Thursday, June 16, 2011

Amaya - Ep. 13

Dear Marian Rivera, although Pinoy dramas usually do not make me cry, you have succeeded in bringing tears to my eyes this episode. I don't really see myself as a fan of yours, but-- you go, girl! You have finally succeeded in making me interested in Amaya as a character and getting me invested in wanting to know how she grows.

Last episode, after killing Datu Bugna, Rajah Mangubat brought Amaya and Marikit to his village, but not Binayaan, who was taken away by Dal'lang believing she was Amaya. Lamitan then asked the rajah for the right of ownership over Amaya as a slave, and she and Mantal stripped the girl in public.

Rajah Mangubat orders that a feast be prepared to celebrate their successful raid on Bugna's tribe. Bagani arrives to hear this and asks whether his father killed the datu. [Thank goodness. I was afraid they would make him blunder around for a while sabotaging himself with his ignorance, as if the real situation wasn't bad enough.] Mangubat tells him the reason for the raid, and Bagani asks after the captives, especially the binukot he met as a child, Amaya. Mangubat confirms that she is indeed one of the captives.

In the middle of the village, while Amaya sits on the ground naked from the waist up and covered only by her long hair and her crossed arms, crying, Lamitan gets in her face to pound it in that she is no longer a bai but a slave like her mother. Amaya screams for her to stop, for she remembers her father telling her that as his daughter and a binukot she should not let anyone see her without her clothes. She tells Lamitan that she is evil, and Lamitan retorts that if she is evil, it was because of Amaya's parents. She smirks triumphantly at the girl's humiliation.

The other captives, including Awi, Ahak and Kuling, help Amaya back into the hut and try to console her as she collapses on the floor, still hugging herself, screaming for her father. Ahak hugs her. Everyone is still calling her bai, and she tells them to stop, that she is no longer a bai but a slave like them, and you could feel her indignation, anger and humiliation.

Kabanata 12 Amaya, ang Bagong Uripon
[Chapter 12 Amaya, the New Slave]

Bayang is once again scrubbing the floor when Bagani enters his quarters [Does this mean that he had fulfilled his promise to buy her from his father and raise her from being a hayohay?]. She tells him that yes, she heard that his father had made war on Bugna-- but why should she be surprised? He did it to her tribe-- he will do it to others. Bagani calls for one of the warriors [Songil], and asks him about Amaya.

When Lamitan returns to their rooms, Marikit learns that Amaya is now a slave. She gloats, saying that it is a shame she wasn't there to see it. Her mother orders that she be escorted to the slave quarters to see for herself.

Bagani also learns that Amaya has become a slave, and that she is very beautiful. He wants to see her.

Hilway, meanwhile, tells Angaway that now that Amaya is a slave and no longer a binukot, she cannot be his wife, for he is a freeman.

In the hut, Amaya vows never to forget what Lamitan and Mangubat did to her, to her father, and to their tribe. Awi and Kuling respectfully give her some privacy, turning their backs on her and standing in the doorway. When she asks what they are doing, they say that they are shielding her from the eyes of the men outside-- Lamitan may have stripped her of her rights, but in their eyes she is still their bai. Awwwwww.

Bagani arrives at the gate to the slave quarters, and waits for Songil to bring Amaya to him. His attendant, the one who is always clowning around, wonder how she looks, and whether he might like her. The others say that she was a bai, so her skin would be white and smooth-- the question should be whether she would like him. While his attendants tussle over this, Bagani fidgets impatiently. He thinks she might not want to see him, and would be angry because of her father.

Songil enters the hut and orders Amaya to follow him, for his lord wants to see her-- Bagani, Mangubat's son and heir. Ahak reminds her of the boy she met in the forest, and Songil confirms that it is indeed he who wants to see her. Amaya says that yes, she remembers him, but in view of recent events, she is not interested in meeting him again. She imperiously dismisses Songil, saying he should tell his lord she does not want to see him. Songil reminds her that she is a slave, and Bagani is the rajah's son-- what he orders will be obeyed. The guards thus drag Amaya out, fighting all the way.

Bayang has finished her tasks in the rajah's house and returns to the slave village. Another slave tells her what happened and how Lamitan shamed and hurt Amaya in public. Bayang feels sorry for Amaya-- she herself was an alabay, after all, and would have been a babaylan if she hadn't been made a slave-- and she exclaims that whoever did such things should be punished.

Songil finally succeeds in bringing Amaya before Bagani-- and both stop short, recognizing each other from their encounter in the boats.

Angaway meanwhile requests an audience of Mangubat, reminding the rajah that he is a loyal warrior and a kinsman. He has come to ask a boon: at the feast, when the spoils are divided, he wants Bugna's daughter Amaya as his prize. Mangubat explains that he cannot grant the request-- he has already given Amaya to Lamitan.

Bagani cannot believe his eyes-- it is his moon, his most beautiful star, before him, and she is also his childhood acquaintance. He says that if he had known earlier that it was her, he would not have encountered such difficulty in searching for her. He tries to drape a blanket around her, but she slaps him indignantly, and is in turn pushed to her knees by Songil, who draws his sword in order to kill her. However, Bagani stops him and helps Amaya to get up. He says that he understands that she is angry at him about what happened to her tribe, and he is asking her forgiveness-- but he can't blame his father because of what her father did. Way to get her even angrier, dude. Amaya bristles at his words and proclaims her father's innocence, and they embark on a round of "your father was wrong; no, yours." He asks her to understand the situation, but she isn't having any of it. What's there to understand? Her town was raided, their warriors and her father killed, she is a slave, she doesn't want to see him again. Once again Bagani forestalls Songil from hurting her, and asks the guards to escort her back to her hut.

Meanwhile, Bayang's wish seems to be coming true-- one of the warriors who had dragged Amaya away sits on the beach, eating some boiled sweet potatoes and mooning over her beauty-- he should have kissed her instead of hurt her! He doesn't notice the snake crawling behind him until it strikes him in the foot and kills him.

Kabanata 14 Ang Pagkapoot ni Amaya
[Chapter 14 Amaya's Hatred]

Back in the hut, Amaya tells Ahak that Bagani was the man in the boat. Ahak is surprised to know that the man she loves was the son of her worst enemy. Amaya insists that she no longer loves him, she now hates him. Ahak pleads with her to forget-- she refuses, saying she hates all of them because of her father's death. Awi warns her to curb her tongue.

Bagani, walking away, says that Amaya is the binukot they were looking for-- but how will she marry him now, when she is so angry at him? As he and his retinue leave, the guards bow to him and call him lord. This attracts the attention of Marikit, arriving well-wrapped up in a hammock carried by two slaves, on her way to look at Amaya. She asks one of the guards and thus learns who Bagani is. [I knew it!]

Marikit arrives at the hut. When she enters, she demands why everyone. is standing: why are they not making their obeisance to her? You, slave, she tells Amaya, why are you not kneeling? Amaya asks if she is the slave so-called. Marikit comes nearer and asks why Amaya is staring at her-- does she not remember that a slave like her cannot look a noble in the eye for it is disrespectful? Amaya tells her that she is evil like her mother and should not be respected, and Marikit slaps her in return.

Amaya: I regarded you as a sister, but I see that you were not affected by what happened to our father and our tribe. How would I respect you? How would I regard you as a sister?

Bai catfight galore!


Brava, Marian. She can actually make you believe in Amaya and want to root for her-- and there she has succeeded. Amaya has been beat up and humiliated, is half-naked and covered only by her hair, is woefully outnumbered and overpowered, is grieving and weeping, but she still manages to look regal and won't give up without a fight. She is crying, not for self-pity, but because she feels indignant, betrayed, and a victim of injustice. Although she was a spoiled brat before, she shows that she is certainly no wimp or damsel in distress, but a heroine worthy of the name. And oh, how I dread what is sure to come next, the events that are sure to hurt and humiliate her, in order to make her learn to be patient and crafty and bide her time plotting and waiting for the chance to mete out her vengeance.

Of course, had she been your standard damsel in distress, she would've been so pathetically grateful for Bagani's kind words that she would have been nice to him immediately [blanket he was going to drape around her = his protection] but then the drama would have been over already, unless it stopped being a costume drama and became your standard domestic weep-fest instead. The central theme here is Amaya learning to find her strengths and stand up for herself and her people, and let no one forget that.

I see the emergence of two love triangles here [and Lumad hasn't even made an appearance yet!] -- Bagani - Amaya - Angaway and Amaya - Bagani - Marikit. Suddenly Angaway has moved from being Bagani's cousin to his possible rival -- perhaps even for the title of heir, since he is also a relative. I'd already speculated earlier that Lamitan might find even better impetus for her anger if she would want Bagani for Marikit, and now Marikit is showing interest in Bagani. This might also mean that Marikit would be more prone to forget her father's death, if she goes after Bagani and realizes that he is in love with Amaya. Especially if Marikit has a one-track mind like her mother.

It will be interesting to find out how Bagani proposes to overcome his dilemma now that he's crossed over from Cinderella to Romeo and Juliet territory [honestly, GMA-7, you should've made Amaya earlier and saved us from The Last Prince, although I'm not complaining about getting my fill of Daniel Matsunaga from that drama]. He is after all more of a thinking, plotting man than his warrior father [did I mention that because the first book I ever read [when I was six!] was The Crusader, Richard Coeur de Lion, who was both an intellectual and a warrior, was my earliest childhood hero?] and should be able to think of ways to solve this problem. And it better be good!

Oooh, looks like Bayang feels sympathetic towards Amaya, and she hasn't even found out yet that Amaya is the deliverer her mentor prophesied. Do I sense a friendship in the offing [and after all, Amaya will need a babaylan]?

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