My Love for Encantadia

It was July 18 when the show first aired last year. I remember accurately because I posted a status about it on my Facebook account. I rarely watch teleseryes because I find them stressful. I like to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. I don’t need to subject myself to tons of crying and over-the-top drama around love, the world’s injustices, and vengeance, which seem to be a common theme among said teleseryes.

That is what sets Encantadia apart. Yes, it has drama, crying, and babies getting stolen but it also has sword fights, explosions, magic, and bloodbath. It’s a fantasy. A perfect escape. It may be nothing like Game of Thrones in terms of the story line and production level but in and of itself, it is a gem. See what I did there? Gem? Brilyante?

Anyway, I think I was 15 years old when the original version came out and I was also an absolute fan back then. When it was first announced that GMA 7 is going to do a remake sometime around 2015 I guess, I was horrified because I felt protective of the show and its story. I didn’t want them to remake my beloved show only to botch it. I don’t know if it counted but I found myself sending tweets to make my voice be heard, asking them to make it good for us long-time fans.

A couple of months went by, the show aired and it was awesome! The production team did deliver what they promised. The story of the four Sang-gres was still front and center, of course, but it was more complex and dynamic than the previous version which I absolutely loved being that I’ve also matured in some sense, too.

Then came a fan’s heartbreak.

A few months into it, the show seemed to be nearing its climax and it was hinting that one of my favorite characters, Amihan, will die. I was a wreck for almost a full week, I think. I stressed myself out thinking and worrying whether they’d kill off her character. I didn’t understand why the show was going that route: killing off a main character. That’s not how you do it, at least not on shows in the Philippines.

Then a showbiz news broke out. Kylie Padilla, who was playing Amihan, is pregnant.

If I had any means, I would have begged and pleaded the director and writers to work their way around it. Yes, it’s trivial but I know for anyone who is a fan in some way, shape, or form, it’s one of the most difficult heartbreaks you could ever have largely because you can’t do anything about. It is totally out of your control. I cried like a real person was dying moments before her death, and cried even more during her funeral, and even when she came back and had to leave again because she no longer belonged in the world of the living, I guess you’d call it.

Looking back now, I could say that it made sense that she died based on how the story was going. It was a poetic death, the highest form of sacrifice. I admit I hated her for a moment because I couldn’t understand how a mother could think the way she thought. To me, it was a completely flawed thought process. It didn’t make sense. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because it was a sacrifice she had to make for the greater good, because while she was a mother and a sister, she was also a Queen, who had a duty not only to her own kingdom but also to the rest of their kind. As hard as it is to accept, in fiction and in real life, there is always something bigger than ourselves.

I’ve always had lots of feelings and thoughts about Encantadia but I hadn’t really intended to put it in writing until a few days ago…

I was reading Kylie’s blog post about Amihan: her own story about the character. How she got the role, the audition, her training, personal thoughts, and most especially her love for Amihan. It was an inspiring read in that I got to see Amihan through the eyes of the woman who played her.

She talked about her like Amihan was real. I’ve always known what a beautiful character Amihan was. She had the kindest heart and the bravest soul. A loving mother and a fierce warrior. Soft but not delicate. In fact, I began to love Amihan more through Kylie’s words.

Then I got to the part I didn’t expect. A paragraph of apology.

I want to express my most sincere apologies to everyone for everything that happened because of this. I know many people were disappointed. I promise to make it up to you after my kid is strong enough to carry himself.
 Sorry to the whole team and the followers of Encantadia. I know how much you love Amihan and the show, I know how much you wanted to see more of her. I know because I too feel the same. To the Encantadia cast and crew, I appreciate so much the care you took in those last couple taping days. Thank you for everything you did for me and what you continue to do for Amihan’s character on the show. We, all Amihan admirers want to see her happy.

Reading the quoted words above had me bawling again. I felt guilty because I did feel hurt and betrayed. While I never felt that Kylie owed fans an apology, I did feel a little comfort knowing she recognizes a fan’s pain.

To Kylie, in the suntok sa buwan chance of you reading this:

You didn’t have to apologize. Now, I admire you more for doing so. I would like you to know though that you’re more than forgiven. Through your posts, I understood that leaving was painful for you, too. For that, thank you for writing and sharing your blog.

The end of Amihan’s story may be unfortunate. However, the reason why it had to end is a beautiful story still waiting unfold.

The sad part about this is no longer seeing the story of such an amazing character on TV. The good part? Her death was not for nothing because it reminded me of a lesson that’s a tough pill to swallow even to the best of us. Selflessness.



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