Wednesday, 15 March 2017

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 Benjie is going all out in courting Sinag, even going as far as doing manual labor for the Obispos. Will his effort be enough to convince Sinag to let her guard down? Will his act lead to a change of heart—his?


The clips included in the nakaraan part include Sinag and Benjie’s past relationships, which mean the current episode will touch upon those topics. We pick up where the last episode ended, with Benjie leaning very close to Sinag. She acts unaffected and continues on their trek around the place (still making a hissing sound). They reach the entrance to the Lovers’ Cave and Benjie asks Sinag why they aren’t entering it. “Why should we? Are we lovers?” Benjie tries the “soulmate” card but is quickly shot down by Sinag.


They reach a field, and Sinag volunteers to take Benjie’s picture (wow. Professional “blogger” with no bulky camera, taking travel photos with his cam phone).  Benjie takes her pictures instead, in spite of her protests. He even gets her to agree to a couple-fie.


He fools around with his pictures but Sinag gets to capture a pogi shot. 


They get caught in the rain and have no choice but to share an umbrella. (Alden slipping on the wet path is not an act. I swear, they are just trying to keep in their laughter so they won’t have to re-take the scene).


Back in Manila, Amanda gets back home from her unexpected encounter with Don Vicente. She is shaken by his words, and she can’t help but talk to her deceased husband.

Benjie still tries to convince Sinag of the benefits of letting a big company develop their town. Sinag counters that more outsiders coming in to their town mean more trash to pick up. Sinag is starting to question why Benjie is so persistent in pushing for development in Pelangi but he is able to come up with a plausible excuse to deflect her suspicion.

In the middle of their talk, Mommy Amanda gives Benjie a call (which surprisingly goes through although they are in the middle of the forest) and Benjie goes all mama’s boy. This allows Sinag to see a different side to Benjie, that there is more to him than his breezy, palikero side.


Sinag asks him if that was really his mom on the line, surprised at how sweet he was. That could’ve earned him points, but he had to be breezy and go “I’m also a sweet boyfriend.” She brushes his comment off, but gets surprised when he tells her, “Why don’t you try to find out? Sinag, I want to court you. That is if, you’d allow me.”

Sinag, being jaded in love, doesn’t take his asking permission to court her too well. She goes on an internal rant about courtship and how guys end up playing around with girls’ feelings. “Ligaw (to court) o Ligaw (get lost), I only have one response to that: No!” She gets up to leave abruptly, leaving Benjie confused. The more he tries to convince Sinag to give them a chance, the more she strongly rejects him.


Ninay tells Badong how she and Arman ran into Sinag with Benjie earlier, and she rejoices that finally her bestie is going to have a love life. Sinag arrives at the radio station and Ninay asks her how their “date” went.  She tells her friends that Benjie wanted to court her and they get into a small argument over it (with the boys being against it). Sinag tells them to stop fighting about it because she has no intention of going into a relationship with him. Ninay tries to convince her otherwise, to no avail.

Benjie complains to his best friend about his failed attempt to woo Sinag, puzzled that his go-to tactics to pick up girls was not working. Jason suggests that he should try wooing her the old-school way, since she was a barrio lass.

Next morning, Benjie immediately commences “oplan ligaw probinsya” by chopping wood for the Obispos. Teddy has the time of his life as Benjie complies with his requests, pumping water to fill container drums, unaware that the Obispos have functioning water facets in their house. Sinag’s friends watch Benjie work hard.


Sinag gives Benjie a glass of water while he sweeps the grass. She tells him to leave quickly while her father was not watching, convinced that Benjie was just putting on an act. Benjie refuses, telling her that he was doing this to convince her that he was serious about her. Teddy comes out, giving him another job to do: sweep away the cob webs on the roof. He uses a wooden ladder to reach the roof, only to be informed that he could have used the staircase inside the house. He stands on the ledge to reach the rain gutters, while Sinag anxiously watches him. He tells Sinag to stay where she was, so he could watch her. She counters his pa-cute line by telling him to get down before he falls off.


He does fall off and Sinag panics. (You’d think that with the way she was screaming, her parents would immediately come to the scene. But nope. And it seems like Sinag was not informed that you don’t shake an unconscious person who has just fallen from a height). While she is trying to shake him awake, he goes, “Say that you love me first.” Sinag loses her cool and chases him away.



Benjie complains to his best friend about his failed attempt (again) as they walk through the rain to get to the local marketplace, where he bumps into Badong and Arman. He tries to get some scoop from them on why Sinag was so elusive when it comes to guys courting her, and he finds out that Sinag’s first boyfriend broke her heart.


Ninay berates Sinag for rejecting Benjie again, despite his effort to serve them. She advises her jaded bestie to stop equating all men to Eboy, her first love. Sinag in turn tells her to stop mentioning her ex-boyfriend’s name, when lo and behold, the devil appears.


Sinag’s friends worry about her but she keeps putting on a brave front.

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Since Badong is such a bland third-wheel (I don’t know if it’s the writer’s fault for writing him that way or the actor himself for being too cautious of being linked to Maine offcam; usually you’d root for the underdog loyal guy bestfriend-with-secret-unrequited-feelings-for-the-female-lead character, but in this story, he’s so…meh. His secret glances towards the unsuspecting Sinag have no spark. Even the pambabakod scene from the previous episodes came out as a joke rather than a major turning point in the story), the writers had to bring back the ex that broke Sinag’s heart to thicken the plot. Since Sinag’s walls were too high and formidable for Benjie to breach, she has to be put into an unexpected vulnerable situation so Benjie can sneak his way through. It’s a win-win situation for everyone: we get to see Maichard be as harot as they want without the writers having to deal with the plot holes and character inconsistencies. Also, in this episode, we get to see more of Sinag’s past.  



Sinag goes through mementos of the past, as she tearfully recalls how and why she fell for Eboy. (Why she holds on to these things despite her heartbreak, I have no clue.  And take note, they’re well preserved and neatly stored).


Sinag and Nanay Sally have a heart-to-heart talk. Nanay Sally makes valid point.


DJ Sunshine is back and as bitter as ever (You’d think that she’d use 100% of her radio air time to argue against Rosales Development but noooo). And oh look, Benjie is also not over his ex. (Stalker mode on!)


Ninay delivers the fresh news about Eboy to the outwardly uninterested Sinag. Ninay drags her off to find out for themselves whether or not Eboy had a girlfriend.


At Bahay Pag-ibig, Benjie tells Jason to go on ahead to the company meeting without him, since he was still in the process of getting the Obispo land. Right on timing, he gets a call from Catalina, asking why he still hasn’t gotten the property. She gives him an ultimatum: either he gets the job done soon or she’ll find somebody else to do it.


To be fair to Benjie, he has only been in Pelangi for four days. But Catalina is correct in assuming that he is wasting time and resources (on top of the money for the repair of the radio antenna, his and Jason’s food and lodging fully sponsored by the company).  Eboy is actually more effective in convincing townsfolk in selling than him, and he’s only been back for less than a day.

Ninay and Sinag sneak around to follow Eboy, since Ninay is so hung up on the possibility that Eboy wants to rekindle his past with Sinag. Benjie happens to see them and decides to sneak up on them too.



Sinag and Ninay finally got what they came for: they found out that not only was Eboy in a relationship, he was also getting married. (they became unwilling witnesses to Eboy’s proposal at the same chapel that held special memories to the ex-power couple of Pelangi).


While this is happening, Marjorie decides to do some creepy moves of her own. She goes to Bahay Pag-ibig, hoping to catch Benjie (why she hasn’t clung to him the very next day she met him, I also have no idea.) She gets incensed when she found out that Benjie has been courting Sinag so like all kontrabidas, she heads to Bahay Obispo and makes a scene.


She gets angrier when he sees Benjie’s face painted on their wall. She goes, “Benjie will never fall for Sinag because he’s mine.” (Oh, please take him. He’s all yours!)


She demands Sally to erase the mural but when she attempts to throw paint on it herself, she ends up spilling the can of paint over her head.


She complains to daddy dear and like all telesreye kontrabidas, assure his daughter that their enemies will pay. (Enter senseless kontrabida laugh)


Nanay Sally and Tatay Teddy get into a heated discussion over Benjie. Teddy suspects that the reason for Marjorie’s outburst was that Benjie was courting both girls simultaneously. Sally adamantly defends Benjie, saying that he could never do that to Sinag because she’s his soul mate. Teddy can’t help but wonder about Benjie’s background after hearing Marjorie say that he was rich. He decides to have a proper talk with the young man to get the facts straight.

Back to Sinag, the besties try to quietly sneak away but this wouldn’t be a teleserye without the ugly confrontation. The fiancee insults Sinag as the “ex that never got over him.” 


Just when Sinag was about to get cornered for stalking Eboy around town, Benjie comes to the rescue and presents himself as Sinag’s boyfriend (another cliché, but it works because Alden and Maine are too cute together).

Looks like there’s a new power couple in town: Sungs and Yabs.


Random thoughts

* Highschool Sinag is so cute and relatable.

* WHY DO THE OBISPOS HAVE A FIREPLACE???? And why did Sinag choose to preserve the frickin scrap book with their pictures if she was angry enough to tear and burn their couple-fie? 

* Benjie has so much baggage—losing his father early, being estranged from his father’s family, his mom being the center of his world, and now this ex. Why don’t the writers also add irrational childhood guilt, his mother suddenly becoming critically ill, or other cliché male lead emotional baggage to top the cake? Jusmiyo.

* I don’t get how getting Sinag to be his girlfriend could help Benjie’s plans in acquiring the Obispo property. Did he really think that if he gets Sinag to fall in love with him, he could fool her into selling their land immediately? Even if Sinag did become his girlfriend, it would take more time (months!) to discuss with her and her family about selling their property. It’s preposterous how his mind works. 

* Yay! Catalina is here! Her ootd is slaying, as always.

*Even with the paint-spill-scene that was supposed to be gratifying, nope. Still cannot stand watching any scene with this Marjorie girl.

* I totally feel Sinag. It’s so annoying that this Eboy guy just recycle the same script he used with Sinag years ago. And the fact that his fiancee referred to Sinag as someone who never got over her ex means that Eboy has been telling stories about Sinag in front of his girlfriend, painting an unflattering picture that, although accurate, was a major jerk move. 

* How adorable is Alden kissing Maine? He always closes his eyes as if savoring the moment, and his lips pucker up, his hands gently cradling Maine. It makes one feel fuzzy inside.


* Benjie's distracting cuteness screen cap gallery 

In conclusion

Maine brought her A-game in this episode. She wasn’t “acting;” that’s exactly how a real person in her situation would cry and act (okay, maybe not as pretty). And clap claps for Ms. Janice de Belen’s performance in this episode. Sally is the kind of mom that you do not mess with.

I’m wishing that this series would be available in a DVD box set, because these daily 30-minute episodes are not only bitin, they are too compact that production and story shortcomings become magnified. Whereas getting to watch a week’s worth of episodes allows the viewer to see the bigger picture and not mind the details.  

This episode is a relevant turning point in the story. Since it would take years for Benjie to chip away at Sinag’s wall, they are presented with the perfect situation to accelerate their relationship. Sinag is now forced to accept Benjie’s company, giving him the opportunity to worm into her heart. There’s something about proximity that leads to attraction. (Hooray for Maichard skinship!)


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