Oh My Gulay!!!!! I just finished watching all 65 episodes of The Rich Man's Daughter on Iflix. As in now na now lang! It took me nearly 2 weeks to finish everything! I got so addicted to the series that on some nights, I slept very very late!
Halfway through the telenovela, my husband joined me and it became one of our bonding moments. He enjoyed listening to their attempts at speaking Fookien. He'd laugh and say, "Ano raw?" He would then point out to me that atleast the actors are trying to speak Chinese while I barely make the effort. Pffft!
The series is actually about a Fil-Chi girl from a conservative and very prominent family, who realized she is a lesbian when she fell in love at first sight with another girl. Needless to say, her family is very strict and they put the lesbian couple through hell.
But the story goes beyond the Lesbian love affair! It is just the creative and unique story hook.
At the start of the series, one will assume that this is just another drama on forbidden love relationships. However, as the story unfolds, it started to tackle a lot of the stereotypical Fil-Chi issues and concerns,
As a Filipino-Chinese, I found the stories within the story very relatable and very informative. I particularly loved watching all the Chinese traditions that were shown in the series: The Ting Hun, The Funeral Rites etc.
And characters! Wow! They are all amazing, especially Glydel Mercado, who played the Filipina mom. I never realized how good an actress Glydel is until I watched this series. Grabe, she's so good! Ka level nya si Vilma! And I feel she is so much better than Sharon Cuneta! Watch it and you'll see what I'm talking about! Pang leading lady sa drama pala si Glydel!
I was particularly impressed with the writers. Unlike most Filipino telenovelas, where the villain is just out to destroy lives, here each character has a reason behind his/her action.
I didn't find the storyline linear or predictable. It had so much depth. So much depth that it was nearly impossible for me to take anyone's side. I felt equally torn as the characters!
Here are the characters that made an impression on me:
Jade Tanchingco- The favorite, only daughter who is torn between following her heart and keeping her family. She recognizes her parents have been very good to her. She wants to be true to her sexual preference but she can't bear seeing her parents suffer.
Althea- The lesbian lover of Jade who wanted to fight to her but eventually had to give up for the sake of her own peace and happiness.
Amanda Dionisio-Tanchingco- The Filipina, who married Oscar, the son of a rich Fil-Chi family. They were rejected by his parents but she was very persistent and humble. She did everything so that they can return to the ancestral house. Even when they were back in the family home, her father-in-law constantly blames her "blood" for all the issues caused by her children. She was initially submissive to her husband and just cried when he "disciplined" their children.
Oscar Tanchingco- The father who is very strict and intolerant of his children's preferences because he is also being judged by his own father and brothers.
Gabriel Tanchingco- The eldest son and most responsible son. He married a Chinese girl even if he had a Filipina girlfriend. AHA! I've heard this story oh so many times!
Pearl Sy-Tanchingco-The wife of Gabriel, who married him thinking that he loved her. She was asked to give up her career and to stay in the ancestral house together with the rest of the family. Pearl is a typical Chinese wife, who initially is willing to do what is expected of her and is willing to forgive her husband for sake of saving face. She is constantly being asked to have a baby and is feeling very pressured. I can relate to two points I underlined!
Angeline - The Filipina girlfriend of Gabriel, who waited for many years only to find out that he married a Chinese girl. - I know someone with the same story!
I super love her line in this scene where Gabriel told her that he loves her. She said, " Hindi ako ang mahal mo dahil hindi ako ang pinili mong pakasalan."
Paul Tanchingco- The second son who is gay but decided to just stay home and be single rather than upset his father and angkong. He is very outspoken about being gay even if his father refuses to acknowledge it. They still force him to go to kai-shaos.
John "Angkong" Tanchingco- The head of the family, the father of Oscar and grandfather of Jade, Gabriel and Paul. He is very traditional and conservative. His only goal is to keep the family's name clean. Towards the end of the series, he shared that he also married a woman, who didn't love him. However, he tried his best to win her over because it was for the good of everyone.
David Limjoco- the longtime boyfriend of Jade, who patiently and selflessly stands by her side, hoping that she will eventually turn straight.
Batchi and Willa- The lesbian friends of Althea and Jade, who always make very good and rational points. They also have very interesting side stories that bring to light the issues of lesbians in the Philippines.
Super obvious ba that I know everyone?!
I swear, it's a very good telenovela. It tackles very relevant LGBT issues in the Philippines and shares Filipino-Chinese family "sentiments".
I was telling my husband that there are some lines there that no one will really say out out but I'm pretty sure everyone is thinking of it.
The series inspired me to write about LGBT in Fil-Chi families but it's a topic that I don't know much about. If you have any stories, send me an email! I would love to know more on how gays and lesbians came out to their Fil-Chi parents and I'm curious how Fil-Chi parents took the announcement.
Anyway! I suggest you download IFLIX and watch the series. Iflix has a free 30 day trial!!!
Sad that the holidays are over,
Photos from: Iflix and official Facebook Page of The Rich Man's Daughter