Manuel can’t forgive Magnolia and Magnolia, though pained, leaves. The children are angry with her, especially Mercedes and Guillermo.
Magnolia’s infidelity attracts unkind comments from the townspeople and Guillermo stabs a man and lands in jail because of this. Mercedes has to take on the role of the eldest in the family, a role that she assumes with all her heart.
Manuel eventually blames himself for everything that’s happened. He decides to move to Manila so he can become the man Magnolia wanted him to be, a man who dreams of a better life for his family. They move to a tenement house and they meet the kind family of Mang Oscar. Mercedes also meets his charming son named Clavio.
Manuel gets a dishwashing and janitorial job despite his back pains. Mercedes helps her father by taking on jobs such as washing cars. At times, she watches people dancing and she dances with Clavio, mimicking their moves.
One night, Manuel suddenly feels excruciating pain and dies. And just like that, Mercedes is now left alone to fend for her siblings, with only Clavio and his family helping them.
Mercedes grows up still doing odd jobs, which includes becoming a mime in the piazza. On such a day, a handsome man stops in front of her and asks for directions. Mercedes can’t say anything and she just ogles him. Who is this handsome man that got Mercedes’ attention?
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