Friday, June 10, 2011

Amaya - Ep. 9

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Okay, I'll stop now. On with the recap.

Last episode, Bayang read Bagani's palm because he wanted to know whom he will marry. She was disturbed by what she learned.

Acting on what Bayang told him, Bagani begins to look for the binukot she described... and the result is hilarious. Because he won't be able to see the girl in person, he won't know if she has white skin and a beautiful face, so he decides to go with the voice. The first datu he approaches is of course eager to marry his daughter off to Rajah Mangubat's heir, but Bagani has one condition: he must hear the girl sing for himself. The father praises his daughter's voice, but when she actually sings, it sounds more like a squalling cat, so Bagani and his attendants quickly make their excuses and run off.

Ahak refuses to take Amaya with her when she and her lover Kuling attend the feast on the neighboring island--if they get caught, she and Kuling could be put to death--but Amaya pleads with her. She has never been out of the bukot since she was little, and has forgotten how the outdoors looks like. She wants to see the ocean and the moon for herself. In the end, Ahak helps Amaya, with a veil on her hair, sneak out of the bukot that evening, aided mostly by the fact that the guards have fallen asleep, although there is a scary moment when Ahak's foot gets caught on the arm of a sleeping guard and Amaya helps to lift it off very slowly so as not to wake him.

Outside, Kuling's mouth drops open at Amaya's beauty and he eagerly asks Ahak who she is. He retreats, however, when he realizes that this is the binukot that Ahak serves, and objects that they will all get their heads cut off. In the end, however, Amaya persuades him, and Kuling has to carry her on his back so that she does not touch the ground.

Bagani and his men, meanwhile, are in their boats, headed for another island and another tribe. His attendants complain about the voice of the binukot they had heard, but figure it's a good thing that Bagani asked to hear it before making a decision, otherwise, he would've been suckered into marrying her.

Amaya and Ahak are now in a boat being paddled by Kuling, on their way to the other island. Amaya is delighted to see the ocean and the sky, and even tastes the seawater to know what it is like, to Ahak's horror. Kuling is still afraid and grumbles about going back, but Amaya says that they will not return until she has seen all that she wants to see.

As we may expect, both groups in the boats encounter each other in short order [as if the sea were that small]. Ahak tries to get Amaya to draw her veil over her face, but it is too late-- Bagani has seen her and stares, awestruck at Amaya's pale, beautiful face, framed by the dark veil.

"Am I dreaming, or has the moon come down so that I may gaze upon it up close?" he asks wonderingly, and calls out to Amaya, asking her name. However, at that same moment, Ahak has gotten impatient when Amaya doesn't hide her face, so she gets up and flings the veil over her mistress's face, causing Amaya to sputter and shout her name indignantly while fighting the veil. Bagani's men think that Amaya's name is Ahak, causing them to mutter that it is such an ugly name, but Bagani doesn't care if it is ugly. He continues to call out questions: where does she live? to what datu or rajah does she owe allegiance? At that moment, though, Kuling has had enough-- he turns the boat around and quickly paddles away. Bagani shouts at his men to go after them.

Unfortunately for Amaya, the meddlesome little tattletale Marikit has entered Amaya's bukot and found her missing. She immediately runs off to tell her father that Amaya has run away, sure that this will get her hated half-sister into trouble this time. While Bugna assembles his men to go after his wayward daughter, Lamitan tells Marikit that she wishes Amaya were gone for good. Marikit agrees, thinking that her father would then love her and Binayaan if Amaya were not there. [As if.]

Bagani shouts at his men to paddle faster, as if they were not already rowing with all their might. However, they had already been complaining of hunger earlier... and one of them upsets the boat in his haste. Everyone falls into the water. [Just... no words for this scene.]

Meanwhile, Amaya, Ahak and Kuling have returned to shore. Amaya pouts and tells her attendants that she is annoyed with them for turning back so soon. Ahak answers that if anything had happened to her, if for example those men had taken her away, she and Kuling would be punished. Soon enough, an angry Datu Bugna finds them and is about to order that they be punished, but Amaya, who had been left in the boat [because, again, she can't step on the ground], speaks up. She takes responsibility for everything, telling her father that it was her fault for being tired of the bukot and wanting to see the outdoors. When she begins to cry, Bugna hastily forgives everybody because he can't bear to see Amaya crying [aw, the big ol' softie]. He lets Ahak and Kuling off with only a warning to never do it again, and Kuling, true to form, faints in relief. While Amaya is carried off on the back of one of Bugna's men, Ahak is left trying to revive Kuling. LOL.

Bagani and his men are left floating in the water, clinging to their overturned boats. He berates them for letting "the most beautiful star he had ever seen" slip away. They wonder where the other boat could have gone, but then everyone disagrees over the direction they thought Amaya and her attendants had taken.

Mantal, that great manipulator, tells Lamitan to drink a toast to Amaya's disappearance. They obviously have not learned anything from the events of Episode 6, for Bugna walks in while they are toasting and observes that his wife must've thought he would never see Amaya again, but here she is. As he conducts his daughter back to her bukot, Mantal casually observes to Lamitan that she had never noticed it before, but Amaya is very beautiful. Lamitan and Marikit stare at her.

Bugna berates his guards for sleeping on the job and letting Amaya escape. However, he also lets them off lightly, saying only that if they let his daughter escape again, he will sell them to other tribes as the lowest form of slaves. [Aw, ol' softie couldn't bear to punish anyone!]

Inside the bukot, Ahak thanks her mistress for saving her life. Amaya says no, she should thank Ahak for helping her to see the outside, especially as she was able to see that young man. She says that he made her nervous, not because of fear, but because of joy. Ahak observes that she must be in love, for that was how she herself felt when she first saw Kuling. Amaya agrees that yes, she must be in love, and Marikit enters just in time to hear this. She sneers that this must be why Amaya sneaked out: to find a lord [ginoo] to attract. She gets in Amaya's face and tells her that no lord would fall in love with someone like her who carries the blood of a slave.

Kabanata 8 - Ang Pagtataksil ni Dian Lamitan
[Chapter 8 - Dian Lamitan's Betrayal]

Ahak finds Amaya crying at Marikit's words. Amaya asks her if Marikit's words were true: that no one would love her because she is the daughter of a slave. Ahak assures her that her blood does not matter to a prince who truly loves her [which just means that otherwise it would matter]. Amaya thus says that she will pray that he would truly love her.

Bagani and his men finally arrive home, and are met and welcomed by Bayang. Bagani tells her that he has found the binukot he was seeking, prompting his attendant to ask how he would know she was a binukot. Bagani answers that her skin was pale, which meant that she had never been touched by the sun, and that her attendant had called her "ba'i" which is a binukot's title. He feels that he must be in love with her. But how would he find her? his attendant asks. Bagani: "I will look for her everywhere until I find her."

Meanwhile, Lamitan storms the bukot. The guards try to stop her, saying that only the datu is allowed inside and that her daughters would come down to see her. She answers that she is not looking for her daughters, and pushes angrily past them. She goes right to Amaya's bukot and tells the girl that although she is beautiful, all that Lamitan can see in her is the face of her mother Dal'lang, who took Bugna away from Lamitan. She then slaps, claws, and tears at Amaya.


Amaya here appears to be a willful girl curious about the world outside her bukot. It speaks much about Bugna's love that he indulges his daughter in this-- although he cannot allow her to go out, he chooses not to punish her when she returns. I guess he understands Amaya's frustration, and that she did intend to return once her curiousity was satisfied. On another hand, he seems to be compensating for Amaya's lack of a mother-- he easily forgives her when she cries.

I admit, I'd heard Bagani's line about the moon in the preview [who hadn't?], and was watching for it, as it is probably already one of the most-quoted lines from this drama. Bagani reminds me of the young Richard the Lionheart, learning to play a musical instrument and singing-- will he also be a warrior like Richard? He will need to, if he is to measure up to Amaya later.

Every time Mantal opens her mouth I get scared, wondering which direction she will push Lamitan next. Judging from the title of this "chapter", I think my guess is going to come true-- Lamitan will engineer her husband's destruction, just for spite. Uh, I wonder if she believes she won't go down with him-- she's his wife and part of his tribe, after all. And please, GMA-7, would you make your preview of the next episode a teaser, not a spoiler? It kinda takes the fun out of it if you know what will happen next.

I love the bit players here-- Bagani's attendants, and Ahak and Kuling. They're hilarious, especially Kuling, who is this big gorgeous hunk [hello, Dion Ignacio] but has this role-reversal with Ahak-- she makes the decisions and rescues him and he gets scared and faints. I hope to see more of them later and not just in these early episodes. Let them be a part of Amaya and Bagani's life and character development until the end, like Jumong's men, or Juk Bang and Godo in Queen Seon Deok. Although with all that hilarity, I remember we have a belief that if you laugh a lot today, you will soon be crying.

Anticipating / dreading the next episode now, with handkerchiefs on standby.

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