Wednesday, 29 March 2017

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 Another deception game initiated by Benjie. Lots of Benjie and Sinag skinship scenes. In this episode we’ll see the “di ba pag magboyfriend-girlfriend, nagkikiss?”scene. And Sinag proves that you don’t need to show skin to be sexy AF.

Recap

(I'm too lazy to do screencaps)  

After Eboy and his fiancee leaves, Ninay tells Sinag that she has to keep pretending until Eboy is in town, or else she’ll look like a total fool if her ex finds out she still hasn’t moved on.

Sinag tells her family about her pretend relationship with Benjie, and Tatay Teddy is very apprehensive. But of course he lets Sinag do what she wants.

Before Benjie leaves for Bahay Pag-ibig, Teddy has a serious talk with Benjie, asking him about his true intentions towards his daughter. He lies and says that if he needs to stay in Pelangi for Sinag, he would. But if the Obispos accept the Rosaleses’ offer and move to Manila, then they’ll be together there. Tatay Teddy is adamant that he and his family are not moving.

At Bahay Pag-ibig, Benjie happily sketches designs while he recounts to Jason how he was able to put up an act in front of Sinag and her family. Although Jason was unsure about the ethics of what he was doing, he lets him be. Benjie was determined to do whatever it takes to get their land and design the infrastructure in the area, not caring if he plays around with Sinag’s feelings. 

At Bahay Obispo, Nanay Sally checks up on Sinag to make sure she knows what she was getting herself into. She also tells her that she was excited to see Marjorie’s face when she finds out that Benjie was already taken by her daughter. Sinag asks why they were mentioning Marjorie when she finds out that the brat went to their house earlier.

Sinag also tells the rest of her friends about her pretend relationship and Badong complains why Benjie had to play the boyfriend part. Ninay tells them that Benjie was the only choice for Sinag to show that she has “leveled up.” Their conversation is interrupted when Mang Elvis comes in to tell Sinag that the Mayor asked them to announce that they were holding the Indakan that weekend. Team Pelagi is excited about the event, although Sinag is wondering where the mayor got the budget. Ninay tells Sinag that she has to bring Benjie with her to the event to show Eboy once and for all that she was over him.

Sinag heads to Bahay Pag-ibig to invite Benjie to go with her to the Indakan. Marjorie also shows up and tells Sinag to stop dreaming because Benjie was hers and that she was there for a date. Benjie shows up, both girls ask him out at the same time, and Benjie drops the bomb on Marjorie: Sinag was his girlfriend and he would be going to the Indakan with her. Marjorie walks away, pissed, and Sinag beams at Benjie for choosing her over Marjorie. She tells Benjie that if they go to the Indakan as a couple, they would have to be convincing. Hence Benjie’s quotable quote. Sinag walks away, hiding her kilig.


Marjorie tries to butter up to her dad to make him cancel the Indakan to save her face. Her dad tells her her request is impossible, especially since the Rosaleses gave him the funds for the Indakan to endure that the mayor would be able to convince the people to sell their land. He adds, “Love is not everything.” Marjorie continues to pout, complaining that she was the most pitiful girl in the world.

Sinag attempts to get to know Benjie by asking him basic questions. Of course he lies on most of them. When Sinag was about to leave, she runs into Eboy and his fiancee so she runs back to Benjie and feed him okoy. Sinag greets her ex and tells him let his fiancée taste his favorite okoy (cuz of course she still remembers what his favorite food was).

For some reason, even though there were perfectly vacant seats and tables in the local eatery, the couple decides to sit beside Sinag and Benjie (and not just sit with them but actually sit beside them on the same bench. Eboy feeds his fiancée, and Benjie catches Sinag getting jealous. So he grabs a forkful of sapin-sapin to shove it in her open mouth, which comes out as romantic. Eboy and fiancée eventually leaves after a few minutes, not paying for their food. Sinag tells him to pay for their food, and leaves him as Benjie keeps on pestering her.

Benjie was still in high spirits as he continues on sketching in his room, telling Jason that Sinag was falling for him. He was so sure because she couldn’t maintain eye contact with him, and in his universe, that was the one sure sign that the girl was in love with him. Jason starts getting excited at the prospect of going back home soon. Benjie suddenly stops sketching, as if surprised at the thought of leaving Pelangi so soon.

At Bahay Obispo, Sinag can’t help but talk to Benjie’s face on their wall, complaining that his face keeps popping in her head. Nanay Sally answers back as Benjie, and mother-daughter have a talk about love. Sinag tells her mom firmly that the moon and stars would fall from the sky before she would ever fall for Benjie. Her mom gives her that look and lets her continue her conversation with the mural.

At Indakan, Benjie and Jason are decked out in 70’s costumes. Sinag comes in with her family, also in costume. As Benjie tries to talk to Sinag, in comes Eboy and his fiancee, not in costume. Eboy greets Sinag, telling her that he remembered that they used to go to Indakan together. But Sinag answers that it’s been so long so she doesn’t remember. But of course she does (and enter flashback scene).

After Eboy walks away, in comes Marjorie in an over-the-top outfit. Sinag is on a roll with her witty jabs, and Marjorie can’t answer back. She still makes a move on Benjie but he declines and dances with Sinag. Marjorie can’t accept that Benjie chose Sinag over her, and starts to be suspicious of his real intentions. So she tries to corner Jason.

The music changes from funky beats to a slow dance. Sinag gazes at her ex, her feels so evident in her eyes. Benjie, seeing Sinag watching her ex again, pulls her towards him for a slow dance. Sinag awkwardly dances with Benjie, stepping on his feet a couple of times, telling him that she was not used to dancing so close.

Sinag turns to look at Eboy and his fiancee again, and Benjie gently turns her face back to him, wordlessly telling her to keep her eyes on him. (And that original english song during the scene is just so perfect). And they dance the night away.

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 Benjie is proving that he is the master at making girls fall, Sinag’s impenetrable wall is cracking, and Tatay Teddy stands his ground against the Mayor. And our destined couple finds out a shared memory involving ice scramble.

Recap

Benjie and Sinag continue to slow dance, and seem to get lost in the moment (or maybe that’s just Alden and Maine being off-character and going off in their own world captured onscreen).

 

Meanwhile, Teddy receives bad news when a neighbor tells him that they are planning to sell their property. He says that he was being practical, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to earn that kind of money even if he stayed in Pelangi and worked all his life. A valid point but one that solely benefits his own family and not the rest of the community (and by community, that also includes the indigenous animals living in their town who will also lose their homes when construction starts in their town.)

Teddy turns his attention on Sinag and Benjie who are still dancing, close by. Sally assures him that if they go too far, she can easily stop them. Their moment is abruptly interrupted when overhead moon and stars prop-designs fall on Benjie and Sinag’s heads. Teddy immediately grabs her daughter away from Benjie while Sally tries to calm him down.

Marjorie gets Jason to talk by getting him drink. Good job Jason. Now Marjorie has ammunition to humiliate Sinag in front of a ton of people.

Back at the events place, Sally subtly reminds Sinag about what she said about the moon and stars falling from the sky. At a far corner, Benjie stands by himself, looking at Sinag. Eboy approaches him and asks if Sinag was okay. He tells the boy that no matter what happened between them, she was still his first love and thus she is still important to him. Benjie starts to feel a tiny teeny bit of guilt when Eboy starts talking about feeling at ease that Sinag has finally found the one who’ll love her. To deal with the uncomfortable feels, he goes and looks for bestfriend Jason (who looks more stoned than drunk, sitting alone outside). That’s when he finds out that his bestfriend told Marjorie about their pretend relationship.

Like any second-rate kontrabida, Marjorie immediately uses the information to humiliate Sinag in front of the Indakan peeps (instead of storing that information for future use, like what a classy kontrabida like Catalina would do). So Eboy asks Sinag straight up if what Marjorie announced was true and she lets out her feels and ends up punching him in the face. This rouses a cheer from the crowd for Sinag, a complete opposite from what Marjorie intended.

When Marjorie (still on the mic) tells Benjie to stop faking it with Sinag, he publicly declares that though they were not in a real relationship, he was courting SInag and was just waiting for her “matamis na oo.” As the crowd cheers for her to say “yes” to Benjie’s courtship, Sinag internally muses whether or not she is ready to give her heart to someone else (looks at Benjie).    

The mayor’s staff abruptly interrupts the cheers to turn their attention to the mayor (who has been standing in front for a while now, before his daughter made a scene). Mayor makes an announcement regarding free scholarship for children of the families who would choose to sell their land to the Rosaleses, as well as free medicines for the elderly. As the Mayor does his sales pitch on behalf of the Rosaleses, Benjie tries to make himself as inconspicuous as possible. Tatay Teddy interjects and calls out on the mayor’s attempt to bribe them into selling. He then tells his fellow citizens to not be swayed. But unfortunately, practicality wins. The Obispos and some allies leave.


Benjie recounts to the drunk Jason (as they walk back to Bahay Pag-ibig) what happened earlier, when Sinag punched Eboy. Meanwhile, another bestfriend pair also have a talk, as Ninay tries to convince Sinag to say yes to Benjie. While Benjie denies feeling anything but pity for Sinag, the latter keeps mum about her real feelings.

At Bahay Obispo, Tatay Teddy is enraged at how the Mayor used Indakan in his political agenda. Sol tells his dad that if he gets the scholarship, his dream of studying in Manila could come true, so why can’t they consider the offer. His father again goes for the “lupa” card, and Sol walks out, feeling that his family gives no care about his dream or his education. Sinag volunteers to talk to her brother. Sally asks her husband if what they’re fighting for is still worth it if it means putting their children’s future on the line.  

Sol steps out the house to cool off, and Sinag follows him to try to talk to him. Sol asks her “Am I selfish for wanting to study in Manila?” Sinag explains that she would also want that but at the same time, they can’t give up the land their grandfather worked so hard to buy and develop for his family. Then she goes all “sage mode” dishing wise words about how life works. For some reason, the conversation shifts to Eboy and Benjie and Sol tells his sister that he was rooting for Benjie.

The next morning, Sinag greets Benjie’s mural a “colorful morning,” as well as the townsfolk she meets on her way (channeling serious Belle vibes). She is delighted to see the ice scramble peddler pass by their house and buys a cup of the icy treat (for breakfast).  Surprise, surprise! Benjie also calls out to the peddler, running after him, to buy a cup as well.

While they wait for the peddler to serve them their cups of ice scramble, Benjie shares his childhood memory of helping a lost little girl and buying her ice scramble to get her to stop crying and panicking. Sinag recognizes the tale and hooray! Instant connection. *fist bump*

  

While Sinag is amazed about their childhood meeting, Benjie asserts “Sinag, this is destiny.” He adds that if they had met as kids and it was destiny that brought him to her, that means that they have to end up together.

Meanwhile at Radyo Pelangi, Badong gets pissed over what happened last night at the Indakan. Arman assures Badong that Sinag could handle herself very well, which she did. Ninay gushes over Benjie’s public declaration that he was courting Sinag, puzled why her best friend still hasn’t said yes to his suitor despite all the signs that point to him being “the one.”   

Now that it’s established that they are childhood friends of sorts, Sinag becomes more warm and friendly towards Benjie. She asks him about his mom as they take a walk and he tells her that he is really close to his mom. She asks about his dad and he tells her that he died when he was young.

Apparently a sudden reunion with a childhood friend forces one to forget her scheduled work, because Sinag’s friends start to wonder where she is (she is running late for her radio broadcast), when her house is literally a few steps away from the radio tower. 

So where are Sinag and Benjie? They’re seeking shelter from the rain at the Lovers’ Cave. How they got so far from her house, I have no idea.

 

Random thoughts

* My eyes hurt during the disco scenes. Either I need a new eye glasses prescription or the camera work is not that good.   

* I loved that Sinag was able to handle herself after being humiliated by Marjorie in front of Eboy, his fiancee, and the rest of the town on her own, without needing to rely on Benjie to save the day. Although, the part where Benjie kinda puts Marjorie in her place was kinda awesome.

* Although Mang Teddy’s passion to protect their town is admirable, simply staging protests is not enough to convince people not to sell their land. He must team up with an NGO or any organization that would provide his co-townsfolk an appealing alternative to the mayor’s offer. Because all his protesting is doing is polarize the town, making those who sell feel like they’re the “bad guys” for choosing to think about their families’ welfare. And let’s face it, compared to the others, the Obispos are kinda well-off (not stinking rich, but not dirt poor). They live in a nice house, have their own radio station (which they could profit from through radio commercials), and their kids are healthy and go to school. So compared to them, the common folk are in greater need of the offered money. And you cannot fault them for that.

* What I don’t like about teleseryes tackling political issues like these is that there is no such thing as “compromise” in their vocabulary. Cause rallies are more dramatic and cinematic than civil roundtable talks between parties. (*facepalm*) And Teddy’s arguments are all appeal-to-emotion without substantial meat to drive the point. Instead of repeating over and over again, “what about Pelangi? What about the sceneries, etc?” he and Sinag should elevate the discussion by pointing out (for example) how the destruction of their town would impact the environment or how the proposed infrastructures would erase the town’s cultural heritage. They should get to know exactly what the Rosaleses plans for their town was and counter them, point by point, why that is bad news. Instead of uploading a protest video, they should make these points viral instead to make noise and get picked up by NGOs and partylists which were formed to fight for such causes. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE FORM OF ACTIVISM, PEOPLE!

* I was right about Sol! There is an underlying issue about him feeling neglected.

* Ahhh…classic middle child move: putting on headphones to shut out the world. I feel you Sol. I feel you.

* Both Sinag and Benjie are fighting for the grandfather’s “legacy.” She wants to protect her grandfather’s land and properties while he wants to be acknowledged as rightful heir to his grandfather’s legacy.

* I feel like Sol’s concerns are simply swept under the rug and mislabeled as simply “emoting.” His outburst is not merely about his dream but the enduring feeling that his family pays little attention to him. This is a legit concern that needs to be addressed because it will fester as Sol grows older.

* One sure-fire way to make romantic leads fall in love with one another: finding out that not only have they met before as kids, one of them also “saved” the other in one way or another.

* I am so pissed at Badong’s character too. The nerve of him to think that Sinag was “waiting” for him when he is not even making a move. Normally, I would root for the torpe best friend (especially since the lead guy is turning out to be a jerk), but GAHD! Just because you are loyal and “quietly” loving her from a distance does not mean you deserve her. All talk. 

* No Catalina OOTD again. Boo.  

In conclusion

It’s easy to see how and why Sinag would let her guard down. Not only was Benjie there for her during an embarrassing moment, she also finds out that he was also there for her even when they were kids. (She has a soft spot for guys helping her out when she gets into a tight spot. Eboy was there to help her when she fell and sprained her ankle, and Benjie was there when she fell and got lost when they were kids) And to be fair, Benjie’s act is really convincing. Will Sinag also have the same effect on his heart as well? We shall see.

Next week, Sinag allows Benjie to come closer and we can look forward to more romantic scenes.  Also next week, $h!t will hit the fan. And it’s gonna bring on so much tears because Sinag will have been emotionally invested on this jerk. Ugh, I already feel my heart breaking already.

So is this series still worth watching and recommending: Hell yes!  Sinag and Benjie’s kulitan onscreen is kyahhh! Which will make the upcoming hurt-pa-more scenes all the more gut wrenching. 

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 Sinag and Benjie have a moment in the Lovers’ Cave as he continues to put on an act to make her fall, and Benjie shares his own past heartbreak.

Recap

The episode starts with Sol and Tala coming home from school. As Tala excitedly tells her parents about her day, Sol avoids them, still miffed about what happened the day before. His dad asks him if he really wants to study in Manila, and starts to reconsider their decision about not selling their land. Sol immediately tells him that he doesn’t want to sell their property, willing to wait for another chance at a scholarship. “My dream is not the only thing that is important.” The Obispos have a group hug and Sally asks, “where’s Sinag?”

 

So where is Sinag? She’s with Benjie in the Lover’s Cave (I’ve never been in a cave before but , wow, this cave s pretty well-lit). Benjie dries Sinag with his hanky, noting that it looks like it would take time before the rain stops. Sinag tells him that rain in Pelangi was not ordinary rain. It was the clouds kissing the ground.  So when you touch the rain, it’s like touching the clouds as well And they have a moment just watching the rain.

Meanwhile, Sinag’s friends have come down the radio tower. They asks Sally where Sinag has gone, and the mom is surprised to know that she wasn’t with them. “She’s probably with her soulmate,” Ninay says and Nanay Sally is at ease, despite not knowing where the two have gone. Tala comes in and asks their help in making a kite for their school event. Ninay and Arman bail out, leaving Badong (who is waiting for a chance to impress Sinag) to help her. 

Back in the Lover’s cave, Sinag finds a boulder to sit on. Benjie goes, “We’re finally here at the lover’s cave. That means we’ll end up together.” Sinag tells him that local legend is not true. Eboy and I once entered this same cave and look where we are now?” Benjie reminds her that not all men are like Eboy, and although Sinag is well aware of that, she was too hurt to go through the same thing again.

Benjie shares his own heartbreak story, where his college sweetheart also left him. It ended with him finding his girlfriend kissing his best friend. “What happened to you hurts more than my own experience. And because of that, I am now passing on to you the crown of ‘the biggest heartbreak in the world,’“ Sinag jokes to lighten up the mood. Benjie rides on the joke and gives a thank you speech, including Sinag as well. Sinag asks why he’s thanking her when she has not done anything for him yet. “That may be true in the past. But now, you have. You opened up my heart again.” Benjie answers while giving her his standard “fall-for-me” smolder. They share a look, and Sinag tells him, “You know what…you’re corny,” breaking the moment, telling him that she will never fall for such lines from men again.

At the mayor’s place, Marjorie is still sulking about what happened at the Indakan. While the Mayor tries to reprimand Marjorie for making a scene, he can’t help but wonder about Benjie’s plans in acquiring the Obispos’ land. (Marjorie’s yaya’s attempt at being the comic relief in this scene falls flat)

Sinag and Benjie are still inside the cave and Benjie asks her to talk about her family. Sinag shares her family history and how she ended up managing the radio station. Benjie keeps on trying to convince her that moving to Manila is better than staying in the town but she plays the “family memories” card. Benjie starts to look guilty.

 

Sinag asks him why he’s bringing up this topic and he makes up a story about writing a blog post about this. Sinag asks him if he could help them gain attention and support through his blog . And he spouts another lie, telling Sinag upfront that he’d write about their plight and get her to read it when he’s finished writing it. Sinag asks what his blog’s name was, and he says the first thing on top of his head: “The Backpacker.” Noticing that Sinag kept her arms around her to keep warm, Benjie shrugs off his outer shirt and places it around her shoulders.

  

Meanwhile, Badong is done with Tala’s kite and they go off to test it out. The kite doesn’t fly and Tala is disappointed (minus pogi points for Badong). Sally comes out to call them to lunch, wondering why Sinag still hasn’t come home. Badong volunteers to look for Sinag.

At Bahay Pag-ibig, Badong looks for Sinag and Benjie but finds out that they have not been there. Jason doesn’t know either and tries to assure Badong that Benjie will not let Sinag get into harm. Badong gets all protective and Jason is all like, “What is up with him?”

The sun is about to set and Sinag and Benjie are still inside the cave (for some reason, the rain doesn’t stop in the forest even though it’s a bright and sunny day for the rest of Pelangi).  Sinag tells Benjie that they should start heading back before her dad starts suspecting that they are together and think that she likes him. Which she totally doesn’t. Benjie doesn’t buy it and asks her upfront if he has a shot at being her boyfriend. Looking into each other’s eyes, she tells him: “It’s getting late. Let’s go home.”

 

Badong ropes in Arman to help him search for Sinag in the forest. He refuses to let his guard down around Benjie, because he was an outisder, a stranger and a rival. Arman takes Benjie’s side and challenges boy torpe to come clean about what he feels towards Sinag, instead of acting like a second-rate kontrabida (*cough* Marjorie *cough*).  

Sinag and Benjie finally step outside the cave but Sinag suddenly gets leg cramps. Benjie gives her a piggyback ride because it’s too dark and the road too uneven to hobble around. And that’s how Arman and Badong find Sinag. Badong insists that he take over the piggyback duties from Benjie and Arman puts a stop to his childishness.

They reach Bahay Obispo, and it’s obvious from the way they look at each other that something has changed between the two.

Random thoughts

* Sometimes the script in DTBY is beautiful and lyrical but most of the time it seems like rehashed cliché, which would make you scratch your head and go, “Do people really say that?”

* Awww…child-like Benjie is so adorable~ Which is scary because he is a heartless schemer.

* My eyes might be deceiving me, but is the girl playing Trish the ex LDR, A’s longest love team?But I'm wrong. It's a different actress but it would've been awesome if it were LDR. 

* Awwww…collegiate Benjie is so cute in glasses. So innocent and sweet..

* Is Benjie’s mom aware that her son is playing around with girls’ feelings…for years? I get that Benjie got hurt and betrayed after what his college ex did to him but that is not an excuse to hurt and play around with girls.

* I get that it’s dark and slippery, but what is it with Sinag getting her leg hurt in some way with a guy conveniently nearby to help her out?

* There must be something in the ice scramble in Pelangi because Benjie and Sinag didn’t go hungry for the whole day. (They didn’t get hungry too when they were kids and had to walk around on foot for hours). Next time I go for a hike, I’ll try eating ice scramble to keep myself from feeling hungry.  

* Awww... reminds me of Kalyeserye

 

* No Catalina OOTD again. Boo.

In conclusion

Another way to make someone fall for you in a teleserye, aside from finding out about your childhood encounter, is opening up about your heartbreak. Not only will that make you seem vulnerable and evoke empathy, it also lulls the other party into trusting you because they feel like you trusted them with your painful past.

Although there was like a second where guilt actually crossed Benjie’s features, he is still going to continue with his deception game. Because his dream is the only thing that is important (a stark contrast to Sol). That moment of guilt is important because that is what keeps Benjie from being labeled as a person with personality disorder (narcissistic PD).

Next episode, Benjie will keep on chipping away on Sinag’s wall with his charm and pa-kiligs, which will actually work. Meaning more Maichard moments. Yay.    

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 Sinag has fallen. Marjorie finds out about Benjie’s game. Benjie is still a scheming jerk.

Recap

Ninay corners Sinag into admitting that she has fallen for Benjie, aghast that she still has not.

Sinag sits at the radio station, musing about love. While Benjie arrives at their room, confident that he was a step closer to getting the Obispos land (for someone who is trying to hide his real intentions, you’d think he’d be more discrete with his secret mission. Cork board with names of the families in Pelangi just screams “smoking gun.”)  

The next day, the Obispos are at the kite flying event organized by Tala’s school. Sol makes a move on the girlaloo he’s eyeing. Benjie arrives and immediately borrows a kite from a complete stranger so he can make a move on SInag. So what’s his plan? Get Sinag’s kite to fall.

Sinag goes on an internal monologue about the heart being like a compass, and it’s obvious from her tone that gone is the bitter Sinag. She is falling faster than Tala’s kite (oh hey! Maybe that’s the point of this kite festival, to use as an analogy for Sinag’s heart?)

Benjie picks it up, pretending like he wasn’t aware that it was Sinag’s kite that fell. He even volunteers to help her get it to fly again. She continues her internal monologue: “And if you really are meant to be for each other, even if you get separated, even if you try to avoid him, destiny would still bring you two together.” As the kite is dancing in the sky, we are treated to a montage of Maichard SinJie moments from the past episodes. “Have I found him? Could it be Benjie? I don’t know how it happened, but am I falling for Benjie?” And Benjie gives her his megawatt smile.

Sinag’s internal monologue quickly becomes vocal as she tries to stop herself from falling completely. Unbeknownst to her, her parents and Ninay are watching her on the sides as she is watching Benjie. Enter the DTBY OST as SinJie give each other loving gazes across the field. At Bahay Obispo, Sinag stares at Benjie’s mural, giving it an air kiss.

Next morning, Benjie is text-pestering courting Sinag, as Jason teases him. Sinag gets engrossed in texting him as her siblings stare at her. And yes, the eggs in the pan get burnt. Jason compliments Benjie for his skill in pambobola, and he gets defensive, saying he wasn’t. Sally and Teddy come down to find Sinag giggling by herself and unusually in high spirits, making them puzzled.

Benjie gets a call from the mayor, asking him for a meeting, breaking the happy mood.

At the radio station, Sinag is still in her happy bubble. Arman (with Ninay watching him) pretends to be a caller and asks her “how does one know that a person is in love?” Her answer leads him to ask if she herself was in love, but Sinag immediately denies it, knowing that it was Arman on the line, hoping to trap her into admitting her feelings.

At the mayor’s place, Benjie and Jason have a chat with the mayor, who is ranting about how excessively close he is being to the Obispos. Benjie assures him that he is working on getting the Obispo property. And since this casual meeting is held in the mayor’s living room, look who was openly eavesdropping? (The word “discrete” is obsolete in Benjie’s lexicon)

 

Ninay still tries to get Sinag to fess up to what she feels and say yes to Benjie. But Sinag fees like the time isn’t right to entertain romantic feelings, especially since they were in the verge of losing their town to the Rosaleses. Also, she still can’t wrap around her head why city boy Benjie would fall for a simple barrio lass like her (and you just want to cross the TV screen and give her a hug to tell her she is gorgeous AF). Also Ninay was super funny with her Donna Cruz song and dance.

Marjorie and Yaya have a field day when they find out about Benjie’s real scheme. Although Marjorie wants to humiliate Sinag again, her yaya stops her and talks some sense into her. (To be fair, that siopao analogy was pretty havey)

At the radio tower, Sinag sweeps while singing along to the DTBY OST. Of course, Benjie will catch her in an awkward moment, singing her heart out. Sinag tries to get Benjie to leave because she has too much errands to do but our Romeo is determined to worm his way into her heart. So he tells her that he’ll accompany her and heaps cheesy lines on Sinag to get her let him. She agrees and gets him to continue sweeping the floor. Of course, Benjie uses that as an excuse to hold her hand and make a move.

Benjie accompanies Sinag as she delivers paintings to a buyer, where he gets schooled about the culture and community in Pelangi, pointing out to the traditions and landscapes that will be destroyed if the Rosaleses build on their land. “There are things that are more important than money.”

They reach her next “racket” and Sinag gets teased about being accompanied by a handsome non-boyfriend. They pick berries, Sinag lets Benjie taste one, and the city boy is impressed with how much Sinag knows about the town. They pause their picking when they get called for a group meal, surprising and delighting Benjie at the same time.

         

Random thoughts

* Why does Sinag use the radio station as her personal audio diary of sorts?

* That compass analogy is like super off-tangent, I cannot even make sense of it. “They say that a person’s heart is like a compass. Countless of times you would fall, trip and make a fool of yourself. But as long as you believe, your heart will bring you to the right person.” The person in this analogy doesn’t know how to use a compass? The writer could’ve used a kite to illustrate how a person’s heart can go through so much, soaring one moment and getting twisted and tangled in the next, until it plummets to the ground. But don’t lose hope because who knows, the person who helps you pick it up might be the right person for you. Or something like that.

* Benjie flying the kite is sooo adorable. It’s like a kid having fun at a picnic.

* Isn’t it strange that Marjorie is not text-pestering Benjie? I mean her dad knows his number, it’s easy for her to get her hands on it.

* “For sale na po ang itlog ko.” Deym. That one line makes up for all the awkward cliché in the past episodes.

* Since Maine and Sec Maine-nunal have already “met” in a dance showdown, wouldn’t it be epic if DJ Sunshine and DJ Mae “meet” as well?

* Still no Catalina OOTD. Ugh. I need my fix of classy kontrabida fashion!

In conclusion

The feeling of kilig and dread get mixed in my heart as Sinag starts to fall head over heels for Benjie. Sinag in love is such a burst of positive vibes that you’d curse anyone who’d dare rain on her parade. It’s like watching a train wreck waiting to happen. No matter how much you want to divert your eyes, you can’t help but watch because Alden and Maine Benjie and Sinag are too adorable together.    

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 Sinag hesitates about Benjie. Marjorie confronts Benjie about what she knows. Benjie makes a big romantic move.

Recap

Sinag and Benjie join the other berry pickers in a boodle meal. And yes, they don’t stop the teasing. Benjie gets a fish bone stick on his throat and Sinag helps him out (cause that’s her superpower because she was born feet first). While Sinag tends to his throat, Benjie looks at her with a self-assured “you’ve fallen for me” gaze. (I just realized that the fingers she used to stroke his throat were the same fingers she used to eat with. Oh yum.)

While the group continues to tease them, one of them sounds bitter and reveals that one of their neighbors are sure to leave town. Finding out that Ka Henry (one of the artists whose songs Sinag plays on her radio show) is leaving sours Sinag’s mood.

Sinag immediately pays him a visit to find out that yes, he was leaving. She becomes despondent that the best musician and manager of the oldest guitar shop in the country is leaving town. Benjie tries to cheer her up by saying that’s how life goes. Some people leave while new people come in (pertaining to himself, an attempt to slip in a cheesy line). It doesn’t work because for Sinag, Pelangi will never be the same. As Sinag walks away, Benjie has this look akin to guilt on his face.

He arrives at Bahay Pag-ibig where Marjorie has been waiting for him. Basically she was there to let Benjie know that she knows and she won’t get in his way because she wants to see Sinag crushed when she finds out the truth. It’s like the universe’s way of making Benjie realize that he is a jerk. But is he going to stop? Of course not.

Benjie listens to the radio and Sinag is on air, broadcasting her sad commentary about the changes in town due to people leaving. Guilt party for one, anyone?

Sinag is doing a survey about whether people would sell their land or not. Of course, people she meets end up lying because they can’t bear to watch the disappointment in her face when they say that yes, they are selling and leaving town. Ninay excitedly greets Sinag while handing her a bouquet of flowers from Benjie with a note asking to meet her at her favorite place. As Ninay and Sally help her prepare (curling her hair with twigs), she also receives a pair of boots with another sweet note.

Benjie also asks her siblings to decorate a carriage of sorts for Sinag (he brought Panagbenga to Pelangi). As Sally and Ninay gush over how gorgeous Sinag was, we are treated to Nicomainechella Sinag.

 

Jason teases Benjie about his effort for this date and gets playfully hit by his best friend. Sinag arrives, escorted by her whole family and friends. When they are left to be alone, Benjie reveals his surprise: his attempt to make her dream come true (which she mentioned last night in her radio show). Ka Henry arrives to sing for her for the last time before he leaves town.

Marco Sison sings the acoustic version of the DTBY OST as Alden and Maine slow dance. The rest of the cast watches them from the side. There’s an almost kiss which of course does not happen.

Sinag’s family finally leaves (along with Ka Henry, who I hope gets compensated for his special favor) and Sinag and Benjie sit down for a meal. Sinag thanks Banjie and he tells her, “All your life, you have always been the one making ways to bring people happiness. But this time, allow other people to make you happy.”

The next scene immediately shifts to Bahay Pag-ibg where Jason teases Benjie (who can’t wipe his smile off his face) after the date. Benjie calls his mom late at night to tell her “I love you,” because he cannot bring himself to admit that he feels the same for Sinag.  

At Bahay Obispo the next morning, Tala asks Sinag if she and Benjie were already a couple. When she tells her no, her siblings are in disbelief. Her father comes to her rescue, agreeing that she doesn’t need to be so hasty in getting into a relationship with Benjie. He will never let his guard down around Benjie, not until the boy drinks with him. Because being drunk makes people honest.

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 It’s an exciting episode. Will Benjie get caught in his lie? What will he do when he finds out that his dad died on that bus when he was trying to save Teddy? Will Marjorie ever wear clothes that cover her up? Will Benjie’s thighs ever be free from the constraints of his tight pants?

Recap

Marjorie tries to suck up to Catalina (ugh, the difference in class and kontrabida finesse is so glaring that I cannot bear watch this sorry excuse of a kontrabida. Can’t they send her away, like soon? Or, since the Obispos are gonna leave Pelangi eventually, can this girl never ever show up again?) and fails. Miserably. (and just like that, I am now a solid fan of Catalina. Please have more screen time in the next episodes)

While the people at the groundbreaking ceremony are preparing for the event, so are the Obispos and the protesters. (I love the stark contrast in the colors: everyone was wearing white at the groundbreaking events, while the protesters were garbed in colorful frocks and protest signs). Ninay gets SInag to text Benjie to invite him to join their protest. Of course, he can’t make it because he’s one of the architects in the groundbreaking ceremony. He starts to sweat bullets after finding out that the Obispos are on their way to where he was.

 

The ceremony goes as planned… and so does the protest. The security aide springs into action, and Benjie uses the commotion to slip away unnoticed. For some reason the mayor’s security aide thinks that it is perfectly okay and legal to fire a shot “as a warning” against unarmed civilians who are within their rights to stage a protest. Don Vicente and Catalina are disappointed at the Mayor’s handling of the event. The protesters leave after another “warning shot” is fired (someone could die from a stray bullet, but does he care? Of course not).

Teddy dismisses the crowd after a short impassioned speech. Benjie arrives in a trike, to make it seem that he was trying to catch up to their protest. Sally invites him to have a meal with them.

Back at the event, as Don Vicente and Catalina make their way to leave, Catalina complains about the bad publicity the protest would bring to the company and the fact that Benjie had the gall to leave in the middle of it. Don Vicente is pretty cool about it, getting more concerned over the fact that Benjie was getting distracted lately. Catalina vows to deal with Benjie.

Sinag escorts Benjie down the steps of her house, thanking him for sympathizing with their cause. Seems like Benjie can’t take the guilt anymore and was about to spill the beans to Sinag but a drunk Mang Teddy drags Benjie away to join him for a drink.

Teddy and Benjie get drunk over local liquor and have a man-to-man talk. Teddy warns Benjie to never hurt or fool his beloved daughter. And Benjie keeps on lying.

After a while, Sinag tries to get Benjie to get up from their outdoor bench so he could head on home. Drunk Benjie ends up talking to Sinag about his dad, because Teddy’s drunk affection made him miss his father. Sinag quietly listens as he pours his heart out.

 

Benjie nurses his hangover and he asks Jason if what he was doing was still right (newsflash: it never ever was right from the beginning) because the Obispos are really good people. He realizes (or finally gets the balls to admit out loud) that he doesn’t want to hurt Sinag. Jason can’t believe that Benjie was seemingly aborting his mission when he was so close to his goal. And because Jason doesn’t give a deym about the town, he tells Benjie to focus on his mission because he wants to back to Manila.  

While Benjie’s conscience haunts him, making sure he doesn’t get a good night’s sleep, his mom is also haunted…by bad memories of her husband’s death.

The Obispos have prepared a feast but Teddy was missing in action. Sally tells her children that he went to the scene of the accident, still blaming himself for the death of the man who saved him.

Benjie gets a visit from Amanda, who is surprised at how much the town has changed. She asks his son if he has visited the site of the accident and we get a perfect close up on Alden’s wounded-puppy-dog eyes.

And that’s how Teddy meets Amanda, and how Benjie finds out that the man his father saved was Sinag’s dad. It’s like a sardonic joke from the writers to have Sinag’s “narration” in the background as the two parties meet after a long time. Their unexpected meeting not only opened up wounds but made it worse.

Ninay and Sinag talk about Benjie and Teddy’s drinking session last night and Ninay asks her bestie when she would get introduced to Benjie’s family. Sinag shares that Benjie’s dad has died while he was very close to his mom. She can’t help but wish that she would get to meet her someday.        

Amanda gets assaulted by the pain from the past, and while she knows in her head that she shouldn’t be blaming others, she just can’t accept that they had to be the ones who need to deal with the loss and suffering. She gets more disstressed when she finds out that Benjie knows him and his family.
   

Random thoughts

* Sinag could also put up a sign that says “Save Baby Charmaine.” We need to bring back the NoToSkinnyJeansAlden campaign. (Jason's face says it all).

* To be fair, I think that more than the fear of getting caught, Benjie was actually worried about the safety and wellbeing of Sinag, her family and the other protesters should the mayor’s security fight back.

* Trust Marjorie to make a classy jumpsuit still look sleazy. That’s got to be a superpower.

* Why would you wear stiletto heels when you know that you will be walking over a field? Like seriously, what wrong with the show’s stylists? Style before function/comfort is already an obsolete concept in the fashion world (hence the rise of athleisure and normcore trends). Catalina is written as a stylish yet practical woman. Why would she choose to wear stilettos? My gahd! However, her ootd still slays. As always.

 

* Alden playing a drunk character is always entertaining to watch (James in God Gave Me You, Andrew in Imagine You and Me). Their commonality: they cry and become emotionally vulnerable.

  

* Benjie talking about losing one of his parents and losing a part of himself…ARGHHH! Stop making me sympathize with this jerk, Alden. Stop being so effin good at what you do.

* I feel like Benjie is stuck in a kid’s mentality where everything should revolve around him and what he deems important. “I wish my dad didn’t think about others so he wouldn’t die and I wouldn’t be incomplete.” Wow.  It’s all about him in the end. It’s like he’s got the mentality of a three-year old boy who still hasn’t gone past the stage of egocentrism.

* Maybe Teddy’s loss of dexterity in his arm is more psychological than physiological. Maybe his guilt over his savior’s death was too great that he subconsciously “punishes” himself by taking away the skill that he takes prides in.

* You’d think that they’d be proud of what Gabriel did, for being a hero, that his death was not in vain because he not only saved them but also a complete stranger. But nope. We need more drama. And we need to have Teddy feel indebted to Benjie’s family so there would be a “balance of sorts” when $h!t hits the fan and they find out Benjie’s deception.

*Argh! I’m cringing while listening to Amanda’s script. It’s as if Teddy shoved Gabriel down the cliff to die with the way she was talking. And doesn’t she realize that they way she’s blaming a totally innocent man for an accident is the same way Vicente has been blaming her for his son’s untimely death?  

In conclusion

This episode was all about the universe taking revenge on Benjie for being a heartless scheming jerk. Not only does he have to deal with his own guilty conscience, he also has to deal with the resurrected pain of losing his dad so suddenly. And the universe is just starting. Karma is a b***h.

I realized another thing. People in pain in this universe have this tendency to let the pain rule their life and override their capacity for positive coping. After Sinag’s heartbreak, she became bitter and cynical about love, blocking off any male that attempts to get close (thus hurting Badong). After getting played around by his ex-girlfriend, Benjie ends up with playing around with girls, not caring about their feelings. Vicente was hurt when his son, his pride and joy, chose to abandon him and his heritage for the sake of a woman. So he ends up hating Amanda, even more so when Gabriel dies in the accident. And Amanda, because of the great hardship he has to deal after Gabriel’s death (from losing her husband, being rejected and resented by his family, and getting threatened to have her only son taken from her) ends up hating a complete stranger, an innocent man who happened to be the last guy her husband pushed out before the bus tumbled down. (If Benjie had been that last guy pushed off the bus, would she end up hating her own son as well?)

And that is why legit grief therapy is important.    

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 Even though schadenfreude should be kicking in, Alden’s Benjie’s tears can turn the coldest hearts into a puddle of sympathetic tears. Benjie is forced to give Sinag a tearful goodbye (for the sake of his mom’s sanity), Amanda channels Vicente and blames Teddy over the accident, and as if the Obispos don’t have enough problems to deal with, Tala gets into a serious accident.

Recap

Teddy arrives home, distraught about what happened. He tells Sally that he saw the wife of the man who saved his life and his son…who turns out to be Benjie. Teddy is overcome by survivor’s guilt and Sally gets her husband to get up and talk to Benjie’s mom so he could get closure and be free from his guilt.

Benjie talks to Jason about what he and his mom discovered and Jason asks him if he was going to tell Sinag about it. Meanwhile, Sinag and Ninay are still arguing about her lovelife when Sinag gets a text from Benjie, asking to meet.

Teddy and Sally approach Amanda to apologize over what happened in the past, and Amanda cannot accept their apology. And yes, she sounds exactly like Don Vicente.

As Sinag waits for Benjie to arrive at the aviary, she tries to anticipate what Benjie wants to tells her. She’s all giddy with excitement but Benjie’s despondent mood breaks her happy bubble. He tells her about his mom and her dad and why he needs to go away. But at least to Benjie, it is clear that Mang Teddy is not to blame.  

Sinag tells his friends and of course they have her back. They worry about her (cause heartbroken Sinag is such a bitter pill to deal with), and she tells them that she’s okay because he understands why Benjie had to go away. Ninay bemoans the fact that Sinag is stuck in the middle of all these even though she has nothing to do with it.   

Sinag and Teddy also talk and he says sorry to her for how his past affected her blossoming relationship. Again, she assures her dad that none of this is his fault and that it was God’s will why he’s still there with them.

Amanda tells Benjie that she wants to go home and Benjie assures her that he’ll accompany her back, leaving his work in Pelangi, because she is more important to him than anything.

Another wave of concern for Sinag, this time from her siblings. Tala is confident that they will get back together because they’re each other’s destiny. Sinag gets a goodbye text from Benjie and she sends one back to him. Benjie looks very sad about leaving.

Marjorie informs Catalina about Benjie leaving Pelangi, and she loses her cool. Her last line to that Escobar girl, I want that as a ring tone.

Ninay overreacts about Sinag and Benjie’s separation to get her to react. And Badong uses this opportunity to make his presence felt (oh hey, we’d forget he exists if he doesn’t talk and get in the same frame as Sinag or Benjie).  Sinag keeps on acting like she’s okay but fails.

New Catalina OOTD means that it took Catalina a day before she informed her dad about his grandson going AWOL on his Pelangi mission. But Don Vicente already knows because the boy called to ask for a leave (why wait for a week or so for the HR to file his request when he could go directly to the freakin company chairman/president, right?) and he agreed. Catalina couldn’t believe it and gets a “don’t stress yourself.” Apparently Don Vicente was told that Benjie had been working to get the Obispo’s trust so he could convince them to sell their property. And that he’s about to succeed.

Amanda and Benjie visit his dad’s grave. She tells Benjie that she wishes that when he meets the one that was meant for him, he won’t go through the same thing that she is going through.  

Back in Bahay Obispo, Sinag is worrying about their families finances. Tala comes down and chats up with Sinag who is busy with their household budget. Apparently to young Tala, Sinag has to cry over her heartbreak to really be okay. (This scene is important because they need to have something they can use in a flashback montage for later.)

The next day, Tala tries to come up with a way to help with the family finances but does the exact opposite when she falls off a bridge. Sally gets a psychic premonition about the accident but is too late.  Sinag rushes Tala to the ER and is full on panicking. Good thing Ninay was there to keep her from completely breaking down.  

Amanda and Benjie have a meal, they talk about his work and his mom notes that something has changed with her son, and Benjie gets a fishbone stuck in his throat. Which makes him remember Sinag (hence the importance of that seemingly random scene in the earlier episode) and her magic hands.

As Benjie is watching Legally Blind on tv, his mom confronts him about his feels, asking him if he left his heart in Pelangi (cause she’s a mom and she knows when her son is troubled). Which he, of course, denies. 

 

Random thoughts

* You know how cringe-worthy Marjorie’s entire script in this whole series is? Amanda’s script in this episode is vying for second place. It’s so irrational and needlessly maudlin.

* I love Sinag’s pink polka dress.

 

* I love the English OST!!!

* Catalina OOTD! Yeah! Not just one but two!

 

* I feel for Catalina. I bet she spent all her life to not only fill in her older brother’s place in the company but also his space in her father’s heart. She had told Elton how hard she worked to get to where she was, and to see Benjie getting favors left and right from her father and mother, it just seems so unfair. He got into the company because of her mother Helen, his designs get to be picked for the big Pelangi project because of her dad, and now, he gets to file for a leave even though he hasn’t been in the company for a month. And Benjie still hasn’t proven himself AT ALL! It’s all “potential” and “guts” but no concrete results. That’s why I am totally rallying behind Catalina. (and the fact that she gets to put down Marjorie with class totally has nothing to do with it. )  

In conclusion

WAHHHHH!!!! Next week is so gonna be intense. Maine and Alden, and the Obispo clan will be bringing out the big guns to reduce us into a puddle of tears and snot. I’m excited to see Maine be intensely angry, more angry than Dani in God Gave Me You. 

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This is one of those episodes where you hate Alden for being such a good actor. Benjie is a jerk but you can’t help but feel sorry for him as he deals with his guilt and the fact that he is falling for Sinag as well, for real. And Sinag in distress means that our heart will be in distress too.

Recap

The Obispos get super bad news about Tala, and their financial burden is gravely multiplied. Sinag, Tatay Teddy and Sol go out to find money for Tala’s operation.

At the Mayor’s place, he gets a call about the Obispo’s situation and this scene proves that Dante and Marjorie Escobar are aliens in disguise because they are heartless creatures who have no shred of humanity. The mayor immediately informs Don Vicente about it, knowing that this incident was the perfect leverage for their deal.

Don Vicente in turn calls Benjie to go back to Pelangi to convince the Obispos to sell their land. “I know this sounds bad,” Don Vicente says, “But it’s business.” Benjie looks like he’s become the devil’s accomplice.

Benjie immediately calls Jason (who is still in Pelangi) and instead of encouraging his bestfriend to do the “right thing,” he tells him to do what Don Vicente told him, which is essentially his job.

Sinag goes around looking for people from whom she can ask for a loan. But fails. (Why does this show portray people with money as heartless jerk with no shred of conscience? Lola Helen may very well be the only living kind rich person in this universe.) 

 Benjie opens up to his mom about what he did without going into details. His mom advises him to follow what he thinks is right. (Let’s get something straight. This whole fool-the-girl-into-falling-in-love-so-I-can-get-their-land is solely 100% Benjie’s idea. Not Don Vicente, Jason, or even the despicable Mayor Dante. It is his brain child. And despite knowing about Sinag’s heartbreak, he chose to continue exploiting her weakness. It’s obvious his moral compass is skewed. And you are asking that kind of person to follow what he thinks is right?)

Not everyone Sinag approached for help was as cold-blooded as that old lady. Friends were willing to pool together their savings to help with Tala’s fees. But of course it is not enough. Sol gets a call from Nanay Sally to inform them that Tala’s condition was worsening.

Benjie was still in Manila, asking for updates from Jason. Of course, Jason knows what’s happening even though he has no connection to the Obispos at all. Who needs to be personally acquainted when he has the Bahay Pag-ibig keeper to supply her with the news? He reiterates his advice to Benjie, to come back to Pelangi and use this situation to get the Obispos to sell their land to the Rosaleses.

Sinag, Teddy and Sol rejoin Sally at the hospital, and the family decides that they need to sell their land to bring Tala immediate aide.

Back in Manila, Benjie takes out personal belongings that he could sell/pawn to help the Obispos in some way. Amanda volunteers her own stuff to help out, even though she’s aware that it’s the Obispo family that is in need of help. (Okay. This woman has every reason to resent the Obispos and withdraw help from them but she doesn’t because she’s a good person. The rich people on the other hand are just plain soul-less. What if Benjie asks Lola Helen for help? I’m sure she’ll willingly do so without batting an eyelash.) She also hands a letter for Teddy and Sally to Benjie.   

Lola Helen talks to her husband about Benjie. And Don Vicente makes it clear that his full acceptance is solely dependent on whether Benjie would meet his expectations. (Now we kinda understand why Gabriel chose to elope and why Catalina turned out to be cold and calculating.)

At the Escobar home, Marjorie is all like “why is Benjie not back yet?” And instead of Benjie, they get a desperate Mang Teddy who was there to sell his land. As soon as he hears that the Rosales lawyers were drafting papers, he runs out before he is forced to shake hands with the devil.

At the hospital, Sinag talks to Tala begging her to hold on and stay strong. (HOMAYGASH! I think this is the scene that Alden was teasing Maine during the DTBY grand presscon). It’s heartbreaking to see Sinag forcing herself to smile for Tala and her mom.

Back at Bahay Obispo, Teddy is crying over the land property he is forced to sell. Sol ends up being his pity party companion. The Escobars roll up their yard to crash on their party (and for some reason, Marjorie accompanies her dad. I give up trying to understand why she has to be there) and Teddy hands them the land title.

Sally informs Sinag about Teddy and the Rosaleses deal and goes out to handle what needs to be handles for Tala’s hospital transfer. Meanwhile, Don Vicente informs Catalina about the same thing. Catalina asks where was Benjie while this was all going down.

Teddy was already signing the contract but Benjie drops by the hospital, apparently raising enough money for the Obispos so they don’t have to sell their land (which I doubt is accurate because the 200,000 was merely a down payment. They need more money for the hospital fees, the operation itself, and more for post operation care and recovery. Not to mention the fee they need to pay for staying in a private hospital. I hate to be negative, but yeah, you still need to sell your land.)

 

Sinag and Sally feel totally indebted to Benjie, and Sally immediately goes and calls her husband not to sell their property (despite having signed the contract).   

   

Random thoughts

* Being a doctor in a teleserye has got to be one of the “hardest” bit roles. They usually are the ones that deliver the bad news, using highly technical terms while looking “professional” with a tinge of sympathy in their demeanor.

* Alden is sooo good. I can actually feel his vexation because of his situation. Before he could fully process the fact that Tala got into a serious accident and the Obispos are in major trouble, he has to be an accomplice in a scheme to get their land.    

* I can’t believe Benjie left Jason in Pelangi. What a jerk. He was dragged there to accompany Benjie for his personal agenda (cause let’s face it, Benjie didn’t go to Pelangi for the sake of the project, he was there to be in his grandfather’s good graces), had to endure the lack of signal and urban comforts and being away from his girlfiend, had to go to boring meetings in place of Benjie, and he had to stomach watching by the sidelines as Benjie wastes time to get a family’s trust only to betray them in the end. He is not needed in the Pelangi project (and he doesn’t want to be there) and yet Benjie leaves him there for some unknown reason.  

* It’s crazy that Jason has no qualms about taking advantage of the Obispo’s dilemma just to get their land. At least Don Vicennte had the decency to say, “I know this sounds bad…” but this Jason guy. Wow.

* Amanda’s willingness to help in spite of having been inadvertently hurt by Teddy is stark contrast to Mayor Dante and Don Vicente’s move. Since this is a teleserye, karma will get them by the end of this series.  

* Ugh, can I just point out how pretentious Marjorie is for wearing a deconstructed concert t-shirt? I bet she doesn’t even know who’s on her shirt. *eye roll*

* I’ve always wanted to know, what exactly does Marjorie do? How does she spend her time when she is not eavesdropping on official mayorial talks, dressing up in as little amount of clothing as possible, and hating on Sinag and the Obispos? Obviously, Pelangi has nothing to offer Marjorie, so what in the heck is she doing there? Unless being her father’s shadow is her job?     

* Catalina in a basic tank top is a hundred times classier than Marjorie glammed up. #fact

* What if they just sell the radio station and the lot (but still keep Bahay Obispo)? Wouldn’t that raise enough money? Or mortgage it in a bank?

 

In conclusion

Being indebted to Benjie is actually the greater evil than being indebted to the Rosaleses/Mayor. Because at least the bad guys are forthright about their evil intentions. Benjie manipulated them to gain their trust.And Sinag and the whole family will soon know (in the next episode) all about his scheme. Sure, they didn’t sell because he convinced them, but his betrayal is unforgiveable.   

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 Okay. Forget what I said in the last few weeks. This time $h!t really hits the fan. Just when Sinag has fully fallen for Benjie (and how can you not when he heroically emerges to “save” the day?), Marjorie goes and makes sure she’s crashes and burns when she finds out the truth before Benjie could tell him herself (not that that would make it hurt less). And we finally get to see Maine’s intense acting with Alden (yasss! You slayed that scene bibi girl!)

Recap

Teddy rips apart the contract he just signed with the mayor and takes back their land property title. Meanwhile at the hospital, Sinag and Benjie have a moment. The mayor of course gives Benjie an earful over the phone, not knowing how accurate he was in blaming Benjie for the foiled attempt to get the Obispo property.

Tala has successfully been transferred to Manila where Teddy and Sally are watching over her, reading the letter Amanda wrote them.  (I love that lone tear that falls from Teddy’s eye as Sally side hugs him. And I’m relieved that at least we’re saved from the cold/unaccepting mother-in-law-to-be cliché.)

Marjorie is incensed at the idea that Benjie helped the Obispos so they didn’t have to sell their property and gets even more riled up by the possibility that the boy may have genuinely fallen for the simple barrio lass. (Remember my theory about Marjorie’s back story? That has to be the reason why she won’t let Sinag be. This isn’t about Benjie and the fact that he chose Sinag over her. This is about Sinag’s happiness and her being miserable about it). Her yaya advices her to finally use what she knows about Benjie to destroy Sinag.

Apparently the operation was a success and Tala is already conscious and awake. Tatay Teddy informs Sinag that they’re heading back to Pelangi that day. Tala talks to Sinag, excited to play with her. I love that Sinag asks if their father was there, as if she hasn’t just talked to him a few seconds ago. Teddy tells Sinag to pass a message to Benjie.

 At Rosales Development, Don Vicente and Catalina are outraged that the Obispos didn’t go through with the contract signing because someone helped them (I can only shake my head at how ridiculous this is. They’re mad that someone else helped this family to keep their child alive and keep them from being homeless, and these millionaires feel like they’re the aggrieved party). Don Vicente orders Catalina to go to Pelangi personally to talk to Benjie about this matter. (Feels like Catalina’s plan to make Benjie fail in Pelangi blows up on her face even though she succeeded. She just can’t win.)   

At Bahay Pag-ibig, Jason asks Benjie how he’s going to explain to Don Vicente what he did (not only did he fail to do the one task his grandfather personally asked him to do, he directly went against it by helping the family avoid committing to the sale). Benjie clarifies that he will not run away from the consequences of his actions but he wants to come clean to Sinag first.

Sinag’s friends (well at Ninay and Badong, at least) muse over how Benjie’s so in love with her, convinced that he must really be her destiny. Ninay urges Sinag to finally make their relationship official.

 While Sinag is on her radio show, Benjie arives at the radio tower. Sol, totally rooting for Benjie, asks him if he was taking his courtship to the next level (his wide-eyed eagerness wedging the guilt further in Benjie’s heart). Benjie asks Sol to tell her sister to meet him at the aviary after the program.   

Since he is such a negligible character, we’re treated to a shirtless Badong (it’s such a blatant unsolicited fan service. I mean, who in their right mind would go shirtless when it’s friggin raining in a mountainous province, where it’s cold???) Arman informs him about what he discovered about Benjie: he is not what he says he is. His blog does not exist and the social media account under Benjie Romero is a different person. So Arman convinces Badong to save Sinag from Benjie’s deception, while hiding the fact from his girlfriend that the information came from him.  

Meanwhile, at the radio station, Sinag is happy and sunshiny in her radio booth, the bitter DJ Sunshine long gone. Sol goes to inform Sinag about Benjie’s invitation, and Lolo Elvis and Lola Delia are beside themselves with joy and kilig at how her lovelife is turning out. Sinag tells them that she’ll just answer one last radio call before she goes off to find Benjie.

Of course, that last call will turn out to be Marjorie who callously spills the beans (in an outfit that just leaves me flabbergasted), in her effort to make Sinag miserable. (I am kinda relieved that the population of their town and the size of the radio audience has dwindled so less people heard what she said.) Although Sinag vainly attempts to defend Benjie, the truth is out in the open.  

So yes, even before Benjie gets to tell Sinag the truth, she’s been slapped in the face with it.  

Ninay finds put that Arman knows something about it, and Marjorie also makes sure that Benjie will also be miserable by telling Catalina that Benjie paid for the hospital bills. And of course, we’ll have the scene with the random gossipers who talk $h!t about Sinag. Of course, Ninay comes to the rescue. Badong overhears random townsfolk talking about it as well.

At the radio booth, Sol, Lola Delia and Lolo Elvis are trying to placate Sinag. Meanwhile, Benjie is alone in the aviary, ignoring calls from Jason (who could’ve told him that Marjorie has broadcasted the truth). He’s practicing how he’ll confess the truth, unaware that Sinag was behind him.

Sinag confronts Benjie, gives him a slap and bouquet body lashes. Before he could chase after Sinag, Ninay and Arman arrive just in time to stop him and give him a piece of their mind. (I love Arman’s understated yet intense and truthful acting). Benjie is left alone to deal with the $h!t that has blown up in his face, the first phase of three (or four) pronged blow up. (I get that wordless emotional scenes are Alden’s forte but that scene with his regretful teary face was too long.)

 
 

At the company, Catalina informs Don Vicente what Marjorie told her: it was Benjie who helped the Obispos with the bills so they didn’t have to sell their property. Of course, Don Vicente loses it and orders Catalina to call a chopper so they can get to Pelangi ASAP. (Second phase of the blow up)

At Bahay Obispo, Sinag is crying her heart out to Ninay, blaming herself for falling for Benjie’s scheme. “He must’ve been disgusted while he was doing those things with me. I’m so stupid for thinking that a guy like him could like a girl like me.” Ninay comforts her as much as she can.   

Nanay Sally, Tatay Teddy and Tala come home from the hospital (and I’m amazed that they have not heard what happened with all the gossipers scattered around town) where they receive the bad news. They immediately go to Sinag where Sally blames herself for pushing the “soul mate” narrative to her daughter. But she’s able to smile because Tala is okay and comforting her.

 

 

Random thoughts

* I am really getting worried over Marjorie’s health. It’s a wonder she has not contracted pneumonia despite being always scantily dressed in a cold and humid mountainous province. But to be fair, she looks pretty in pink.  

* Slay that black and white OOTD Catalina!  

* Benjie may be a conniving jerk but at least he takes the backlash from his jerk-ness head on, whether it’s a slap from an old fling or the scathing rejection from paternal grandfather and aunt or even a heartbreaking slap-and-rejection combo from the one girl that mattered.  

* Benjie’s skinny jeans wardrobe has got to be a cruel and unusual punishment. It’s really not flattering, the trend is soooo 2015, and it’s so uncomfortable, even I feel smothered by the tightness of the jeans.

* The confident, breezy, self-assured, smug Benjie we saw in the first few weeks in the series was just a façade. This vulnerable and almost-about-to-cry dude in this episode and those in the last week is the real Benjie. He’s been hiding his pain (from the longing for his dad to the betrayal of his ex girlfriend and ex bestfriend) behind this mask. Not that that excuses his being a jerk.

* Super belated thought. I think Eboy intentionally made Sinag hate him but deep inside he really cares for her. I think he’s the kind of person who believes that pain is needed for a “clean break.” A cliche jerk move that though has good intentions reflects how much they underestimate their relationship partner.

* Aside from the fact that he betrayed the Obispos and played with Sinag’s heart, another reason why Benjie is unforgivable is because he made Sinag doubt herself and her worth, making her think that she is less valuable than she really is. He didn’t only break her heart, he also crushed her spirit. And that is truly unforgivable. I just wish that all “players” out there would get this message loud and clear. Just because you think that playing around with other people’s feelings would make you feel better about yourself and mask a past hurt (which does not), you can’t use another person’s pain and damage to their self-esteem as a salve to your own hurt and lack of self-esteem. You’re just making this world more miserable. (Boldface for emphasis)       

* Okay, I get that Marjorie’s character is written as this spoiled rich brat who gets what she wants and will use underhanded schemes to get it (or at least be a thorn in the side for her enemies), but my goodness, does she have to be so needlessly pa-sosyal and pa-sexy? I feel like she’s coming in to Catalina, seducing her like she tried with Benjie. Ilagay sa lugar ang landi, please lang.

* So the recipe for a pre-makeover Sinag is set: she’s been humiliated in public by her arch nemesis, she’s the subject of gossip in town, and (I’m guessing in the next few episodes) they’ll lose their land and the town to the Rosaleses. You can’t be a female driven teleserye without these “heroine rebirth” storylines.

* I know this scene is super serious and intense and pivotal to the whole series, but I cannot get over the fact that Alden looks fat in this scene. And the horizontal black stripes on his beige sweater and light wash skinny jeans don’t help. And he no longer has a jaw.

* What makes Benjie more despicable than Eboy is the damage to Sinag’s perceived self-worth. When Eboy went away, Sinag knew that it was because he needed to move to Manila. She didn’t think “I must’ve been not good enough to make him stay.” She was hurt by his sudden departure and one-sided break up, but at least she didn’t blame herself. But this betrayal is just in a whole different level.        

In conclusion

And Maine proves that she can indeed do drama, disproving naysayers which include herself. She only had a few lines in that intense scene, but it’s not what she said that drove the scene, it’s her action. The way she was visibly restraining herself. Very genuine.  And I love that she doesn’t look pretty when she’s crying when she was with Ninay. One criticism though, there’s a stark difference between her tears here and her tears in KS (especially the hurt pa more week), making it obvious that this is an act. A good act, but an obvious act.   

It would only go downhill for Benjie from here. Not only does Pelangi hate him, so does Rosales Development. Karma is a b!tch Benjie. Deal with it.

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I’ve watched dozens of drama (both local and foreign) and I hate this part of the series where the leads are going through suffering. I feel like it’s needlessly stretched out, with gratuitous scenes of the leads crying, looking miserable, their supporting cast crying with them. Like the scenes are framed solely to showcase how good they are in doing drama. But pain and suffering is vital for character transformation so I get it that this season has to be fleshed out to understand why Benjie and Sinag would change. And I have to admit, the schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure.

So in this episode, more $h!t will blow up in Benjie’s face. He not only has to walk through Pelangi and hear people talk about him in whispers, he has to face Teddy (who painfully restrains himself from hitting him), Marjorie (who finally gets the confirmation that yes, Benjie has truly, madly, deeply fallen for Sinag), Don Vicente and Catalina (who tell him he’s a bigger disappointment than his father), watch his face mural get splashed by paint by Sally, and get hit (again) by Sinag as he grovels for forgiveness in front of her. Yep. We’ll see a lot of Alden crying and we will be crying with him.  

Recap

Wow. Don Vicente wasn’t wrong when he said that Benjie has balls. He actually went to Bahay Obispo where the Obispo men are outside, as if guarding the princess in her tower. So there was Benjie, asking Sol to let him talk to Sinag. Lolo Elvis makes a brilliant point when he tells Benjie that his attempt to talk to Sinag is too soon. But Benjie still begs him to let them in because he’s not sure if he’ll have a next time to talk to her.

 

Mang Teddy comes out and he confronts Benjie. As much as Mang Teddy wants to kill Benjie he can’t because of his utang na loob (not only did his dad save his life at the cost of his own, Benjie also helped them raise funds to save Tala and avoid having to sell off their house), which he will pay in full. Benjie has no choice but to leave at the order of the Obispo patriarch.

(I think it’s because it’s the Lenten season, that’s why I am seeing this metaphor, which of course does not even come close what I am referencing and should not be taken seriously) So that’s one station of the cross. Benjie walks to Bahay Pag-ibig amidst the jeering, hateful and taunting crowd, carrying his cross that is steeped in his sin alone.  In comes Jason as a Simon of Cyrene of sorts, only Benjie ignores him to continue his walk to Calvary. (…and end metaphor.)   

 

It’s night time at Pelangi and Benjie is back at Bahay Obispo, relentless in his desire to talk to Sinag and explain his side (which would not do any good because what he did was unforgiveable. Even if he explains that he wanted to impress his grandfather—uh, newsflash! There was nothing in his order for you to pretend and play around with someone’s heart and trust. And let’s be honest, he’s only doing this to make himself feel a little better because at least he has aired his side). As Benjie listlessly walks towards the property, their past moments flash in his mind.  

  

Lo and behold! At that moment Sinag comes out to talk to his face mural, where she says that yes, she is in love with him. Both Benjie and Nanay Sally overhear her tearful monologue (somebody make sure sharp objects are away from Benjie). Sally apologizes again, regretting everything (she does have a point. Just because he saw Benjie’s face in her vision does not mean he’s her soulmate. What if the reason why she saw him after touching her daughter’s hand was because it was a warning, like how she saw Tala’s accident?). Sally then gets a bucket of paint and splashes it over Benjie’s mural face…while Benjie was looking (kinda feels like it was Benjie himself who was splattered with paint).     

And just when you thought that that was the last crying scene, of course not. Benjie opens up to Jason at Bahay Pag-ibig, reflecting that he didn’t expect that his pretend game could become real in the end. While he’s still reeling from his lost chance at love, Jason (ever the reliable bestfriend) reminds him that he has more things to worry about. Like his grandfather finding out what he did.

And lo and behold! Don Vicente and Catalina have arrived in the middle of the night, with Lola Helen in tow. (They took a chopper, left Manila in the late afternoon and for some reason arrived at Pelangi in the dead of the night. For more drama.)  

 

Don Vicente confronts Benjie (When he puts it that way, Benjie is indeed his father’s son. Because of love, he threw away everything) and gives his kontrabida line: “My god, you’re exactly like your father. No. Wait. Let me rephrase that. You’re a bigger disappointment than your father.” Helen and Catalina play the cartoon angel and devil on Don Vicente’s shoulders. Basically Don Vicente tells Benjie that he has lost his chance and walks away, with Catalina following after him. Lola Helen gives him a sympathetic look and follows her husband. 

In the car, Catalina affirms her father’s decision because Benjie does not deserve a second chance (YASSS!!! I totally agree with Catalina. He totally wasted company money in his whole stay in Pelangi and even had the gall to ask for more for the radio station antenna, only to sabotage the team project in the end). Lola Helen asks what they plan to do with Benjie, and goes on an irked grandma tirade. “Are you intending to turn him away, like you two did to Gabriel? My God Vicente. This is not some random kid. This is your grandchild. Catalina, this is your nephew. Don’t push him away. Don’t do to him what you did to Gabriel. So what, you’re going to see who has the bigger pride? And look what happened. Vicente, at this point, you will not only give Benjie a second chance, but yourself as well.” (While she makes valid points, it doesn’t mean that they need to retain him in the company to acknowledge him as part of the family. This is not about Benjie disappointing his grandfather. This is about junior architect Benjie Rosales acting completely against a company project, which is indicates that he does not have the company’s best interest at heart. Donya Helen has to acknowledge that fact and not make excuses just because he’s her grandson because he could possibly cause the company to crash with his actions.) 

Sinag is still thinking about Benjie, looking back at how she fell for him, going over what he said to her, devastated that they were all lies.

At Bahay Pag-ibig, Jason wonders what will happen to them. “Will we get fired?” Benjie assures him that he will not let him get tangled in his mess but Jason counters with his own assurance that he will not leave him. (My heart really goes for Jason. Because of Benjie’s plot, even his job is in danger even though he had nothing to do with it. But he still doesn’t blame Benjie and would even take the fall with him voluntarily). And thanks to Jason, Benjie finds a reason to smile for a moment. Like the sun peeking from a behind stormy clouds, Lola Helen comes back to tell Benjie that he was not fired. She invites him to join her at the Mayor’s house to spend the night before returning to Manila (uh, Lola Helen, you’re practically throwing your grandson in a lion’s den). Of course he cannot say no, because she goes on to say that doing so would prove to his grandfather that he was worth the second chance he was giving him.  

 

The next day, DJ SInag is back on air as if nothing horrible happened the day before. She goes on to share to her listeners how she used to get puzzled why some people want to listen to sad music when they are sad. “Now I understand. What the heart cannot express, songs can relay.” Of course, Benjie is tuned in, wanting to hurt himself as he listens to Sinag deal with the pain he caused.

And because the theme of this episode is “Benjie’s torment,” of course Marjorie has to be on the scene as well. She comes barges in, telling Benjie that he should be thanking her for what happened, because according to her he can finally stop pretending that he likes Sinag. And so Benjie pops her delusional bubble and tells her upfront that he does genuinely like Sinag. Marjorie gives a whiny “Why?” which Benjie answers with a strong “Why not? Marjorie, out of all the women I’ve met, Sinag is the kindest, the most caring. When I’m with her, she makes me smile. She makes me laugh. And like her name, she brings sunshine to everyone around her. And now that she’s gone because of you, I don’t know how I’m going to smile, how I’m going to laugh again!” (This scene is so much win. Pissed off Benjie is kinda bad@ss) Jason reminds Benjie that they need to be at the mayor’s mansion to join Don Vicente’s trip back to Manila. But he simply says sorry again. Marjorie is in disbelief that he’s going back to Sinag.

  

At Bahay Obispo, Tala drags out Sinag to see their mother’s new mural: her face. Her family, friends and some allied neighbors have come out to see her smile again, because she’s the friggin Amaterasu of Pelangi. The state of her heart is a grave community matter.

 

Marjorie tries to flirt with Catalina again (I can feel Catalina’s internal shudders), reporting on Benjie. Which gets her a “thank you” and a look that makes it clear that she doesn’t want to share the same breathing space as her. (Deym. Catalina takes the term “smoking hot” literally)

For some reason, Sinag goes to the aviary alone. (Yet another reason why Benjie is such a jerk. Because he staged one of his romantic moves in Sinag’s special place, she can no longer visit the place without thinking of him. What a grade a @sshole). Of course, Benjie shows up as well, because he has developed a Sinag-radar in his brain. He immediately jumps at the chance to talk to her, asking her to forgive her, telling her he’ll do everything. She tells him to leave and the jerk friggin bargains. (*facepalm*) He kneels down, as if that would help his case and Sinag just ends up hitting him. (Oh my God, my brain is exploding at Benjie’s utter chutzpah. He has the gall to tell Sinag to “not do this to him,” after his betrayal. Wow. He and Marjorie would certainly make an awesome couple). After beaten to the ground, he stands up and tells her he’ll leave if that’s what she wants. (Argh!!! It’s ridiculous that he’s acting like he’s the victim).

 

Badong comes in and punches Benjie, forcing him out of the aviary. (I feel like after a month, Badong finally earned his right to be the extra wheel. Or, at the very least, his screen time) He hugs Sinag as she cries, with Benjie dejectedly watching from afar. (Also, can I point out that Sinag was totally in control and didn’t need his hug?)

 

At the mayor’s office, Don Vicente has had enough of waiting and tells the group that they’re leaving (ah, Benjie’s selfishness and egocentricism never fails to amaze me. Imagine, he’s causing delay in the schedule of the company president and the top executive/architect because of his whims. He didn’t even give them the courtesy of letting them know if he’s turning up or not. My ghad!) Lola Helen of course wants him to wait for a little longer for Benjie to show up, to give him another chance.  Don Vicente is incensed because he has indeed given him a lot of chances. Just as they were about the leave the mayor’s place, Benjie shows up with Jason. Lola Helen immediately notices the bruise on his face and Don Vicente asks him if he really wants this second chance. Catalina tells them to go on ahead because she’ll accomplish the tasks Benjie failed to do. (Notice the sinister music after she said those words? That’s a real kontrabida right there. Even Donya Helen is wary and that’s her friggin daughter. Can we please get rid of the Escobar girl now?)

 
 

 

Random thoughts

* To be fair to the actor playing Sol, he can be menacing when the scene needs him to.

 

* Mang Teddy’s scene with Benjie is sooo effin good.

* I’ve mentioned in the last episode that it’s kind of a relief that most people in Pelangi have sold their property and left town. It’s also a relief that most of those who stayed are allies of the Obispos, so despite the public humiliation Marjorie intended, people are actually on Sinag’s side.

* Why is Alden sooo effin good in looking miserable?

* The background music is kinda awkward.

* I love how Catalina transforms into a bratinella, like she’s back to being young Pirena all over again. The eyeroll and side eye (I didn’t even know you can do both) was priceless. Can we please have her as the sole kontrabida and ditch that Escobar girl? Even in being a brat, she does it better and classier. I’m sure she’s enough to make Sinag’s life miserable too. Please. Send Marjorie away to a trip abroad and never bring her back. 

*CATALINA OOTDS FTW! A leather jacket on top of corporate wear. So fab!

 

* It’s funny that Benjie was more devastated after encountering Mang Teddy than getting fired by his grandfather. Or maybe he’s already too emotionally exhausted to care? It has been a long day.

* You know who else Benjie screwed over with his stupid plan? Jason, his bestfriend. Not only did he have to endure staying in Pelangi against his will, he may be subject to a company sanction for being an accomplice to Benjie’s ruse. What a jerk.

* Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that Catalina is seated at the back of the van? Like a teenager. Couldn’t she have ridden in the shotgun seat? Can you imagine her trying to squeeze in the back?

* Benjie’s regret and desolation does not give him a free pass. He is still a jerk. If he did not fall for Sinag, would he be suffering as greatly as he was now? I sincerely doubt it. Sure he’ll feel bad that he duped good people but he wouldn’t be as miserable as this. And that’s the problem. What he did was despicable and whether he fell or not does not make his actions any less despicable. And no matter how heartfelt his remorse, he can’t get away with this. He has to go through the consequence of his betrayal (which includes not being forgiven). He has to learn that fairy godmother Helen cannot fix everything.

* Ugh. Marjorie’s outfits (no actually how she wears them) are such a travesty to all respectable fashionistas all over the world.

* I want to know what was going through Maine’s head as she practically mauled Alden’s face in this scene. And also when she slapped him. That must’ve been epic. Can’t they have another facebook live?

* Another kalyeserye scene comes to mind. Just as heartbreaking.

   

* Catalina never wins even when she succeeds. It’s so sad. And now she’s stuck with the Escobar girl. No one is so bad that they have to endure the company of such an infuriating creature. If Catalina hated Benjie before because he was threatening her place in the company and her father’s heart, she’ll hate him even more now.  

In conclusion

As much as I hate Benjie and believe that he is indeed a jerk through and through, this episode is too much. 80% of this episode consists of Alden and/or Maine crying. Too much suffering in one episode.  

And it’s ridiculous that this whole episode was written so we’d sympathize with Benjie. Why the ef should we? He practically got off the hook! He kept his job (after failing miserably at the one task for which he was sent to Pelangi) because of his grandma (who has no idea that her esteemed grandson deceived the town and a whole family and played with a girl’s feeling just to get them to sell their land). Sure he got slapped, punched and shoved to the ground but that is nothing compared to the pain and self-doubt he has inflicted not only on Sinag but her whole family.  He is still as selfish and self-centered as ever. (Because again, he’s doing the groveling for forgiveness to feel better about himself. And notice that he was not sorry about what he did against the company, the same company who has been paying for his accommodation in Pelangi this whole time?) How can you root for a guy like this?

In the next episode, he’s back in Manila, he is still “Architect Rosales” while he has left the Obispos to deal with Catalina. Who will definitely get the Obispo land by hook or by crook. Instead of “saving” them when he thwarted the sale of the land, Benjie has left the family vulnerable to Catalina, who will make sure that they will lose the land even without selling it. Because she is smart and her eye is on the prize (to get back to Manila and get away from Marjorie as soon as possible).   

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In this episode, Catalina shows why she’s boss, Benjie is suffering in silence as he keeps working for his grandfather (who’s keeping a close eye on him), Sinag is still in pain, and Ninay gives Marjorie a wash.

Recap

It’s a new day in Pelangi and Sinag braces herself to face another day. She starts complaining to herself about being emo and crying incessantly, wanting to stop but not being quite ready yet.

Downstairs, the rest of team Pelangi are gathered around the breakfast table, making it a potluck of sorts. While his grandparents brought food, Badong brings a bunch of flowers for Sinag…which she ignores when she comes down. Sinag chooses to focus on Tala, and everything in her life that she is grateful for. She tells them collectively that they are her lovelife.

Teddy and Sinag gaze at her mural together, where his father gives her a pep talk. 

 

While the Obispos are relishing the fact that they still had each other and their home, Catalina asks the mayor what his plan was to get the Obispo property. Instead of telling her, he hands her an envelope (because that would give away the sense of suspense for the viewers I guess?). Their sinister looks are enough to let us know it’s a seemingly foolproof plan.

  

They immediately head to Bahay Obispo where Catalina herself faces the family (and oh my goodness, the show’s stylist dressed her up in heels again…when the character knows she’ll walk through a field. Stop turning her into an insensible fashionista. It’s against her character). The family comes out in full force, reiterating that they will not sell their property. The mayor tells them that he was not there to make an offer but to remind them of their unpaid taxes, which Catalina promptly elaborates. “How much would you have to pay?” and because the viewers can’t see what was in the document, Catalina provides the answer herself: 1.5M php. She gives them an ultimatum: either they raise the money to pay what they owe or lose their house to the government (who in turn would sell it to the Rosaleses. In this way, not only are the Obispos forced out of their house, they will also lose the chance to sell their house for 5M php, which was previously offered).     

Sally and Teddy lashes out at the Mayor and he gives the convenient response that he was just following the law. Teddy insists that they will not leave their home, even if it means fighting till the death for it. Catalina (like a legit kontrabida) cryptically tells him, “I won’t be so sure.“

The resistance group gathers in the Obispos table where they discuss about the unpaid taxes. Badong provides comic relief amidst the tense situation. Sally and Teddy are aware of their unpaid dues but it’s impossible for them to pay with how little they earn. While her parents are worrying over this matter, Sinag points out to all the artworks they could sell to raise the money (why Sinag and family didn’t consider this when they needed money for Tala I have no clue. Maybe it’s because it would take time for them to find buyers and raise the money? And Tala needed the operation ASAP?). Sol adds that Teddy could sculpt again and sell it at a high price (which totally flabbergasts me. Isn’t the whole reason for their money woes the fact that Teddy could no longer sculpt? Did a miracle happen in the last few days that cured his disability or something?). Sinag’s burst of optimism inspires the rest to think of ways they can help to raise the 1.5 M. She is confident that they will be able to save the house, reminding everyone that no one was leaving town.

Back in Manila, Amanda is surprised that Benjie was back home. She asks him a barrage of questions, and Benjie tells her that Sinag already knows everything (Ugh. He’s gonna cry as if he’s the victim…again). Of course, his mom of course comforts him.

 Sinag walks away from the berry farm, disappointedly, complaining about everything being ‘paasa.’ She sees a kind laundry woman who was concerned about her over what happened, and asks her for help in raising money for the house. While she and Ninay find part time work, Badong and Arman are working hard with their tricycle, and Teddy goes back to sculpting (Oh my God I was right about Teddy’s guilt keeping him from sculpting).      

At Rosales Development, Benjie gets an earful from Don Vicente, who reiterates that his grandmother was the only reason why he was still at the company. For some reason, not firing him is not enough. Don Vicente assigns Benjie as senior associate for the Pelangi project (despite being a new hire, despite the fact that he has blatantly acted against his direct instruction. I’m gonna channel Catalina and insist that this is so unfair). Gone is the cocky newbie to be replaced by this timid shell of an architect. Before he steps out of the office, Don Vicente reminds Benjie that he has no right to fail again.

Ninay and Sinag end up taking up laundry jobs to raise money for the house. Meanwhile we have another gratuitous shot of shirtless Badong (whose screen presence is so negligible he has to resort to this gimmickry. Jak Roberto he is not) as he takes on odd jobs to earn money for Sinag’s family. Arman is also shirtless and he notices the bekis of Pelangi oggling them. After driving them away, he commends Badong’s dedication to Sinag. Back at Bahay Obispo, Teddy is in the zone as he churns out sculpture after sculpture.       

As Sinag and Ninay talk about the money they have to raise and heart matters, Marjorie pops up from nowhere just to piss them off (honestly, I think she’s a stalker. How else would you explain why she would turn up at a laundry area? And that trying hard pa-sosy voice and enunciation is just so horrendous. She has got to be doing that on purpose). Ninay gets pissed and dunks her head in the laundry water and takes on her burly yaya as well. Cheesy bestfriend talk afterward.

At the conference room in Rosales Development, a colleague asks Benjie for his insights about the topography in Pelangi and he’s in a daze (I don’t get why he thinks it’s okay to slouch in his seat in the middle of a friggin company meeting. It’s as if he was just chillin at home with friends). He goes and tells them about the place as he reminisces about his moments with Sinag, lots of details but totally unrelated to the question asked him. And yes, he is crying in the middle of a company meeting (He totally looks like a rambling drunk). 

 

Random thoughts

* Maine is so good that she can make a crying moving on scene so comical. Slay queen. Slay.

* Why didn’t the mayor bring this up before, instead of acting like a villain whose dastardly plan was foiled by ‘those meddling kids’? He’s the effin mayor. He of all people should know that the people of Pelangi don’t pay taxes (he said so himself when he first introduced the plan in the pilot week).

* There goes the styling team  again. Making Catalina a non-sensible person, walking through a field in stiletto heels. Her OOTDs slay but her footwear is just not terrain appropriate.  

 

* In defense to Benjie, this new dilemma is totally not his fault. Even if Catalina is not there, the mayor would have still brought the matter up. 

* Isn’t there an NGO who could help them with this case? There are millions of similar cases around the Philippines I’m sure. Surely, a volunteer group of CPA or lawyers could help them negotiate their case?

* See, this is why Benjie grew up so self-centered. He always gets away with things. His mom apparently knew about what he did to Sinag and her family and nothing. Because she apparently saw that her son was remorseful about his mistake. And really, what can she do? It’s not like she could scold him. What good would it do anyway in that situation?  

* With the way this story is going, I am starting to wonder if the Obispos are really fighting for the town and the environment or for their own personal interest. Think about it, of all the families in Pelangi, they have the most to lose if the town is sold off because they own a radio station and an art gallery of sorts, a tourist spot in the town. Teddy just took it upon himself to lead this resistance without consulting and getting insights from his co-citizens. The fact that most people were willing to sell their land and were hiding it from them made it clear that he did not represent the “will of the people.” Instead of uniting the town, he’s polarized it. So now anyone who is not on his side are “sell outs” who do not love Pelangi and the environment. He may not have said it like that, but that’s how it’s turned out.

* Marjorie never fails to amaze me. She’s wearing pants but she still ends up looking cheap. I’ve seen Pia Guanio and other celebrities wear the same pair of pants, the same outfit even, but they don’t look trying hard and pa-sexy. I mean we don’t have to see your naked hips peeking from your low rise pants just to know you’re wearing a body suit. Who is styling this character?

* I was so tempted to just skip the scene with Marjorie just because her very presence is irritating. But Sinag and Ninay are too awesome that I just gritted my teeth to get past her lines.

 

In conclusion

It’s nice how the theme of this episode is optimism and starting over (I particularly like that scene where Mang Teddy was sculpting again), which is in contrast to the gloom and doom from the previous episode. It sends a nice message that when you get hurt, you allow yourself to cry and feel the pain, but then get up and face the good things in your life with a smile. You never know who will be encouraged by that smile.

Last episode for an intense week tomorrow.  Lots of big changes in tomorrow’s episode. 

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In this episode, Benjie gets drunk, Ninay leaves town with her family, the Obispos take a firm stand against evil, and Catalina proves that not only does evil and unethical scheming run in the family, she will always be better than Benjie in everything.

Recap

Sinag is at the aviary, doing a monologue. (Wow, do the writers of this series really expect us to believe that parrots just naturally freely fly and hang out at the aviary, perching so close to humans? Really?) She apologizes to the birds because their home would be caught up in the mess (I was right when I I pointed out about the birds) and blames it all on the Rosaleses, Benjie included (in Benjie’s defense, he has nothing to do with their 1.5M unpaid taxes. Whether or not he showed up in town, they would still have those unpaid dues which the mayor would use against them. Even the parrot thinks so).

And because her monologue is done, in comes Badong, who apparently have bionic hearing. He could hear her whispered words from outside the aviary. She scolds him for eavesdropping on her moment and he tells her that she could rest if she’s getting tired. She doesn’t even face him the entire time.

At Rosales Development, Elton tries to make up for Catalina’s absence as he scolds Benjie in front of the whole office for being “out of it.” As he puts down Benjie for being the cause of delay for the company project (a first, he says), he also kisses up to Catalina, without her even being there.   

At Bahay Obispo, team Pelangi gathers again to see how much they have raised so far. Despite the dismal figures, Sinag doesn’t lose hope and keeps encouraging her family. Teddy comes in and presents them his latest work of art.

Meanwhile, Ninay’s mom is beside herself with joy as she tells her daughter that her estranged American father contacted them (after seeing them in Sol’s video uploaded online) and wanted to meet them…in Manila. Which means that Ninay and her mom are moving out of Pelangi for good since her mom practically gave the Mayor a one finger salute.

As the Obispos are having a moment, congratulating Teddy for getting back into sculpting, Badong slips in a cheesy line to Sinag. Sol points out that Sinag was the only one depicted in the sculpture and his dad assures him that even though he was not in the sculpture, he was in his father’s heart.

At the mayor’s house, Marjorie complains to her father what Ninay and Sinag did to her and Yaya (Can someone explain why anyone would wear heels around their own house? You can see how careful she was walking down those few steps). As if the nagging voice of her daughter is not enough, the Mayor also faces the ire of Catalina (who complains that this delay was giving her a problem, on top of having to stand being in Marjorie’s company). The mayor tries his best to allay their concerns that he highly doubts that the Obispos would be able to raise that amount of money, but both continue to press on with the issue. Catalina even gives a weird sage-like analogy “In a war, you can’t give your enemies time to reload. You attack when they’re least prepared.”      

Sinag and Teddy chat about his “recovery” (making them indebted once again to Gabriel Rosales’ family; if Amanda did not explicitly say that he has forgiven him, he wouldn’t be able to let go of the crippling guilt) and how his guilt swallowed him whole no matter how much he tried to escape it. He then says sorry for bringing up Benjie again (to be fair, he could’ve said the wife of the man who saved me. It may be longer but at least it is more accurate), teasing his daughter.  

Jason attempts to talks some sense to Benjie, prompting him to ask, “Is that how special Sinag is to you?” He leaves when it’s clear that he won’t be getting a response from him (If I were Don Vicente and saw Benjie like this, I would fire him again. It’s obvious that he has lost the drive to do anything, making him a liability to the company). He murmurs, “Yeah. She’s special.”

At Pelangi, Sinag has no time to wallow in lost love as she was too busy picking out which clothes she could sell…or so I thought. When she sees the dress she wore for her aviary candlelit dinner date with Benjie, she goes into a rampage, and brings out the Doc Marten shoes Benjie gifted her as well. As Sinag and her family consolidate the items they will be selling, Badong makes another cheesy side comment (which is kinda annoying because it’s so half-assed) which Sol backs up.  The compliment is lost on Sinag. Tatay Teddy shares what Nana Puring (yey! Nova Villa is back!) told him over the phone, and tells them that he’s heading to Manila with the artworks they’re selling.

Their happy evening is interrupted by police sirens outside their home (why the police had to turn on their siren when they’re just parked outside and not in pursuit of a suspect I have no clue other than the fact that they’re simply there to intimidate. A blatant display of abuse of power). Mayor and Catalina face the Obispos with a couple of policemen, asking them if they’ve paid. Of course, Teddy points out the absurdity of their request and Catalina gives them a cold “We don’t care. The government does not care.” (Catalina makes the Mayor look like a saint). The mayor insists that they have to leave because they can’t pay that night and Teddy tells him how ludicrous his order was, especially since there was no court order. So like a 12-year old bully who loses an argument, he says as menacingly as he could, “You’re going to regret this,” as he leaves with his posse.      

As the Obispos are giving out a battle cry, Ninay slips in, unsure how she’ll raise up the topic of her leaving Pelangi. She asks to have a private talk with Sinag and you can tell from Arman’s serious face that it was indeed serious.

And just when I thought that nothing could be worse than Marjorie’s voice and Elton’s diction cannot be topped, this show brings in people who could be tough competition for the title. Exhibit A: the random ex fling. So Benjie tries to skip out on a Friday night hang out with Jason, which surprises the wingman (you know, for a guy who’s supposedly smitten with his girlfriend, we never see the guy with his girl. Not even pictures). And that’s when they bump into this girl.           

After facing a setback, Catalina starts getting desperate. Because it’s one thing to fail but it’s a whole other thing to fail just like Benjie. So she conspires with the Mayor to make sure that they chase away the pests and termites (Thus making Sinag’s words come true. “This is our house. This is where we were born, and this is where we’ll die.” And Catalina be like, and die you shall)

 

While Catalina schools the Mayor in the basics of “Filipino Kontrabida 101,” Sinag and Ninay say their farewells. But not before Sinag inadvertently wedges the guilt deep in Ninay’s chest, musing about how many people have already left town.  And since Sinag has sold her phone (and has no money to get a new one), Ninay gives her her own phone, so they would still be able to contact each other even while they’re apart.

We find out that even Arman is leaving Pelangi along with other individuals, further dwindling the resistance (Even Sol’s paramour is gone). Sinag asks her parents if their town could still be Pelangi even if their neighbors and friends are no longer in town. Suddenly, loud firing noises ring out from outside, making them think that they’re under fire, only to discover that they were simply firecrackers (it’s such a douche move. There are two old people in that house, and two kids, one of which just recovered from a head injury. What an @sshole). Teddy warns his family that that won’t be the last scare tactic against them.    

  

In Manila, Benjie gets drunk, gets into a drunken tirade and proves that he is a jerk and a male chauvinist through and through (He thinks that Sinag is simply throwing a hissy fit even though she loves him. Okay fine I’m too harsh). I love that scene where just as exhibit A tries to steal a kiss from him, he pukes on her. And everything that he sees reminds him of Sinag.

At Bahay Obispo, while the whole household is sleeping, masked men set their house in fire…with gasoline and lighters. The Obispos rush out the house but Sinag gets trapped inside.

 

Random thoughts

* I swear the main reason why Don Vicente wants to buy the whole town of Pelangi is because Gabriel died there.

* Heartbroken-and-swallowed-up-by-guilt Benjie looks like drunk Benjie.

 

* “So you’re back from outer space,” “home is where the heart is” –seriously? Elton is like a walking cliché quote book. And I thought Don Vicente’s kontrabida lines were horrible.

* Poor Sol. He is obviously feels neglected but every time he voices out his unhappiness, his concerns are swept under the rug. Nobody takes him seriously because everyone is focused on Sinag. He’s the sun (Sol) but all they see is the sun ray (Sinag).

* It must be hard for Mang Teddy. No matter how much he wants to hate Benjie and everyone associated with him, he can’t because he’s too indebted to each member of his nuclear family, including himself. His father died to save him from the bus. His mother forgave him, thus releasing him from the survivors’ guilt and enabling him to go back to his craft. Benjie raised money to help them save Tala’s life.

* Here’s my problem with Badong’s character. I get that he’s from the torpe trope but what I cannot stand is he’ll “make a move” only when it’s convenient for him, when he knows it’s “safe.” He’s delusional in thinking that Sinag is simply waiting for him to make a move. He’d puff out his chest and act like he’s protecting Sinag but in reality, he cannot even bring out the courage to be upfront with Sinag. It’s like real life bread crumbing.  Sinag does not deserve this spineless excuse of a third wheel.  There’s a reason why Ninay is not rooting for him despite being aware of his not-so-secret crush.

* I knew I should’ve taken up pol sci subjects in college. Since when has tax collection (which is under BIR) the personal duty of an elected mayor? This is ridiculous.    

* It’s crazy. Right after the Mayor tells her he cannot force them out of their home against the law, he agrees with arson. Because at least, no one would know it’s him, right? *face desk*

* I get that Catalina is the main kontrabida but does the styling team really have to dress her up in a black leather jacket? It’s like a sarcastic shout out to the Filipino kontrabida cliché (complete with the land grabbing and burning of houses). Next thing you know, they’ll be gunfights at a funeral/wedding/christening.

 

* This is how polarizing the Obispo’s campaign is. Even their allies feel like total douches for leaving even though they did not sell their land.

* Drunk Benjie falls into the trap of exhibit A’s ploy to get in his pants. Which is what happened when he played drunk Jerome in Mundo Mo’y Akin back in 2013. Only the girl in the previous series had more class.  

 

* Does she really think that it is okay to burn down someone’s house, especially when she’s aware that there are people inside? Why does she think she can get away with arson and premeditated murder? When I saw her with that unaffected look on her face at her brother’s burial, I knew that she was bad but no one told me that she’d be spawn-of-the-devil evil.

* You know what sucks? Teddy just got back into sculpting, churned out new pieces only for them to get burned. Cruel heartless criminals.

In conclusion

Catalina is a savage kontrabida. She’s enough. Now, can we please, please get rid of the Escobar girl?

Now it’s no secret how much I love Catalina. In fact I like her more than Benjie. But man, this is one psycho megalomaniac. I wonder how many people she has killed in the past to “get things done” and secure her position (I wouldn’t be surprised if she had a hand in the death of her older brother, or at least in his “banishment.” Her younger version was played by the same actress who played young Pirena and Catalina is proving to be more and more like the keeper of the brilyante ng apoy. Hence arson).

But I’d still choose her over Marjorie, any time. At least she has substance. When she strikes, she makes sure it counts. Unlike Marjorie who always ends up with her schemes blowing up in her face immediately. She’s like a mosquito buzzing around in your ear, whose main purpose of existence is to annoy the hell out of you. There was only one scene with Marjorie and look how awesome and chilling this episode turned out to be with only Catalina causing havoc?  

This week’s run has been emotionally exhausting. I think I’ll start doubting anyone who claims that a story is “light lang.”

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I am still reeling at the road this series has taken. It’s akin to the disbelief that you’re getting the same old plot despite the “environmental activist icing” slathered on top of it. But I can be wrong, and even if I’m right, it’s not like my cynical opinion carries any weight. I want to be proven wrong so please, universe, grant my wish (because it’s senseless to plead with the director and writing team because my request will simply be seen as childish complaining).

Enough with my rant. In this episode, the Obispos lose their house to the fire, Benjie rushes to Pelangi (giving no f***s to his work) and DJ Sunshine signs off.  

Recap

Sinag is trapped in her burning house, and Badong comes to Sinag’s rescue. And because he gets hurt, Sinag is now indebted to him.

In Manila, Jason finally deposits a completely wasted Benjie to the consternation of his mom. Just as Amanda is questioning Jason why Benjie got drunk, he drunkenly calls out to Sinag, repeatedly asking her to stop being mad at him.

As the family and neighbors are putting out the fire with buckets of water and an ambulance rolls in to help the injured, look who has the gall to show up: Mayor Dante Escobar. As Sally and Teddy (rightfully) accuse the mayor, he defends himself saying he is insulted that despite his ambulance, he is treated so badly (as I am listening to the mayor talk back, I am wondering, is her drunk? Why are his words slurred?) 

 

The next morning, the Obispos and Badong’s grandparents wait in the hospital. Sinag is desperately praying for her friend’s recovery (he’s the only one that’s left because Ninay and Arman have gone to Manila). The doctor gives them the bad news: Badong is now baldado (I know the pun is insensitive), thus adding to Sinag’s guilt. 

 

Benjie wakes up with a hangover, and his first words to his mom are, “did I throw up on you?” Amanda tells him to go to her instead of alcohol when he has problems, and Benjie admits that he just can’t get her out of his mind and heart…despite knowing that there was no second chance. His mom advices him to go and see her (does she not understand what her son did? Did he not tell her that the one thing Sinag asked of him was to leave town? Are they living in a different teleserye universe?), assuring him that she’ll support her.

Badong finds out the bad news and his despair makes Sinag feel more guilt. And this time, Ninay will not be around to tell her that it was not her fault (It’s amazing how his hair is still well groomed despite what has happened). Badong tells her it’s not her fault and that he would do it all over again because she’s his friend. 

WHY ISN’T BENJIE FIRED YET??? Benjie decides to skip work even though he is aware that they have a meeting that day. He’s the frickin senior associate of the project (whatever that means) and he’s playing hookey. He calls Jason just so he’ll know and help him cover up (not even going through the proper channels to inform the company that he was not showing up).    

Back in Pelangi, we find out that at least the Obispo’s hard earned money was not destroyed in the fire and they were able to pay for Badong’s hospital bills. Of course that drains their savings intended for paying unpaid taxes but that’s inconsequential at this point. Sinag opens up to her parents about feeling guilty over what happened to Badong and Sally repeats this episode’s mantra: It is not your fault.

Teddy points out who’s the one really at fault: Rosales Development. Spot on but they can’t ask for an investigation from the police because they’re under the mayor’s control. Sally tells Teddy that maybe they should throw in the towel before another one gets hurt. As much as Sinag wants to object, her father agrees (So yes. Catalina’s scheme worked. And that is why she is a top executive. She gets the job done. Evil and efficient).

As Teddy tries to see if there were artworks that survived to sell, Sally receives help from their kind neighbors. Even though their situation may seem depressing, a rainbow in the sky gives them hope.

Sinag drops by the radio booth for one last time (they could sell the radio equipment or at least get money for them from a junk shop. And there are also a couple of paintings littered in the radio station lobby that they could sell) to say good bye to Pelangi. As their enemies gloat over their victory, Teddy tearful watches his daughter signing off. Sinag asks forgiveness from her deceased grandfather, for surrendering. Shots of Pelangi is scene, as if a one last look before Rosales Development takes over.

  

As Marjorie rejoices that Pelangi is now “Sinag-free” (and will literally be in the near future because of the pollution the new development will bring to the place. You’ll experience smog that will block the sun), and Catalina confirms that they’ve gotten the last properties they need for the project, our main kontrabida gives a huge sigh of relief because she can finally come home, before signing a check (see that look on her face when Marjorie called out to her? It’s clear that she no longer wants to deal with the Escobar brat). Marjorie volunteers herself to join her team in Manila, and you could see in Catalina’s face that she would do it just to make Benjie’s life miserable.

The Obispos and Badong’s family are ready to move out and since they no longer have any money to pay for Badong’s discharge, Teddy and Sinag try to sneak him out of the hospital (civil disobedience FTW, a middle finger salute to the local government). But their plan is thwarted when the mayor and Marjorie show up in the hospital.

Because Marjorie is so obsessed with Sinag, she immediately recognizes her despite the disguise. And when she tries to get her dad to file a case against them for skipping out on paying the hospital fees, the mayor declares they were free to go. Teddy is in disbelief and the mayor goes, “Unlike popular belief, I am not a bad person” (sure, you just help a big company executive burn down a house in the middle of the night), insisting that all he has done and is doing is for the sake of Pelangi. Sinag calls out his b***$*** (a ballsy but stupid move) and the mayor bring out the “progress and development” card. Sinag gets the last word and they leave the hospital with Badong…and a free wheelchair!

Team Pelangi arrives at the bus terminal and we discover that Sinag is a celebrity of sorts as one of the vendors calls out to her and asks why she wasn’t on air, showing her that she was ready to tune in. Sinag regretfully tells her that she decided to sign off because no one listens anymore. Just as their bus is about to leave Pelangi, Benjie’s  bus arrives and he immediately heads to Bahay Obispo.  

 

Random thoughts

* I have a theory. The mayor was indeed drunk. He decided to inebriate himself so he wouldn’t have to deal with his conscience. 

* What with all the guilt trip in this series? Utang na loob as emotional chains.

* Because teleserye clichés are not enough, we are now delving into shoujo manga conflict cliché, where the inane romantic third wheel gets a chance with the lead because she/he feels guilty over his/her injury. As the lead voluntarily takes care of the injured third wheel, feelings may or may not be muddled (is it love or merely guilt with a dash of deep gratitude?), and the third wheel may or may not take advantage of the situation.

* Teddy rummaging through the burnt remains of his artworks is heartbreaking.

* You know how Don Vicente always says he hates wasting money? Imagine how he’ll react when he finds out that the money Benjie asked him during his first week in Pelangi was spent to buy a new radio station antenna, a radio station that would eventually go down in less than a month.

* I wish this would the last time we see Maine cry. She’s damn good at it but it’s heartbreaking.

* Catalina is that kind of person who would have goons burn down a house with a family sleeping inside, and say “Thank God” the next day without flinching.   

* It’s interesting that although Catalina usually wears neutral, subdued colors, she wears a bright and cheery shade of orange after masterminding arson.

* It’s nice that the series attempts to inject comedy in this series. Underscore on the “attempt.”

* There is fundamentally wrong with you when you are a worse person next to a corrupt mayor.


In conclusion

As I watch Marjorie, her Yaya, Mayor and Catalina, I wonder are there people in the real world who are heartless like this, who have no regard for the environment, the welfare of others. Who only care about themselves and money. Like they can witness a fire and destruction and not even flinch. They can rejoice that someone’s house is burned down and are now forced to leave town. Are they still human? Do they bleed red blood?

Then I ask myself: do I have a tendency to act and think like that? When I insult a person on social media or spread gossip, aren’t I subscribing to the same hatred and egotism that these fictional characters explicitly display? When I carelessly waste resources or litter, am I not as uncaring about the environment as well?

It’s so easy to make excuses and defend myself and say that “I am not like them. At least I am not horrible as they are.” But just because I’m less horrible does not erase the fact that my actions are not wrong. I realize that I should be more mindful of my speech and actions, especially in social media where it’s so easy to hide behind anonymity.

And that’s how DTBY helped me be a kinder person. Kinder but not less critical.  


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In this episode, Benjie makes yet another MTV in the burnt remains of Bahay Obispo, gets away with his AWOL, and reluctantly accepts that he doesn’t deserve Sinag. Meanwhile the Obispos are taken in by Nana Puring while they try to get back on their feet. Oh and a new addition to the Rosales Development company proves that Catalina is evil and dishes out cruel and unusual punishments to get back at Benjie. (Also, never trust the preview to the next episode teasers at the end of the episodes. And the OHT for hints about the episode. It’s like #BangisNiLakan with a 30 second scene with Lakan.)

Recap

Benjie reaches Bahay Obispo only to find its burnt remains. As he freely roams around the house and the radio station, his guilt and remorse piles up. He “speaks” to Sinag in the radio booth and apologizes for the umpteenth time, bearing his heart out in the open. 

At Rosales Development, Elton finally gets it that Jason was pulling his leg about Benjie’s whereabouts. I think Elton thinks that it was a suave and “smart” move to appropriate Jason’s words for his “intimidating” line (it wasn’t. He basically gave an adult version of “Isusumbong kita sa nanay ko. Bleh.”).

Back in Pelangi, Benjie rushes to the mayor’s house (because apparently he doesn’t go to the city hall to actually do work) and confronts him about what he did to the Obispos. Of course, he has no evidence but this is a teleserye; the culprit is blatantly obvious. Catalina joins in the fun and not only is Benjie getting another scolding from Don Vicente when he gets back (c/o Catalina), he has to watch the bad guys gloat about their victory. Catalina even goes “Everything is falling into place. It’s like destiny!” (and that is why she is the ultimate kontrabida and she is enough).

As Benjie rushes back to the bus station (in hopes of catching the Obispos maybe?), we find that the bus they are on was only about to leave town. Sinag goes on an internal monologue and we find out that Pelangi is derived from the local term for “rainbow.” Benjie boards a bus to Manila, and he looks around, as if expecting he’d find Sinag and her family there.

The Obispos arrive in Manila and immediately head to Nanag Puring’s art gallery. She’s surprised to find the whole family outside her store’s doorstep and Sinag immediately goes for the kill, appealing to her sympathy. Here is the same woman who took in a young Benjie struggling with his mom. Surely she would help this family of artists, right?

 

Nope, she gives them a technicality: I can’t shell out money arbitrarily. But the Obispos press on.

Amanda is surprised to see her son come home from Pelangi, and Benjie gives her a forced smile before he heads to his room.        

Nana Puring ends up taking them in her home, at least for the night (It won’t be a filipino teleserye dining scene without the glasses of orange juice). She tells Teddy that she liked his “comeback” piece after a 15-year hiatus. She asks them where they will go now, and Sinag gives an honest appeal-to-emotions answer: “We’re still going to look for a place. Maybe we’ll just lay down a sheet on the street or find space under the bridge. I just hope Lolo Elvis and Lola Delia could stand the cold. And then the next day, maybe we can knock on doors to ask for food.” Depressing but realistic. It works and Nana Puring commits to take them in temporarily while they work to get back on their feet. Lolo Elvis’ out of bounds request for dessert is like a cringe-worthy punch line to the scene.   

Slumber party in the Nana Puring sala. Tala gripes about Nana Puring being “masungit” and Sinag reminds her that they owe her for her hospitality, no matter how reluctant it was. They get ready for bed.

At the Rosales mansion (which looks as cold and uninviting as the residents in it), Don Vicente complains about Benjie’s ungrateful attitude towards the second chance he was given (which is so true. And it’s ridiculous that Lola Helen keeps on defending her grandson. Newsflash Lola Helen: you don’t have to retain Benjie in the company to “accept” him in the family. Invite her over for dinner or something. Stop glossing over the fact that Benjie is taking this second chance for granted). Lola Helen uses another excuse: Benjie is just going through a rough time. And Catalina speaks up and makes a valid point, while slipping in her own hugot. “Look at me. I’m still unmarried because you are my priority.” Lola Helen keeps appealing for a one last chance, even going so far as saying that she’ll fire Benjie herself if he fails to turn up for work the next day (By this time, Don Vicente should be drawing up a legally binding contract that states should Benjie betray their nth chance yet again, Lola Helen can no longer speak up for him).

Sinag chats with her parents, regretting that they weren’t able to say a proper goodbye to everyone. Her parents check up on her heart and she tells them that she will not waste this new opportunity (which is a stark contrast with what Benjie is doing). They reaffirm to each other that they will work hard together to get past this setback as one united family.

Meanwhile, Benjie is in bed, unable to sleep, playing with clay dough. His mom checks up on him, forms a heart with the red clay and gives him a pep talk. (Okay, first of all, your separation from Gabriel is way way different from Benjie’s heartbreak. His death was an accident. Sinag’s hardship was caused by Benjie and exaggerated by Catalina. Your son is heartless manipulator who just recently grew a heart that can feel. He’s like a couple of steps away from Catalina’s level of scheming. Stop babying him.)   

We finally get to hear what’s up with Nana Puring and her cold treatment. Apparently she just feels frustrated that despite the talent and potential of the Obispo couple, they have amounted to nothing (to be fair, they could’ve received world renown if Teddy trip to Manila 15 years ago had been successful instead of ending up in an accident). Her niece gently entreats her aunt to help them out, reminding her that she once was also the recipient of gracious help.  

At Rosales Development, Benjie returns to work and reports directly to the boss. And oh look, it just happens that both Catalina and Lola Helen are present to witness his renewed pledge of allegiance (the cartoon angel and devil on Don Vicente’s shoulder. They’re even dressed for the part). Benjie starts with saying that he needed that trip to Pelangi and will not apologize for it bit that now he knows his priorities (He could’ve gone through it professionally but this is a show. There is no drama with an approved leave). And Don Vicente lets him off the hook again. Not even a memo from HR or a salary deduction. Unbelievable.

 

At Nana Puring’s house, Badong (after a day from his unapproved discharge from the hospital, his wound still fresh) tries to get up on his own, not caring that forcing himself could make his injury worse. Sinag of course comes to the rescue (because that’s the whole point of his injury in the plot, to get Sinag in the same frame he is in as much as possible) and scolds him while giving him a pep talk at the same time. Badong tries to get cheesy with Sinag and moves from the friend zone to the sibling zone. Hurray for progress.

Jason tries to make Benjie feel better by bringing out the destiny card but Benjie tells him that he is not Sinag’s “the one” and another man deserves her. His best friend then says, “I’m sure the one meant for you will also show up,” and lo and behold who shows up: Marjorie (totally ignoring the commonsensical corporate dress code. I mean black-lacy-camisole-in-the-office level of inappropriate). Yes, don’t mess with Catalina.

  

Marjorie gets orders (like literal coffee run orders) from Catalina and Elton (I bet he’s jealous that someone else has taken over his former stint as Catalina’s personal errand boy assistant). The Escobar girl is giddy as she heads out to complete the errand. Of course this gives Elton the opportunity to talk about Marjorie and whether or not she was qualified for the job. And of course Catalina is unapologetically candid about how lowly she thinks about the girl (“I don’t think she has the brains”).

The talk shifts to Benjie and Elton brings up the high possibility that she will not inherit the Rosales Empire despite being highly qualified, being 200% loyal, being the direct spawn of the owner, and all the years of service she has rendered. All that will be all for naught because for some reason, all-potential, erratic, idealistic Benjie Rosales is here. It’s insane. Even if Catalina is evil and possibly a criminal, Benjie does not deserve to head the company. I don’t even get why she would feel threatened. But then again, this is a teleserye. Logic does not apply in this universe.            

Random thoughts

* Am I the only one who finds it ludicrous that a big and suspicious fire occurred in the dead of the night and NO ONE is even investigating? Not even a fence yellow “keep out” ropes for show? Or is that how it is in small towns in provinces? Apparently small provincial towns are small oligarchic kingdoms in the Philippines.

* OH MY GOD!!! WHY DID THEY LEAVE LOLO DORO’S PICTURE IN THE RADIO STATION???

* Call me petty but that scene where Benjie paid the trike driver with air money is so ridiculous.

* If Benjie really really feels remorse over what happened to Sinag and her family, you’d think that he would distance himself from everything that caused this disaster in their life. But no, he is still with Rosales Development, working under Catalina, the main architect of all the bad things that forced the family to throw in the towel. And I swear if you bring up this issue with the fictional Benjie, he’d go “But they’re family. Family is important. I cannot erase the fact that I am a Rosales.” Which would prove that not only is he a jerk, he is also a spineless man with no principles. He has no qualms with accepting a paycheck from the very same people who forced families out of their homes for the sake of making more money. So those tears, the sad soliloquy, that “show” of indignation, that’s all it is: a show. It may be heartfelt but it’s just a water show without action.  

* I get it that Benjie will transform as the story progresses, from this sorry excuse for a man to a cliché male lead (well at least that is what I am hoping for) but why do I feel like Sinag is getting the short end of the stick? She is destined to be with this man, and no matter how much this man screwed her over and her family and get away with it, she will still end up with this man. Because destiny is a b****

* Awww…Benjie wants to move on but can’t. Oh boo hoo you big baby. You have the gall to want to move on without even making amends for what you did. He thinks that this heartbreak he is feeling is the “consequence” of his actions. Uh, newsflash, it is not. That is merely the reaction of having a heart and a conscience. The consequence should’ve been you losing your job because not only did you waste time and resources playing Casanova because you thought that that would help you convince a family to sell their land, you also sabotaged the company’s opportunity to obtain the land through a peaceful and justified means. Like what Sinag says, “ang kapal ng mukha mo.”

* Why do I have a feeling that we would be meeting this “Madame Oswalda,” the lady who helped Nana Puring rise up from poverty? Because this is a Filipino Teleserye. All downtrodden leads need a rich person to help turn their situation around and help them plot their revenge of sorts. Whether it’s a rich long lost parent, a random “kind” doctor, a rich eccentric. There has to be a rich sponsor (who is richer than the richest person in the lead’s world).    

* I know that Catalina is evil but I am totally sympathizing with her. I bet when she was just starting out, she got chewed out for the smallest mistakes, which is equated to “tarnishing the Rosales name.” And then Benjie comes waltzing in and no matter how much he messes up (he hasn’t even been with the company for half a year), he gets away with it. It’s so unfair.

* I still don’t get why his foot was injured and not his back when the beam from the burning Obispo house fell on his back. Ah, he got it when he fell from the balcony. Because he is not Benjie. The male lead can fall and land on his back from the same height and get away laughing but he gets injured because he is a negligible third wheel who needs a leverage of sorts to get the female lead to notice him. Not even his affection. Just his presence. Baby steps ya’ll.

* Elton orders a nonfat americano, no sugar, no whip and fattening belgian waffles. It’s like an inside joke the writers slip into the scene.   

* It is so easy to root for Catalina than to side with Benjie. It’s ridiculous that the past episodes keeps painting him as a victim. He is not. He is a perpetrator and he is still working for the bad guys. Who in their right mind would sympathize with him? *sees Alden in tears* Oh yeah.

In conclusion

After weeks of staying away from social media, I decided to take a peek and come across a plea for ADN to stop complaining about the story and just ride along. It’s like KS all over again. This is why I’ve avoided twitter after DTBY aired. I feel like my cynical view would just add to the hate and discontent, which bashers and naysayers would use against the show and Alden and Maine themselves.

I believe that some fans didn’t leave because KS was going downhill and the story became bleh. They left because they were attacked for feeling that way and expressing their opinion. The nation has become a dictatorship. And I’m afraid it’s happening again.   

The plot didn’t live up to the hype, but we’re only just in the first month. We’re merely in the pre-“aggrieved lead metamorphosis” stage. So much more will happen. Every actor and actress (save for one) in the cast are brilliant in each scene. That’s why I am so affected because they are so damn good. I acknowledge all that but you can’t fault me for pointing out plot holes, inconsistencies, and pure ridiculousness when I see them.

I will still love and support DTBY until the last episode but that doesn’t mean I will turn a blind eye when something glaringly ridiculous happens. I’m not Lola Helen you know.

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