holding the camera. When she sees him, she gives it back to him with tears in her eyes.
The next morning, Gino comes down to breakfast to find his dad there. Both of them are silent. He asks why Dad doesn’t seem to have packed yet, wasn’t he getting an annulment? His dad just reminds him that this is his house, too. Oh, and he mentions a donation that Gramps is making to Gino’s school. Gino answers flippantly, “Sir, yes, sir!” and nabs some food and walks out, refusing to eat with his Dad.
So it’s the first day of school, and Mikay and Kiko arrive together, but part ways in the quadrangle to go to their respective classes. Then she sees a coin on the ground, bends to pick it up, and almost gets hit by Gino’s car. Later, she tells Kiko about Gino. Kiko thinks Gino looks arrogant and she shouldn’t associate with him, but Mikay defends him saying he’s rather nice. She even chases Gino to thank him when she sees him in the hallway– in response, he scrawls his address on her hand and tells her to drop by the next day so she can start paying some of her debts to him. Ha.
When Gino gets home, Dad tells him Gramps wants him to go to a company party. Apparently, an investor wants to meet him because her daughter was one of his “victims” who still hopes to make up with him. He also lectures Gino to be on his best behavior– what he does reflects not only on him, but on his dad, granddad, and their family company. Looks like Gino is the sole heir, or might stand to inherit a large chunk, because I get the impression that he’s Gramps’s only grandson by his son, or the sole male direct descendant or something. Gino is finally browbeaten into attending, but he plans to make a scene they’ll never forget. He goes out of the house to find Mikay washing his car… Ha. So that was what he meant about paying debts.
He eyes her speculatively– he’d thought she might balk at washing his car, but she’s cheerful about it. When he goes back inside, Dad sees Mikay and mistakes her for a maid (probably he’s there so seldom he doesn’t know his own maids), so he tells her to wash his car too. Gino had gone to make a snack for Mikay (aw, the boy does have a heart) and when he learns what happened, he apologizes, saying he’ll just pay her for it since that was not part of their deal. He also muses that others would feel ashamed to let people know they’re a vendor, but Mikay tells him she’s not ashamed– it’s honest work. So he thinks she’s perfect for his plan, and asks if she’d go with him to a party.
Mikay’s co-worker/supervisor is named Vicky! I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but I wonder if her mother is named Esmeralda… which would mean that she’s the little girl who lost Mikay as a baby in the market during the bombing.
I like all the character developments for Jao and Gino. They’re both such sympathetic characters, although Jao is more of the conventional Pinoy drama lead here– he’s way too nice, and dignified, and proper, so that I’m thankful when he exhibits a touch of mischief or rebellion. His world has been ordered from the get-go– his mom has spent his whole life training him to fit the mold– so when he does stuff that he ordinarily doesn’t do, it’s a big deal to him. Is it weird that the only two people who have ever influenced him to break out are Gino and Mikay? Behati keeps drilling it into him that he’s a prince and should uphold certain standards, but she’s forgetting that he’s also a boy; moreover, a boy who hasn’t had a lot of chances to just be a boy before Gino, and later, Mikay, came along. That said, I’m glad that Jao isn’t the type to just follow what his mom says.
Gino, on the other hand– poor little rich boy. We do have an explanation for his player behavior– he’s determined not to fall in love and give someone else the power to make him miserable the way his parents are miserable. I’ll bet love is gonna hit him like a ton of frisbees– he won’t see it coming till it hits him. Where Jao’s been coddled and fenced in by Behati, Gino’s been left to his own devices most of the time. He’s used to fending for himself as much as he needs to, seeing who he is, and he resents his dad for not being there when he’s needed.
Looks like Mikay is going to outgrow Kiko soon, plus, his feelings about her aren’t merely friendly anymore. I’d hate to see him going up against the two princelings, but I hope that when he does, he can put up a good fight.
I’m also beginning to like Mikay a lot, because she’s no damsel in distress or goody-two-shoes. She cries, and she lets Bianca push her around, true, but otherwise she’s quite feisty and doesn’t let anyone give her any guff. She’s a real princess, true, but she doesn’t act all prim or poised or obviously princess-y like so many fictional princesses are portrayed, not when she whales into Jao for making her go on that rafting trip and later for making her leave her camera behind. And later, into Gino for knocking her down and making her spill her wares. She doesn’t swoon or use her tears to get her own way; instead she uses her wits. Thank goodness!
At first, I thought that Jao – Mikay are the OTP, because (1) Jao was the first of the boys to appear, although he doesn’t meet Mikay until she goes to Yangdon; and (2) He’s the prince, and it would make sense for her to end up with a Yangdonese, although I’m expecting them to battle it out over the throne later before they finally make up for good (I hope). But now you have Gino – Mikay as a possibility, and they do have chemistry (well, they have been paired before), so now I’m wondering if this could possibly be the OTP. I mean, with that chemistry (and he throws her into the darned fountain!) plus their past association (plus, Daniel Padilla seems to really really like Kathryn Bernardo), there’s no way they’re not the OTP, right? Plus, I like Gino– he acts like a jerk, but he has his reasons. I want him to fall in love with Mikay so hard he doesn’t know until it hits, only it would really be unfair to him if he’s not the guy for Mikay. But wait, he does need to learn what love is about, right? That it’s about what you feel, how much you care for a person and want the best for him/her, not whether your feelings are reciprocated. Which really just leaves Kiko – Mikay out in the cold, but wait, they’re childhood best friends! What’s good about this is that the three boys are distinct characters, not different sides of the same coin, and each has his own strengths, so we’re always kept guessing.
You see, Pinoy dramas have this thing about their OTPs– the guys are often always nice guys– nice in that they always choose to do the right thing or not hurt people unless they’re being noble idiots, and the pair have known each other since forever. A lot of the time they’re best friends or childhood sweethearts. Just look at ABS-CBN’s drama lineup, for one– from Mundo Man Ay Magunaw (Olivia and Dante fell in love young; Nico and Sherryl were childhood best friends)– to Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo (Paul and Sarah are also childhood best friends and sweethearts, and were even born on the same day in the same place)– to Aryana (Aryana and Marlon are also best friends)– even to Walang Hanggan (Daniel and Katerina have known each other since childhood). Among the old dramas, I also remember Esperanza (Anton and Esperanza were also childhood friends and sweethearts, and she loved him even after he married another woman) and GMA-7′s Makita Ka Lang Muli even had Vianne and Leo ending up together (which made no sense to me, seeing that she had more history–and chemistry– with Matthew, but he was a “bad boy” and Leo was her best friend).
What happens with these OTPs is that the guy might be so nice he ends up being trapped by another, more unscrupulous girl, and marrying her, and then getting back together with the heroine after the other girl dies and after they’ve struggled with repressing their love for each other for most of the drama. Or he might just be weak (I’m looking at you, Paul) and goes to another woman when he gets into a misunderstanding with the heroine, but she ends up forgiving him anyway. The guy might make mistakes, but the girl is always a paragon… ugh. Or the girl might be a damsel in distress who just waits for life to happen to her, and the guy climbs mountains for her anyway.
I guess this is why I like Princess and I so much, because it promises to be something quite different.