The most watched barbarity will finally close curtain on Friday. Calling it a barbarity is exaggerated, you say, for something as trailblazing and reeking with morals a teleserye as May Bukas Pa. One doesn’t call a multi-awarded program barbaric. It’s inappropriate, if not untrue.
May Bukas Pa is a story that has run too long, too long in fact that I am aching and itching to see its last day of showing. Thank God it’s this Friday. Obviously, the teleserye can extend to ad infinitum; its life dependent on the imagination of its über-original writers. If ABS-CBN wills it, it can even introduce new talents by having them play a role, say, a drug addict, a serial killer, a necromancer, a prostitute, who will then be changed by the wonder boy Santino into a repenting loser asking forgiveness from Bro, complete with a climactic cry that would rival a paid crying lady in the funeral of Manila’s richest Chinese businessman. This is a guaranteed way to raise them to stardom in no time.
But this barbarity did not start as horrendous as it now when the boy and the fathers in the seminary are about to say their adieu. The teleserye hinted a lot of promise when it began showing nearly two years ago, but whatever happened to that promise, no one knows. It could be that the people did not seem to notice because they were too scared to be the objects of ire of the omniscient Bro, that no one wanted to take the chance of being sent and thrown head first in the eternal lake of fire, or that the people are toying with the hope of being saved from the impending coming of the Messiah. I am only hypothesizing. This fear and the promise of redemption firmly grounded May Bukas Pa in the minds of the unthinking public, allowing it to last that long, a feat uncommon nowadays when the longest run of a good program is less than six months.
But the show is not entirely lacking of any salvaging character. When viewed using a specific perspective, it’s noir-ish, only that lighting for TV will definitely not allow this treatment. The story, especially now that it’s about to end, is reminiscent of Ishmael Bernal’s Himala starring Nora Aunor. But ABS-CBN, of course, won’t do something not very bright as to experiment with this style all the way.
So what will be done as has been done before is to have something akin to a high school reunion where all participants wear white as they cry their hearts out for the body of a dead boy, an innocent victim of blind faith of the people of Bagong Pag-asa. A background funeral song will be played while the faces of the stars whose lives Santino touched are given several seconds of extreme close-up shots.
The newscast on TV Patrol World the following night will be about the mourning of the entire nation over the death of May Bukas Pa lead star, Santino, and some talks about future teleseryes lined up for him.
Now, isn’t that barbaric?