After seven years, the challenging and momentous journey of our mighty primetime hero Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) has finally reached its end on Friday, August 12.
But before we got to witness the bittersweet conclusion of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano in the finale episode dubbed “#FPJAP7MissionAccomplished”, we’re all well-aware that Cardo and The Task Force Agila went through a lot as they continuously fought against the evil forces that aim to put the peace and freedom of the country in danger.
The intense encounters between Lily Ann Cortez’s (Lorna Tolentino) troop and Task Force Agila cost Lolita (Rosanna Roces), Albert De Vela (Geoff Eigenmann), and Armando (John Estrada) their lives. Lily, on the other hand, sustained multiple gunshot after she held President Oscar Hidalgo (Rowell Santiago) as hostage while she was being arrested.
After the success of their first mission, Pres. Oscar allowed Task Force Agila to relax and take their well-deserved rest that would help them recharge and prepare for their biggest fight against Renato “Buwitre” Hipolito (John Arcilla) and his horde.
But little they did know that while they were having a good time, Renato and his new ally Lucio Santanar (Raymond Bagatsing), leader of the extremist group Hukbo ng Malayang Bansa already abducted five of the most important people in the country – the Roman Catholic church’s cardinal, the chief justice, the governor of the Bangko Nasyonal ng Pilipinas, the popular broadcast journalist who used to be a critic of Renato when he was still the presidential adviser, and the people’s top favorite senator. They did it not just to warn those who would dare oppose or fight against them, but to easily take the government and Task Force Agila into their hands.
Upon knowing this the following day, Task Force Agila didn’t waste time in plotting on how to completely finish off the remaining threat to the country’s peace and freedom. They decided to divide their group into three teams – Alpha Team led by P/Maj. Victor Basco (Raymart Santiago), Bravo Team headed by Cardo, and Charlie Team commanded by President Hidalgo. Aurora tried to stop Pres. Oscar, but he was firm on not taking their biggest fight sitting down.
As we kept our hopes up that FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano was going to deliver an absolute happy ending to the viewers after everything that happened in the past seven years, we found ourselves wrong in the last three episodes as it turned out to be bittersweet.
In the third to last episode titled “Huling Misyon,” we witnessed how Renato’s mob was able to hold Alpha Team – comprised by Victor, Roxanne, James Cordero (Jay Gonzaga), Jerome Girona, Jr. (John Prats), Rigor Soriano (Marc Solis), Martial "Butete" Matero (Bryan “Smugglaz” Lao), and Dante "Bulate" Villafuerte (Lordivino “Bassilyo” Ignacio) – as captives, as they attempted to infiltrate their hideout. Since they were outnumbered, they had no choice but to surrender and watch the first batch of helpless victims, who they were able to emancipate, killed.
We were able to witness how they were ruthlessly tortured, with Roxanne being raped by Lucio and Eduardo (Roy Vinzon) in front of her beau Victor. Infuriated, Victor mustered the strength to hit Eduardo on the head with the huge rock that led to the latter’s demise. Unfortunately, Renato caught him and shoot him down, then Roxanne.
In the penultimate episode dubbed “Huling Lipad”, Cardo and the Bravo Team decided to move as they failed to get any response from the Alpha Team. This once again ensued to their riveting clash with Renato and Lucio’s henchmen, which was met with a heartbreaking end after they witnessed the demise of James, Butete, and Bulate. Lucio’s most trusted righthand Kidlat (Karl Medina) also died in that bloody encounter.
Despite what just happened, they still went on with the mission and were more eager to finish off the remaining enemies. Cardo was the first one to get inside the hideout and discovered the lifeless and bloodied bodies of Roxanne and Victor, together with Eduardo.
He then came face-to-face with Lucio and had a gripping fisticuff with him. The latter tried to kill him by detonating the bombs he hid behind the walls, but to no avail, as Cardo was able to escape once again and shot Lucio with his Glock. After everything that he and his gang did, especially after confessing that he was the one who made the bomb in the mall bombing that killed his beloved son Ricky Boy, Cardo beheaded Lucio with his kris or dagger.
We were once again shocked after Ramil and Patrick accidentally killed their colleagues Jerome and Rigor, respectively, who they mistook as among the goons since they were dressed like them while their faces were covered, their legs were tied, and their hands were taped to the firearms they were holding.
As the Bravo Team were grieving over the deaths of their comrades, Renato and his remaining horde attacked, which ensued to a nail-biting gunfight between them. Since they were still outnumbered despite the arrival of the Charlie Team, President Hidalgo ordered them to retreat.
However, Brigadier General Diana Olegario (Angel Aquino) had a different plan, so he told Cardo to run away with President Hidalgo in order to save him. He reminded him to make sure not to look back once they escape, as if hinting on what’s going to happen to her and the last line of Task Force Agila. Even though they already knew their fate, they still chose to sacrifice and fight for the country until their very last breaths. Gen. Olegario, Billy Guzman (John Medina), and Ramil, Patrick, and Greco (Sancho delas Alas) were shot multiple times that killed them on the spot.
As Renato and his goons were still chasing them, Cardo tried to distract them as he told Pres. Hidalgo to escape. Cardo may have sustained gunshot wounds in different parts of his body and was already getting weary as he fought them singlehandedly, yet he still mustered the strength to gun down several goons.
We were surely brought to the edge of our seats as we watched Cardo got shot by Renato and his men many times. Luckily, Pres. Hidalgo arrived and shot the remaining enemies, who weren’t able to anticipate his arrival in the scene since they were all surrounding the bloody body of Cardo.
As Pres. Hidalgo paid his last respects to Task Force Agila, including Lolo Delfin (Jaime Fabregas), we waited in bated breaths if Cardo was there, but none since he was alive and was recuperating in the hospital.
But our hearts broke along with Cardo upon hearing from Pres. Hidalgo that all his colleagues died. More so when he found out that Lola Flora (Susan Roces) was already gone as well, from his family who came to check on him. For the first time, we were able to see again Yolly (Malou Crisologo), Elmo (Marvin Yap), Wally (PJ Endrinal), and the five FPJAP kids - Simon Ezekiel Pineda (Onyok), Shantel Ngujo (Ligaya), James Sagarino (Paquito), Iyannah Joyce Sumalpong (Letlet), and Rhian Lorraine Ramos (Dang) - that we had not seen for a long time. As they visited her grave, he reminisced about his memorable moments with her. It served as the show’s tribute to the late veteran actress.
Cardo was awarded by Pres. Hidalgo with “Medalya ng Katapangan” and promoted him to Police Major. He declined when Pres. Hidalgo asked him to lead the new team of Task Force Agila. He decided to come full circle by going back to Botolan to be with his family and to serve at his hometown.
As he drove off to work in his mini jeep, Cardo looked back on the various battles he and his comrades went through and was still in disbelief that the country has finally attained peace and freedom. Now that he’s the only Agila left, he now believes that God probably has a good reason why He let him live – to protect and fight for the people who can’t do it for themselves and to be an image of hope and inspiration for the Filipinos that we can be heroes in our own special ways. Furthermore, he still hopes to meet someone who’s going to be his partner in the next missions he’s going to take on.
Meanwhile, Pres. Hidalgo and Aurora marked the beginning of their impeded forever by tying the knot. And as if struck of fate, Cardo found Mara, (Julia Montes) – who we assumed was already dead after being tortured and thrown to the sea by Armando’s henchmen – standing by the seashore. As soon as their eyes met, they just smiled and looked at each other, surely driving their avid shippers kilig. After all, it was still a sweet ending for Cardo.
We can all agree that the finale week of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano was truly stressful, thrilling, and bittersweet. In the last five episodes, we witnessed a slew of gruesome scenes. We found ourselves sad, mad, and shocked as we watched the poetic deaths of the members of Task Force Agila, who we had also learned to love, as well as when Cardo got shot multiple times.
The performances of each of the actors were totally impeccable and compelling, as they’re able to make us feel how their respective characters felt in particular scenes. We didn’t just see, but also felt the agony of Task Force Agila members when their lives were in danger, as well as moved by how they poured their hearts out during the last drinking session they before the big fight.
Coco also made us empathize with Cardo during that scene when he prayed as his life was already in danger after singlehandedly fighting against Renato and his henchmen, and when he found out about the deaths of his Task Force Agila comrades and his beloved Lola Flora.
On the other hand, their characters Renato and Lucio may be detestable, but John Arcilla and Raymond Bagatsing both astounded us with their effective acting chops that made us extremely love and hate them.
We also admire how well-thought each element of the exciting was – from the tragic and excruciating deaths of John Prats and Marc Solis’ characters Jerome and Rigor that truly shocked us, up to putting the exact birth and death dates of the late actress Susan Roces on tomb of her character Lola Flora.
But amidst the horrible and heartbreaking things that happened in the finale that ran for almost two hours, there were a few reasons to be happy about it – the grisly deaths of Renato and Lucio that they both deserve, Cardo being able to survive and be reunited with his family, peace and order being restored in the country, the wedding of Pres. Hidalgo and Aurora, and Cardo and Mara seeing each other again.
This only reminds us that after every battle or challenges that we go through in life, something beautiful or good is waiting for us in the end, we only have to trust ourselves and have faith in God. After all, evil will never triumph over good, right.
The characters were also able to prove that everyone of us can be heroes or be of great help or inspiration to the people around us in our own special ways. Just like Cardo, who, from being a simple barrio lad from the small town Botolan, went on to become the mightiest policeman that crooks have ever encountered in the well-loved narrative. Besides, it made us realize, too, that regardless of how far we go in life, we will always go back to our family.
As we were hoping to see Task Force Agila together until the very end, their deaths reminded us how difficult and important the sworn duty is of our soldiers in protecting us, their countrymen, as well as how hefty the price of peace and freedom could be, thus we really have to value and protect those.
Aside from being the longest running action drama in the Philippines, what makes the series definitely remarkable is the overwhelming amount of talent, passion, and hardwork we’d seen not just in its lead actor and director Coco Martin (a.k.a. Rodel Nacianceno), but in the other actors who became of it as well through the years. Regardless if they played a small or a big role, each one of them were able to inject a different color or twist in the life of Cardo.
Ultimately, what makes it extra phenomenal was how Dreamscape Entertainment was able to continue working on a huge teleserye like FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano amid the challenges that we have to go through in the recent years. So, kudos to everyone who worked behind the scenes as well in the past seven years!
Apparently, many anticipated the #FPJAPAngPambansangPagtatapos. Throughout the finale week, it incessantly broke its own record when it comes to viewership online. On its historic finale episode, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano was able to amass a record-breaking 536, 543 all-time high concurrent live viewers on Kapamilya Online Live just on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel.
Apart from that, the topics “Bagong Pilipinas”, “Onyok”, “Angel Aquino”, “Julia”, “Lola Flora”, “Mara”, “Mr. President”, “John Arcilla”, “Coco Martin”, and “Agila”, as well the finale episode’s hashtag #FPJAP7MissionAccomplished, made it to the top trending topics on Twitter even hours after the last episode was aired.
Here are some of the rave feedbacks from the netizens that we spotted:
You will be sorely missed Cardo and the whole FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano family! Thank your for bringing action, joy, and inspiration to many Filipinos here and abroad, in the past seven years!