Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Death and Rebirth.

Episode for Mar 14, 2005, Monday. In Halimhim, thunderbolts clapped in the air like demon-gods in a heated discussion. Ravenum was so accustomed to those sounds that he no longer heard them. Now his ears picked up the sounds of flapping wings overhead. Someone was coming. It was Lourdes, and she looked anything but happy. “You’re smoldering with anger,” he told her. “I can tell from your eyes you have yet to avenge yourself on those two.” Lourdes darted her sharp eyes at him. “Not only that,” she replied. “There is something you need to know, Ravenum. Rasmus has joined forces with Bagwis and Veronica!” This came as a surprise, but he should have expected it. “Damn that Rasmus!” he cursed. “Traitor! I myself will crush him!” He walked off in anger. “Hey, Ravenum!” Savannah called out as she caught him passing by. “That lowlander up there is useless to us. Why don’t we turn him into a Ravena so we can make use of him?” She was referring to Terong. Ravenum grinned. “I’m not that hard to talk to when it comes to that. Go on and have him brought to me then.” But Gabriel shouted, “No!” He ran to his father and said, “I don’t want Terong to become a Ravena.” “But…” Savannah began. “NO!” Gabriel put his foot down and it was final. His father nodded his head. “If that is your desire, my son,” he answered, and the matter was closed. “What is this? Am I useless here now?” Savannah grumbled. “I’m the princess here!” Gabriel shot her an angry look. “No, you aren’t! Alwina is the new princess, and soon, everyone will know that!” What exactly he meant by that, they would soon learn. Gabriel entered his lady’s chamber to tell her what he had in mind. He knelt down on one knee and said to her, “I have waited a long time for this moment. A very long time. Now I won’t let you slip away from me again. Let’s get married.” The Ravena lovers rose to their feet and wrapped their arms around each other. Let’s get married, Gabriel thought, before my brother gets a chance to take you away. Bagwis’ group was now within the vicinity of Lagaslaw, flying overhead. He gazed intently at the seed in his hand. “We better be careful with this green binhi,” he told the others. “I never thought I’d say this,” Veronica said, turning to Rasmus. “But I’m glad you’re the one who found the binhi. And I’m happy to see the change in you.” Rasmus cut her off gently. “That is enough. Look, I see something.” What he saw from afar was the Taguba camp. Aguiluz returned that same evening, utterly silent. But his face no longer wore the look of hostility he had displayed earlier. He staggered towards Dakila, and weakly embraced him. Dakila caught him in his arms. “Thank you, Aguiluz,” the old bird-man said. Nothing else had to be added. The Sugo then sat among the heroes and recounted his experience. That he had had an audience with the Highest Power was quite amazing to hear, yet they believed him. Asked if he saw the face of God, Aguiluz replied, “No, I did not see Him. Do we not see the face of God only when we die? But He talked to me.” “Aguiluz is a Sugo,” Dakila told them. “He is special and that is why God spoke to him and made His will known to him.” “What did He say?” they then asked. “What should we do with the fruit?” Aguiluz answered, “He told me we must bring it to Avila.” Niwalum was silent; he already knew what had to be done. Now Dakila gathered the Mulawin and told them to get ready, for they must reach Avila that same evening. They had to leave the lowlanders (except Kuwak) behind to make the journey easier. Aramis, still recuperating from his wounds, was lying on a bench. “Go on and do what you must,” he told them. “Friend, are you sure you don’t want me to stay behind and watch over you?” asked Mulagat. Aramis reassured him of this, so Dakila announced, “Once we reach Avila, we must go directly to where the Mulawin tree once stood.” “Bagwis!’ Habagat called out. The trio of Bagwis, Veronica and Rasmus came into view. The men immediately drew up arms at the sight of the Ravena. But Bagwis stepped forward and shouted, “No! Don’t hurt him! He’s one of us now!” Those on the opposite side groaned in disbelief. “Bagwis, have you forgotten the many crimes he has committed against our people?” Habagat asked. “No, I have not,” Bagwis replied. “But he has already asked forgiveness, and I have forgiven him. He has turned his back on being Ravena, and he wants to change.” “What proof do you have that he is sincere?” the others demanded. “How do we know he isn’t fooling us?” Rasmus cast his glance about and noticed a young boy among the Mulawin. He recognized the child, who was staring back at him. Niwalum probed into the Ravena’s reddish brown eyes; he could see all the pain and remorse in them. “I can read his eyes,” the boy declared. “He has been through many things that led the way to his soul’s salvation. Bagwis is right. Rasmus can be trusted.” Aguiluz softened then. This was the criminal who had murdered his mother and Aguilar. But having been granted a supernatural meeting with his Maker, the Sugo could no longer take matters personally. He believed Niwalum’s words, and took this as a divine sign. “This is what the Lord God meant,” he told the others, “when He said that He would take our tragedies and create peace. He would use our trials to pave the way for salvation.” Muyak had already decided. I’ve already explained it all to you, she thought. But you still won’t listen. But I have made up my mind. I won’t just stand here in Encantadia doing nothing. She had seen what had befallen Linang; but like her former mistress, Muyak was ready to pay the price of disobedience. In the war of good versus evil, no one should be neutral. No one can be neutral. To not do good is to do evil. Outside Encantadia, the air felt warm and dry and polluted. No creature can endure for long outside its own element. Muyak now felt like fish put out of water. She was looking for Aramis now. Where do I find him before my strength runs out? she wondered. The Mulawin fellowship traveled on foot towards Avila. Rasmus then suggested, “Why don’t we fly? Then we’d get there faster.” Bagwis answered, “Because our strength is almost gone. It’s because of the fall of the Mulawin tree. He and Veronica were supporting a limp Aguiluz, who was moaning over the loss of his wings and ugatpak. “Push on,” Dakila urged. “We’re quite near now.” Some time elapsed. Just when everyone was ready to collapse, Gus announced, “We’re here!” Dakila confirmed it, but no sooner had they set foot on the land than Ravena soldiers welcomed them. “Now you won’t get away from us anymore!” they cried and fell upon the Mulawin. Steel weapons clashed in the air. Veronica led the injured Aguiluz away to safety, while the bird-men covered for them. But not only were they outnumbered; their energies were now depleted. Bagwis, Habagat and Dakila barely had any fight left in them, and soon the Ravena overpowered them. Then Mulagat attacked the red ranks. The prince displayed remarkable prowess in battle despite having been deprived of the anima for so long. At the same time, Rasmus unleashed his fury at his former allies. One Ravena after another met the point of his dagger and died on the spot. As the last of the enemy crumpled before him, the Mulawin cheered. “Wow, Rasmus that was great!” Kuwak said. “You knocked them all down!” Rasmus looked around and picked up a tiny makahiya or touch-me-not from the ground. “I ask you humbly to forgive me,” he said to Dakila. “And as a symbol of my desire to become a Mulawin again, here…” He offered it to Dakila, who received it. “Welcome back with us, Rasmus,” he said. Everyone applauded. Rasmus then took turns clasping the hand of all who were present there. One lost sheep had returned to the fold. Gabriel sent for the other high-ranking Ravena to hear his announcement. Ravenum arrived with Lourdes; Savannah came alone. “What’s up?” the latter asked. The prince presented Alwina to them. “I sent for you to announce that our wedding will take place… very soon!” This was too much for Savannah. She no longer stood a chance with Gabriel now that Alwina was here. Damned love, she thought. But if Gabriel did not want her love, she could always give him pain instead. As if in response to her brooding, the Ravena women came home to report to her. Their mission was unsuccessful, but they promised to finish what they had began next time. “Now we wish to rest,” they said. “Not so fast,” Savannah told them. “You still have a job to do for me.” Maningning replied, “What might that be?” Savannah pointed with her lips. “Him,” she said. The others noticed a lowlander cutting wood in the distance. “Kill him for me,” she ordered. “Then dispose of the body and make sure Gabriel doesn’t find out about it.” My due apologies, Terong, she said smilingly herself. I’m just itching to get even with your friend. The women obeyed, and waited in ambush that evening. As Terong walked by calling for Gabriel, Maningning and her sisters attacked and cornered him. They stabbed him several times on the abdomen, and when he seemed good as dead, they carried the body and dumped it in the woods outside Halimhim. All the other women were now busy preparing for the wedding feast. Aviona had other ideas. “Since when did it become a custom among the Ravena to celebrate a wedding?” she asked. “Do what you want. But as for me, I have someone to kill.” She picked up a sword with a curved blade like a crescent, and departed. Now Alwina was alone in her room once again. “Something’s bothering you,” Gabriel told her. “If you don’t tell me, I can read your mind anyway. So you might as well admit it.” And she said, “Is that Aguiluz really your brother?” “That’s what Father said. Why?” The princess looked very thoughtful. “Maybe that’s why he talked to me like that.” “That’s just a tactic of warriors when they meet in battle.” “But he seemed to believe what he was saying,” she argued. “He said it’s him I love and not you.” Gabriel was getting impatient – and worried. “Don’t mind that anymore,” he told her. “And…” Gabriel, help me… help me… Something was up with Terong. The voice was unmistakable. The prince hesitated, and then excused himself and left. He journeyed all night, relying on his sixth sense to lead him to his friend. Terong was bleeding profusely, but he was still alive and calling out to Gabriel to rescue him. When the Mulawin fellowship reached the hallowed site of their fallen tree, Aguiluz was almost dead. The others had taken turns carrying him; now, supported by Rasmus and Bagwis, the Sugo slumped to the ground like a withered flower. “My strength is almost gone,” he sighed. Veronica was holding the torch to guide the way. “Isn’t there anything we can do for him?” she asked. “I know what to do,” Niwalum replied. “Unless his ugatpak is returned to him, Aguiluz will grow weaker and weaker, until his strength is totally snuffed out. I must give my life for him.” “What do you mean by that?” she asked again. Niwalum’s eyes never left the Sugo. “I am the fruit of the tree. And I am the atonement for sins. You must plant me. When you do, a new Mulawin tree will grow. It will drive away the dark clouds.” “Plant?” Rasmus wondered, but soon his question was answered. Niwalum stretched forth his hand and touched the half-conscious Aguiluz. He now passed on all his healing energy to the Sugo. A neon-green light wrapped around them both. As the last of his powers went to Aguiluz, the boy died. Aguiluz woke up and caught him in his arms. But Niwalum’s body dissolved into a magical green mist that now danced in the air. Bagwis followed it with his eyes and, to his amazement… “Look!” he pointed out. Before them rose a new Mulawin tree. It glowed so brightly that its trunk was like a pillar of light, and boughs of gold hang overhead. Then a voice that only Aguiluz had heard before thundered form above: “Witness the power of the new Mulawin tree!” Like a dove, a holy light descended on them from the tree’s top. As the first rays touched Rasmus, his transformation began. Bagwis knew what was happening. “You’re becoming a Mulawin again!” he cried. “I feel my strength returning to me!” Veronica exclaimed, and so did every other Mulawin there. Habagat said, “The Sugo!” Mighty wings sprouted from Aguiluz’s back, and he flexed them proudly. The feathers on his head disappeared. “I still don’t have my ugatpak,” he explained. There was jubilation among them, but Aguiluz’s happiness was tinged with sorrow. “It saddens me that Niwalum had to pay with his life for this,” he said. “That is why we must not waste this second chance given us,” Dakila replied. “Let us not waste his sacrifice. Let us not waste time. We must free those who are still oppressed by the darkness. Now it is time for the liberation of Avila!” Nine heroes they were, the last hope of Avila and of the world: Aguiluz, Bagwis, Veronica, Rasmus, Dakila, Habagat, Mulagat, Pagaspas and Kuwak. They stood united, armed with faith and hope, ready to do battle for the sake of the light and the One who sent it to them. Tonight, one lost Mulawin had returned to Avila, like a wild ram back into the fold, a prodigal son reconciled with his true family. His return coincided with the ultimate sacrifice of a boy-savior, from whose death sprang new hope and new life for the Mulawin, and for the entire world. Now the stage was set for the final great battle between good and evil… at least, in this story.


Blogger South Rock said...

Due to the importance of the last 5 episodes, I will post re-tellings of these first. I will insert accounts of the 4 remaining episodes from last week afterwards (for the sake of completeness).

I will also try to make the final week's narratives longer and more detailed than usual, since they are special.

3/15/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger bluesheer said...

Bravo!! very well done, South... kinikilabutan ako while reading the scene of Rasmus, hehehe... maybe because i waited for a long time na magbago sya and finally...

3/17/2005 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger South Rock said...

Thanks, kute. :)

It's comments like yours that have kept me going here. Writing isn't easy, and no matter how hard you try, it comes out flat compared to what was actually shown. But I'm glad you liked it.


3/17/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Mark Argallon said...

mulawin is near it's end. during the middle of its broadcast our TV got damaged. then it was okay again. then last saturday it wasn't working again. darn! i was quite frustrated that i won't be able to watch the SNBO mulawin special. i ended up buying a new TV set. i have to see for myself the SNBO mulawin special and the last five episodes of mulawin. i'm that fanatic to mulawin.

3/17/2005 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger bluesheer said...

hi mark, buti kapa, makakapanood ng ending... ako kahit 2 tv ko dito wala pa ring pag-asa, wahhh....

South, It is only due that i compliment you. it is not easy to narrate a story that is believable, but you did. I was only browsing the net a few months ago when i accidentally opened this blog, i never expected that i'll meet such intellectual/people like you, street, CH, bjsg and the rest of the gang to share/exchange thoughts.

Hope to meet all of you in person in the near future. hehe or otherwise maybe one of you can pay a visit here. It is always nice to put a face in the name...

3/18/2005 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ayisha said...

Thanks southrock for painstakingly narrating each episode with so much flair and accuracy. I do hope u will also narrate the episode wherein Dakila revealed to Aguiluz how he became the son of Ravenum. I would appreciate it so much if u will find time to do it. I will really miss ur articles and comments about the show. Maybe we could still have a blog for richard's next show "sugo". What do u think? Please say yes!!

3/19/2005 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger South Rock said...

Ayisha, kute & Mark,

Thank you once again for your warm compliments. I will keep my word: I will write narratives for all the remaining episodes of the final 2 weeks, so don't worry about it.

I just hope I can do justice to the closing episode. That was monumental and historic as far as Philippine teledrama is concerned. I've never been so affected by any other movie or television show/episode, whether foreign or local. I felt that it was a bit rushed; I sensed many scenes were cut out. But it was still the best of the best. It taught me a life lesson I will carry with me always. I hope it has had the same effect on everyone else.

I feel honored to have been a part of this phenomenon even if it's just through these unofficial blogs.

3/19/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger South Rock said...

There'll be an update here in 1-2 days... promise. :)

3/21/2005 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger bluesheer said...

oki south, i'll wait for it hehe.

3/21/2005 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger BJSG said...

south rock, kumusta na po...

3/22/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger South Rock said...

Mabuti naman po, bjsg. :) I am finally updating the blog. Check the episode following "Counterfeit Lives" : "The Fruit of the Tree."

Hope you like it.

3/22/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger South Rock said...

I've just posted the episode narrative for March 9, Wednesday. :)

Getting there little by little.

3/25/2005 07:41:00 PM  

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