The second episode of “Pangako Sa’yo” sheds more light upon its primary characters, further building them up with richer backstories that the audience haven’t learned from them, yet.
It opens with a meeting between the Zalamedas and Buenavistas, where we see Claudia—now bethrothed to Eduardo— beginning to struggle adapting to the life waiting for her. The moment is incredibly amusing for her, as she gets to finally sit beside Eduardo, but also unsettling, as his father’s new wife, displays an evident dislike of her.
She narrates her excitement to her mother (played by Sylvia Sanchez), who she finds engaging in a heated discourse with her neighbors when she arrives home. There is no denying how protective Claudia is, to her mother, who also sees marrying Eduardo, a way for them to improve their gruesome situation. Claudia acknowledges the hardships, and she’s determined to get past them, even if it means she has to do anything, even marrying someone she hasn’t learned to love, yet.
This paints Claudia’s character as an ambitious woman, whose goals are mainly propelled by her desire to make her mother happy.
Almost the same can be said with Amor, who will do anything for her family, only the scope of her concerns are far wider than Claudia’s. As news about the waste leak and contamination in Buena Mines (which, apparently is deliberately suppressed from the press, by Doña Benita), Amor rushes to Eduardo to seek help, citing the rising cases of diseases among workers and residences, living near the mines.
Believing Amor, the compassionate Eduardo Buenavista promises to send men to inspect the site, and hand aids to everybody affected by the contamination. But no thanks to Doña Benita who prohibits her men—who also report for Eduardo—not to divulge the true situations in the mines. No thanks, too, to Claudia, who wouldn’t mind having Eduardo on the phone, as she enumerates both her worries and excitement for their next meeting (this includes what dress she should wear, what color should it be, or should she wear something with the same color as Eduardo’s).
By now, it’s obvious Pangako Sa’yo is taking everything as slow as possible to lay the groundworks for its characters. While Amor and Claudia are immediately exposed to us as both protective daughters, there’s a distinct division drawn that separates one from the other.
Claudia is ambitious, but that doesn’t just emanate from her desires to provide her mother everything, more to it, I guess, is the fact that she is a illegitimate child, forcing her to be more independent. On the other hand, Amor’s desires are purely innocent, and driven by an utter sense of responsibility.
The pacing is yet to pick up, but no one except the Kathniels (I guess), is in a hurry. I believe this lazy development is integral for the next events. It’s also worth noting that such very slow approach, makes way for the narative to introduce elements that are probably going to play through the entire stretch of the series. Again, we see how wealth and politics assume the very symbolism of power, and as seemingly always, the root of evil.
The three directors—Lamasan, Lumibao, Dayrit—and the writers, have skillfully utilized these elements effectively on this episode (and probably on the succeeding ones), knitting them seamlessly with the rest of the narrative, without appearing forced and unrealistic.
Doña Benita sees the marriage of his son to Claudia, the only way to save his family’s bussiness’ downfall, and at the same time, she knows this may serve far more advantages in the future. The old woman is obviously up for everything just so she could keep the riches of her family.
Ian Veneracion continues to dazzle with his irresistable charm, and it’s really a delight to see him taking the steps to finally get near Amor. I don’t those fatal glimpses and sweet smiles from him aren’t enough to make Amor further fall for him.
Thanks to the sustained beautiful cinematography, those smiles and glimpses are turned into no less than visual feasts. There’s also no doubt about where this is heading, when the overwhelming chemistry between them are seemingly screaming right into the tv screen. It’s just magical, and no one can resist it.
Overall, this episode is still strong. I’d say despite of its slow pace, “Pangako Sa’yo” is still hitting the perfect tone.