Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amaya - Ep. 11

Last episode, the snake came to Amaya to warn her of danger. Lamitan had gone to Mangubat to spin lies about her husband, and the rajah had set sail with his warriors for Datu Bugna's tribe.

Amaya runs to their teacher with the warning, but the old woman wouldn't believe her, especially when Amaya told them about the snake. Amaya, you didn't just out yourself in front of Marikit, did you? But no, Marikit enters to ask what's going on, and at that same moment, the warning gong sounds and they realize Amaya was telling the truth. She would have them flee and hide, but the teacher tells her they can't leave without the datu's permission and anyway their warriors could surely handle the raiders. Marikit looks nervous.

Datu Bugna gets his men ready to face the supposed raiders-- and is shocked to come face to face with his overlord, who accuses him of treason. Bugna asks who said so, and Mangubat retorts that what now, surely Bugna's own wife wouldn't lie to him on such a thing? And he realizes the full extent of Lamitan's betrayal.

Bugna declares vehemently that Lamitan was not telling the truth, but Mangubat is having none of it-- he's being so paranoid he will believe Lamitan's words over that of the datu who had served him faithfully for many years. He orders Bugna to confess to the accusation-- if he doesn't, something bad will happen. He then orders Angaway and Songil to go to the village and bring back Bugna's daughters. He then commences battle until he finally holds Bugna at swordpoint at close range, and pronounces him a traitor.

Meanwhile, back in Rajah Mangubat's house, Mantal asks Lamitan if she's not scared to be found out that she lied to the rajah. Lamitan is nervous, but asks why she should be afraid when she knows full well what will happen to Bugna and Amaya. The two sisters meet the rajah's wife when she receives them [I know Ayen Laurel's character here is supposed to be Rahu Linangan but why do I keep hearing it as Lingayan? And BTW she's magnificent.]The rahu sees right through Lamitan for the shallow, scheming woman that she is, and asks her point-blank why she betrayed her spouse. Lamitan clings to her assertion that she was being loyal to the rajah, but the rahu is having none of that-- her first loyalty should always be to her husband. She then reads Lamitan the riot act on disloyalty to one's spouse, but states pointedly that she won't ask Lamitan's reasons. She does, however, leave the dian with food for thought: A datu or rajah has no faults if his wife is faithful and pure. After the rahu's exit, Lamitan observes to Mantal that she feels she won't get along with the rajah's wife. Hah. Understatement of the year.

Bugna's tribe is thrown into panic because of the attackers, who are now entering the village. While everyone is running to and fro, Dal'lang rushes off, thinking of her child. On her way she passes by the seashore and sees Mangubat holding Bugna at swordpoint. She rushes off to look for her child.

The binukot cower in their lofty bukot, hearing the noises of battle outside. Binayaan clings to Amaya, who assures her that no one would hurt her. To calm her, since Binayaan is now afraid that they will all die, Amaya hides her in a big chest [I sure hope there's a lot of ventilation in there]. Mangubat's warriors enter the bukot and corner Amaya, Marikit, Ahak and the old teacher. They ask if the two are all of Bugna's daughters-- Amaya speaks up before Marikit can do so, saying that there are only the two of them. All four women are hauled off.

Bagani awakes from a dream of the woman he saw in the boat. His attendant asks facetiously if he asked her for directions to her tribe, but Bagani says no, she was asking for his help. He feels uneasy and orders his men to pack up their camp and set sail.

Dal'lang passes by scenes of carnage. Her only thought now is to find her daughter and keep her safe. When she gets to the bukot, however, she finds it deserted and sits down in disappointment-- and after a while, Binayaan comes out of the chest. Dal'lang immediately asks her if she is Amaya. Binayaan looks confused for a moment, but Dal'lang asks again if she is her daughter. Upon hearing that word, Binayaan says yes, she is Amaya. (!!!!) Dal'lang embraces her, weeping, and Binayaan looks uncertain.

Bugna asks Mangubat to spare his daughters [dude, this is the man who raided all the other tribes he could find without compunction and hunted for your daughter all of her life so he could kill her, so what makes you think he'll listen to you now?]. And Mangubat only says that he will see how far Bugna will go... and the warriors arrive with the women, two of them carrying Marikit and Amaya. The latter, upon seeing her beloved Baba in danger, forgets everything and slides down onto the ground to run to him, to his great dismay. He remembers the day he told her why she must never step on the ground, and chides her for breaking her promise. He then asks Mangubat to spare her, but instead Mangubat grabs her and tells Bugna to choose-- his daughter's life or his own. The rajah then pushes Amaya to the ground, and she crawls to her father on her knees. Bugna tells his beloved daughter that he would rather die dishonorably than see them hurt her-- and admits Mangubat's accusation. Of course, Mangubat immediately stabs him and he falls back. Amaya takes him into her arms.

At his campsite, Bagani debates where to go-- and then his attendant mentions that Datu Bugna's tribe is over in that direction. He then remembers meeting Amaya as a child, and decides to go to Bugna's village. Even if Amaya is not the binukot he seeks, he suddenly wants to find out what had happened to her [and dude, you are gonna break your heart big time. Don't say I didn't warn you].

Kabanata 10 Ang Kamatayan ng Datu
[Chapter 10 Death of the Datu]

Bugna bids farewell to Amaya in what seems like a long, drawn out scene. We all know it's just a matter of minutes, but it seems long. He tells a weeping Amaya that he has done his best to fulfill his obligations as her father; even if he will be gone, he will never be gone from her heart. Mangubat has had enough of his prattle and deals a death blow. He orders Amaya to stop crying and bids his men drag her away from her father's body. She pleads to be allowed to bury him, but is told that a traitor does not deserve a burial. Suddenly she breaks free of the men and runs back to her father's body and draws his knife... and cuts off a lock of his hair. Bending low over him and speaking to his face, she begs his forgiveness for not being able to bury him, but makes a vow that they will meet again, and when they do she will treat him as he deserves. She stares fixedly at the lock of hair clenched in her fist as she makes her vow.


And here we go with the cheesy, drawn out dying declarations. It always happens-- at least Bugna's speech was relatively brief. Or maybe Mangubat was just making a statement against this sort of scene when he got fed up and dealt the killing blow.

Maybe I've just gotten used to Korean dramas-- maybe the goddesses of K-drama critics, javabeans and girlfriday, have rubbed off on me. I think the whole confrontation thing and Bugna's death could have been done a little more naturally and not theatrically. Plus, here we go with the wild accusations-- but wait, it's an old Pinoy drama plot device. Some writers [I don't mean you, Miss Suzette] seem to think that the more illogical and unreasonable accusations that a villain flings against another character, the better it is, even when some of these accusations are so outrageous they seem like the villain is just saying anything that he can remotely accuse someone of. Okay, so maybe a large portion of the audience is buying this because it represents so much injustice, and what Filipino has not experienced injustice, big or small, real or perceived, at some time in his life? Fine, this is the Philippines; anything can happen. Also, Mangubat is really paranoid, so the illogic can be explained a bit?

Also, I expected to feel sad when I watched this, but-- okay, I'll chalk it up to the fact that I already knew last week what would happen, thanks to the spoilers, er, preview. I guess anticipating that Bugna would die this episode has taken the ooomph out of it for me. I wish they'd incorporate more cliffhangers and less spoilers!

Anyway, on to the good parts-- more foreshadowing! Amaya voluntarily steps on the ground when she sees her father in danger-- and we all know from the old tales that nothing good happens to a daughter who breaks her promise not to step on the ground. Also, Bagani is finally drawing near to Amaya, but he will arrive too late-- and find out that the princess he has been looking for is now a captive. It's strange that he would dream of her-- but then, Bayang has already predicted that she is his destiny. Bagani being who he is, I am looking forward to finding out what he will do when he finds out what has happened to Amaya. I don't think his feelings will be lessened when he finds out her social status-- and please, no hackneyed plot devices to manufacture angst and keep them apart, Miss Suzette, I beg of you. I hope you find a fresh conflict that looks natural. I rather think Bagani will devise a plan to rescue her, never mind that he would be going against his father, because we have already established that he doesn't want to be like his father or obey his more unreasonable orders if he can find a way to wriggle out of it. It will be fun to see whether Lamitan will be angling after him for Marikit though, when she finds out he's Mangubat's heir.

Binayaan, Binayaan, Binayaan. It was the word "daughter" that made her do it, I'm sure. She was one heck of a deprived middle child growing up-- Bugna had Amaya and Lamitan had Marikit, so Binayaan was truly forsaken. Perhaps it was why she clung so much to Amaya, who was the only person who loved her for herself. So when Binayaan found someone who could give her the attention she craved, she grabbed it, even when it meant stealing her sister's identity. I wonder what Dal'lang has in store for her.

The award for best scene goes to-- Rahu Linangan! Maybe it was how she put Lamitan firmly in her place. I love that there is someone who finally sees right through Lamitan for all her posturing. I see now why she said to Bagani what she did about why Mangubat has to hunt the prophesied child down-- because her man comes first with her, always. Yet she also found a way to indulge her son's love of music even when her husband disapproved of it-- perhaps some of Bagani's ideals did come from her? I'm curious to know what she will think of Amaya.

Before I forget, that dratted prophecy. The only ones who know it are in Mangubat's village, and now Bugna has died without telling Amaya about it. The most likely ones to tell her after this would be the snake or Bayang. It seems that Amaya has finally learned the reason why her father made her learn weaponry-- but at such a cost.

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