Thursday, June 9, 2011

Amaya - Ep. 8

Last episode, we saw the young binukots and warriors grow up, and Dal'lang's return.

In the bukot, the young binukot practice their skills. Binayaan plays an instrument while Marikit dances. The latter gets angry because Amaya and Ahak, off to one side, are having a low-voiced conversation while winding some ribbons. Binayaan tries to placate her but she leaves.

On the riverbank, Datu Bugna asks how it has come about that Dal'lang is alive. She recounts what happened to her, and how she learned to survive alone on the island until the day she found a capsized boat, one that she could use to return and kill Bugna and Lamitan for what they had done to her. He asks why she wants to kill him, and she answers, because of what he put her through for many years, taking Amaya away from her [notice that she does not mention allowing his wife to have her killed]. Bugna tells her that Amaya has grown up well; that she is a beautiful young binukot who has learned many skills. Dal'lang demands to meet her child and for Amaya to know that she is her mother. However, Bugna refuses, telling her that Lamitan cannot know that she is alive, and therefore she should go away. She refuses to go without seeing Amaya. He again tells her to leave, and turns and walks away himself. She shouts after him that he is cruel-- he says, without looking back, that she should never have returned. He leaves her there, on her knees and weeping.

Meanwhile, Rajah Mangubat and Bagani, followed by their retinue, take a walk along the beach. Mangubat says that instead of practicing all that singing, Bagani should be thinking of looking for a wife among the binukot daughters of the many datus who are allied to them or under their rule. Bagani protests, saying that he is not yet thinking of getting married, but once again his father overrides him and gives him an ultimatum: he must find a bride before two full moons have passed, or Mangubat will choose a wife for him.

Agang looks for Dal'lang inside the house. Apparently, Dal'lang had gone to see her the moment she returned, and Agang had given her food and clothing and told her to bathe. But now she can't find her friend.

In her bukot, Amaya sings a sad song about looking for her mother. Dal'lang, who is outside sneaking up to the bukot, hears her voice. She listens, sure that this is her daughter's voice. Amaya ends her song with a line asking if her mother had forgotten her, and Dal'lang, although knowing that she cannot hear it, tells Amaya that she never forgot her for Amaya is her life and her breath.

Dal'lang returns to Agang's house, relieving the latter's anxiety. Agang scolds her when she finds out Dal'lang had gone to see the datu, but the latter only answers that she had to see her child. Agang points out that she can't possibly see Amaya for she is hidden in the bukot, but Dal'lang tells her about the voice she heard. Agang asks how she could be sure that it was Amaya's voice-- her daughter is not the only binukot and they are all trained to sing-- but Dal'lang insists that her heart knew it was Amaya's voice and therefore she is happy.

Bugna tells Awi of Dal'lang's return. He didn't show it, but he was very happy to see her and to know that she is alive after having given her up for dead all those years. However, he won't tell Amaya. It would only confuse her and disrupt her training -- she might want to be with her mother all the time after a long separation. Also, he fears for Dal'lang's safety, since Lamitan had tried to get rid of her before.

Lamitan comes to the bukot and gives Marikit a pair of earrings. Marikit is feeling forlorn and thus asks her mother if she can sleep in her bed at the house that night. Lamitan consents. At that moment, Binayaan and Amaya arrive, and Binayaan lights up at the sight of her mother and hugs her. Lamitan, however, does not return the hug and acts cold and passive. She then goes off with Marikit. A teary-eyed Binayaan asks why her mother doesn't love her. Amaya reassures her, adding that at least she still has a mother who is still alive.

Bagani is being dressed by his attendants, who compliment him, saying that he would surely win the heart of the binukot he chooses to woo. They speculate about who he would marry and Bagani says, how would he know who to choose, since he cannot see her in person until after the wedding. One of his attendants says yes, what if, for instance, she turns out to be ugly? At that moment, Bayang comes in and says that she can help. She reminds him that she was once an alabay, a priestess in training, and could tell the future by looking at the lines in a person's hand. Bagani thus asks her to read his palm.

Inside her bukot, Amaya practices singing [again, in Hiligaynon]. She asks her teacher why most of the songs are about datus and binukots. Her teacher answers that that is what most people like to hear -- everyone loves a love story. Amaya wonders if there is someone meant for her. Her teacher says that there is, and that someday, if she will accept him, he will come for her and set her free from her bukot.

Bayang reads Bagani's palm, and describes to him the images that flash through her mind. The binukot meant for him has smooth, white skin that had never been touched by the sun. She has a beautiful voice and loves to sing-- Bagani is pleased at this, for he loves music. He asks if she is beautiful-- she says she has a perfect face and is the most beautiful binukot of all. But she suddenly drops his hand, and he asks why. What more has she seen? She says she has seen nothing else. The attendants speculate that perhaps this binukot has a fault after all-- squinty eyes, maybe? Bayang says, no, that was not what she saw. Bagani asks what she saw and she looks at him fearfully and silently, for the image that had flashed through her mind was of Amaya, holding a snake.

Bayang insists that she saw nothing else, other than what she had already told them. Bagani asks where he can find this binukot, and she says she doesn't know. The attendants grumble that she was only putting them on, but Bagani says kindly that it doesn't matter-- he will find the one that she described to him.

We next see a young man stealing up to the bukot, looking for something, only to be afraid of a snake crossing his path. He is rescued by Ahak, who has just come out of the bukot on an errand to buy thread. The young man is her suitor, and after some banter he persuades Ahak to come with him to attend a feast on another island the next night.

Bayang wonders if the woman she saw was the one with the snake-twin that her mentor, the old chief priestess had prophesied.

Amaya, who had been asleep, sits up suddenly, startling Ahak, who asks what is the matter. Amaya says that she dreamed of a snake, but it did not bite her. Ahak asks for permission to go to the feast the next night. Amaya says she will grant her permission on one condition-- Ahak will help her to sneak out of the bukot.



I suppose it would be unfair for me to compare the pacing with that of a K-drama, if only because K-dramas air only twice a week and have as little as 16 episodes (Queen Seon Deok had 62). Amaya airs daily and with a shorter time slot, so some stuff might seem to drag a bit. Plus, some scenes are then followed by scenes where the characters tell other characters what they did in the preceding scene, which has me thinking yes, yes, we know that already, what's next.

The comic relief has emerged, though, heralded last episode with that "I would've kissed him" line. Bagani's attendants joke around with him, showing that they are not afraid of him as other people are afraid of his father. Ahak and her rather clumsy lover also provide some laughs.

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