It has been said that the best teleseryes are those featuring characters who are transformed by their circumstances—in the sense that viewers can trace their journeys from beginning to end and see how they evolved. Ergo, any writer worth their salt will put the characters of the teleserye they’re working on to the test, because only then will those characters change and grow. It doesn’t matter if they change for the better or for the worse. What matters is they change, period, because change makes good television.
The main characters of Ngayon at Kailanman have changed in many ways since the show premiered last August 20, 2018, which is why many became hooked on the star-crossed love story of Eva Mapendo (Julia Barretto) and Inno Cortes (Joshua Garcia). While Ngayon at Kailanman is on its finale week, those who have watched it already know that the characters played by Julia and Joshua will end up in a different place than they started out in. And so will their co-stars’ characters, for that matter.
On that note, let’s examine how Eva, Inno, Oliver (Jameson Blake) Rebecca (Iza Calzado), Roxanne (Elisse Joson) and Stella (Alice Dixson) have changed over the course of the show’s run.
Stella’s transformation is a classic example of the reversal of fortunes trope. When the show begins, Stella is portrayed as the typical teleserye antagonist—beautiful, cunning and rich. She does whatever she believes is necessary to get what she wants, even if she has to ruin other people’s lives in the process.
Stella masterminded the murders of Rodrigo Cortes (TJ Trinidad) and his family to make way for her husband Hernan (Christian Vazquez) to inherit the Cortes fortune. After her henchmen successfully execute her plan, she’s able to live a comfortable life, like she always wanted. But everything begins to unravel when Eva crosses paths with Oliver and then with Inno. Eventually, Stella discovers that Eva is Rodrigo’s daughter and sets out to keep Eva from finding out too, no matter the cost.
She tries to get rid of Eva again and again, but fails each time. Her downfall is caused by Rebecca, who successfully has her imprisoned for inheritance fraud. At that point, Stella loses everything, including all the wealth she accumulated as a result of her schemes—completing her own transformation from rich bitch to, well, poor bitch.
Stella pretends to be a model inmate the whole time she’s in prison, and is freed after her father secures a presidential pardon for her. But although she claims to have changed, she’s still up to her old tricks as of this writing.
Roxanne was a late addition to the show. She was introduced as someone who was fixated on Inno. She tried her best to get between him and Eva, to no avail. Eventually viewers learned that she had been in cahoots with Stella, who hired her to pretend that she was Rebecca’s daughter. One netizen described her as “isang babaeng palaban na hindi titigil hanggang hindi niya nakukuha ang gusto niya”—which in this case was Inno’s love.
Eventually Roxanne changed her ways. Not only did she come clean to Rebecca about her deception, she was also big enough to let Inno go. When Eva left for Chicago with the rest of the Mapendo family, Roxanne was there to help Inno put the pieces of his broken heart back together. But when Eva returned to the Philippines to do some work with Inno, she realized that they never stopped loving each other. As much as it pained her to do so, Roxanne let Inno go.
Back in the day, she wouldn’t have done something as nice as that. She would’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure she wouldn’t lose Inno to Eva again. But things change. Despite the fact that she was introduced later than the others, Roxanne got a redemption arc too, which endeared her to viewers, despite her initial status as an antagonist to Eva.
When we first met Rebecca, she was just a simple farm girl who was very much in love with Rodrigo Cortes (TJ Trinidad). But when the latter was murdered soon after the former gave birth to their daughter, Rebecca changed. In the beginning, she was a mild-mannered young woman. After Rodrigo’s death, and after she survived an attempt on her own life, she became fiercer and stronger. Indeed, the next time viewers laid eyes on her—when she found work on the farm next to the one Hernan (Christian Vazquez) moved into after leaving his family—there was a steely glint in Rebecca’s eyes that hadn’t been there before. That look was proof that she was determined to get revenge on the Cortes family for everything they put her through. Rebecca’s quest for vengeance was a major driving force behind her transformation.
Oliver is probably the one who has changed the most. In the beginning, the elder Cortes brother was portrayed as a happy-go-lucky lad who spent most of his time living large at parties or in the arms of a beautiful girl. Oliver is as flighty and irresponsible as his younger brother Inno is hardworking and dependable. Still, the two enjoyed a close relationship growing up—something that started to change the moment Eva came into their lives. At one point, Oliver found himself competing with his brother for Eva’s affections.
After the Cortes family lost everything as a result of Stella’s evil plot, Oliver lands a job as an events manager and works very hard to pick himself back up. He tracks Eva down and they keep in touch, which leads to them sparking up a relationship. Unfortunately, things between them end when Inno reenters the picture and works with Eva on a project upon her return to the Philippines.
Stella takes that as an opportunity to turn Oliver against Inno and tells him that his younger brother is responsible for all the misfortunes that befell the Cortes family. In so doing, Stella reveals to him that Inno isn’t actually his brother. As of this writing, the Cortes brothers remain at odds, which is the opposite of how they were at the series’ start.
When viewers first met Inno, he was very serious and straitlaced. Back in the day, Stella constantly berated him for every little thing, so Inno made up his mind to be “perfect,” believing that his mother would treat him better if he was a model son. Unbeknownst to Inno, Stella’s animosity towards him was caused by the fact that she isn’t really his mother (he’s Hernan’s son with another woman), so no matter what he does, he’ll never really earn her affection.
It was only when he met Eva and things began to heat up between them that he learned how to cut loose. Their relationship blossoms until Stella’s schemes are exposed, and the Cortes family loses everything as a result. When Eva and the Mapendos migrate to America to escape the wrath of Stella’s political family, Inno is left brokenhearted and a shell of the man he once was.
Inno becomes a glass blower and partners with Roxanne, who once tried to get between him and Eva. The fact that he deigned to work with her is an indication of how far he has fallen, so to speak, because the old Inno would never have put himself in Roxanne’s path so willingly. But since Inno and his family experienced a reversal of fortunes, he had no choice. Speaking of Inno and his family, perhaps one of the biggest changes that occurred in his life is that at this point, he’s estranged from his brother. As longtime viewers of the show will know, time was Inno used to be very protective of Oliver.
Aside from work, Inno is busy caring for his grandmother Carmen (Rosemarie Gil). His father’s death hit him hard and although he blames Stella for it, he hasn’t turned his back on her—proving that even if he has changed a lot, he’s still a good son. Also, proving that the more things change, the more they stay the same, Inno and Eva eventually found their way back to each other despite the many challenges in their path.
Eva Mapendo also changed a lot over the course of Ngayon at Kailanman. After two attempts on her life, Eva was found drifting in a boat by Abel Dimaguiba (Dominic Ochoa) and Rosa Mapendo (Rio Locsin).
Abel and Rosa rescue Eva and give her a loving home, but the young girl was so traumatized by the murders of her first adoptive family that she grows up remembering nothing of her early years. She doesn’t even remember that people wanted to kill her or why. Nevertheless, she fits into the Mapendo family like she had been part of it all along. She even manages to help Adessa (Ina Raymundo) Abel’s mentally ill wife, recover from the depressive episode she fell into after losing her own daughter.
As the years went by, Eva blossomed into a beautiful, hardworking, loving young woman determined to give her adoptive family a better life. She designs and sells her own jewelry, which is the reason why she, Inno and Oliver end up crossing paths. Eventually, the accessories Eva makes become popular, which leads to more changes in her life.
But perhaps the most drastic change occurred after Rebecca was able to prove that Eva is her long-lost biological daughter, Angela. She eventually assumes her rightful place as the true heir of the Cortes family fortune, and despite the obstacles fate continues to plant in their path, rekindles her relationship with Inno toward the series’ end.
So much has happened to Eva, Inno, Rebecca, Roxanne and Oliver in the months since the show began airing—and more changes are set to rock their world as Ngayon at Kailanman races to its much-awaited conclusion this Friday.