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Trish asks Sinag to keep watch of her boyfriend while she’s away, Benjie and Sinag go on a road trip at Trish’s request, and Catalina gets more desperate to get rid of Benjie.

Recap

After the office brawl, Benjie gets comforted by Trish. She also asks Benjie if her company could have their company outing at one of their resorts. Meanwhile Ninay laughs at Sinag’s dilemma with both Benjie and Trish while denying her pervious advice. Sinag (being the paragon of goodness and uprightness) decides to come clean with Trish and just face the consequences.

Benjie drops by the Rosales home while they’re having dinner. He gets scolded by Don Vicente for tarnishing the Rosales name (which is true even though it’s kinda frustrating) while Catalina silently gloats. Benjie apologizes and brings up Trish’s request. Catalina, of course, rejects his request while lightly insulting him. Benjie dejectedly turns away but his fairy grandmother saves the day again by granting his request, after hearing that Trish was going to promote the resort. Note that she approved the request without even seeing the proposal for promotion. Don Vicente sides with his wife and Catalina and Benjie get into a glaring contest.

Teddy is still fuming over his encounter with the arrogant Don at the museum. No matter how much his wife tells him to calm down, he storms out to deal with his rage (I think Teddy is turning into an alcoholic, the kind that needs a rehab intervention).

Catalina gets some “quality time” with her right hand henchman Elton. She refuses his kisses and warns him that if her name gets dragged in his “crime,” she will personally fire him.

Trish informs her boss-ninong that the company outing is set and gets a surprise when he sends her to Singapore for a 5-day seminar for station managers (is that even a thing?). It’s insane how he’s so casual about it, “You’re leaving the day after tomorrow.” Like she doesn’t have a life or plans outside of work. Sinag drops by her cubicle, intending to come clean but retreats when she sees the boss-ninong. Trish calls her back and volunteers her to do the ocular while she heads to Singapore (like she doesn’t have her own plans as well).

It’s been a day but Teddy is not over what happened at the museum. He’s still drinking away at daylight (wasting money) with Lolo Elvis as his companion. He drunkenly rants about the old guy and makes empty threats to the wind.

Sinag tries to get out of the trip with Benjie but Trish asks her to keep an eye on her boyfriend while she is away (unaware that she’s the Sinag that Trish has been stressing about). When Sinag informs her family about Trish’s request, the parents are strongly (and loudly) against the idea while the siblings make compelling arguments for it. Sally ends up siding with Tala and Sol, saying that Trish might get suspicious if Sinag keeps on turning her down, and Teddy is outnumbered. Meanwhile Trish and Benjie are out for dinner and she informs him about her trip to Singapore and that she’ll have someone from the station accompany him.

The next day, Trish lays on the guilt on Sinag until she reluctantly agrees to her request. When Sinag was about to spill the beans, the earthquake drill interrupts her and she loses her chance again.

Catalina presents her designs for the Tiera Alta mall to Don Vicente and gets rejected once again. He tells her bluntly not to get involved with Benjie’s project. She (wearing a new OOTD) vents out to Elton (who is not helping at all) and makes cryptic remarks about forcing Benjie out of the company using questionable means.

Sinag prepares for her trip with Benjie, and her parents are still worried about their daughter’s decision to go on a trip with the devil Benjie. She assures them that she will tell Trish the truth before they leave (and destiny be like, “keep on dreaming, girl”). Also, Badong (her boyfriend) does not know about all this and she asks her parents to hide it from him as well.

Our star crossed lovers meet again. Trish is now at the airport and drops the bomb on her boyfriend over the phone: Sinag is joining him to the ocular, giving him no time to make adjustments to thwart destiny. Trish gives Sinag strict orders over the phone and before Sinag could come clean, she loses the chance again.     

Sinag and Benjie bicker like rom com leads, and Benjie hides his smile (argh!!! That small smile killed me. His eyes are like in a different level of happy than when he is with Trish). Sinag lays out ground rules before they embark on the trip, still throwing shade at Benjie.

Alden and Maine Sinag and Benjie make a road trip the most epic thing on TV even without extensive dialogue. Meanwhile, Trish’s mom is at it again with her doubt-seeding, and we finally find out what Trish really thinks of her “friend.”

Sinag gets off Benjie’s car and decides to just commute to the place. Of course, she gets a hard time getting a ride as Benjie watches her with an amused smirk. He finally drives back to her and she gets back in, swallowing her pride (cause her work is still important to her). Sinag goes back to ignoring Benjie, using her headphones as a shield. But Benjie turns up the volume of his car stereo to drown out what Sinag was hearing.

Badong (finally) shows up and asks the Obispos where Sinag was. Sally ends up telling Badong that Sinag was with Benjie.

Finally, we get a song that is not the DTBY OST playing on the background. Sinag ends up falling asleep as Benjie drives and we get the classic “asleep on the shoulder” scene. Of course, Sinag snores unlady-like to break the romantic atmosphere. And Benjie flashes that cute boy next door smile.          

 

Random thoughts

*OH EM GEE. Was my hunch right? Is Catalina not really her mother’s daughter?

* What if Trish meets her ex (the guy she cheated on Benjie with) while she’s in Singapore?

* Teddy is diverting his rage against himself (for being an unreliable padre de pamilya) to a pompous old man. That’s why he is so angry and why he cannot let this incident go.

* Why can’t Sinag use Badong as an excuse to Trish, tell her that he’s jealous AF so spending time with another man is a terrible idea?

* Hmmm…Trish is getting those migraines so often. I wouldn’t be surprised if later on they’ll reveal she’s sick, making it hard for Benjie to break up with her. 

* Argh! I can’t get over how different Benjie’s eyes are when he’s looking at Sinag.

* In this universe, all rich people are ill-mannered, self-centered, self-entitled brats who are disconnected from reality.

* Jusmiyo. Badong is such a bland character. Even though he’s been promoted to boyfriend, he is still kinda useless as third wheel character.

In conclusion

Ugh. Alden and Maine are just too cute for words. Even though I hate infidelity themed stories, where the writers use destiny to excuse getting involved with another while in a relationship, our bibis are just magical together. I get that Sinag and Benjie are not cheating on their respective partners now and just because they’re in romantic situations together against their volition does not mean that they are being unfaithful to their partners, but that’s how it starts. No matter how they explain, their partners will still feel cheated on, which will lead to more sneaking around, more bursts of jealousy until both parties break up. 

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Sinag regrets her decision to meet with Benjie and gets into a misunderstanding with Badong, Don Vicente will not let Benjie quit as lead architect, and Trish drags Sinag to look for Benjie’s “distraction.”

Recap

So Sinag gives Benjie a chance to say what he has to say and he basically just repeats his apology from 2 years ago and asks to be friends again. Sinag has had enough of his BS and tells him to focus on Trish instead of badgering her. As she is ranting, Benjie spots Trish and Sinag hide panics. Benjie faces Trish to distract her as Sinag gets away. Trish tearfully confronts Benjie about what he’s hiding and tells him, “I know I’m not the perfect girlfriend, but I’m trying to be one.”

Sinag exhaustedly arrives home and tells her mom that she made a mistake when she met with Benjie. Unfortunately, Badong overhears. Siang reassures him that nothing happened and he has nothing to worry about.

At Rosales Development the next day, Benjie is still out of it after what happened with Sinag and Trish despite the fact that he was presenting his designs to the boss (after the delay).

Meanwhile, Sinag is stuck with a livid Trish who is still pissed off about Benjie’s secret meeting with his “ex.” After ranting and insulting “Sinag,” Trish asks DJ Sunshine to help her catch Benjie and his cheap country bumpkin ex.

While Benjie is getting critique from Catalina about his design revisions, her comments serve as triggers to his encounters with Trish and Sinag last night. He tells Don Vicente and Catalina that he’ll present new revisions and if they still don’t like it, he will resign as lead architect of Tierra Alta. But Don Vicente will not let him quit (although he was starting to think that Catalina was right when she said the project was too big for him to handle).


Trish brings Sinag with her to the Rosales office building, and instructs her to keep her eyes peeled for Sinag, still wishing bad things befall on her. As they look through Benjie’s stuff to look for incriminating evidence or at least a clue to the jerk’s infidelity, Marjorie returns to the office. ZOMG! Will Marjorie call out to Sinag? Nope, because Trish hides with Sinag as Marjorie enters Benjie’s office to leave files (and an unprofessional kiss mark). Trish wonders if the girl is Marjorie and Sinag immediately slams the idea. “Why does it seem that you know Benj so well?” Sinag reasons out that Trish is so different from her so her boyfriend would not go for someone like her.

Much to Sinag’s relief, they leave the office. But her relief is short lived when Benjie returns and she and Trish are forced to hide again. However, Sinag ends up entering a meeting room where three architects look at her bemusedly as she panics.

The Rosales couple talk about Benjie over a meal, and Don Vicente doesn’t mince words about his disappointment with their grandson. His wife serves as defense attorney once again which only riles up the Don. Catalina is also gets dragged in his “basket of disappointments.”

Speaking of Catalina, she’s still scheming to get the Tierra Alta project from Benjie. She is so sure that Benjie won’t be able to deliver what he promised so she’s preparing to her own designs in case her father asks. Creepy Elton volunteers to sabotage Benjie again and Catalina tells him to be on standby. 

On that same day, Teddy and Sally bring his latest art work to a friend’s museum. Said friend tells him that his latest work is a misfit to the currently displayed pieces. Teddy desperately asks him what he has to do to for his works to be accepted but he only gets brushed aside.   

Meanwhile back in the Rosales building, Benjie has returned with Jason and they talk about his meeting with Sinag last night in the lobby (where Trish is conveniently eavesdropping). Benjie denies feeling anything for Sinag and Jason reminds him that he has both Trish and his work to focus on so he should let his unresolved feelings with Sinag go. Thankfully none of them mentioned that Trish and Sinag work in the same place.

Sinag on the other hand realizes that she’s not alone in the room and comically tries to get out of the sticky situation she has fallen in (Awww…Maine did Kap Jose’s “Ang ganda!”).  As she steps out of the room, Trish is just outside, incensed at Sinag again. Crazy possessive yandere girlfriends are scary AF.

Benjie seemingly takes Jason’s advice and gets busy with his design revisions. Jason points out that his original design (that got corrupted) was better than his current design and Benjie tells him that after he submits this design, he’ll catch the person who sabotaged him. Even though the culprit is obvious, he needs concrete evidence before he can make an action. 

Trish and Sinag are back to the radio station, only to get scolded by boss-ninong for “girl-bonding during office hours.” The boss-ninong tasks Trish with planning the station’s summer outing (cuz a Filipino rom-com teleserye will not be complete without a summer beach scene). 

Because destiny is not satisfied with connecting Trish and Sinag, she also gets the Obispos and Rosales couples entangled as well. Someone bumps into Teddy on their way out and he loses it when he almost drops and damages the sculpture. Vicente (who is dragged to the museum by his wife) wastes no time in insulting a stranger, calling his labor of love “stupid’ and not worth the effort. He levels up the insult by doing the classic matapobre trick: flippantly offering money. You can imagine what happens next (more cliché lines between a poor man and a matapobre rich man).


Benjie overhears pantry chismis between Elton and a random office worker (who also doesn’t like the upstart) and finds out that Elton was the one who sabotaged him. Benjie immediately punches him (so much for finding evidence) and gets into a fratman-level rumble. Elton voices out the jealousy and resentment of everyone in the office who secretly hate Benjie’s guts. Catalina comes out and breaks up the fight and says the most valid things (even though she’s the bad guy, she makes perfect sense). “You’re wasting the time and resources of this company.”   


Random thoughts

* ARGHHHHH!!!! The nerve of Benjie to request Sinag to be friends with him!!! I knew he was a self-centered jerk, but I didn’t imagine he’d be this unreasonably spoiled. You don’t ask/demand for trust, you earn it, you jerk.

* And now Sinag feels bad about herself for what she did. Arghhh. This is all Benjie’s fault. Forget what I said about rooting for their forever. Benjie is a selfish jerk at his core and he’s dragging Sinag into his mess.

* Is this for real? A total stranger can just enter Senior Architect Benjamin Rosales’ office and people don’t even bat an eyelash. The receptionist could’ve escorted them to the office, even if Trish knows where it is. And my goodness, even after being sabotaged, Benjie takes no safety precaution and still leaves his office completely open to anyone (the door isn’t even closed). Like seriously. Trish is looking at company files on Benjie’s table and no one is stopping them (Sinag could easily take down Benjie for revenge if she really wanted to).

* Seriously, what is up with Marjorie and her revealing outfits? It’s like she’s purposely showing her bra to prove that she’s biologically female and not a drag queen. And can the timing of her lip stick touch up be anymore more contrived?

* Why is Dona Helen, who would always defend her grandson and badger her husband to not be too hard on him, not defending her only daughter? Is it because she also sees Catalina lacking as well?

* I thought Teddy already agreed that Nanang Puring would have exclusive rights to his works? Is that “contract” expired?

* I was right about multiple coincidental contact points. However, the Obispos don’t bump into Trish’s mom but the Rosaleses instead. And it went worse than I imagined. 

* How much bitterness is Don Vicente harboring in his spirit that he’s insulting strangers to their face?

* Was Tatay Teddy drunk? I don’t get his explosive anger at an innocent man just because his sculpture almost fell (when you think about it, it’s his fault. What in the world is the bubble wrap doing with Sally? He’s the one who’s not being careful). Although I get that Don Vicente’s callous remarks were like adding oil to the fire, and fine, Teddy is getting frustrated that his work is unappreciated in Manila. But his character’s behavior is way way different from a few episodes ago when he stopped his wife from attacking the poser “critic” who insulted his work in his face.

* Ugh Catalina is sooo effin good. If only she weren’t the spawn of the devil, I would totally be rooting for her. I hope the writers don’t give her the cliché kontrabida ending. She’s too awesome for that.  

In conclusion

I have to hand it to the writing team. I like how they’ve been using external dialogue to reflect Sinag’s and Benjie’s internal conflicts. But for the rest of the cast’s line, not so much. With Sinag and Benjie in each other’s lives again, it seems like the writers want to make the leads’ lives more complicated. It’s not enough that their parents have a past connection (because Amanda has already forgiven them for something they shouldn’t be blamed for), the Obispos need to have bad blood with the grandparents too (despite Sally’s resolution to just forget the past and let go of their resentment against the Rosaleses). Teleseryes seem to have this unwritten rule of connecting the people around the main leads. Next thing we know, Trish’s Ninong-boss is actually Ninay’s American dad.   


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Sinag is the queen of throwing shade, Benjie insists on seeking closure even though both his mom and bestfriend advise against it, and destiny proves yet again that it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Recap

Benjie walks to Sinag like an enchanted person and practically cages her and Sinag tries to avoid his gaze by turning her attention to the flowers decorating the staircase. She says her piece and joins her co DJs to get away from him. But Trish leads Benjie to her table to boast about her “perfect boyfriend.” Sinag expertly shuts down this one-man parade in the wittiest way.

Meanwhile, Sally and Teddy talk about his latest work of art and love for one another. (Why do I feel like this a bad premonition for this loving couple? When promises like this are made, fate brings in a disaster to make sure the promise is not kept)

As her co DJs leave to get desert, Sinag prays that Trish won’t leave her alone with Benjie. But destiny is a conniving witch so her wish is not granted (arghhh! Sinag’s internal monologues are sooo sassy). Trish is called to the stage and Sinag does her best to remain calm as she avoids looking at Benjie, seated just a seat away.  As Benjie tries to convince Sinag to talk to him, Trish gives a shout out to her boyfriend (adding a threat to anyone who’d come between them).

Sinag finally steps outside of the ballroom, looking for Badong. And of course, persistent Benjie follows her. Badong finally shows up and Sinag informs Benjie that the torpe boy is now her boyfriend, before finally leaving the place. Benjie is left alone, dejected.

Benjie is driving Trish home, she notices he’s out of it again and reminds him that secrets between couples destroy relationships (she’d be an expert in that area since she destroyed her collegiate relationship with Benjie years ago, along with his respect for women who are not his mom).

Meanwhile, Sinag and Badong have after dinner snacks at a sidewalk isaw stall, dressed in their fairy tale costumes (yes, Sinag is still wearing her white gloves while holding greasy isaw sticks). Badong asks what happened and Sinag tells him that she didn’t talk to Benjie. She’s just worried that her work will be jeopardized once crazy possessive girlfriend Trish finds out about her past with her boyfriend. Although Badong is still skeptical, he drops the issue.

Amanda raises the questions everyone is asking: “Why do you need to talk to Sinag?” and the self-centered jerk insists that he needs to let Sinag know that he’s really repentant over what he did to her and her family. Amanda raises very valid points but will her son listen? No, of course not. We need drama in this series yo! So even if his mom is right and makes perfect sense, Benjie will have his way to make their tangled web even more complicated.

Catalina (who’s starting to dress more and more like Marjorie. I get that summer in the Philippines is sweltering hot, but no need to put your “girls” on display) has a talk with her boss/dad, reiterating her suggestion to entrust some of Benjie’s projects to her, specifically the Tierra Alta project. But gets coldly rejected because according to her dad, she hasn’t proven anything to him yet (and now we get why Catalina grew up to be so heartless and diabolical).

After leaving her dad/boss’ office, she runs into Marjorie who tries to make the mood lighter by complimenting her look. “How to be you po?” she asks, and Catalina answers, “You don’t want to be me.” (And that scene just made my heart twitch for our prima kontrabida. Behind her fierce exterior is a daughter still longing for her father’s approval. Ina Feleo is one badass actress).

Sinag tells her family about what happened last night and the whole family supports Sinag’s decision to stay away from Benjie at all costs. Meanwhile, Benjie leaves his car in the office and sneaks out to look for Sinag at work. As usual, he calls Jason to make excuses for his absence (two years have passed and yet he still hasn’t changed).

Usually, people grab an uber, a ride that can ride solo. But this is not an ordinary day. Because destiny will not be thwarted. So on the same day and hour Benjie books for a carpool, he’d get on the same car Sinag booked. But they won’t realize it immediately because there’s a big guy with big packages in between them.

As soon as the guy leaves, Sinag and Benjie realize they’re in the same car. So what does Sinag do? Run away, of course. And what does Benjie do? Run after her, of course. Sinag clearly states her case (cause Trish really is a scary beeyotch) but Benjie does what he does best and lets his pheromones do the convincing. But look who arrives just in time to see them talking outside the radio station? It’s our resident crazy possessive girlfriend Trish! To get out of this potentially sticky situation, Benjie lies about surprising Trish.

As Sinag does her internal monologue inside the elevator, random people behind her have conversations reflecting her own inner conflict (This scene was genius).

So DJ Sunshine continues with her show and answers a question from a fan asking whether all relationships should have closure. Trish (who now has a different view on Sinag’s show cause they’re besties) and Benjie are watch her, and clueless Trish pokes the wound in Benjie’s conscience when she unknowingly brings up how DJ Sunshine got hurt by her last relationship. Benjie pretends he’s a clueless outsider and Sinag sends an indirect message to Benjie as she answers the fan’s question. Benjie turns to leave and declines Trish’s invite to dinner (cause he plans on waiting for Sinag to meet with him later).

* Okay. Now I’m feeling to feel bad for Trish as well. What’s with this episode, making me sympathize with the kontrabidas (minus Marjorie)?

* I know I’ve been ranting about how self-centered Benjie is but he really is. Not only is he putting SInag in a tight spot (although to be fair, Sinag lied first by denying she didn’t know Benjie but you can’t blame her because Trish is scary as ef), he is also justifying Trish’s jealousy. He’s not taking into consideration the feelings and situations of either woman in his actions. And the advice “follow your heart” is total b**$***.  

In conclusion

Anyone who has experienced awkward meetings with an ex is probably wishing they had said the same things Sinag has said to Benjie. Dignified, eloquent and yet firm (which rarely happens in real life no matter how many times you rehearse a scene in your head).  Next episode, we’ll see what will be the consequence of Sinag’s decision.  

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Sinag and Benjie finally meet face to face. (This is not a drill! THIS. IS. NOT. A. DRILL.) And a lot of stuff happen in between. 

Recap

Sinag and Badong confront one another for not saying anything about seeing Benjie. For some reason, they need to go to their park with their pet bird to have this conversation. Sinag reassures Badong that nothing will change even if Benjie shows up again. They make a pact never to keep secrets from each other again.

Jason’s girlfriend successfully recovers Benjie’s files and he’s super grateful. The girlfriend (who’s name is Meg) tells him that the files were corrupted on purpose. Their friendly gathering is interrupted by two random girlaloos who flirt Benjie. Trish of course doesn’t accept this and threatens confronts the harpies in the ladies room (Woohooo! Pscyho girlfriend FTW. If Catalina does not end up killing off Marjorie, Trish will).

Trish shares to Sinag what happened last night and Sinag goes “Wow, you’re scary as an enemy madame.” Trish defends herself by saying she’s just fighting for what’s rightfully hers. The conversation shifts to the anniversary party that night and Trish is excited to introduce her Benjamin to Sinag.

Meanwhile Badong is prepping for the party with his grandparents’ help (he’s really giving off major Cinderella vibes). He gets teased by Arman, saying he’s the beast to Sinag’s beauty, especially when he runs into Benjie. Badong assures them that he’s talked to Sinag about this and he’s confident that Benjie will never get in between them.

Benjie tunes in to his girlfriend’s radio station at Jason’s suggestion and lo and behold DJ Sunshine is on air. Jason recognizes her voice and quickly connects the dots. Yas, there’s a big possibility that he’ll meet Sinag at the company party later. But they shrug it off as someone else sounding like Sinag since Trish hasn’t mentioned meeting someone who had the same name as the girl she is jealous of.

Sinag’s family is also prepping for her and as Sally is touching the yellow gown, she gets a premonition about Sinag and Benjie’s face to face meeting at the party. Teddy tells Sally to do something about her visions and gets riled up about what his wife saw. But Sinag and Badong are ready for the party.

The party is in full blast and both Benjie and Trish have arrived. As Trish introduces him to her boss Ninong, Benjie keeps looking around as if looking for someone. Meanwhile Badong and Sinag get into a minor altercation making them late for the party. Since Sinag can’t be late, Badong calls her a ride so she can go on ahead while he fixes things with his car.

While Trish is entertaining important guests, Benjie looks like a palace guard standing by himself near the buffet table, still looking around. The DJs chat him up and he takes this chance to ask about DJ Sunshine, particularly where she was.

So for some reason, everyone from the station and Benjie participate at the cotillion dance of sorts (I swear, this event looks like Trish’s debut). Cheesy production number pa more.   

While the dance is going on, Sinag arrives at the venue. For some reason, her shoe slips off as she is entering the ball room and the dancing peeps accidentally kick the shoe away from her, drawing her further into the middle. So yes, our Belle has turned to Cinderella.

Just when Sinag is about to pick up her shoe, Benjie also bends down to retrieve it. Their eyes meet in the middle of the ballroom and magic happens. Maichard magic is real and potent yo!

  

And the spell is broken when Trish (who looks like the fairy godmother) comes in to give them a dose of reality. Sinag panics and denies knowing Benjie and babbles (Maine is so good at this). She tries to make a quick exit but Trish stops her, telling her to not leave the event. All the while, Benjie is just gazing at her. Like he can’t believe she’s in front of him again. He doesn’t need to say anything. His eyes speaks volumes.

  

As if to give viewers to calm down, the scene shifts to Tatay Teddy doing art and Sally sharing her worries about her husband to Lola Delia. Although she understands his resentment for Rosales Development, Sally believes that they should completely put that past them so they can truly move on. They approach Teddy and Sally turns into a one-man cheer squad for Teddy’s artist ego.

Back to the main event. Here is how our destined lovers deal.  Sinag tries to gather her wits in the ladies room (Maine is such a treat to watch when she’s panicking like that), fails and calls Ninay. Benjie on the other hand, immediately calls bestfriend Jason. And here’s their game plan: Benjie is determined to talk to Sinag to get closure once and for all while Sinag is determined to avoid him at all costs. 

Meanwhile Badong, who is clueless about what was happening to his girlfriend, is still stuck dealing with his damaged car. We also get a public service ad about the possible dangers of driving under influence.

Sinag tries to make an escape but unfortunately runs into Trish who forces her out of the ladies room. Because Sinag is her only friend and Trish needs her beside her in case something comes up, she can’t let her leave so soon. While Trish’s busy with investors, Sinag tries to slip out again.

Before the episode ends, we are treated to another hyper extended SinJie moment. As Sinag is atop the staircase, Benjie is below, looking at her. And their eyes meet (And Benjie still has that look of longing on his face, revealing that everything he’s been telling Jason is pure b**$***).

  

Random thoughts

* If Sinag is a tsundere, Trish would be a yandere. Hooray for psychologically complex characters!

* Doesn’t Trish have her own bestie? Even Sinag asks her this question.

* The set-up for SinJie’s much anticipated meeting is improbable (really? Sinag’s shoe slips off?), cheesy (in the middle of a cotillion?) and I love it.

* ARGHHHH! I just love Maine’s “salamat sa sapatos” line which has to be an intended reference to the Tamang Panahon event (M thanked A for the shoes during her surprise call to DJ Bae the day after TP).

* HOW THE EF DOES ALDEN DO IT? It’s just a look but the way he gazes at Sinag is different from how he looks at Trish (even when it’s an affectionate moment with his girlfriend). 

* I know I said I will stop being cynical but I just need to point out how selfish Benjie is. The only reason why he’s determined to talk to Sinag is for his own peace of mind. Ultimately, he only cares about appeasing his guilty conscience. Sinag has made it clear that she wants him to never show his face to her ever again. She mauled him to the ground to highlight how much she hates his guts. So the only one who’ll benefit from this “closure” talk is Benjie. Not Sinag who has worked so hard to trust another man again. And certainly not Trish, who will always feel insecure and jealous. Because he is a self-centered jerk at his core.  

 

In conclusion

Fairytales are always magical and Maichard will always be my favorite one. Because when God authors the story, it’s beyond magical; it’s divine.

Our SinJie drought is over and kudos to the writers for how they’ve orchestrated SinJie’s own “Tamang Panahon” (which is a misnomer since both of them are in a relationship with other people; there’s nothing “right” about the timing). Thank God for the Beauty and the Beast live action movie for making it feasible for adults to dress up like fairy tale characters without looking like a children’s party.

So much is in store in the coming weeks. The SinJie Wheel of Fate has started to turn once again. 

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Trish and Sinag are now work besties. Sinag’s glimpse of Benjie rattles her and her relationship with Badong. And Benjie gets chewed up at work. Another almost meeting (a second installment to last episode’s half-meeting).

Recap

When Sinag peeks out again, he’s no longer there. (Enter Denise’s glorious vocals) Benjie gives Trish a call as he drives away, telling her about his situation. Trish the understanding girlfriend, wishes that it’s nothing serious.

Meanwhile, Sinag panics and drags Ninay to tell her about what she saw. They hide this from Badong but he gets suspicious about it, of course. Ninay makes up a bogus story about breaking up with Arman to divert his attention, and they succeed. The attention is back to the sick bird. And the besties have averted a crisis.

Benjie gets an earful from his grandfather (you don’t say “I don’t know” to a bog boss when something goes wrong. You just don’t) and Catalina is the perfect “innocent” bystander. “Stop making excuses and own up to your mistakes. I’m sure you have a backup.” (ugh. This is why I love Catalina, no matter how evil she is. She is sooo good at being bad). Benjie takes out his laptop only to find the file is also corrupted. And Catalina goes, “See? You have the gall to point fingers when you’re the source of the problem.” And Don Vicente bring out the “I don’t want to be disappointed” card again to hang above Benjie’s head.

Back to Sinag, she decides to have her moment outside their house, as she remembers seeing Benjie again. Her mom steps out as well to join her. Of course she knows what happened and she wants to know what’s going on with her daughter. Sinag shares that she feels guilty that she couldn’t open up about her encounter to her boyfriend. Sally makes very valid points and Sinag promises to herself that she won’t do anything to hurt Badong.

Meanwhile, Benjie is back at the office and throws a very grown up temper tantrum (not only does he have to start his revisions all over, he needs to clean up his mess as well). Jason comes to save the day (on his birthday) because his girlfriend is a whiz at data recovery. Good news, the files can be recovered. Bad news, it would take days.

The next day, Trish drops by Benjie’s office to comfort him and suggests that Catalina is the one behind the sabotage. Benjie doesn’t buy it because he’s confident that she cares too much for the company for petty schemes like that. Of course, they’re talking about this in the company office, out in the open, where anyone can just listen in on them. Oh look who’s eavesdropping now? She’s not even hidden. (Love her ootd)

Because they’re friends now, Sinag shares to Trish that she saw her “ex” last night. “Wow, what a coincidence,” Trish blurts out. Oh girl, you have no idea. Trish asks her if she’s still in love with him and backpedals when she notices Sinag’s discomfort. Since they’re chummy now, they go to the mall after work, where Sinag helps Trish choose a watch for her boyfriend to cheer him up. Sinag’s monologue aptly describes her complicated relationship with her new found friend and “ex.”  She can’t help but asks her new boss, “Are you sure he’s your forever?” and gets an optimistic “I hope so.” (And destiny be like, "Girl please. Not on my watch.") 

At Badong’s house, Arman warns his pet bird’s health is a bad omen for his relationship with Sinag. Because in this universe, everyone (including Trish and her mom who don’t even know the story behind SinJie) is sure that once Sinag and Benjie properly meet and interact again, they’ll get back together (despite Benjie’s betrayal, despite Sinag’s resentment, despite their current relationships). Because destiny.

Trish calls Benjie to set a date only to realize that she forgot her gift (the whole point of her surprise for her boyfriend). So what does she do? She can drive back to the radio station and be a few minutes late or….get her new bestie Sinag to do her a favor.        

Sinag gets grilled by her co-DJs about her budding friendship with Trish. Sinag’s Jenny Ferre in this universe warns her that Trish might be only befriending her because she can get something out of it from her. She defends their new boss, saying that she actually a nice person and it’s better for the whole team if they all get along. At that moment, she gets a call from Trish to ask her to bring her gift to the resto where she’s meeting her boyfriend. Sinag finds out that Trish’s boyfriend’s name is Benjamin and wishes that he’s not a jerk like the Benjamin she knows.

Sinag reaches the resto only to find that Trish is in the middle of a carmageddon. She instructs Sinag to just leave the gift with the restaurant’s manager. As Sinag is leaving the resto and talking to her uber driver, Benjie arrives at the resto. Just as Sinag enters the uber, Benjie steps out in time to catch a glimpse of her. And he runs after her car (enter Lara Fabian’s Broken Vow).

And thus the part two of the almost meeting is complete. Now we just need to wait for grand encounter to get the SinJie wheel of fate rolling again.

Before he can run any farther, Trish arrives and asks him what’s up. Of course, he gives up the chase.

Don Vicente, meanwhile starts having second thoughts about trusting Benjie with so much projects so soon. And of all of people, he asks this to Catalina. And you can just imagine how this conversation went.

Back to Benjie and Trish. Benjie is totally out of it, which is rude to his girlfriend who is doing her best to show him she loves him. While Trish is wearing her heart on her sleeve, Benjie is still stiff and closed off. Even when he’s kissing her hands and gazing in her eyes, it’s so different when he’s with Maine Sinag.

The next day, Benjie tells Jason he saw Sinag last night. Jason asks the right questions and calls out the b**$*** his bestfriend is spouting. “You better be sure about that. You might end up hurting someone again.”

Meanwhile, Trish thanks Sinag for helping her out last night. Although she was happy that Benjie liked the watch, Trish can’t help but be bothered about his absentmindedness during the date. Sinag advices Trish no to overthink.

Amanda gives Benjie the same talk Sally gave Sinag when she found out about that chance encounter. When asked “are you still in love with her?” he counters with, “she probably has a boyfriend or a husband right now.” His mom tells him upfront, “you didn’t answer my question.”  

At the radio station, Trish presents her anniversary party plans, crediting Sunshine for her inputs. It is well received by everyone, including her boss Ninong, who hopes that their tandem continues. “I hope so too. I feel like Sunshine and I won’t fight over anything.”

SiDong the parrot is now well, and both Sinag and Badong fawn over it. While the two are busy with the bird, Arman and Ninay talk about their friends’ relationship as they watch them. Arman mentions Benjie and Ninay panics, asking her boyfriend how he found out that Sinag met Benjie. Which Badong overhears of course. Arman complicates the matter by revealing that Badong was the one who saw Benjie. And now the cat’s out of the bag due to a comedy of errors.

  

Random thoughts

* Denise Barbacena’s soothing voice has now completely melted away my cynicism. Fine. I’m rooting for their destiny again. And also because Alden and Maine are so good at looking incomplete when they’re not together. There’s magic in the air when they share the same screen, even if they don’t properly meet yet. It sounds like an exaggeration but it’s true.

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There is now bad blood between Sinag and Trish. Benjie gets in trouble at work. Tatay Teddy gets disheartened over the negative feedback on his work. And we get yet another almost encounter.

Recap

Sinag unloads her guilt on Badong for what she did to her new boss, hoping that she won’t target her at work. And of course, the boyfie comforts her, while inserting a cheesy line. Meanwhile, Trish “I can handle pressure” Villanueva also unloads on her own boyfie about her new work and gets a “don’t take it too seriously” advice from her workaholic boyfriend.

At the company, Catalina approaches her dad to ask if Benjie has submitted his revisions (to make sure that their plan to sabotage him will work) and smirks when she finds out that all is going to plan.    

Meanwhile at Sinag’s workplace, Trish meets with the DJs again. Of course, Sinag’s fear comes true and she gets singled out at a meeting (well, everyone else also got critiques but she gets a rude paper-tearing scene. Now look who’s wasting money *eye rolls*). Her co-DJ and Ninay try to comfort Sinag by saying the new boss was probably feeling threatened because of her popularity.

Back at Rosales Development, Catalina badgers Benjie about his revisions even though it’s not the deadline yet (like a kid asking if they can open presents yet on 2 days before Christmas). When he tells her he needs to double check, of course Catalina will not let him. She’s so eager to embarrass him in front of her father that she’s practically dragging him to stand up and present his work. So Benjie hands her the USB and Catalina gives a mini sermon on how crucial his revisions are to the construction timetable before strutting away.

At the radio station, Trish is working on the anniversary event for the company when she gets a call from her boyfie who just wants to unload on her (oh boohoo Benjie. You wanted this and now you’re complaining?) So what does he propose to do, since both of them are “hectic” at work? “Let’s get some drinks now.” (This sounds like a typical set up for a liqour commercial)

Speaking of liqour, Tatay Teddy comes back home wasted (he left after seeing the bad review on the paper). Because bad habits are hard to break. And because we won’t get an emotional breakdown scene unless he’s drunk. Yes, Teddy it’s all the Rosaleses fault. Sinag comes home and Teddy once again drunk apologizes to her for being “weak” and forcing her to be the breadwinner.

Benjie and Trish are in his car and Trish (who just started at her job) starts complaining about being stressed about her work. (AND OMG her woes about losing a booked event place because she didn’t pay the down payment sounds exactly like what happened to Dondi in My Bebe Love. Hahaha. It’s so funny). Benjie suggests that they not talk about work as they unwind in the bar (to be honest they sound more like spoiled brats ranting about their high-maintenance relatives).

The next morning, the ninong-boss berates Trish in front of her subordinates for messing up on the invitations (yes, she went for a drink with her boyfriend knowing that she is not done with her work. Because #priorities *eyerolls*). Based on his parting words, she better do her work as an events coordinator or else her position as station manager will be in peril (awww…poor little rich girl).

Meanwhile, Teddy wakes up with a hang over and apologizes all over again. Because his pride as a father and sculptor is taking a beating (I still don’t get why he doesn’t get a day job). And he places the blame on the Rosaleses again.

Speaking of Rosales, Benjie gets a call while he’s on the road. It’s Trish, who despite being neck deep in work still finds the time to check up on her babe. This scene is so ridiculous. She’s the one who initiates the call and yet she tells him, “I’m sorry I can’t talk right now.” What the ef was that??? So after the call, Sinag approaches Trish to make amends and give her a hand on her problem (connections save the day). Trish immediately leaves to seal the deal and for some reason tells Sinag “ikaw nang bahala dito.” (I have no idea what she meant. She’s entrusting the day’s station management to SInag?)

Oh but look. She forgets her phone. And look whose face is flashing in the screen signaling an incoming call? With Sinag just across the phone? Will she see Benjie’s face again after two years?

Of course not. The phone goes low batt before she could even see the screen. Sinag decides not to touch it (wise move).

It’s night time and Benjie and Jason celebrate his birthday with friends at a bar. (WE FINALLY MEET JASON’S GIRLFRIEND!!!) They tease Benjie about how their roles are now reversed, with Trish now being the busy one at work.

Speaking of Trish, she’s back at the radio station, waiting for DJ Sunshine to finish her show to thank her. She’s actually a decent person yo (for now). And how does she repay Sinag? By inviting her out to eat. Meanwhile, Benjie is left alone as he watches couples slow dance. And of course although he has a girlfriend, he remembers his slow dance with Sinag (and to shake things up, we get the english theme song). He gets a text from Trish inviting him to join her and a friend for a meal. And the overused question for the week is raised again: will Sinag and Benjie finally meet?

Sinag shows Trish her published book based on the radio show. Trish asks her where she gets her hugots, Sinag shares about her last big heartbreak while Trish opens up about how worried she was of her boyfriend’s ex, both unaware that they’re talking about the same guy (although to be fair, with Benjie’s playboy reputation before meeting both ladies, I wouldn’t be surprised if the waitress or ladies at nearby tables have encountered our resident Casanova). They become chummy and Trish gets a text that her boyfriend has arrived.

So they’re at the same place again. A person has actually arranged for them to meet. Will they finally cross paths again?

To keep audiences on their toes, the scene shifts to the Obispo household where Badong gets bad news about SiDong. The pet bird’s current state of health is a reflection of Badong’s relationship with Sinag. It’s dying before it could even take flight to the sky.

Back to SinJie. Of course they won’t properly meet yet. While the ladies wait for Trish’s boyfriend, Sinag gets a call from her own boyfie, to let her know about their pet bird. Of course, Sinag needs to leave right away. However, as Sinag leaves the resto, Benjie is parking across the street.

Again, another delay from the show who wants to keep everyone at the edge of their seats.  Don Vicente is looking for Benjie to personally present his revisions but Catalina informs him that his grandson left early to meet with his girlfriend. So she shows him what’s inside the USB and the Don gets infuriated and insists on talking to the boy that very minute. Catalina’s superb innocent, clueless maang-maangan acting is classic.      

As Benjie is taking Catalina’s call, Sinag turns and spots Benjie. Our girl hides immediately. Yey. One half of the meeting complete. 

 

Random thoughts

* Ugh. What have they done to Catalina’s character? What is this? She’s turned into a small fry. Is this the same devil’s spawn who’d have a house with kids and elderly people burned down for the sake of getting land? What is this gradeschool level bullying? It’s so disappointing.

* Can I point out Don Vicente’s blatant prejudice? He has no problem with Benjie dating rich girl Trish but all hell will break lose when he falls in love with a poor barrio lass. He’s a typical kontrabida from the 1990s. Will we ever be free from this overused conflict?

 

In conclusion

The actress playing Trish has legit kontrabida creds. She played the kontrabida to Barbie Forteza in a show that ran for one whole frickin year. You can imagine how many kontrabida motivations she went through in that show. She can switch between a kontrabida to an ally to a kontrabida again at the right trigger. A kontrabida hybrid if you will. So we can expect (at least I am hoping) a non-boring (though predictable) kontrabida to Sinag. Exciting. The writers will still keep Marjorie though because we need a kontrabida who can be subjected to abject cruelty disguised as karma for the comic relief.

Exciting stuff ahead!

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 We finally meet who’s the new station manager at Sinag’s work place: Trish. Catalina finally does something to strike at Benjie (apparently, there are no CCTVs around Benjie’s office). Tatay Teddy gets disheartened by the low turnout at their art exhibit.

Recap

Ah, Marjorie in a sexy party outfit. Trying to seduce Benjie who is now at odds with his girlfriend (Marjorie’s goal when she incited Trish’s jealousy). Of course it doesn’t work. Kudos to Benjie for being a gentleman while turning her down.

 

Sinag at the radio station, talking about moving on like drinking bitter medicine (what era are we living in? That metaphor is so 1980’s). Meanwhile Benjie is at the same bar Sinag and Badong went to, drinking his problems away (this is the “plan” Benjie pertained to when he turned down Marjorie). And will you look at that, he’s holding the same notepad Sinag scribbled on the last episode...at least I think so (the paper is different, but the handwriting is the same).

 

The Obispo couple is finally showcasing their artwork in an exhibit. But it’s not going the way they envisioned it. Teddy is complaining that no one was looking at or asking about his sculptures (he should’ve made the 2017 version of Machete). And Sally shows us where Sinag got her temper. Tatay Teddy is starting to lose his confidence as an artist but his wife (whose works are apparently more popular with the metropolitan crowd) is there to comfort him. But Sinag’s “congratulatory” call highlights his self-disappointment.

While people are going about being productive members of society, Trish is at home, still cyber stalking. Her mom goes to her and tells her that the very thing she was doing was what caused her dad to separate from her mom. Trish goes “what if he’s still in love with his ex?” and her mom tells her to fight for him (cause he’s worth millions yo!). Which translates to turning into a possessive crazy girlfriend in teleserye speak.        

The next day, Sinag’s co-DJs gossip about the new station manager… which again is diverted to talk about Sinag’s lovelife. I don’t get why Sinag denies her official relationship with Badong to her officemates when she already said “yes” to him.  

The scene moves to another relationship, as Trish drops a surprise visit to Benjie’s office (because nothing spells heartfelt remorse than showing up at his workplace during office hours unannounced. Professionalism be damned).

Meanwhile, Sinag is waiting for Badong at the park…where the boyfie surprises her with a caged pet bird. He’s aware how much Sinag misses her Pelangi bird friends at the aviary so he got her a caged parrot. Not only has he taught the parrot what to say, he also gave it a name: SiDong. Although she finds the name cheesy, she thanks her boyfie for the gift.

Trish, on the other hand apologizes to Benjie for being nosy about his past relationships and tells him that she’ll accept him wholeheartedly, including his past (which is totally hypocritical because she’s the one with the infidel past). Benjie accepts the apology and all is well…for now (That moment when Benjie’s eyes widen when Trish says “I know you and Sinag are over…” Now that is an excellent thespian at work. It’s such a small detail but it speaks volumes. And he still looks closed off and “stiff” even though he hugs and shows affection to Trish).

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Badong presents Destiny’s Promise to Sinag and asks her if he can be her boyfriend, Sinag’s heart is still beating for Benjie but she says yes to Badong anyway, and Trish finds out about Sinag, Benjie’s one great love.

Recap

Benjie and Trish celebrate their anniversary and exchange gifts. He gives her a charm bracelet and she gives him a replica of Destiny’s promise (a fascinating parallel to Trish’s role in Benjie’s life: a mere replica to take the place of the real thing he has been pining for). Meanwhile, team Pelangi has congregated in the Obispo house to witness Badong’s romantic move to ask her to be his girlfriend (Destiny’s Promise is back to the Obispos). She says yes and the whole family rejoices.

As Sally gazes at Destiny’s Promise, she can’t get help but be worried about her vision.

The next day, Ninay gets Sinag to accompany her to check out condo units and they talk about Badong. Because she’s the ultimate bestfriend, Ninay can sense when something is wrong with her beshie. Sinag expertly dodges the question. But Ninay keeps on shoving the “he’s your destiny” argument down Sinag’s throat (the same argument she used for Benjie).

Of course, because destiny is at work, Benjie and Jason are also at the same building. Lo and behold, it’s a Rosales Development owned building. Apparently Benjie is not fully preoccupied with the Pelangi project because Don Vicente just asked him to oversee the renovation of a building. Oh look, he’s going to enter the elevator at the same time Sinag and Ninay are on the elevator at the same floor. Will they finally meet?

Of course not. There are two elevators.      

At Rosales Development, Trish drops by to look for Benjie and Marjorie (with her gawd-awful hair extensions) greets her…and tells her about Benjie’s relationship with a girl back in Pelangi. (Why bring up something that happened two years ago that didn’t even come to fruition? Because that’s what second rate kontrabidas do. While the main kontrabida is busy plotting evil schemes, these petty creatures purpose for their existence is to stir up intrigue and annoyances for the lead. That’s the whole point of Marjorie’s move to Rosales company). This cements the doubt and insecurity in Trish’s heart. 

Badong and Sinag go on first date. Badong tries to follow Arman’s tips on how to level up their relationship. Failure upon failure.

Trish is back at home, trying to look for this Sinag girl. Of course, she can’t reach Benjie on the phone because he’s in the middle of nowhere. (Ah, the danger of being idle. There is a saying about an idle mind being the devil’s workshop.) Her mom happily tells her that she got a job at a place she didn’t even apply for. She wasn’t even interviewed to see if she was qualified for the job. (All hail the oligarchs *eye rolls*) Seeing her daughter getting anxious about her boyfriend, she feeds her paranoia further (because that’s what cliché kontrabida moms do). “Maybe he’s still hung up on his ex, that’s why he still hasn’t proposed to you.” (or maybe it’s because it’s difficult to fully trust a cheating ex, kontrabida mom).

Oh but wait, it seems that Benjie misplaced his phone. Seeing the missed calls from his (paranoid) girlfriend, he promptly calls her. But it doesn’t go through.  

Meanwhile, Badong and Sinag get real food and have a typical dinner date…with a live acoustic rendition of the DTBY OST (ZOMG!!! Is that Denise Barbacena, the singer of the OST???) because in this universe, there is only one song. While Badong is off somewhere, Sinag is left alone with her Benjie-centric memories…and writes on the song request sheet (absent-mindedly, yet still legibly): Why is it still you? Why? Badong comes back to a visibly bothered Sinag, who makes a bad (yet effective) attempt at diverting his attention.         

The next day (or at least it seems that way), Benjie surprises Trish with a bouquet of “apology” flowers. Trish goes on her paranoid girlfriend tirade and Benjie is all like “I demand for your understanding.” (Urghhh! Alden is sooooo good. Notice how his eyes suddenly darkened when Trish brings up Sinag’s name? *goosebumps*) He walks out and the kontrabida mom witnesses all this (how awkward is that headshot?).

Meanwhile Sally checks up on her daughter, asking how her date with Badong went. Sinag admits it felt awkward and that she was unsure about her decision. She is aware that she might end hurting Badong in the long run. Her mom tries to give her advice but we know what exactly is keeping Sinag from giving 100% in this relationship.

After his squabble with his rebound ex, Benjie gets Catalina’s shade in front Don Vicente and others during a meeting of sorts (Time is money boy! You’ve already wasted thousands of company money on your horrible “Oplan infiltrate the Obispo family by making their eldest daughter fall for you”). Of course, this is won’t be the last time we’ll hear from Catalina.

At the Obispo house, Sally and the kids give Teddy a pep talk since he was feeling nervous about their upcoming exhibit (turning to liquor again to deal with the feels).

Jason’s chat with Benjie (who was cramming the design revisions like a college student) reveals why it was taking him forever: he’s distracted by Trish. More specifically Trish’s persistence in knowing more about his past with Sinag. Jason reminds him that they’ll head to splitsville if he doesn’t clear up this misunderstanding soon (Everyone is too nice to point out how ridiculous it is that Trish has the gall to be the jealous and insecure one when she’s the one with a confirmed cheating history).   

For Benije, annoyances always comes in threes, so Marjorie enters the scene to make his horrible day complete.


Random thoughts

* I can never not be blown away by Alden’s acting. He is smiling but you know it’s not his real smile because we’ve seen his smile when he’s really genuinely happy.

* I just realized how easy it is to evoke “destiny” when you want to be convincing. During the first two week’s everyone was so sure that Benjie was Sinag’s destiny. Now it’s Badong. If it’s really destined, can it be thwarted or change course? I’m starting to hate the overly used term “hindi aksidente na nangyari to” to convince the girl to consider a romance with him (both Benjie and Badong used this argument).    

* I hope Badong sterilized Destiny’s Promise first.

* I love Sinag’s lippie.

* OH MAY GHAAAADDDD!!! Doesn’t this company have an HR department? Marjorie’s outfits (Like seriously, who would think that a bralette was an appropriate corporate outfit?) have to be some kind of sexual harassment for the men of this company.

* Oh Marjorie…you are a hero to all second-rate kontrabidas out there. Like a cat desperately clinging by her claws on a tree branch, your desperation to be still relevant in this universe is amazing.

* I have a theory why Marjorie is still on board this series even though she has lost her role both as an effective kontrabida and a third wheel. Because this is a rom com and Catalina is too classy and smart to fall on her face when her evil schemes blow up, we need a second rate kontrabida like Marjorie who the writers can subject to various cruelty (like getting a bucket of paint spilled over her head and getting dunked head first in a basin full of soapy water) as a punch line without feeling guilty about it. Notice how Sinag is not involved in physically attacking her? Because she’s the female lead, the paragon of goodness and proper conduct, a role model for impressionable girls out there. The lesson: even when somebody bullies you, don’t retaliate with force; let karma handle it. So yes, this won’t be the last episode we’ll be seeing Marjorie and her horrendous outfits.   

* Is it accurate to calll Sinag Benjie’s ex when they weren’t officially together when they separated in the first place?

* Trish is like a beaming example of how ironic cheating exes’ logic work: she cheated on him and got caught red-handed and she has the gall to be suspicious about Benjie’s fidelity (no matter how valid because it’s obvious he’s still all about Sinag). Hypocrisy at its finest.  

* When you get into a relationship, is it protocol to tell your current boo about each and every ex you’ve had? And in Trish’s case, does she have the right to demand that (when she’s the one with the history of cheating while currently in a relationship)?

* Seeing how reckless Benjie is and how easy it is to rile up his girlfriend, Catalina should’ve taken him down easily. Like seriously Catalina girl, what have you been doing these past two years??? Or maybe she’s too focused on the company’s success so she let him do the hard work. And now that they’re entering the final phase of the project, she can now strike this over-confident lolo’s boy upstart. You know what they say, the higher they are, the harder they fall.  

* Fun fact: Denise Barbacena, the singer of the DTBY OST is part of the cast of Bubble Gang, along with Juancho Trivino and RJ Padilla. Incidentally, both Denise and Juancho starred in Bubble Gang’s spoof of ALDUB.

*Wow. This song is an effective truth serum of sorts for Sinag.

* I have to point this out: This DTBY song is now at least two years old in this universe. And still popular.

* Throughout this episode, I can’t help but think, why doesn’t Benjie use the “you’re the red-handed cheater in this relationship” comeback with Trish but then I realized that that is such an @sshole move, which can be easily used against him. Trish can just turn on the water works, whine about it to her mom and his grandmother and Benjie would be known as an emotional blackmailer.

* Who in the world goes for a swim in full make up??? Is there a pool side photoshoot we are not aware of?

 

In conclusion 

I feel like for most of this week, we’ll be getting KS-level suspense where we’ll be given almost-meeting scenarios every episode. “Oh look they’re in the same building! Will they finally cross paths again?” Only KS did it better. DTBY tends to overdo these almost-meetings that they lose the thrill and sense of surprise. It’s like the whole point of these scenes is for the aired 31-second teasers for the upcoming episodes.  

Both our leads are now officially involved with other people. Meaning more people will get hurt when they get back together, like unintended casualty in destiny’s mission to get SinJie together. But who knows, maybe this is destiny’s way to introduce Badong and Trish to their own “destined ones.” Hoping their own love stories will be less cliché and overdone.    

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

Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

Random thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

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

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

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


Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In this episode, Karma is at work. Sinag channels Maine Mendoza and makes waves in the internet and Benjie gets back together with his two-timing ex (they deserve each other; Marjorie does not even qualify as a thirdwheel, why are we still keeping her???). Benjie gets everything he’s ever wanted and it doesn’t make him happy (hooray for karma). Big changes are introduced because apparently, two years have passed.

Recap

Sinag looks through her phone (which is actually Ninay’s phone) and deletes pictures of Benjie (why does Ninay’s phone have those pictures taken from Benjie’s phone? Maybe he passed it to Ninay?). She goes on a tirade about false hope and ends up taking a video of her hugot monologue, as a montage shows how her job hunting went…along with Benjie’s day at Rosales Development (another compare and contrast. While Sinag faces rejection after rejection, Benjie is applauded for his work). And her posted rant becomes the hottest video among the disenfranchised work force.

The next morning, Badong tries to walk again, with the support of his grandparents (what is his last name?), and Sinag, who just arrived, rushes to help them (because that is the point of his injury, to get Sinag in the same frame). Sally and the whole family (with Nana Puring and niece) comes out to excitedly congratulate Sinag for her Maine Mendoza moment: Madamdamin’s gone viral and has been invited for a radio interview.   

She so shows up for the interview in satin and glitter and the radio person who talked to her gives an offer to be part of her show. And that is how DJ Sunshine comes to invade Metro Manila waves.

 

She comes back only to find Badong is the only one left at home. So he gets an excuse to be hugged by the ecstatic Sinag who is thrilled that not only has she found a job, she is back in her element: being a DJ. They have a moment and of course it is broken by the abrupt arrival of their family. Sinag finally gets to tell them the big news and they celebrate, sponsored by Nana Puring.  

Benjie and Jason are back on the night scene, and Jason desperately does his wingman duty to a disinterested Benjie (it’s so sleazy that he is checking out random ladies like a piece of meat). Our reformed chickboy scolds Jason and tells him “Can’t we just hangout and chill?” And that’s when they bump into Trish the ex, who acts as if she didn’t cheat on Benjie. Benjie leaves and she goes after him (wow. They really are made for each other. They both betrayed the ones they “love” and act as if they are entitled to have their excuses heard). She even says, “Did I say anything to offend you?” (wow. Her lack of remorse is amazing. Oo nga naman Benjie. She already said sorry. Stop making her suffer. *eye rolls* And just in case the sarcasm is lost on you, what she’s doing to you and what you did to Sinag) Oh look. The irony is not lost on him. Maybe there’s hope for this reformed @ss****.  And so because he is also a guilt-ridden jerk, he reluctantly agrees to be “okay” with another guilty jerk.  

The celebration at Nana Puring’s house is in full swing, everyone is celebrating DJ Sunshine, and Sinag starts counting the chicks before the eggs hatch. Nana Puring interjects and I think it was her subtle reminder for them to not forget her. Infected by Sinag’s surge of optimism, Sol and Sally also share their dreams.

The next day, we witness Sinag’s first day back on a radio booth and she nails it.

 

And then we go into a huge time skip. Sinag goes from a mere bitplayer on an established radio pairing to having her own show. She’s now dressed like Maine and gets reunited with Ninay and Arman. Benjie, on the other hand, is no longer a lovestruck zombie, becoming serious about his work (because apparently only focused people would go overtime). Sinag now has tarpaulin waving fans and Benjie moves in to his new office. And lest we forget and rejoice, yes, Marjorie is still there. Still dressed like the Rosales Development office is a club.

And then we get the “two years after” scroll to explain why and how the Obispos get to move in to their own house. Sally’s hair is dyed bubble gum pink (cuz she’s an artist ya’ll) and Badong can stand on his own.

Benjie, on the other hand, looks douchier than ever. He’s seated at a restaurant table working on his laptop (because cafes are for bit players. Real successful people do their work-from-home in upscale restaurants). Sinag walks into the same restaurant, and we get a scene of them turning, as if they just crossed each other’s paths again before the show cuts into a commercial. But Benjie’s smile is a dead giveaway.  

 

But no, they’re meeting different people. Sinag is meeting her universe’s version of Jenny Ferre, and Benjie is meeting with Trish (because he got back together with her, they deserve one another after all). Sinag is getting a first glimpse of her own book cover samples and Benjie gets a pep talk before he goes on to make a huge company presentation.

So he presents the team’s plans for Pelangi (he is building the very same things that Sinag and her family are strongly against) and he gets applause. His grandfather is impressed and Catalina successfully hides her disdain.  

As Sinag is greeted by Maineatics, she gets fetched by Badong, driving a sleek car. She vehemently squashes any suspicion that Badong was her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, Benjie gets another ego boost from Trish after giving his most important presentation (notice that his mom is absent in this important event: his girlfriend has nothing to do with company matters but she’s given prime seats). Lolo Vicente (yes, Lolo Vicente. Benjie has now earned the right to call him lolo) congratulates his grandson for impressing rich people and convincing them to give them more money.

At the sidelines, Catalina is b****ing to Marjorie and unlike Elton, she sides with the upstart. When Marjorie goes on delulu mode and says she is prettier than the girlfriend Trish, Catalina wordlessly gives her a put down (and THIS is why I love Catalina, despite her criminality).

There’s a celebratory dinner, of course, and Don Vicente keeps heaping praises on his “humble” grandson (for some reason Marjorie also gained the privilege of being seated with the first family). And he singlehandedly gives Catalina a crushing blow to the ego when he proclaims that “the company will be in good hands when you take over” (I am flabbergasted. What has Catalina been doing in the last two years for this to happen?). Even when Catalina attempts to put it off as a joke but Vicente delivers another slap on the face when he said, “Now that Benjie is here, I think I can retire earlier.” (Translation: Catalina is not an heiress he can entrust the company with with no worries). She gives a practiced smile to hide her vexation.   

Because this is a teleserye, the lead cannot be 100% happy. A contrived situation allows Benjie to remember that he is a douchebag: the berries in their cake was originally made from the Pelangi raspberries…the same berries Sinag introduced to him. But unfortunately, the farm closed. (gee, Benjie and Catalina, I wonder why? *eye rolls*) When Benjie told her he didn’t eat raspberries, Jason’s cough could’ve gone with the subtitle “b*ll$***.” Trish puts him on the spot again by bringing up marriage, because the clubhouse in Pelangi is beautiful. Because in her delusional mind, two years is enough for her betrayal to be completely forgotten. (Now she can go from a cheating girlfriend of a poor struggling college boy to a cheating wife of a rich and successful businessman and heir! I know I am too harsh but you cannot ignore how ridiculous this is. And the next episode kinda gives support to this cynical opinion).

 

Random thoughts

* Super belated random thought. I just realized that the Sinag we saw on the first episode's opening montage is the DJ Sunshine she'll turn into two years later. Hence the styled hair. 

* Maine would make an awesome rapper. She has rhythm and good timing and enunciation.  

* While Sinag’s rants online are funny and relatable, it’s really not a wise move. If you were an employer and you saw this prospective employee raving and ranting online, you’d think twice before employing her. In a professional sense, you won’t see a funny viral video but a possible liability. The employer would be thinking, what would stop her from ranting about me and my company?

* For a family that is still struggling to get back on their feet, they sure have pretty high end phones.

* Awwww…Menggay is so adorable. That’s the smile and jubilation that ADN would fight to protect.

* I cannot wait for a DJ Sunshine and DJ Mae face-off with DJ Bae caught in the crossfire. Or DJ Sunshine and DJ Mae could gang up on DJ Bae.

* Alden is soooo effin good. His face wasn’t even on the screen but his closed fist was enough to convey his emotions.  

* I have a feeling that Sol will be hooking up with Nana Puring’s niece soon. Law of proximity (I just made that up).

* I’m giving the writers a benefit of the doubt: I think the reason why Marjorie is still on the show (aside from being the subject of disdain without making the perpetrators feel bad about it), is because she will change. She’ll end up being an unexpected ally of Benjie against Catalina. Because you know how kontrabidas would turn into desperate all-out criminals when they reach this part of the plot. Careful planning and subtlety is thrown out the window and they end up leaving breadcrumbs of their crimes. And in an effort to cover up, they turn to murder. And Marjorie will end up being one, if not the first, of the many victims of Catalina. And because we are no longer in Pelangi, police will investigate and the media would cover it.  

* I feel so bad for Catalina. My heart is breaking for her. It’s so unfair! It’s no wonder she resorts to underhanded and criminal acts. Don Vicente is unbelievable.  

In conclusion

Two years later, Sinag has transformed to Maine Mendoza and Benjie goes from being a jerk to being a douche, and dressing like one too. Catalina has lost her seat at the table and Badong gets more screen time.

Alden is an awesome actor. Sure, I hate Benjie’s guts and cannot accept that the writers have this agenda to make us pity and sympathize with him. But Alden is too good. His “happiness” in this episode is so vastly different from his contagious joy and glee when he is with Maine. The difference is so obvious that even though he seems to have everything (his grandfather’s praise and acceptance, a successful career, a beautiful classy girlfriend, money), his smiles don’t reach his eyes and his dimple is not as deep. He is sooo good it’s scary.

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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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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 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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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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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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 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.

catatonic_17: (Default)
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.   

catatonic_17: (Default)
 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. 

catatonic_17: (Default)
 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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