for a hug. Again, he looks uneasy, although Mikay is too happy to notice.
Mikay tackles Mom Stella at her ukay-ukay* (second-hand clothes) store in the market– Mom says no, absolutely not, she’s too young to be going off to a foreign country all by herself, and besides, she’s got a lot of chores to do at home. They don’t know that Dad is there, listening to their conversation.
Behati tells Jao to be more alert– he’s not just in any ordinary training; this is a competition to see who will be the next king! He must be the one chosen by the king, no matter what.
Mikay puts a positive face on her disappointment, telling Dad that next time she’ll win a trip for five so all of them could go. Dad sees through her, however, saying he doesn’t know when something like this would happen again. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so she should go. He goes and gets his camera, explaining that he bought it with his first bonus from his first job, thinking to keep it for one of his children someday. He scrolls through the photos on the camera (uh, Dad, was that camera model available way back then, seeing that Mikay is already 16?) and shows Mikay his favorite photo– one of him and Mom with Bianca and Dindi. Mikay grumps that she’s not even in the picture, but Dad reminds her that she’s the one who took the photo, so it couldn’t have been taken without her. She should view the trip as a prize for being a good daughter. Mikay protests that she was really thinking they could use the money, but never mind, Mom won’t let her go. Dad promises to square it with Mom, saying that Mikay is going not for herself but for all of them, and she’s taking the camera so that she can take photos to bring home to everyone. I wonder who’s that on the stairs listening…
Mom gets mad at Dad for reversing her decision, but he stands firm on letting Mikay go– give the kid a break for a change. Mikay is listening, and comes in to hug Dad after Mom storms out. Dad doesn’t give up, though– he keeps trying to convince Mom to not be mad at him and just let Mikai go to Yangdon.
In Yangdon, Jao practices archery, and then a sort of competition starts, with the king overseeing them. Jao’s first shot goes wide, prompting that super-confident guy to laugh. In fact, everyone’s shots except his goes wide, and he hits the bull’s eye, so he gets congratulated by the king. His name, by the way, is Rio (played by Starstruck alumnus Piero Vergara), and he’s not shy about attributing his success to the fact that he learned archery while studying abroad. Behati arrives, on the pretext that she’s brought food for the king.
The attendant guy later reminds the king that it’s been 15 years since the queen died and the princess disappeared. The king calls for a meeting of the drukpah, where he announces the government assignments for the young men in the training program. Rio gets to sit on the drukpah, while Jao is… festival coordinator?
Later, Rio pulls out a cigarette and is annoyed when the other boys tell him smoking’s not allowed in the place they’re in. He then tells Jao he should have been festival coordinator– he could do much to enliven the festivals (thereby suggesting that Yangdon can do with some livening up).
Behati does some plotting of her own, which involves keeping track of the king’s whereabouts, and then staging an encounter in the woods. His Majesty’s taking a breath of fresh air and reminiscing about his wife and daughter (it was the same place where Isabel had told him she was pregnant), and along comes Behati with a basket of flowers and a knife. She pretends not to see him, and secretly cuts her finger with the knife and cries out, prompting the king to notice her and ask what’s the matter. She apologizes for disturbing him– she just accidentally cut herself with the knife while gathering flowers, that’s all– and after a little tussle where he insists on examining the cut and she demurely refuses, he ascertains that the cut is small and dismisses her offhandedly. Ha.
Kiko and Mikai are in Kiko’s room, researching Yangdon on the Internet. They look at photos of the kingdom, the palace, and there’s even one of King Anand. Kiko jokes that she won’t enjoy herself there, because he won’t be with her. Kiko’s younger aunt wants to know about Mikay’s planned trip, and even gives them snacks, but when the older aunt comes home, she scolds her sister for leaving the two teenagers alone. Look what happened to Kiko’s mom, she says, she just came home one day with a child. Do you want the same thing to happen to Kiko? (Wait, so Kiko’s an illegitimate child?)
Later that night, Dindi and Mikay talk in the latter’s bedroom, which has a window open on the street, right across from Kiko’s bedroom, and they don’t notice Kiko standing opposite, looking at them. Dindi wonders if Mikay will meet a prince in Yangdon, since it’s a kingdom and all. If she did, and he fell in love with her, would she stay there or would she still go home? She poses this as a beauty pageant question, and Mikay answers in her best beauty pageant manner that as home is where the heart is, so heart is where the home is– so she’d still go home. Dindi asks who her ideal guy is, and Mikay muses that she wants a guy who would laugh at her jokes. As the two girls laugh, Kiko takes out his camera and snaps a photo of Mikay. Aw, is the boy in love with his BFF?
Jao starts work, and seems to be doing a poor job, since people begin complaining that his predecessor actually helped them instead of just giving orders all day, and talk of sending a petition about him to the king.
Kiko gives Mikay a going-away present– a whole bag full of junk food. She’ll need it because she’s leaving 440 dollars (about 18,000 pesos) of her pocket money with Mom and taking only 60 dollars (around 2,000 pesos). Uh, Mikay, you’re going to a faraway foreign country– won’t you need more than that? Kiko also insists on giving her more money, on the pretense that she’ll need it to buy him some pasalubong* (customary presents). She hugs him thankfully. Later, she gives the bulk of the prize money to Mom, who seems reluctant to accept it but eventually does so. Kiko and Mikay then joke about the trip and tussle playfully with each other, which results in them accidentally bumping heads and Mikay’s bracelet (the one Kiko gave her) gets pulled off her wrist. Kiko ties it back on, staring at her all the while, but she doesn’t notice as she’s too keyed up about the trip.
Mom looks in on Mikay later that night– the girl is asleep, with a magazine about Yangdon still open beside her. As Mom picks it up and looks at it, Mikay wakes up– Mom tells her to go back to sleep as she has to leave early the next day. Mikay thanks her for letting her go on the trip, and Mom nods, smiling slightly, and leaves. Aw, at least Mom doesn’t completely hate her.
At the next meeting between the king and the trainees, King Anand commends Rio for speaking up in the drukpah. He asks Jao to stay behind when the others leave– to explain to him about working with others. There’s a work structure, he says– there are workers, overseen by a supervisor, who is in turn answerable to another supervisor. Each of these people have responsibilities. Being a leader is not made up only of giving orders– if he alienates the people working under him, how can they work well? (Your Majesty, would you please tell that to a lot of employers?)
And Mikay is finally leaving! Dindi asks for pasalubong, anything will do. Bianca begrudges Mikay even a hug, and totally ignores her, so Mikay turns to pinching Kiko’s cheeks and nose instead. Dad teases her when she suddenly looks sad– she’s not even gone, and she already misses them! Aww.
Attendant guy asks the king what the training is for, and the king finally says what Behati has long twigged to– that he wants to know if one of these young men is worthy to succeed him.
Later, the king bikes out all by his lonesome, to the field where he proposed to Isabel on the day his father died. When he sits down on the grass, he imagines her there, sitting next to him, and talks to her. He tells her that he misses her, that he has to make a decision for the good of Yangdon and stop looking for Aria, and begs forgiveness. She hugs him wordlessly– and then he’s alone again.
But Mikay is already in Yangdon, sightseeing– she walks down the bridge and through the gates, dressed in her royal robes, while petals begin to fall around her– and she’s awakened by the announcement that the plane is about to land in Yangdon…
…just as the king announces to the drukpah that although he hasn’t given up hope that Princess Ariya is still alive, he has decided to choose a successor. No, Your Majesty! Your daughter is back! She’s back in Yangdon!
Mikay is on the tour bus, taking photos of everything, while the tour guide talks about the kingdom.
In the palace, the king looks at their family portrait, thinking back on his last happy moments with his family before the accident.
The tour bus stops in front of the hotel and Mikay gets out happily, still taking photos. She bumps into another female tourist and apologizes in all the languages she knows, but the older woman says she’s also Filipino. LOL. Mikay checks in and gets settled in her room, but doesn’t stay there long– she’s soon outside taking photos of herself. She’s frustrated that she can’t take photos of both herself and the view, so when she sees Jao in the background talking to another man, she cheerfully approaches him to ask if he can help her. After she’s tried to get his attention several times, Jao finally turns around, annoyed at the interruption.
Jao refuses to take a photo of her, saying haughtily that he’s busy. He keeps an eye on her, however, and sees her struggling with her camera, and finally relents, figuring that one shot won’t matter. Then she asks him to take another photo of her with a different view (“One last picture? One last picture, over here?”), only he snaps the photo diffidently, and she doesn’t like the result, so she asks him to do it over, but she hasn’t finished counting down when he presses the button. She grumbles at his grouchiness, and takes a photo of him as he turns back to look at her. Later, she has a video chat with Dad over the internet, courtesy of Kiko, and he says that Mom wants a photo of theParliamentPalace, so shepromisesto