I haven’t laughed so much (or eagerly anticipated) watching a drama since Adik Sa Yo (with Dennis Trillo and Jennica Garcia on GMA-7). I love this drama so much!
After the graduation ceremony, Kiko and Mikay run into the school yard looking for her parents, only to be met with the news that her dad was in an accident. They rush to the hospital, where Mikay learns that Dad had a heart attack.
King Anand’s advisor-assistant-minion, the one who keeps following him everywhere (Alquanna EDIT: His name is Subachi), tries to gloss over Behati’s words by saying that the people are just afraid for the stability of the kingdom– perhaps if His Majesty thought about having another child…? But the king says he can’t– he can’t love another woman after Isabel. The advisor reminds him that as king, he has a duty to pass on the crown to the next generation. The king assures him that someday he will choose a successor and make sure that he is worthy of the crown. About his hope that the princess will return– as a father, he says, he still hopes that the princess will return, but as a king, he needs to make a decision.
Dad wakes up to find medals around his neck and Mikay sleeping at his bedside. She wakes up to ask how he is– he says sorry for not making it to her graduation. She says it’s okay and shows him her medals. Outside, Bianca, followed by Dindi, arrives in her gown and full regalia, wanting to show Dad how she looked when she won the beauty pageant. She hears Dad give Mikay another award: Best Daughter. Ouch. He also calls Mikay the nicest and most good (in the sense of being good to others) sister, and praises her for being smart, saying she will go far as long as she does what’s right. She tells him about the raffle, saying she entered it for him, since the first prize is a brand new van.
Dad gets out of the hospital, and Mikay brings him breakfast in bed– she’s going to the school to see about her scholarship. Dad also wants to go to his boss to ask if he can go back to work because they need money, but Mikay tells him he has to rest, because they need their dad.
In Yangdon, the king practices archery with a fancy-looking bow. The men with him, including Jao, do this chant-dance carrying their bows, with the king looking on and laughing. Each time one of the men shoots and hits the target, they do the dance. The king commends Jao on his marksmanship.
Mikay encounters Bianca in the living room and asks her to look after Dad for a while, since she’s going out– Bianca is all “stay out for a while so I’ll look useful– people will say you’re the only one looking after Dad.” She walks around Mikay, accusing her of being too goody-goody and making their parents’ real kids look bad. Imagine, Dad said sorry to her for missing her graduation but didn’t say sorry to Bianca for missing her pageant– they both worked hard for those things, but Dad only saw Mikay! (Uh, considering that you keep entering pageants while your sister graduates high school only once in her life, Bianca…) Is it because the pageant is about “beauty” and thus “cheap” while Mikay earned a medal– or is it just because Mikay is Dad’s favorite? Mikay apologizes, but Bianca ends by taking her medals off of the cabinet (where they’d been hung, as is customary*) and throwing them across the room, saying that they aren’t fit to be ranked along with her’s and Dindi’s awards. Mikay says fine, she’s taking back her apology, and thanking Bianca for sharing Dad with her, because she knows she’s just sharing Dad, and she doesn’t want to take him away from them.
The king says that Jao reminds him of Kencho, who was a man of discipline and integrity. He asks what Jao plans to do with his life. Jao answers that he’s known since childhood that he was meant to serve Yangdon. He also asks if the king still hopes that his lost daughter would come back. The king says that someone once told him that hope is like flying a kite– even if it flies high, you won’t let go of the string; even if your hopes are as thin as that string, you won’t let them go. He believes that. “I will teach you,” he tells Jao. “I have plans for you.”
Kiko assures Mikay that she’s not as bad as Bianca makes her out to be– she’s not doing anything wrong, so she’s got nothing to cry about. She sniffles that she ought to be happy, because she’s lucky– not all orphans get adopted. “Yeah, and there are those who love you,” Kiko points out, grinning at her. In return she pinches his cheeks, saying that her best friend is so cute, and thanking him– then laying her head on his shoulder. Kiko looks uncomfortable for a moment, but then puts his arm around her.
A telegram arrives for Dad– Mikay opens it, and begins screaming. The raffle ticket she’d entered in Dad’s name had won second prize– a trip to Yangdon!
Dad goes to his boss, saying he needs a job– the man reminds him he ought to be resting, but says that if he learns of someone needing a driver, he’ll recommend him. Dad then goes home to be met by Mikay with the telegram– a trip to Yangdon for five days and four nights, all expenses paid. The two of them go to the office to claim the prize– the man they talk to tout Yangdon as a fairytale place come true. He then asks if Dad is taking Mikay with him– Mikay thinks Mom should go, but Dad says he wants her to go.
Bianca isn’t happy about the news, pooh-pooh-ing it as “just a raffle prize.” Mom isn’t happy about it either– what was Dad thinking? He’s sick, he’s still being treated, how could he go? Of course the doctor won’t allow it– and what if Dad gets sick there? She would’ve been happy if the prize were money, because they sure need that for all the expenses. Couldn’t they just convert the prize to money?
Jao tells his mom the king wants him to take part in some training– he’s not sure for what exactly– perhaps to train him for the drukpah, since he’d told the king he wanted to serve Yangdon. She tells him to rest early, then, since he’ll have a busy day tomorrow.
Dindi and Mikay clear the dinner table together– Dindi asks if this is the biggest prize Mikay has ever won. Mikay thinks the sack of rice she won during the fiesta was bigger, since they were able to use that. Dindi thinks it’s a shame they aren’t going to claim the prize after all. Mikay says it’s a pity they didn’t win the van, because that would’ve helped Dad a lot, and Dindi says there will be other raffles. They high-five on that. Ah, sisterhood.
Behati talks with a woman who commends her on her knowledge of herbs. Behati even shows her the oil, saying that if it is mixed with certain flowers, it can kill. The woman thinks Behati, as Kencho’s wife, should’ve replaced him in the drukpah. Behati: No thanks, and anyway the king looks like he wants Jao to replace his father– in fact, Jao is out training with him now. The woman muses that the king usually doesn’t do that for new members of the drukpah– maybe the rumors are true– the king is finally choosing a successor. Behati jumps to the conclusion that he’s chosen Jao. The woman says that he hasn’t informed the drukpah about it, so nothing’s official yet– but she’s thought of something. They’ve long been looking for a new wife for the king– maybe Behati would fit the post. Behati doesn’t say anything, but she looks pleased with the idea.
Bianca, Mom, and Dad have a sort of family meeting on finances, with Mikay listening as she washes the dishes. Mom gives Bianca instructions on buying Dad’s medicine. Bianca wonders if they should stop paying the dues for the paluwagan* (a sort of informal savings fund), but Mom says no, that’s for her education.
Jao arrives at the palace to see other young men his age gathered– among them is a confident-looking youth who nods at him. An attendant tells him to join them, and the king will be addressing them shortly. Just then the king arrives and tells them that he’s picked them, as the best and brightest of the youth of Yangdon, to be trained to serve the kingdom.
Mikay goes back to the company who did the raffle, to beg that the prize be converted to cash instead, because they need the money. The man says sorry, but it can’t be done– the flight and accomodations have already been booked for her and Dad. If they don’t go, the prize will be forfeited. If Dad can’t go, she can go as long as her parents consent. Besides, it’s an all-expenses-paid trip– she doesn’t have to have money of her own to be able to go. She’ll even get pocket money. Mikay perks up– pocket money?
The young men now undergo one-on-one interviews at the same time, each with his own interviewer. Jao and the confident-looking young man are sitting back to back, and their interviews are intercut. Asked what his strengths are, the other guy says he’s determined and disciplined– Jao says he graduated valedictorian at the Academy. The other guy was sent to school in India (uh, why India?). Jao respects elders; the other guy says even if he was educated abroad, he still loves Yangdon and came home because he wanted to serve it. Oh, and he’s also a good leader, and knows how to get along with people, and can also speak different languages; Jao essentially says the same thing, but the difference is in the delivery– the other guy holds his head high and speaks confidently, while Jao is more soft-spoken. During the language part, it becomes obvious that the guys are trying to outdo each other, mentioning how many languages they know. Jao one-ups his rival because he can also speak Filipino, and demonstrates, which makes the other guy look over his shoulder. Jao also looks back at him with a smile. Ha. Afterwards, both young men eye each other warily, then the other guy nods to Jao and walks past him.
Kiko and Mikay calculate the amount of pocket money– 500 US dollars is equal to over 20,000 pesos (which is a lot to a Filipino family when the highest minimum wage rate is a little over 8,500 pesos a month) , meaning she’ll have over 5,000 pesos pocket money every day of her stay. Since Yangdon money and Philippine money have nearly the same value, surely she won’t need a lot to be able to get by. Mikay muses that she could leave most of the money behind with Mom– breakfast is free at the hotel– maybe she could just pack lunch and dinner. She could also bring crackers and ramen… she yells happily that she will have a lot of money and can help at home, andlaunchesherselfatKiko