This is the episode summary of this week's Maalaala Mo Kaya episode, entitled Langis.
This episode stars Janus del Prado (as Ben), Carla Humphries Loren (as Lani), Gio Alvarez (as Elmer), and Ces Quesada (as Lani's mother).
Written by Arlene Tamayo and Maribel Ilag, with Headwriter Dado C. Lumibao. Edited by Aries Pascual. Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina.
Click on the center of the image to view the full episode. Or scroll down for the episode summary.
See also this related blog entry for viewer comments about this episode collected from online message boards.
A Bulgar article also gave this episode a glowing review.
Video. Lani (Carla Loren) and her best friend Elmer (Gio Alvarez) are seated together beside the dance floor at a party. Lani wants to go home, but Elmer isn't quite ready yet. She says she's embarrassed, but Elmer tells her not to worry because they don't know anyone at the party.
A man approaches and introduces himself as Gary, and he asks Lani to dance, but Lani tries to beg off from dancing with him. Despite Elmer's encouragement, Lani tries to excuse herself by saying she needs to go to the rest room. Gary says he'll wait until she returns. Left with no choice, Lani stands up and limps awkwardly onto the dance floor. She turns around in time to catch the look of surprise on Gary's face. He is obviously turned off by her limp, and he quickly says he needs to go to the rest room himself, and escapes from the dance floor.
We learn that Lani contracted Polio when she was still a baby, and that as a result, one of her legs is shorter than the other, leaving her with a significant limp. As she grew up, she was the constant butt of jokes and ridicule for being different. It was difficult to accept.
Elmer excitedly runs to Lani's home, dressed in a white graduation toga and cap. He asks her why she's not yet ready to attend their high school graduation (class of 1995-1996)... and tells her she smells like some medicinal oil.
Lani says her mom had tried yet another oil for her legs the night before. Elmer tries to convince Lani to attend the graduation, especially since she will receive the Most Punctual award for always being on time from Grade 1 to High School.
She downplays the importance of the ceremony by saying it's just a piece of paper. Elmer says if she doesn't go, then he will also skip the ceremony. She tells him it's a once-in-a-lifetime event and that he should go.
As he tries to convince her to join him, a few of the neighborhood kids come around, imitating her limp and chanting "5'2" - 5'4" - 5'2" - 5'4"..." Lani chases them away and says to Elmer: "Ano?! Pupunta pa rin ako?!"
Lani's mom arrives at their home and shares the news that one of Lani's former classmates is getting married soon, despite the fact that she used to have terrible acne. Lani says acne can be handled by astringent, but her uneven legs are a different matter.
Lani's mother shows her a bottle of oil (langis) that she says a friend gave them to try out on Lani's legs. Lani is reluctant, but allows her mother to rub the oil on her leg.
As her mother compliments her on her beauty, Lani dejectedly adds (as if other people were saying this) "it's just too bad about her legs..." Her mother stops her and says that as far as she is concerned, Lani is whole.
After graduating from a secretarial course, Lani and her best friend Elmer move to another town and open a panciteria. Soon after setting up their business, they go out to spread the word about their business.
They decide to go to a nearby construction site, thinking that the construction workers there would be good customers.
Video. As Elmer tells everyone about their nearby panciteria, Lani is standing impatiently waiting. Her attention wanders to Ben, who is just emerging from the shower with a towel around his waist.
Her irritation turns to curiosity as she watches him rinse off his clothes. He notices her standing there and she quickly looks away. As he turns to hang his clothes up to dry, his towel slips off and a scandalized Lani screams "Ay, Bastos!" She quickly grabs Elmer's arm and hobbles away while an embarrassed Ben runs into the shower stall.
Video. Later that day, Lani and Elmer are back at the panciteria serving lunch, when Ben arrives to join his friends, who are already there.
He doesn't realize right away that Lani is the girl behind the counter, and he is momentarily speechless when they first see each other. It is obvious that he is lovestruck, and he goes out of his way to be friendly. She is immediately suspicious of his intentions and is totally rude to him. Ben does not seem to mind at all, and he continues to smile ear to ear as he eats his hotdog lunch while watching her work behind the counter.
Later that afternoon, Elmer is reprimanding Lani for being rude to Ben. She defends herself by saying that there is no way a guy like Ben could be sincere about his intentions, especially with a girl like her.
Video. As they walk through the construction site, roses suddenly land on the floor beside Lani. It is Ben and his two friends. Elmer picks up the flowers and admires them. Lani tells Ben that if this is his idea of a joke, he should save his jokes for someone who's drunk.
When Ben tries to tell her that he is interested in her, Lani asks him if he has seen her walk. As she walks away, Ben is surprised to realize that she has a significant limp. Lani turns back and upon seeing his face, throws the roses back at him.
Night has fallen. Elmer and Lani are locking up the panciteria when Ben arrives. He tries to apologize to Lani, but she rebuffs him. He leaves, disappointed, but returns almost immediately with his two friends, a handful of flowers, and a sign that reads "I'm sorry Lani" in lights. She still rebuffs him, and walks away with Elmer following her.
Elmer pretends to perform an exorcism ceremony as he and Lani walk home. Lani complains about Ben's little sign with lights. Elmer says it's only natural, after all, Ben is an electrician!
Lani says she has no plans of having a boyfriend now. Elmer asks her if not now then when? Besides, he says it's obvious that she finds Ben attractive. Lani denies it.
Video. It's evening, and Lani is preparing for bed when she hears pounding on the door. She opens the door to find Ben outside. He has had more than a few drinks, and he is determined to confess his feelings for Lani.
He tells her that he was surprised about her limp, but that he doesn't care because it does not change his feelings for her. She doesn't take his declarations seriously, and finally pushes him out the door. But she can't help but be amused and touched by his behavior.
Ben doesn't give up, and starts shouting "I Love You, Lani!," attracting the attention of her neighbors. She tries to get him to stop and leave, but he says he will leave only when she finally admits that she loves him too.
As Ben continues to shout, Lani grows desperate to find a way to shut him up, and she finally tells him that she loves him. He excitedly jumps around and makes even more noise as he announces to all her neighbors that she loves him too!
The next morning, Ben arrives at the panciteria with his two friends and presents Lani with flowers, calling her Mahal. She tries to avoid him, but he follows her and reminds her that she told him she loved him last night.
She tells him he was drunk the night before and does not know what he's talking about. He insists that there is no mistake and hands her the flowers and some pineapples that he has brought along for her.
She accepts them with false sweetness, then calls for Elmer and one of their friends. When they arrive, she hands Elmer the flowers, saying that they're for him. She hands their friend the pineapples, saying that she and Elmer should share them. Then she turns back to watch for Ben's reaction.
Ben is upset, but he manages to control his reaction. When Lani asks if he has anything to say, he is quiet at first, but finally asks her if she's free to go out with him tomorrow. Lani is dismayed. Elmer quickly says "Yes" while Lani says "No" at the same time.
Elmer compliments Lani on her attire when she emerges from her room, dressed in jeans and a shirt for her afternoon with Ben. She tells him she only went through the trouble of changing because Elmer insisted on it. Elmer tells her jogging pants are not the appropriate attire for a date!
Elmer also advises her to stop being such a supladita. He says Ben seems to be a genuinely nice guy, and that it's about time she uses her heart for love because her heart is starting to rust from disuse. "Kung hindi mo gagamitin, e i-donate mo nalang!"
Lani and Ben spend the afternoon chatting. Lani tells him about her Punctuality award from high school, and explains that she was always the first in school because she didn't want her classmates teasing her when she limped into the room. She says she really wants to be a teacher, but she thinks her students would simply make fun of her.
Video. Ben says he really wants to be an engineer, but that his family ran out of money when he was in his final year in school. He says that if anyone were to offer to pay for his tuition, he would do just about anything to finish that degree.
Ben: "Lahat! Kasi... (he moves closer to her and looks into her eyes) May inspirasyon na ako ngayon eh..."
Video. Night has fallen, and Ben is walking Lani back to her home as their date is about to an end. He gets up the courage to ask her about the status of their relationship. He says he just wants to ask (no pressure!) and make sure they haven't broken up. Lani is at a loss as to how to answer.
When Lani remain silent, Ben quickly retracts the question and changes the subject, telling her that she should get some sleep because she looks tired. He calls her name as she turns to walk away. Ben steps forward just as she turns around to face him, and the two of them inadvertently kiss each other.
Ben immediately backs away, apologizing and saying that he had intended to kiss her on the forehead only. But he is happy as he leaves and waves good night, leaving Lani to stand there thinking about the kiss they just shared.
It is evening once again, and Lani is standing at the entrance of the panciteria, staring dreamily off into space when Elmer notices her and starts singing "Ifag-lalaban ko... ang fag-ibig mo...". He teases her about being in love.
When Lani denies being in love, Elmer says it's obvious when she gets all excited just at the sound of Ben's name. As Lani turns away, Elmer says "Ben!" and right away Lani turns around, falling for Elmer's trick. The two of them laugh, then move to sit at one of the tables to chat.
Elmer expresses his happiness for Lani, and says if only their old neighbors can see her now. Lani agrees and jokingly says that she and Elmer have the last laugh.
Just then, a stranger appears asking for directions to Duhat Street. Lani gives her directions, and turns around to find the girl staring at her legs. She apologizes, and Lani just cracks a joke to lighten the mood.
The girl laughs and introduces herself as Sylvia.
Just as Lani is introducing Elmer to Sylvia, Sylvia calls out, "Cupcake!" and runs off to greet someone outside the panciteria. Curious, Lani and Elmer go to see who it might be... and it turns out to be Ben.
Lani is hurt and turns away before Ben has a chance to explain the situation. Unable to follow Lani into the panciteria while Sylvia is still there, Ben pulls Sylvia away, saying they need to talk.
Elmer and Lani are together sitting in the dark, getting drunk, when Ben arrives. Elmer gets to his feet and sways slightly as he accuses Ben of being untrustworthy, before leaving the room so Ben and Lani can talk.
Video. Lani pours herself another drink as Ben tries to explain. He tells her that he and Sylvia had parted ways long ago but that Sylvia still wants to get back together. Lani mocks him, saying he must be so handsome because girls are chasing him.
Ben tries to explain again, saying that his relationship with Sylvia is long over. Lani angrily calls him a liar. She gets up and starts hitting him. He tries to stop her at first, but finally, he lets go of her hands and doesn't try to stop her when she slaps him hard across the face.
He angrily asks her if she's done, if they can now talk. She tells him she's not as desperate as he thinks. She's not going to try competing with Sylvia. He asks her what he can do so she will believe him.
Lani: Bakit naman ako maniniwala sa 'yo, ha? Maganda si Sylvia. Normal siya... Ba't mo siya ipagpapalit sa isang katulad ko?!? Pilantod! She starts crying.
Ben: Lani... Ni minsan hindi ko inisip na kapintasan yung kalagayan mo. Hindi ko na nga napapansin eh. Ikaw nalang lagi nagpapaalala. Lani, ang nakikita ko sa 'yo yung... yung ngiti mo... yung kasimplehan mo... yung sipag at determinasyon mo, na kahit anong mangyari, ipaglalaban mo ang sarili mo. Yun ang nakita at nagustuhan ko sa 'yo. Lani, mahal kita ayaw mo lang ako bigyan ng pagkakataon eh!
He turns and leaves Lani alone in the dark. She cries inconsolably.
Some time later, Lani and Elmer arrive together at yet another party, and Lani spots Ben sitting alone, drinking a beer across the room. She tries to leave but Elmer stops her. Meanwhile, Ben has spotted her and asks her to dance with him. She says no. He says he understands if she doesn't want to dance with him, if she still has feelings for him. She denies still caring for him and he dares her to prove it by dancing with him. Elmer watches in approval as the two of them go to the dance floor.
Video. Lani is initially embarrassed as other dancers are looking at them. Ben tells her to ignore the others, to just close her eyes. Lani at first resists, but when Ben closes his eyes, she finds herself smiling, and closing her eyes as well.
As they sway together to the music, he tells her he misses her. She tells him that's his problem. Undaunted by her reply, he asks her if she misses him too. She doesn't respond. Just as he starts to tell her that it's okay with him if she doesn't miss him, Lani hugs him tightly, acknowledging without words just how much she missed him.
Ben: Hay... Ang sarap mong yumakap! (prompting Lani to hit him on the shoulder, with her eyes still closed. After a brief pause, he says) Lani, mahal na mahal kita.
She opens her eyes for a moment, then closes them again and hugs him more tightly.
One year later, Lani and Ben are still together, and she is starting to feel that they are really meant for each other.
Elmer and Lani are having lunch together. Elmer is amazed at Lani's appetite and chides her for eating so much. "Ba't ka ba nagkaka-ganyan?!"
He is about to wash his plate when he suddenly turns to Lani with an excited look on his office. "Lani, hindi kaya...?"
Lani asks him if he once again thinks an evil spirit has possessed her, and he says No, with a meaningful look on his face.
In a moment of clarity, Lani realizes what Elmer is thinking.
Elmer waits impatiently outside Lani's room, and reminds Lani that two lines means positive while one line means negative.
Inside, Lani is still not quite able to believe what she is seeing on the pregnancy test kit.
She finally comes out and shows Elmer the positive test result. He jumps for joy and starts singing and dancing around.
Despite her misgivings, Lani finds herself smiling.
That night, Lani and Ben walk home together after closing up the panciteria. She at first asks him if he notices anything different about her. He tries his best, but doesn't realize what she's trying to get him to see.
Finally unable to contain her excitement, she blurts out that he is about to become a father. Ben is shocked into silence and looks concerned. Finally he tells Lani that his brother has offered to pay for his engineering tuition... but on the condition that he doesn't marry until he graduates.
Lani tells him they can handle it, that she believes Ben can handle being a working student while they start their family. "Huwag mong sabihin di mo kaya. Ben, kaya mo yan kung gugustuhin mo."
Ben doesn't know what to say. Lani angrily calls him a coward and tells him he's useless. Before she walks away, she tells him she never wants to see him again.
Lani is back at her mother's home in Bukidnon. Her mother is in tears at the news of Lani's pregnancy. Lani angrily tells her to stop crying, it's not as if someone has died. They argue as Lani packs her things and says she intends to move to the city and get a job.
Lani tells her mother that she doesn't have to do anything, that her mother will not have to care for her or her unborn child.
As they argue, Lani finally tells her mother what she has wanted to say all these years -- that she no longer wants her mother's pity; that over the years, her mother's obsession with applying these "miracle" oils to fix her has only made her feel inadequate, as if she is incapable of doing anything on her own simply because she's abnormal and her legs are uneven.
Lani has moved away, but her new home is empty and she sits alone in the dark, crying and apologizing to her unborn child for her stupidity.
She holds a photo of Ben as she cries.
Finally, she gets up and tosses the photo into the trash.
Ben is frantic as he finds Elmer and asks him where Lani is. Elmer is angry, and calls Ben a "manloloko". Elmer admits to Ben that his biggest mistake was not stopping Lani from falling in love with Ben, that he should have arranged to have Ben run over by a car.
Ben in tears, sadly tells Elmer he should have done that, because it would save him from all the pain he is going through now that he has lost Lani.
Elmer arrives at Lani's new home, saying "Pwede makitira?" She excitedly welcomes him, saying she was starting to wonder if he would ever join her. They will be roommates once again.
Elmer proudly shows off his many bags of pasalubong for his godchild-to-be. He enumerates: diapers, towels, toys, bottles, milk...
Lani is at first happy, but she starts crying: Dapat yung walang hiyang tatay ng anak ko ang nagdadala niyan.
After the baby is born, Elmer continues to be a true friend. He provides for almost all of Lani's and her baby's needs. He stepped into the void left by Ben's absence. Lani is grateful for all his help, and has sworn to not have anything more to do with Ben.
It is evening and Lani is asleep at her home, with her baby beside her on the bed.
Video. As she sleeps, Elmer lets Ben into the room, and he stands at the foot of the bed, overcome with joy as he sees mother and child together.
The next morning, Lani awakens to find Ben curled up at the foot of her bed, with the baby lying awake but quiet beside him. Despite her anger, she can't help but smile at the sight of father and baby together.
Ben awakens, and Lani screams. Ben tries to explain, but Lani runs to the kitchen and grabs a knife and chases him out of the house.
When Elmer arrives home, Lani confronts him for conniving with Ben. She has realized that all this time, Ben has been paying for all the expenses of their child, and Elmer has been helping him all this time by pretending to provide all these things.
Video. Ben and his friends arrive and he once again is trying to apologize and explain. He says all he wants is to see the baby. Lani starts throwing flower pots at him, and Ben's two friends run away.
Ben tries to bargain and says all he wants is a peek at the baby. Lani continues throwing pots at him and finally chases him away.
Ben continues to make his attempts to be reconciled with Lani. But Lani's anger has not abated and she is unable to forgive him.
It is New Year's Eve, and Ben is standing quietly outside of Lani's home as fireworks are lit in the background. Lani opens the window and sees him, but does not invite him in.
Elmer tries to reason with Lani, saying that Ben is the baby's father and has a right to be with his child. Besides, it's only proper that Ben shares in the responsibility of raising the child. Lani explains she doesn't want to risk losing her baby to Ben, which would be possible if she lets Ben back into their lives.
Sometime later, Lani and Elmer are at the church for the baptism of her baby.
As Lani walks to the front of the church, Ben appears beside her to participate in the ceremony.
After the baptism, Ben and Lani argue as to where they will celebrate the baby's baptism.
Ben tells them he has made arrangements for a celebration and Lani is overruled by her friends when they hear Ben even has lechon.
At the baptism reception, Ben tries to talk to Lani, but she is resentful.
Ben tells her he stopped his studies because he knows it's more important that he be with her. He says he was almost insane with worry when he couldn't find her. She doesn't quite believe him and almost laughs.
Ben admits that he is a coward, but that it doesn't mean he doesn't love her. He asks for another chance to prove that he can be a good husband and father. He promises to never hurt her again.
Lani denies being hurt. She says that all her life, she has been experiencing nothing but disappointment, so it's no big deal. She starts to leave, and in desperation, Ben asks her to marry him. Lani mocks his proposal, and without sincerity thanks him for the lunch before leaving
Elmer and Lani are home and Lani's mother has joined them. Lani is sad, and Elmer tells Lani she should take better care of herself. Lani asks him why she should bother.
Elmer accuses her of being "maarte", and Lani's mother jumps into the conversation, saying that even though she can be happy, she chooses to be sad, and even though she can be married, she chooses to be a single mother.
Lani's mother tells her Ben appears to be sincerely repentant, but she still can't forgive him. Lani asks her mother what she's supposed to be doing? Begging him to come back? Wouldn't she be the butt of jokes then?
Elmer tells her she's been the butt of jokes her whole life. Wouldn't it be an even bigger joke if she lets slip the chance to be happy?
Before Lani can answer him, Ben and his friends arrive. They are carrying boxes into the house and Ben tells his friends to set the boxes down in one side of the room.
Lani: Anong ginagawa niyo dito?
Ben: Ah... ginagawa namin dito? Dito na ako titira!
Lani: At sino naman may sabi?
Lani: At sino ka para sabihin yan?
Ben: Ako lang naman po ang ama ng batang yun, at ako lang naman po ang lalaking nagpapakatanga sa isang babaeng sira-ulo tulad niyo. Basta handa ako gawin ang kahit ano, para sa 'yo.
Lani: Kahit ano, ha?! (she gets the baby and hands it to him). Ayan! Anak mo! Paliguan mo, ha!
The baby starts to cry, and Ben starts pretending to cry with the baby while everyone else smiles, knowing the two of them will be back together at last.
Epilogue (via the narration of Charo Santos). Ben and Lani marry and now live happily together in Cagayan de Oro.
Through his persistence and patience, Ben has won Lani's forgiveness and melted her anger. Of course, there are still moments of misunderstanding, but she is now confident he won't leave her. Ben chose to love her despite her handicap, and she knows he will still do so for the rest of her life.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
This is the episode summary of this week's Maalaala Mo Kaya episode, entitled Langis.
Posted by CF at 11:55 PM