The word of ‘Bro’ says that whatever the enemy intended for evil, He can turn it around for good. Simon, despite his sins and through his heart-wrenching death, was used by Bro to save lives and cause the people of Hermoso to rebel against the real evil. As we bid farewell to Simon, magnificently played by award-winning veteran actor Nonie Buencamino, let us relive his journey via this Kapamilya Toplist from the inspirational series Huwag Kang Mangamba.
Before Deborah (Eula Valdes) was able to manipulate the whole population of Hermoso, former mayor Simon Advincula was the town’s ‘lord.’ He was revered as a man with a big heart for the poor. But behind closed doors, Simon was corrupt, selfish, and evil to the bones.
He connived with false prophet Deborah by asking for a cut from her wealth. Wise and cunning, he blackmailed sisters Deborah and Agatha (Mercedes Cabral) to expose all their crimes – from Fatima (Dimples Romana)’s murder to fake miracles and smuggling syndicate – in case they fail to give in to his demands.
In the earlier episodes, Simon was hated for tweaking the truth about Mira (Andrea Brillantes)’s hit-and-run accident involving his grandson Miguel (RK Bagatsing). The old man had easily debunked the claims of sole eyewitness Barang (Sylvia Sanchez) because of the latter’s mental disability. In a scene where Barang attacked him, Simon exploded and throttled the mad woman.
At home, Simon was just as cruel. He played favorites, exalting his political protégé Miguel while despising Rafa (Kyle Echarri). In the Advincula abode, the rule was to obey Simon’s orders, however immoral, to avoid conflict. But Rafa was different. He was defiant and incorruptible, making him grandpa’s biggest disappointment. There was a scene where Simon punished Rafa for making friends with Mira and Joy (Francine Diaz).
Soon his malevolence also messed up his relationship with Miguel. Overprotective and too concerned about public image, he loathed Miguel for being gay, resulting in torture and disownment. Simon also ordered Tomas (Dominic Ochoa) to kill Miguel’s lover, Diego (Rafael Rosell). It didn’t happen, thanks to Tomas’ change of heart.
Simon’s hostility toward the church intensified when Mira started to preach about Bro’s teachings. He even tried to stir conflict between Mira and Father Seb (Enchong Dee) by provoking the latter. He wanted Father Seb to feel insecure and choose Deborah instead. But who is he to dictate whom to believe in?
It turned out Simon doesn’t fear God. In a scene, he stood before Bro’s statue and spitted out mockery. He slammed His works, saying he can defeat Him. Whether Bro truly exists or not, Simon believes nothing can stop his plans in Hermoso.
Then again, God has surprising ways of changing a person’s heart. In Simon’s case, the sufferings brought by a brain disease and Miguel’s evilness convinced him to renew his faith in Bro. He saw how Deborah poisoned Miguel’s heart, so much that Miguel almost killed him. He realized that he’s never been a good guardian to Rafa. All these bitter truths opened Simon’s eyes.
In a scene, Simon went to church to ask for God’s mercy. He begged for another chance to make things right. And if he didn't have much time left due to his incurable sickness, Simon wanted himself to be used as God’s instrument.
He tried hard to make it up to all victims of his devilry. He started by working on Father Seb’s release from prison. It was followed by a heartwarming scene between Simon and Rafa. They talked about the latter’s feelings for Joy. Then, Simon turned a bit serious, telling Rafa that man’s biggest mistake is to think that he has all the time in the world. Simon said ‘sorry’ to Rafa for the first time. He expressed how much he loves him.
The greatest proof of Simon’s remorse was sacrificing his own life to save Pio (Seth Fedelin) from Deborah. He said he’ll do it for Tomas, who spent his entire life being loyal to their family. He kissed Tomas on the cheek and thanked him. Before Simon took Deborah’s bullet, he whispered Tomas his last wish, “Sabihin mo sa mga apo ko, mahal na mahal ko sila.”
Simon’s story is a reminder that it’s never too late to run back to Bro and that only His love and forgiveness can cleanse dark hearts. Follow Hermoso’s fight of faith in Huwag Kang Mangamba: The Healing Finale on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.