Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Amaya - Ep. 6

Last week, Bugna threw it in Lamitan's face that she can't bear him any more children. He lavishes his attention on Amaya and teaches her weaponry. Lamitan devises a plan to eliminate the little girl.

Inside her bukot, Bugna washes his daughter's feet. He tells her that to get her feet dirty is an affront to her father as datu because her feet are the symbol of her purity. Thus, she must never let her feet touch the ground. She promises to never step on the ground. [Note: This is part of why the binukot's quarters are high up off the ground and why they are not allowed to go out. Also, it possibly harkens to the old folk tales wherein parents promise to never let their daughters step on the ground and something catastrophic happens when the daughter disobeys either willfully or unknowingly.]

Amaya asks her father if her mother really was a slave. He asks who told her, but she refuses to betray Marikit and thus doesn't tell him. Bugna says that she was a slave, and she asks what her mother was like. Was she good? Did she love Amaya? Why has Amaya never seen her? Bugna says that her mother loved her, but she died. He refuses to say how or why, though. [Note: Finally! I was getting peeved! Of all the children, Amaya is the only one so far that pronounced "iloy" or "mother" correctly. The other children kept pronouncing it with a long first syllable ["ee-loi", like ilog] when it should be pronounced with two short syllables, accent on the second ["ih-loi" as in the name "Eloisa"].]

The slave Badu, the same one who carried out the order to whip the pregnant Dal'lang and caused her to go into labor, is the same one that Lamitan is contracting to kidnap and kill Amaya. He tells Lamitan that what she is asking is dangerous. If he were caught he would be put to death. Besides, what other tribe would accept him? She says that he will do as she asks, or she will tell her husband that he made improper advances to her ["nais mo akong hangarin", literally "you wish to desire me"], which is a crime punishable by death. He has a choice: riches and freedom, or a quick trip to Sulad. Naturally he picks the risk of freedom over certain death.

Awi and Bugna discuss Amaya's questions. Awi is not surprised that the child is looking for her mother. Bugna says it's his fault for taking her away from her mother, but Awi says that he did the right thing and should not regret it.

Up in her bukot, Amaya leaves her bed and joins her slave-nanny on the floor. She requests her nanny to let her sleep there, and to hug her, so that she can pretend for a while that she is with her mother. Awww the poor baby!

Meanwhile, Bagani, now about twelve or thirteen, practices spear-throwing under Songil's watchful eye. At first Songil jeers at him and calls him a weakling (lampa) and the boy reacts with more spirit. [And the older Bagani is such a handsome boy! He could almost be the model for an Amorsolo or Botong painting.] Rajah Mangubat arrives to see his son hit the target, and applauds. He tells the boy that he is ready to earn his first batuk [tattoo]. They will go to Sugbu, where there is an area under Mangubat's rule, and there Bagani will prove his manhood.

Badu enters the bukot, kills the guards, backhands and stuns both Amaya and her maid, and carries the little girl off. Bugna arrives in the morning to find the slave nannies screaming and his daughter gone. He learns the identity of the kidnapper from Amaya's nanny, and organizes his men to go after Badu.

The slave carries Amaya, still unconscious, into the forest. It is interesting to note that despite everything, he never lowers her to the ground. In fact, he searches until he finds a large rock, where he can set the little girl down. He begs her forgiveness and draws his knife, not seeing the snake crawling towards him. As he raises the knife, the snake crawls over his foot and strikes, and he falls to the ground, dead.

Rajah Mangubat and his men arrive in a forest where, he tells Bagani, his father Rajah Matanda used to train him when he was a boy. [Wait, what? Mangubat is the son of Rajah Matanda? So we can lay it at Amaya's door that we got conquered by the Spaniards later on?] Mangubat gives his son a task: he must hunt down a captive slave in the forest and kill it. Bagani objects, for he does not want to kill anyone, not even a slave, but his father cuts him off. Mangubat tells Bagani not to shame his father, and that he should not come back without the slave's blood on his body and his weapon. Songil wonders if the boy can do it, but Mangubat says that he had better do it, he must do it, so that he can help Mangubat in his quest for the child.

Bagani, after a short chase, catches up easily to the slave but feels sorry for him and lets him escape.

Amaya finally wakes up and screams to see the snake crawling on the rock towards her. Bagani hears her [OMO!] and runs to find her. He strikes at the snake but misses [whew] and the two children get acquainted. They ask each other who they are and what they are doing in the forest. Amaya learns he is the son of Rajah Mangubat, her father's overlord, and bows to him, but he tells her to stop: he is not worthy of her obeisance for he has just shamed his father by letting the slave go and now he has to return with a clean weapon. Then he sees Badu.

Bagani thinks fast, makes a cut in the dead slave's body, and smears the blood over his weapon and his chest while Amaya watches. He tells her that he knows it is not honorable-- he's cheating, but he could not bear to kill the slave that he had been told to hunt. He tells her that she should leave, but she says she cannot because she cannot touch the ground. He then realizes that she is a binukot, and she tells him who her father is. He says that since he saved her from the snake [Amaya insists that the snake bit Badu and saved her, but he insists that he saved her from being bitten by the snake] she should do him a favor and not tell anyone that he cheated on his father's test. Fellow k-drama lovers, I can't believe I'm saying this-- he offers her a piggyback ride to help her get back home. Both children are just. so. cute.

Meanwhile, Lamitan and Mantal supervise the removal of the dead bodies of the guards and the cleanup of the bukot. Binayaan cries, worried about Amaya, only to be shushed by both her mother and her sister who tell her that she should not waste her tears on the daughter of a slave. Mantal suspects that her sister had a hand in Amaya's kidnapping. Lamitan doesn't admit it, but she gloats that her husband will never see Amaya again.

Bugna and Awi and some warriors head into the forest to look for Amaya.

Songil remarks that the sun is already overhead, but Bagani has not returned. He worries that maybe he should go after the boy, but Mangubat vetoes this: his son does not need any help. Before they can argue, however, Bagani arrives with Amaya on his back! He transfers Amaya to the back of one of his father's men. Mangubat believes him when he says he succeeded in his task, because of the blood. When he learns that Amaya is Bugna's daughter, he takes her chin in his hand and asks who she is [OMO!].

Amaya tells him her name, and he says that her father is his ally. She tells him what happened to her, and he sends the warrior carrying her to bring her back to her father's village. Amaya thanks him prettily and says that he is good, and thanks Bagani as well. Father and son beam at each other.

Night has fallen, but Bugna and his men are still searching. Awi asks why they are searching the forest, as Badu may have escaped by sea, but Bugna says none of the boats are gone, which means Badu went inland. As they are about to proceed, they hear Amaya calling and see her coming towards them on the back of Mangubat's warrior. At first Bugna is suspicious of the man, but Amaya tells him he is Mangubat's man and that the rajah's son found her in the forest. Her father asks about Badu, and she blurts out that a snake saved her from the slave, a fact which everyone, including Mangubat's warrior, questions, because they have never heard of a snake saving a person before. Bugna quickly says that Baba [the chief of the gods, the supreme father] has saved her, and the warrior agrees. Father and daughter send their thanks with him as he returns to his rajah.

At the village, Lamitan is throwing a feast and is exhorting everyone to enjoy themselves, when Bugna arrives. He asks the reason for the feast; she asks him if there has to be a reason. He says that the feast is a good thing, though, especially as Amaya has been found and is safe. And Awi comes in carrying Amaya, much to Lamitan's dismay although she tries to hide it.


Well! Things are certainly moving! I thought they would drag out the kidnapping, but it gets resolved at once, and provides a way for Amaya and Bagani [and Amaya and Mangubat] to meet for the first time. Mangubat does not know that the child he is looking for was there literally in his grasp and he let her go. There is a foreshadowing there however, for Mangubat's warrior heard what she said about the snake. I think that Bugna allayed his suspicions, plus the fact that Bagani said he saved her before the snake could bite her, but that he will remember at a future date and will tell his rajah.

Also, how cute are Amaya and Bagani as children? I had the feeling, though, of watching a school play because they seemed to be reciting their lines, although the formal words really do feel a bit stilted. It's like listening to the original thees and thous of Shakespeare. The scene is very pretty though.

I'm really beginning to like Bagani. Not only does he think differently from his father and the other warriors, but he actually looks for a way to not comply with his father's orders and yet appear to have followed them. I'm excited to see how he is as an adult, and the fact that this is going to be played by Urian Best Actor Sid Lucero is something to really look forward to.

I still can't get a handle on the young Amaya, apart from that she's sweet and innocent --she even called Mangubat a good man. Ha! If only she knew!-- and that she misses her mother.

We also learn something new about the binukot -- that they are forbidden to set foot on the ground, although I'm guessing that's only until they marry, since both Bugna's and Mangubat's wives seem to be able to walk on the ground. This custom also serves to enable Amaya to meet Bagani and his father.

I felt sorry for Lamitan last episode because of her husband's harsh words, but this time she certainly deserves a set-down after what she did to Amaya.

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