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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 23, 2011

Sa Ngalan ng Ina - Review

THE PILOT EPISODE of Nora Aunor’s comeback TV show, “Sa Ngalan ng Ina”, was premiered by TV5 at SM The Block last Thursday night. In terms of scope and magnitude, it’s obvious TV5 gave Ate Guy what she is due, considering her status in the industry. The story is apparently inspired by the what happened to the late Pres. Cory Aquino. It’s about two warring political families, the Deogracias and the Ilustres.

Bembol Roco, who’s married to Nora, is the current town mayor now running as governor while eldest daughter Nadine Samonte is running for mayor. Aside from Nadine, they have two sons: Alwyn Uytingco and Edgar Allan Guzman. At their political rally, a grenade is thrown on stage (ala-Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971) and Bembol is killed. They point to their political foe as the culprit, the wheelchair bound Christopher de Leon, who’s married to Rosanna Roces, with Karel Marquez as their daughter.

From what we glean in the pilot episode, it appears that Nadine, Alwyn and Edgar are not really Nora’s children. She’s only their stepmom. Also in their household is Eugene Domingo and ward Eula Caballero. There’s a Romeo-and-Juliet kind of romance between Edgar and Karel. Rosanna is pictured as an Imelda Marcos figure and it’s shown that she’s the one who masterminded the bombing, with the help of someone in Bembol’s camp, Ian de Leon, who serves as his security man. It’s also apparent that Nora and Boyet have a past together and it’ll be revealed later that Eula is actually their own daughter.

The acting is good. Noranians won’t be disappointed as she’s given some highlights right away, the scene at the emergency room where she breaks down after seeing the bloodied Bembol and the scene with Eugene where she tries to choose which Barong Tagalog would suit Bembol best during his wake. Among the supporting cast, Alwyn has the most attention-getting role as the hot-headed son who humiliates Rosanna when she visits his dad’s wake. Osang herself is excellent in all her scenes and Nadine shines in the scene with Ate Guy where she calls her as just Elena and not mom, making us suspect right away that they’re not really blood related. Later on, Ate Guy will be convinced by their allies (Leo Rialp and Raquel Villavicencio) to substitute for the assassinated Bembol in running as governor.

The series is very promising, thanks to the expert direction of Mario O’Hara, with whom Ate Guy did some of her best films, like “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos”, “Bakit Bughaw ang Langit”, “Condemned” and the underrated but very moving “Kastilyong Buhangin.” “Sa Ngalan ng Ina” will replace “Bangis” after “Wiltime Bigtime” starting October 3, definitely a red letter day for all Noranians.