Women of strength in 'Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala' finale
MANILA -- Women emerge as strong figures whose actions finally put an end to "monsters" at the conclusion of the drama series starring the returning "Queen of Pinoy Soap Opera."
In the final episode of "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala" aired on Friday, its female characters led by Judy Ann Santos as Anessa make leaps in deciding to counter their nemeses' streak of violence and oppression.
With a heavy heart, Iris (Empress Schuck) turns in her own father, Romulus (Tirso Cruz III), for killing Eva (Gretchen Barretto) and for his long-kept secret of smuggling diamonds for the business that has sustained their family.
The decision is supported by Helena (Coney Reyes), Romulus' dedicated wife who promised unconditional love despite knowing of his sexual orientation, at the risk of being jailed herself for conspiring with her husband in the illegal operation.
In a belated expression of regret for killing Eva, who was out to avenge her father's death, a tearful Romulus tells Helena, "Hindi ko naman ginustong maging masamang tao. Hindi ko lang napigilan."
Mula noong bata ako, I always felt so helpless, kaya no'ng makaramdam ako ng kapangyarihan, nabulag ako, nalunod ako sa kagustuhan kong pagtakpan kung ano talaga ako.
"Naging halimaw ako, kaya sa inyo ko nabuhos ang lahat ng galit ko sa mundo. Sinaktan kita, sinaktan ko ang mga anak natin. Tuluyan nang nasira ang buo kong pagkatao," he says.
Having "created a monster" of their son Eros (Sam Milby), Romulus urges his wife to prevent him from committing acts far more despicable than his own.
Driven by obsession for Anessa, however, Eros has already taken his ex-wife and their child against her will, with the conscious decision of leaving the family he has built with Alexis (KC Concepcion).
After years of blinded dedication to her husband, in the process encouraging his abusive ways, Alexis finally comes to the realization that Eros never loved her.
"Nagpakatanga ako sa'yo, binigyan kita ng anak, umikot ang buong mundo ko sa'yo. Pero binale wala mo lahat iyon. Wala kang alam kung paano magmahal... Kahit kaunting-kaunti lang, hindi mo ko minahal," she tells Eros at gunpoint, attempting to save Anessa.
Anessa, in a desparate move to escape captivity, engages Eros in a physical fight, with Alexis pulling the trigger to stop the man who has abused them both.
The gunshot is not enough to pacify Eros, who puts down Alexis and shoots Anessa and an arriving Alejo (John Estrada). Eros is nonetheless shot by the cop, but is only put down with a third shot by Anessa.
With Eros seen in a mental instituion in the final scenes, Alexis and Anessa reconcile as they decide to move on with their respective lives. Alexis leaves for the United States with her son Peter, while Anessa starts life anew with her son Emman and her family.
Strong female figures also emerge in Alejo's former partner Athena (Mylene Dizon), as she sets aside pride to ask forgiveness from Anessa, who she conspired against with Romulus out of jealousy. Anessa's mother, Demetria (Susan Africa), meanwhile, remains a solid foundation for their family amid struggles.
Helena is also seen turning herself in, as Iris finds a new family in Anessa's as she plans her wedding with Leandros (Joseph Marco). Foremost a mother to Emman, Anessa is only seen thanking Alejo for the friendship.
"Ang sabi nila, ang pinakamahalagang bagay sa mundo ay pagmamahal, at ito rin ang pinakamakapangyarihan," Anessa is heard saying in the final scenes. "Kaya nitong bumuhay, bumuo, pero kaya rin nito mambulag, manakit. Kaya nitong sumira, kaya nitong kalimutan ang lahat."
"Pero dahil din sa pagmamahal, nakakaya natin maging matatag para malampasan ang lahat ng hirap sa buhay ... Ang pinaka-importanteng natutunan ko sa pagmamahal, iyon ay makakaya lang nating magmahal, kung buo tayo, dahil ang tunay na pagmamahal, makakaya lang nating ibigay kapag buong-buo na ang pagmamahal natin sa sarili natin," she says.
New primetime line-up
Billed as a series which promotes women's empowerment, "Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala" debuted on June 17 under the direction of Malu Sevilla, Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Tots Mariscal. The series was written by Danica Mae Domingo, along with David Dicuo, Rhoda Sulit and Rhoda Tanyag.
Throughout its two-month run, the drama series remained the No. 1 most watched TV program in the country during its timeslot, according to data from multi-national market research group Kantar Media.
Kantar Media uses a nationwide panel size of 2,609 urban and rural homes, representing 100% of the total Philippine TV viewing population.
Despite the series' performance in nationwide ratings, speculation bringing up otherwise surfaced over its relatively short run as a program aired on primetime.
Addressing this, Santos went on record to clarify she had requested the series to end on a high note, saying she would prefer it to conclude with its current timeslot instead of being bumped off with the entry of the upcoming Kapamilya program "Got to Believe."
Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, the romantic-comedy series starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will join ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block starting Monday, August 26, with a timeslot after the Coco Martin-starrer "Juan dela Cruz."