REVIEW: Kadenang Ginto’s “Battle of the Dragons” finale is an outstanding acting feast

Above the gripping action, shocking twists, explosive scenes and fiery confrontations, what stood out was the exceptional individual dramatic performances of the cast in this thrilling conclusion to Kadenang Ginto’s phenomenal 16-month run.

LOOK: Kadenang Ginto Battle Of The Dragons Finale Pictorial

True to its title, “Battle of the Dragons,” the key characters in the story were indeed raging, seething in anger as their burning conflict has come to a head. Hector (Joko Diaz) abducting Cassie (Francine Diaz) was just the start of hostilities, with Romina (Beauty Gonzalez) doing everything she can to save her daughter.

Reaching Hector’s hideout with Daniela (Dimples Romana) in tow, Romina took a blistering rampage with a gun in hand in trying to end the siege. She would engage Hector to an intense struggle, trying to wrest away the keys to a shipping container where Cassie is locked up. In the scuffle, Romina would be to train her gun onto Hector at close range and kill him instantly.

With Daniela nearby, and Marga (Andrea Brillantes) emerging to stop her mom’s hideous charade and plot to kill Romina after all, Romina finds out the dark truth. Daniela is now aiming her gun at her with the keys in hand.

But before Daniela tried to kill Romina, Marga took the keys from her mother’s grasp, then gave them to Romina as she stood in the way to prevent Daniela’s murderous fit. As Romina saved an unconscious Cassie from the container filled with poisonous gas, Daniela drove away in her SUV with Marga, as the authorities chased her.

A standoff happened by a bridge and Daniela would engage the cops to a gunfight. Despite pleas from Manang Ester (Susan Africa) to yield, the sight of Romina triggered her to continue the battle. Until policemen hit the SUV gas tank, and the vehicle blew up as Daniela stood on its side. She fell off the bridge, with everyone assuming she was killed in the blast.

A few months passed, and Marga and Cassie would celebrate a Roman-themed debut. While Marga felt sad about what happened to her mom, she still felt blissful that Romina and Cassie were still there to stand by her side during her special day. She would also ask for their forgiveness for all her wrongdoings in the past.

But as the ceremonies began, and Cassie and Marga were carried to the party venue in palanquin chairs like Roman princesses, a dark dragon-like fixture entered the scene carried by a separate group.

Then, emerging from the dragon fixture is Daniela, burned and bruised from their previous fiery confrontation, ready to seek reprisal, with a bomb detonator in hand, saying bombs have been placed all over the vicinity.

And as Romina told everyone to leave the area, including Cassie and Marga, both girls refused to leave, with Cassie rushing to Romina’s aid while Marga trying snatch the detonator away from Daniela.  But in the fracas, Daniela pressed the detonator, leaving the place in shambles.

All survived the blast, but Daniela was pinned against a wooden column. And as the roof was about to collapse, Romina still found it in her heart to still try to save Daniela. She tried to carry the wooden column with all her strength, but the roof gave in, and debris fell on both.

As Romina was recovering from her injuries, she saw her late mother Rosanna (Eula Valdez) in a dream, and she told her the value of forgiveness and how it sets the heart free from terrible burdens.

She would then encounter Daniela again in the most touching, unforgettable scene of the finale. This time, it was in the penitentiary where Daniela was paying for all the crimes she committed. Here, Daniela broke down and tearfully asked Romina for forgiveness for all her transgressions. She said she was ashamed of all her actions, and she wouldn’t even have the strength to show herself to her daughter Marga. But Romina didn’t deny Daniela the opportunity of making up with Marga, who was actually also in the correctional facility with Romina to finally meet her remorseful mother. Daniela wept uncontrollably as she saw Marga and hugged her tight. Cassie was also there to also make peace with their once bitter nemeses, and all embraced each other in the conciliatory act.

All would find peace in the end, as Cassie and Marga graduate high school with their hands clasped with special friends Kristoff (Kyle Echarri) and Mikoy (Seth Fedelin), and Romina looking forward to a brighter future as the Mondragon matriarch.

We are all astounded with how Beauty Gonzalez transformed from playing those girl next door characters to this gargantuan dramatic lead role in a drama. We see in this finale how her hard work truly paid off, as she turned out to be a true actress of note, and ready for further greatness in more acting projects in film and TV.

Joko Diaz was likewise marvelous as the scheming antagonist, whose natural portrayal of Hector infuriated many, yet still captured hearts with his meaningful depiction of a responsible single father. It’s a balance that made the character appreciated as well, thanks to Joko’s splendid performance.

Francine Diaz and Andrea Brillantes also further proved their immense promise as award-winning actresses, and their wide acclaim from the viewing public will certainly take them to the next level.

But nothing could top the immensity and depth of Dimples Romana’s craft as an actress. Her character’s plight was definitely heartbreaking and we felt her desolation and sadness in the end, thanks to the sincerity, credibility, and intensity of her acting. Her talent really drove Daniela to great heights—in the mouths of people, in social media posts, in critic reviews. For sure, this performance won’t be forgotten for a long time.

Netizens were likewise captivated.