Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Amaya - Ep. 7

Last episode, Bagani and Rajah Mangubat met Amaya for the first time.

After sending Amaya back to her father on the back of one of his men, Mangubat says that he is proud of Bagani for doing two good things [helping Amaya and "fulfilling" his task]. Bagani protests that he is not worthy [uh, why deceive your father then, if you didn't intend to stand by it?] but his father overrides him and declares that they will hold a feast in honor of his son and heir's first tattoo.

Meanwhile, Lamitan, who had been shocked to see Amaya alive when she thought the child had been killed, runs inside the house in agitation. Mantal follows her and tells her to calm herself or people will suspect what she had tried to do. Lamitan repeats that she detests Amaya.

Mangubat's chief priestess Hilway [Hiligaynon, "free"] (the one who channels the male diwata for her prophecies), officiates at the ceremony of Bagani's first tattoo while his proud parents look on.

Amaya tells her father that if she had been thinking clearly she should have brought the snake home and made it a pet; after all, it had saved her life. He tells her, however, that she cannot have a pet snake, for someone would suspect her, although he refuses to explain any further, saying only that it is for her own good.

Bagani endures the pain of his first tattoo, which is put on his legs. His father says the pattern is a symbol of Abba's power and is suitable for his heir. After the tattoo is done, his mother asks him why he looks sad, and he pretends to look happy for her sake.

Inside the bukot, Binayaan rushes to embrace Amaya as her half-sister enters. Marikit again tries to separate them and Binayaan asks her why she is so angry and hateful at their sister. Marikit resorts to hurting Binayaan, but finally gives up when the two younger girls defend each other from her. She leaves, and the two hug each other.

Bagani limps into the rajah's house, passing Bayang, who is scrubbing the floor. She congratulates him on his first tattoo, but he again says he should not be congratulated. He then tells her what he did. She tells him that he just listened to his heart. He should be proud of himself instead of ashamed, for his actions show that he respects life, unlike his father.

Bugna again discusses Amaya with Awi. The latter thinks that the snake was Amaya's twin, watching over her. He also muses on the irony of Bagani rescuing Amaya and of Mangubat actually meeting the little girl without knowing that this was the one he was so obsessed with finding. Bugna says that they will not say anything to anyone about these matters. Until when, Awi asks. As long as we can, Bugna answers. Until she grows up and is capable of defending herself.

Meanwhile, while walking through his village with his retinue, Mangubat comes upon a little slave girl playing with a snake. He learns that the child is an orphan and that she has been known to have the snake since childhood. He then draws his short sword and kills the child then and there. Asked why he did it, he answers that she was better off in Sulad with her parents.

Linangan asks her husband if it was true that he killed the child and he says yes. She thought he had already forgotten the prophecy, but he answers that he can never forget as long as he isn't sure whether he has already killed the child he is looking for.

Bugna goes on training Amaya, using rattan sticks, while her little slave girl looks on. During one such session, she ducks behind the wall hangings and runs, and he tells her to come out. If she does not come out on the count of three he will spank her. He counts one... two... three...

...and a long time has passed and Amaya emerges from behind the curtains, now a beautiful young woman [played by Marian Rivera].

She hesitantly approaches her father, who is studiously avoiding looking at her, and she asks if he is angry at her. Then she lays her head on his shoulder and asks if he loves her. He says that he loves her above anything else in the world... but she is so naughty! She protests that she still does not understand why she needs to train in weaponry... as a binukot, she is just expected to marry a warrior prince. He answers that she is no ordinary binukot and that she will find a use for her training someday. He tells her to go and rest since she must be tired already, and calls her slave attendant, Ahak, to attend to her. She bids him goodbye... and then tries to startle him by shouting and aiming her weapon at him. They both laugh and she says goodnight and calls him grumpy as he leaves, making him smile.

Binayaan [played by Glaiza de Castro] comes in while Ahak is washing her mistress's feet, and asks if Amaya wants to play. Both girls get out the game board, but Marikit [played by former SexBomb Girls leader Rochelle Pangilinan] comes in and tries to drag Binayaan out, slapping both her sisters in the scuffle. She again reminds Amaya that the latter is only a slave's daughter. After the two other binukots leave, Ahak [played by Sheena Halili] asks if her mistress indeed has slave blood and when Amaya answers yes, she comments that this must be why she is so nice, because she has blood "that has its feet on the ground" [dugo na nakaapak sa lupa].

Marikit again escapes her bukot to tell her mother that her father was still training Amaya. She suspects that there is something more to her sister that makes her so valuable to their father, more than just being Dal'lang's daughter.

Mangubat, now old, still trains for combat, for he still cannot forget the child of prophecy, although his wife tries to reassure him, saying that the child surely must be dead.

One day, Awi conducts a visitor into Bugna's presence. The visitor thrusts his spear into Bugna's staircase, indicating that he has come courting; he introduces himself as the warrior son of a datu from another tribe, who has come to seek a binukot to marry. Bugna tells him that he may choose between his two elder daughters, but he cannot have the youngest. The young man brashly asserts that if Bugna does not want to give up the youngest, it is the youngest that he must have, and Bugna tells him to go look for a wife in another tribe.

Lamitan has observed all that happened, and takes her husband to task: what is so special about Amaya that he won't marry her off? What secret is he hiding about the girl? He puts her off, of course, and she threatens to just find out another way.

Bagani, now a young man [played by Sid Lucero], practices singing a song-- it's a song about wooing a binukot-- while his mother fondly looks on.[Sid Lucero. Singing. Meeeeeeelt!! Hint hint, I want to hear Ayen sing too!] His father arrives unnoticed. His mother says that she loves to listen to his voice-- a young warrior who had been listening quips that had Bagani been a girl he'd have kissed her. Ha. They all laugh, and Mangubat interrupts, tells them to stop, and tells Bagani he wants to talk to him.

Bugna finds Amaya looking pensive and asks why she is sad. She asks again if her mother really loved her, and her tears fall. Her father reassures her that yes, her mother really did love her very much. Amaya thinks it's a pity she had never met her mother, never known what it was like to be loved by a mother. She asks again how her mother died, and again he says there is no need for her to know, for even if he told her it would not bring her mother back to life.

Amaya's questions triggered something in Bugna, however, and late at night he stands on the riverbank and reminisces about happier times with his beloved Dal'lang. Suddenly a veiled person sneaks up on him and attacks him with a knife, but he evades the blow and throws his attacker to the ground. The veil comes off, and at his look of shock Dal'lang says bitterly that at least he still remembers her.


Awwww, the cute kids have grown up. I wanted to see more of the young Amaya and Bagani, but... finally! We see Marian Rivera and Sid Lucero! Marian Rivera shines from her first scene on, playing this impish Daddy's girl who, as Ahak comments, is the only one who can make her father smile even when she dares to call him a grump. I am not particularly a Marian fan [so stone me] but each time I see her onscreen there is this certain charm that attracts you. When she was first cast for Marimar way back when, I was surprised [I still remember how much I loved Thalia in that role] because Marian was a virtual unknown as far as I was concerned, having only seen her in the more mature and dreary wife and mother roles and this would be a reversal for her as other actresses seem to be cast first as ingenues and glamorous women before taking on the wife/mom roles. Since Marimar, however, I've wondered why that charm had gone unnoticed before.

And Bagani gets his first tattoo! All the warriors are heavily tattooed, of course [the so-called Pintados], and now we see the significance of the tattoo as a rite of passage.

Another part of our old culture: the wooing scene. Since the binukots have now all grown up, it is time for them to be courted by young warriors looking for a wife. This is signified by the young warrior's act of thrusting a spear at the stairs before going up to greet the datu, with whom he must negotiate for the hand of one of his daughters-- all without seeing the girl. Wooing would thus be between the datu and the suitor, and not the suitor and the young woman [I suppose this is why Bugna hasn't warmed to Lamitan even if she is his wife]. Typically the suitor would want the most unattainable of the girls, because if he proves he is worthy of her, he would be greatly esteemed. Unfortunately for him, Bugna does not go with the usual script because he does have plans for his youngest daughter instead of just not wanting her to get married early.

In a nice little parallel, Bagani and Amaya both get accolades from their slaves for treating others humanely. Bagani is a pacifist-- we still don't get a specific handle on why, but I'm guessing it stems from when he saw his father kill the old chief priestess when he was a young boy. Amaya on the other hand treats her slaves nicely because she knows her own mother was a slave.

I giggled when I saw Mangubat and Bugna with white hairs, I couldn't help myself. I think Bugna looks more distinguished though.

It looks like Amaya's birth secret will soon be outed, and that Lamitan will have a hand in it. Although if she does find out, would she be so spiteful as to tell Mangubat and so dumb as to put her own tribe in danger? Because I'm sure hell is going to go down when the rajah finds out.

Mantal, Mantal, Mantal. She is such an eminence gris, playing Lamitan like a kudyapi. Almost all of her sister's acts have been due to her influence, and she never suggests things outright-- just gives Lamitan a nudge in the right direction, and Lamitan goes.

Finally, Dal'lang's back! I wondered where she was and what was happening to her... whether she would have many adventures before meeting up with her daughter again. But she was just shown as having returned, suddenly, after I don't know, around sixteen years --- took her that long to find the right island, maybe? On the other hand, she's more independent-- witness that she tried to take Bugna down with a knife. What have her travels done to her? I am sure Bugna will be happy to see her, but will she get to see Amaya? And will mom and daughter get to see each other? Will Dal'lang's return be the last straw for Lamitan?

Ah, I'm all excited for tonight's episode.

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