As a teleserye with an aggressive storyline, “Senior High” spotlights the many issues of a teenager’s life that are otherwise talked about in hushed voices. The eye-opening story manages to raise discussions about mental health, substance abuse, identity crisis, and more.
One specific story arc tackles the challenges faced by a young person who lives in a hellish home where he witnesses physical violence and verbal abuse. In the series, the Acosta family is deemed the ideal family, but behind closed doors, the matriarch Cecille (Ana Abad-Santos) hides her wounds and bruises caused by her narcissistic husband Governor William (Mon Confiado).
The saddest part is that nothing could make her see that she chose to love a monster. She doesn’t recognize the need to run and seek help. Instead, she opts to believe that she deserves all her husband’s punches and threats.
In this Kapamillya Toplist, Cecille’s scenes from Senior High that paint the hurtful realities of being a doormat wife.
Cecille has learned to adapt to her husband’s explosive anger, which means walking on eggshells all the time. When William broke Gino’s guitar, symbolic of destroying his son’s own dreams, Cecille automatically kept her voice low while begging him to stop. Her meddling in the chaos made her the subject of William’s wrath. In the aftermath of the cruelty, she asked Gino to be extra forgiving and patient with his father.
“My house, my rules,” warned William. And to keep the peace at home, Cecille has learned to become a ‘yes’ wife. She couldn’t disagree, let alone voice out what she thinks and feels. For her, it’s easier to be compliant than to stand up for herself. It’s easier to hide the dark markings on her arms with a jacket than to ask her husband to stop beating her.
“Okay,” was her scared response when William snarled at her for disagreeing when he ordered Gino to fix his relationship with Z (Daniela Stranner). “Yes, William” is her regular refrain, and her only response when he shatters a drinking glass and warns that things might get even more vicious next time.
To be safe, she’d tell her son to stop fighting back. That was when Gino thought of letting the world know of William’s evil acts. And that is, even if their silence only gives William enough power to repeatedly harm them, to the point of almost killing Gino in one scene. Whenever she tries to protect her son, she, herself, becomes her husband’s punching bag. That’s why she’d rather swallow all his verbal warnings.
Aside from “Okay, William” and “Yes, William,” she is expected to say, “Thank you, William” at all times, especially when he asks for it. In a scene, she quietly watched him fix Gino’s implication in Luna (Andrea Brillantes)’s case by asking Northford High’s former vice principal, Mr. Castrodes, to own up to Luna’s pregnancy in exchange for his release from prison.
There was a time when Cecille shook in fear after William found out that she helped Luna’s twin sister, Sky (Andrea Brillantes), settle her tuition fee balance through the alumni association. She wasn’t able to escape his explosion. She let him push her down and wrap his hands around her throat. She tried to explain herself, her voice cracking in fear, but only to succumb to the inevitable disaster.
She has grown immune to his violence and manipulation, so much so that she’s become blind to reality. In one scene, Gino called the police to report William’s recent assault which was so brutal that he thought his mother was going to die. However, Cecille stepped forward to protect her own abuser. With a black eye, a horse voice, a weak body, and all, she told the police officers that she had just accidentally fallen onto the floor while cleaning their chandelier. She’s more than willing to paint her concerned son as a liar than expose her husband’s crime. A conversation followed in where Cecille told Gino that he can leave if he wants because, as troubling as it is, she’s choosing to stay with William.
Gino left while Cecille remained as William’s blind follower. At a secret dinner, she told Gino that William wouldn’t have acted so cruel if only she had been careful. She said that her own mistakes startled him, as if saying that she deserved his punches. She wouldn’t change her mind, thinking that she’s only doing what’s best for her child and their family.
Gino replied that he will stop at nothing until his mother realizes the weight of William’s domestic violence.
Don’t miss an episode of Senior High weeknights on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, and TV5.