Jaclyn Jose’s unforgettable journey

In the second season of “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo,” Jaclyn Jose joined the ensemble cast as Chief Dolores Espinas, one of the characters who added extra punch in Tanggol (Coco Martin)’s life. Just in a recent episode leading up to the show’s second year, Chief Espinas was shown falling to Bong (Vandolph Quizon)’s bullet, putting her life in critical condition.

We yearn to see her back on the series as she has become quite an important piece in Tanggol’s journey and kept us hooked with her feisty one-liners and mesmerizing acting prowess, but, sadly, it’s now impossible. In a heartbreaking turn of events, Jaclyn passed away on the morning of Saturday, March 2nd, due to heart attack, confirmed by her daughter, Andi Eigenmann.

Her reverberating performance as Chief Espinas will now be part of her stellar oeuvre of work. As a tribute to her incomparable career and greatness as an actress, let’s take a look back at her character’s riveting journey and scenes shared with this generation’s Primetime King Coco Martin in “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo.”

Chief Espinas had an intimidating entrance in the series’ second instalment dubbed as “Bagong Yugto” as the maximum-security prison’s ‘lord’ who applied force and violence in disciplining the inmates. She had the voice and aura that could make anyone tremble.

We knew she would be pivotal in Tanggol’s new journey as an inmate, as his life depended solely on her decisions. One command from her, and he’d be dead. She initially punished Tanggol to test his boundaries, then turned him into her own ‘trustee’ or puppet assigned with kill orders by using his friends’ safety as lure.

Chief Espinas played mind games with the other characters, including Olga (Irma Adlawan), the ‘contact’ who placed a bounty on Tanggol’s head.

As the toughest in the correctional, she clashed with several enemies, including the Batang Divisoria group led by Bong (Vandolph Quizon), her former trustee whom she replaced with Tanggol after a failed mission, unaware that her tough-talking ‘iron fist’ leadership was seeding anger and vengeance in Bong’s mind.

She also ordered the killings of several influential people, including Congressman Sevilla (Jong Cuenco) and the Red Phoenix mafia, both of which she assigned to Tanggol and Bubbles (Ivana Alawi). In showbiz, the importance of consistently delivering top-notch performances cannot be overstated. Therefore, Jaclyn made sure to give her best, fearlessly diving into adrenaline-fueled sequences alongside Coco in the action-packed teleserye. There were moments that showcased her action prowess, notably when her team backed up Tanggol’s group in destroying the Red Phoenix mafia.

While eliciting terror inside the correctional, Chief Espinas remained committed to maintaining order and peace within her territory. Drawing versatility from her arsenal, Jaclyn was able to inject a subtle brand of comedy into some of her scenes through her amusing one-liners and organic rapport with his co-stars.  At times, her character also exhibited compassion towards the inmates, particularly towards Tanggol. When she was supposed to castigate him for having been missing for two days after he visited his family and Mokang (Lovi Poe) in secret, she notably turned soft upon seeing Tanggol’s grief due to Mokang’s passing.

For the inmates’ enjoyment, she organized a week of entertainment for everyone. However, what was intended as a fun Prison Week quickly spiraled into bloody chaos when Bong's group incited trouble and he shot the officers in cold blood, including Chief Espinas, who fought desperately for her life as she fell to the ground.

Her character was shown to have survived Bong’s bullets but is in critical condition, for which her minions prayed hard, knowing that only she could save them from hot water.

Much like in teleseryes, shocking plot twists can also happen in real life. But as we bid goodbye to this showbiz gem, we thank her for making our primetime viewing habit extra thrilling. Chief Espinas will forever be etched in our minds.