay Teddy (who is wearing a similar shirt to the one the young Benjie wore when he first met Sinag) teases her and the whole family is focused on Sinag’s lovelife once again (or lack of).

Outside, it seems Badong has finally grown balls and heeded Arman’s advice to be upfront about his romantic feelings for Sinag. He calls for Sinag (like they’re back in Pelangi and they don’t have neighbors to disturb, who are still resting from their night shift) so he can confess his feelings (he even wrote it down on pink paper). And because he keeps stalling, the universe got fed up and a gust of wind blows away his script. Of course, he tries to retrieve it (because he needs to read what he wrote to articulate the feelings he’s bottled up for half of his life), and a comedy of errors ensues.

Sinag has remained unchanged in her being unassuming when it comes to male attention, fully convinced that her relationship with Badong is purely platonic. She also retained her low self-esteem, asserting that she wasn’t Badong’s type (gee, thanks Benjie, you jerk). Her mom keeps pressing the topic,  asks her if she was still harboring feelings for someone else, and proceeds to compare he-who-shall-not-be-named to Badong. Sinag insists that she is way over “whoever her mom was referring to.”

At Rosales Development, we find that Jason is still the same loyal sidekick whose main purpose was to bring up topics Benjie was uncomfortable with and call out his b**$h!t. Today, it’s about marriage and Sinag (okay let’s face it, it would always be about Sinag. He’s the only one who can bring her up without evil intent).

Badong after recounting his many failed attempts at confession (Nips candy on pizza? Oh universe save Sinag from this horrible man who has no respect for good pizza), gets a pep talk form Arman and his grandparents. Arman laughs at his face, Lolo Elvis recites several flipino sayings, and Lola Delia channels Susan Roces (”Wag mahihiyang magtanong…”). 

Sinag is not over Benjie and engages in typical post-break up behavior: cyber stalking with a side of bitter hugot. One the other side of the metro, Benjie is still hung up on Sinag. (Parallel scenes: the leads are alone, flashback of an earlier scene where the person was brought up again, social media search, and 3am thoughts about them)  

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Badong finally gets accepted as Sinag’s suitor, Benjie is reunited with Destiny’s Promise, and Nanay Sally gets another psychic premonition.

Recap

Benjie gets a call from his mom, cancelling their dinner date. Sinag is surprised when Badong shows up with a group of musicians and a bouquet of flowers to ask her if she could move him from the friendzone to suitor. Shell shocked, she says yes. As this is going on, Benjie leaves the resto but not before replying to his girlfriend’s text (with no smiley.  Benjie is clearly not a disciple of Alden’s emoji etiquette 101). Badong gets a glimpse of him in the middle of his spiel.

We finally get to meet Trish more, the college sweetheart turned ex turned rebound girl. She’s a typical rich girl (how rich? Mansion with own swimming pool rich), who likes to wear heels at home. Her talk with her mom (the beautiful and perennial mommy kontrabida Jackie Lou Blanko) reveals more about her: she’s feeling a bit anxious about her relationship, for her mom this relationship is all about the money and business, she’s a wanderer (she’s still looking for her passion) who gets jobs through nepotism-like deals. 

Badong’s stunt is the topic at the Obispo breakfast table. Even though Sinag told Badong that he could court her, she just doesn’t see him that way. While her father encourages her to give him a chance, citing that friendships could lead to romance, her mother reminds her to be careful with her own heart.

Badong tells Arman that he saw Benjie last night at the same restaurant. Arman advises him to be on his toes because when the inevitable happens (because destiny is a force to be reckoned with), his dream of ending up with Sinag would go up in smoke. Of course he wouldn’t let that happen because he believes Benjie would hurt Sinag again.

The next scene brings us the DJ Sunshine we saw on the first episode. She borrows lines from Papa Peter the better and answers calls seeking for her advice on love. Her caller asks advice about whether it was right to hope that she’ll meet with her ex again, because she feels that in the end, they’ll end up together. DJ Sunshine tells her that if the caller’s most important and cherished lost item is found again, then there could be a possibility for her lost love to return as well (hence Destiny’s Promise resurfacing and SinJie’s imminent meeting).  

From ice scamble to ice cream scoop, we get a Magnolia ice cream ad in the middle of the show as Sinag recalls finding Benjie on the phone with his mom. Seeing he was feeling down, she decides to cheer him up…with Magnolia ice cream (GAHHHH!!! I love the people behind Magnolia Ice Cream but why do they have an ad inside the freakin show? WHYYYY??? Aren’t the long commercial gaps enough? Naglolokohan na tayo eh. The Obispos are struggling financially but Sinag has money to buy her city boy a tub of ice cream to cheer him up.)

Meanwhile, Benjie and Trish are at an art gallery where Benjie stumbles upon Destiny’s Promise. He excitedly buys it back (apparently he has forgotten the cardinal rule in any gallery: YOU DON’T TOUCH THE ART WORKS). In another part of the metro, Sally gets a psychic premonition as she’s painting at home. She sees Destiny’s Promise and SinJie’s hands intertwined again. She tells her husband, who firmly advises her to keep her vision a secret from Sinag.   

At the radio station Sinag was working for, the station manager resigns and the seasoned DJs think Sinag would be chosen to replace her because of her popularity (yes, because apparently her two year stint in that radio station is enough for her to know how to manage a major radio station in the metro; granted she singlehandedly managed Rasyo Pelangi but Pelangi is different from Metro Manila). The talk is shifted to Sinag’s lovelife as Badong the suitor comes in to ask her out.

Just as Benjie and Trish return to his car from a movie date, he discovers his car is robbed. The culprits quickly escape, Benjie attempts to chase them then quickly checks his car. He loses his temper because Destiny’s Promise was among the stuff the thieves took. 

Meanwhile, Sinag and Badong also have returned from their date. Sinag thanks Badong for everything he’s been doing for her and feels guilty for not noticing after all these years. They share a moment.

Sinag’s voice over asks: “How would you know if something is not meant for you?” as the thieves throw away stuff they can’t make money off, Destiny’s Promise included. A man comes to sift through the garbage for stuff he can sell at junk shop and picks up Destiny’s Promise.

The next day, Arman berates Badong for his lame courtship strategy. The possibility of Sinag reconciling and reconnecting with Benjie makes them antsy so they plan a big romantic move to get Sinag to say yes. Meanwhile the Ninay shares her relationship woes with Sinag. She asks Sinag if she plans to accept Badong as her boyfriend and Sinag’s answer prompts her bestfriend to ask if she has any feelings for the man in question. Benjie is brought up, Sinag denies and Ninay gives a balloon-love analogy.

The garbage-sifting man who picked up Destiny’s promise crosses paths with Badong and conveniently gives him the perfect gift to offer Sinag for her “matamis na OO.” Sinag’s voice over gives us a hint of what’s to come in the next episode: Some people have likened love to a stray cat; no matter how many times you try to lose it, it will always find its way back to you.

     

Random thoughts:

* If a guy gets turned down by his paramour when he asks, “Can I court you?” should he just resign in defeat? Or work harder to prove his feelings are true? What’s the point of asking permission to court anyway? Wouldn’t courtship just make the courtee feel guilty if she doesn’t accept the guy as her boyfriend in the end after all his effort and gift and emotional/financial investment? Like she’ll be seen as “paasa,” heartlessly leading a man on. Won’t the material gifts and extra effort lead an immature man to think he’s entitled to getting the girl’s “matamis na oo”?

* I remember Sinag’s biting internal monologue about courtship (panliligaw) and men going astray in the end (naliligaw). Does she still hold the same opinion on courtship (considering her cynical view was proven right after Benjie deceived her)?

* It’s admirable that Amanda still continues selling stuff instead of relying on her rich and successful son.

* I get that stylists need to use stuff from sponsors but real people don’t wear heels around their house. As soon as you get home, you’d kick off those death traps for the sake of your feet.

* If I had to choose between Trish and Marjorie, Trish would easily win hands down. She doesn’t deserve the hate spewed on her (at least not yet).

* That look of surprise on Sinag’s face and her persistent self-doubt when Badong tells her he wants to court her is heartbreaking. Like she couldn’t believe any guy would see her as desirable and worthy of romantic love. I blame Benjie for instilling that lie in her heart.  

* Let me get this straight: two years ago, in his effort to raise money for Tala’s operation, Benjie sold off Destiny’s Promise, an art piece that he has yet to fully pay for (not even knowing who’s the artist). And now, he buys it back. Because destiny hates being proven wrong.

* I don’t know what park this is but the product placement is so contrived.

* I’m craving fishball and kikiam at odd hours of the night.  

* After seeing Badong and Sinag eat fishball from plastic cups just outside their house (where they can get washable plates and utensils), I feel like the series has thrown away the “environmentalist” angle. I hope not though because this show is an awesome platform to raise this timely issue without being “in your face” and preachy about it. I want to believe that Sinag and the Obispo’s passion for the environment that they displayed in Pelangi has not diminished when they moved to Metro Manila.

In conclusion

This whole week tackled Sinag and Benjie leading separate lives…again. They’ve become successful and their dreams have come true in the last two years but something is missing, no matter how much they try to deny it. Like two magnets drawn with a strong unseen force, they will re-connect again.

I am still hoping and praying that I will be proven wrong about the cliché path this series is taking but with both Sinag and Benjie romantically linked to other people, the “infidelity” track seems to be looming in the distance. Here’s how it usually pans out: the ex flames meet again, they reconnect and start hiding stuff from their current significant others. The SOs find out anyway and jealousy and possessiveness ensues. But destiny is backing up the lover’s so in the end love wins. The SOs either graciously give way and leave (the farther the better), plot evil schemes with the main kontrabida, or find another love of their own. (Please DYBY pool of writers, prove me wrong).

Personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with cliché; it’s the sloppy “cookie cutter” work that gets on the nerves.

Week 5 is done. Alden and Maine have given superb performances. I like that despite a big heartbreak, they can still be fully functioning individuals who contribute to society. It paints an optimistic picture for those who are going through betrayal and heartbreak: it may hurt like hell right now and it may seem that the world has ended, but a new day comes bringing hope. Feeling pain and loss over the past does not make one weak, but human. It’s quite uplifting. And that’s why this series is worth watching til the end.           

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