to get there. She walks off, counting her money, passing Jao who’s consulting with a bunch of other men. It’s clear though that he’s keeping an eye on her, always looking to see where she is– she sees a lookout and takes more photos, talking happily to herself. She knows what he’s doing, even when he pretends to be doing something else when she catches him looking at her. He looks concerned when she trips over a rock, and then smiles at her antics. When she turns away, she too smiles to herself. Augh, why so cute, the two of you.
In an effort to change her son’s assignment, Behati brings the king a gift on the pretext that she’s thanking him for his goodness to her and Jao. The king answers that it’s his duty as king and that Jao’s a good boy with a lot of potential. She hints that the king should trust Jao to show his potential, and he won’t be disappointed.
The “good boy” bumps into Mikay on his way back to the truck– she mutters to herself that he might be cute (guwapo) but he’s grumpier than her Ate (Bianca) when she’s having her period. Jao hears and asks what she said. Nothing, Mikay answers. You said guapo, Jao says. I understand guapo, it’s Spanish for “handsome.” Pwaha. Mikay: I didn’t say guwapo, I said kuwago (owl)! He gets into the truck, and she waves goodbye but grumps to herself that he didn’t even offer her a ride. The driver asks Jao if he’s sure they’re leaving her behind– what if something happens to her? Jao points out that she said she could take care of herself, so they should just go, and they do.
However, he soon orders the driver to go back for Mikay, who gets lost and wanders to the field where people are flying kites. She soon sees a group of girls carrying baskets on their backs, and catches up with them. Since she’s with them and even volunteers to carry one of the baskets, Jao goes past without seeing her.
It takes a while for him to find her, but he finally spots her taking more photos with the giggling girls. He gets out to offer her another ride, but she’s all “you left me behind and now I’ve met some new friends and you tell me to get in the truck?” Jao retorts that it’s a long way to her destination, and if she doesn’t come along, he really will leave without her. The girls confirm that it’s a long walk. Mikay: Well, it’s unfair that I’m the only one who gets a ride… so Jao ends up giving the whole group a ride in the truck. Hahaha. The girls give Mikay a flower in thanks when they get down at their destination, and she turns and gives it to Jao for being nice to them. Jao stares at the flower then at his driver with a “what do I do with this?” expression on his face, and the driver shrugs at him. Ha.
He asks Mikay to stay by the truck because he has to go inside and she can’t go with him. She protests that she needs to go to the bathroom, and he points at the bushes. LOL. She ends up approaching the building anyway, and we realize that they’re at the palace.
The attendant guy tells the king that Jao is there to make his report. The two watch as the family portrait is taken down–
…and Mikay is escorted out by the guards because she’s not allowed inside. She asks for permission to take a photo instead, but is still refused. The king comes to the top of the stairs and sees her, and they look at each other. Mikay! That’s your dad! Your real dad!
Mikay, of course, recognizes him from the photo on the Internet. When he approaches, she apologizes. The guards tell the king that she’s a tourist, and she says that she came in with someone, pointing to Jao. LOL.
Jao is all “I don’t know her!” and he and Mikay argue about it. She eventually lets slip the fact that she’s a Filipina, and the king perks up and formally welcomes her to Yangdon as a special guest, since she’s from the same country as his dead wife. Mikay being Mikay, she ends up chattering to the king all about herself and her family, addressing him familiarly as “king.” LOL. She even asks for a photo with him, drafting Jao as photographer. The king obligingly poses in front of the palace, with Mikay doing her “signature pose” with her arms out. He laughs and tells her that she reminds him of someone. He’d like to spend more time with her, but he’s busy, so he’s assigning Jao as the festival coordinator to show her around as a special guest. Mikay thanks him with sparkling eyes.
Afterwards, Jao gets mad at Mikay for “getting him in trouble”… and ends by saying he’ll pick her up the next day. Mikay is all “what? but you don’t need to!” but Jao is taking the king’s orders very seriously. “Utos ng hari*…” she murmurs sarcastically, but he tells her to stop speaking Filipino, so she snaps that she’s glad she met him. Later, he apologizes for shouting at her, and even lets her stop the car at another lookout so she can take more photos. He asks why she’s smiling, and she answers that she’s in a beautiful place. Yes, beautiful, he answers– but you’re not looking at the view, Jao! She smiles back at him– and then sneezes on him. Pwahaha. He’s not mad this time, and just tells her they have to go because it’s getting late and she might get sick.
At the hotel, Jao reminds Mikay to wake up early because he’s coming by early. She says okay and walks off, only to hide behind a pillar and peek at him. He catches her doing it, however, and tells her to go, so she goes, smiling to herself. He smiles as well.
I noted some Pinoy concepts/customs that non-Filipinos might not understand– the medal-trophy thing, for instance. You might have noticed that Mikay draped her graduation medals over a trophy and Bianca threw them across the room. It’s customary in many Filipino families to display the family members’ achievements in a special place in the living room– trophies, medals, certificates, diplomas, beauty pageant sashes. Bianca and Dindi’s beauty pageant awards had been displayed on the shelf in the living room, and Bianca tells Mikay her medals aren’t fit to be displayed with theirs, implying not only that her achievements are inferior to theirs, but also that she isn’t part of the family.
The paluwagan is an informal savings fund; basically, several people who are always in contact with each other, such as classmates, officemates, family members or friends, get together and agree to contribute a certain amount every month, and then they get the total amount they contributed on an agreed date. A member of the group keeps the money and the records, and then disburses the savings later. A variant of this keeps the group to twelve people, and then each month one of the members receives the full amount, but that’s risky because some members default on their payments after receiving their share.
Ukay-ukay is a weird phenomenon– essentially, second-hand clothes from other countries such as the US (perhaps from Goodwill) are shipped in bulk to the Philippines and are sold here. They get their name from the fact that they were initially displayed in jumbled piles that the customers had to dig through (ukay, in Hiligaynon; halukay in Tagalog/Filipino). Perhaps they were initially intended as relief goods, because when I was a child we generally referred to ukay-ukay as “relief.”
Pasalubong are customary presents or little mementoes that you bring home to family and friends when you arrive from a trip. The word literally means “meeting,” as in meeting someone at the airport, pier, or terminal.
Pointing with one’s lips is something that is always identified as a Filipino peculiarity. You pucker your lips as if you’re going to kiss someone, and then you point them at the thing/person/direction you’re indicating, instead of pointing with your hands. Most of the time we don’t even realize what we’re doing until someone goes “huh?”
Utos ng hari, hindi nababali – The king’s orders can’t be disobeyed, a Filipino saying. I’ve mostly heard it used to refer sarcastically to an autocratic person or to someone who is a stickler for keeping to the rules.
Maybe it’s just my K-drama addiction, but I keep thinking that maybe the writers of this drama are also fans of K-dramas, especially the rom-coms– Mikay sneezing on Jao just when he’s all “beautiful!” for example. I want to view this through the Pinoy drama perspective, so I hope to avoid making comparisons, but I just did, with the Boys Over Flowers allusion, if Jun Pyo were alone and were more sensitive to his family dynamics instead of all puffed up with who he is. Gino knows what his family is going through, and what people expect of him, and he acts like he doesn’t care. But we know how lonely he is from the moment we first see him– he wakes up alone in his room and fends for himself. He doesn’t even eat until he finds someone to eat with. I felt it was a little weird, his towing Bianca off to eat with him when he’d just met her, but then I realized he’d asked her if she was new. She’s probably the one person in that school at the time who doesn’t know anything about him yet, and so would be able to treat him like an ordinary person, as opposed to how the rest of the school kowtows to him or tries to get his attention.
Jao actually reminds me of another K-drama character– Sungkyunkwan Scandal‘s Lee Sun Joon, who’s so convinced he’s righteous that he’s downright prissy and haughty at times, and who has been so sheltered that he doesn’t know how to get along with others. It took Gino to break through his shell when he was a child, and now it looks like Mikay is tearing down the rest. I didn’t think much of Enrique Gil when I saw him as Budoy’s foster brother/cousin/substitute BJ, but I like him very much as haughty-grump-with-a-kind-heart Jao.
I’m also wondering about this insinuation that Kiko is an illegitimate child, because it was emphasized in that episode as the reason his old maiden aunt keeps strict tabs on him and Mikay (well, aside from the fact that she’s quite prissy), because she doesn’t want history to repeat itself. Add to that the fact that when Kiko and Mikay first met, Kiko was inventing something that would let him contact his father, who had died when he was small. I won’t be surprised if Kiko’s dad turns up later. Weren’t we introduced to a possibly dissolute character last week…? In Dramaland, the characters always end up connected to one another somehow, so I won’t be surprised if we find out later that Kiko and Gino are brothers.