Tears indeed poured out in the last episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya, which was the third and final installment of its three-part “Tatlong Dekadang Pasasalamat” offering entitled “Scarlet Women”, aired last Saturday, December 10, as its stars – led by Kaila Estrada – figured in various intense and highly emotional scenes.
The intense, heart-rending finale
Losing her hope to go back to the Philippines and see her family again after “Papa” a.k.a. Casabes (Leo Rialp) refused to return her passport and set her free like her friends Janna (Trina Legaspi) and Ronalyn (Jacqui Leus), Abby (Kaila Estrada) just accepted her fate and told Iris (Karina Bautista) to go with it for another month anew.
Iris, of course, protested and infuriatingly insisted to Abby that it was already the right opportunity to confront Casabes since the government of Cyprus was already after him. As Abby was still hesitant, iris indignantly told her that she might only be afraid to face whatever was waiting for her in the Philippines and reminded her of how she advised them to be courageous during their first few days of working there, which ensued to a heated argument between them.
Despite Abby’s discouragement, Iris eagerly went to Casabes and angrily demanded him to give her back her passport. As he reminded her that it’s up to him who would leave or stay and that he would have her killed, Iris tearfully told him that she already died when he forced them to become sex workers, so she’s no longer afraid to die or of him. He exasperatedly heeded to her demand in the end.
As Iris happily went back to Abby, the latter glumly confessed that she’s actually afraid to see her family tear apart upon learning that her husband Mark (Akihiro Blanco) cheated on her, which she believed was also her fault. But Iris consoled her by saying that if his husband genuinely loved, he should have stayed and would not seek love from another woman even though she repeatedly pushed him away during their time apart.
Just when they thought that it was already over, another problem arose as Trina (Jenny Miller) was placed under police custody after one of her customers, who, unbeknown to her, was a police asset arrested her and told her that she’s not allowed to come out while the investigation wasn’t over yet. Not wanting to leave Trina behind, Abby opted to stay.
Not long after, Casabes allowed her to go home and she finally confronted the problem that had been waiting for her. While she was happy to see her kids, she was totally disappointed to see the situation of their house and got furious when Mark tried to justify his infidelity. This led to an altercation between them as she furiously told him what he could have done better instead of assuming that she already found someone else and getting into an illicit affair. She also reminded him of his promise to her that he would do everything to keep their family, but he wasn’t able to fulfill it and surrendered immediately instead. Thus, she decided to take their children with her and gave Mark a powerful slap that he truly deserved.
Mark tried to make amends with her but to no avail, as she couldn’t forget what he did while she was going through a series of traumatic situations in Cyprus. With nobody to talk to about what happened to her, it unfortunately took a toll on her well-being and her relationship with her parents and kids as she became a drunkard. Thus, she decided to leave their home and go to Manila to meet with Glenda (Meg Imperial) and find a job to support them while fixing herself. Aside from consoling her, Glenda also helped her reconnect with their other friends and find a job as a waitress at a restobar before flying to Taiwan for work.
Meanwhile, it was also revealed that Iris had a hard time getting over her traumatic experiences in Cyprus as it caused her nightmares and created an impact in her relationship with her beloved husband (Jomari Angeles). As much as she wanted to keep it from her, her husband, unbeknown to her, eventually found out about it. However, instead of letting her talk about it, he advised her to just leave it behind and reassured her how much he truly loved her – making it easier for her to move forward in life.
Abby then met James (Race Matias), the manager of the comedy club in front of their restobar, who persistently pursued her even though she shooed him away a number of times. He even helped her once from a group of nasty customers, which seemingly convinced her that he’s a nice guy. They eventually became in a relationship, yet Abby still found it difficult to ‘fess up about what happened to her. Iris also advised her not to tell him about it, fearing its negative repercussions, but Abby realized the need for her to be honest towards her loved ones in order for her to be finally at peace. She initially told James about it, but instead of running away from her, he accepted her wholeheartedly and even promised that they would face it together – which includes telling her parents about it.
She also had the chance to talk about it with her ex-husband Mark, in which they also had the opportunity to tell the things they hadn’t told one another ever since their fall out. He expressed his yearning to rekindle their marriage, but Abby was already happy with James. So, she just told her that she had already forgiven him and herself and that she would be glad if he would also move on and pursue his own happiness.
Amidst everything that happened to them in the past, the “Scarlet Women” all had happy endings.. Abby and James got pregnant with their own kid and took care of her two children with Mark, Janna fulfilled her dream of becoming an office secretary in Singapore, Glenda found her true love in an American man and they’ve been living together abroad, while Iris and her husband put up a business and gave birth to more offspring.
The episode commenced with Abby saying, “Sana magsilbing lakas at inspirasyon sa iba pang kababaihang dumadaan din sa madilim na kabanata ng kanilang buhay ang kuwento naming magkakaibigan. Dahil kung kailan tayo pinaka mahina, doon natin nahahanap ang totoong tapang at lakas sa ating mga sarili at maging sa iba.”
There’s actually a lot of life morals that can be taken from the three-part episode, but what arguably stood out the most was that it reminded us that we have different ways of coping from our heartbreaks, traumas, and other bad experiences. Moving on will never be linear as there would surely be times when those would go back to us over and over again, even though we tried to suppress them and force ourselves to forget them.
We should also not force ourselves to heal because it really takes time and requires our utmost courage for us to confront them and tell other people about them. Reaching out to our loved ones and seeking professional help may be difficult for some, especially to those who are not used to receiving help from anyone, but more often than not, that’s what we really need in order to attain the peace of mind and heart that we’re yearning for.
And just like what Abby said in the last part of the episode, it’s in the darkest moments of our lives when we will discover the unbelievable strength and bravery that we never thought we have in us, as well as the people who genuinely and unconditionally love and accept us no matter what.
Remarkable performances of the cast
The last episode entitled “Passport” featured various intense scenes that indeed showcased the compelling performance of its stars, especially its leads Kaila Estrada and Karina Bautista. They truly impressed the viewers with their acting prowess, as seen on the rave tweets some of them posted on Twitter that we collated below. They really showed us different facets of them that we haven’t probably seen yet in their previous portrayals, making many viewers convinced and even rally that both of them are deserving of acting awards.
The supporting ensemble, comprised of veteran character actors and promising younger generation of artists, also delivered to what were required from them in portraying their respective roles. Ana Abad Santos and Jonic Magno did great jobs in playing Abby’s dutiful parents, while Leo Rialp succeeded in making us hate his character Casabes, a.k.a. “Papa”.
Meanwhile, Meg Imperial and Jenny Miller also impressed us with their performances as Glenda and Trina in the last stretch of the special three-part episode. The same with young actors Akihiro Blanco, Jomari Angeles, and Race Matias, who all gave us awesome performances during their scenes opposite Kaila and Karina.
Aside from the actors, we should also not miss the great jobs did by the people behind this “Tatlong Dekadang Pasasalamat” offering, led by its brilliant writers Akeem del Rosario and Arah Jell Badayos, who bestowed us with a well-written script, and of Director Dado Lumibao who once again gave us another unforgettable masterpiece.
Lastly, not everyone may have noticed but the theme song utilized the original version sang by “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia La Torre, who died recently at the age of 89.
Apart from the comments on the amazing performances of the actors, some of the netizens also expressed how much they’re going to miss Maalaala Mo Kaya after 31 years of being on-air, as well as its host Charo Santos. Here are some of them:
Congratulations on the remarkable finale episode and the prolific three decade-run, MMK! You will sorely be missed.