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'Maria Clara at Ibarra' viral 'rehas' scene puts spotlight on women's plight, equal rights |

Arts and Culture

'Maria Clara at Ibarra' viral 'rehas' scene puts spotlight on women's plight, equal rights

Kathleen A. Llemit -
'Maria Clara at Ibarra' viral 'rehas' scene puts spotlight on women's plight, equal rights
Barbie Forteza and Julie Anne San Jose as Klay and Clarita, respectively, talk about women's rights and equality during the Spanish colonial period in the historical drama "Maria Clara at Ibarra."
GMA Entertainment, GMA Drama via Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — It was a fiery first appearance for Rocco Nacino in last night's episode of "Maria Clara at Ibarra" when his character, Elias, gave Tirso Cruz III's Padre Damaso a taste of his own medicine. 

Likewise, the two titular characters, Maria Clara Infantes or Klay and Maria Clara delos Santos or Clarita (OG or original MC for fans), served a gripping confrontational scene that had viewers clapping their hands with its brave script and affective, contrasting acting from Barbie Forteza and Julie Anne San Jose. 

Last night's episode was a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from satisfying when Elias was irreverently vindictive with the power-tripping Padre Damaso by giving him a blackeye and "blessing" him with the urine of the Indios (Filipinos) which the latter often demeans, to conflicting when Klay vented out her frustration and indignation at the way women were treated during the Spanish colonial era to Clarita.

"Hindi mo nga nakikita, Maria Clara. Hindi mo nga nakikita pero ako kitang-kita ko ang mga rehas na nakapalibot sa akin dito. Sa akin, sa'yo," Klay tells Clarita, while miming an invisible cell. 

Klay was thrown out of the party hosted by Kapitan Basilio where she stressed the value of women's rights and equality to a roomfull of misogynistic men. For context, women during the Spanish colonial period were not allowed to join discussions with men as they were expected to be subservient and meek. They were not also allowed to learn, except on how to run a household or learn Spanish for the more well-heeled Filipinos. 

"Wala kang mararating, Maria Clara, kung mananatili ka sa kinalalagyan mo ngayon at hahayaan mong ikulong ang sarili mo," Klay says to the quietly crying Maria Clara, who had followed her outside where their confrontation happened. 

"At alam mo ang pinakamasakit? Kayong mga babae rito, kayo mismo ang nagkukulong, pinagkakait sa isa't isa ang halaga at kapangyarihan ninyo," Klay adds before she left Clarita. 

The next scene sees Clarita telling her fiance Crisostomo Ibarra (Dennis Trillo) her fears and apprehension about the concept of marriage. 

"Bakit tinawag na pagpapakasal ang pag-iisang dibdib, kung ang isa ay nasa ibabaw at ako naman ay nasa ilalim?" she tells him, to which he would reply that when they get married, he would ensure that they would be equals in their union. 

Klay's presence in the novel is considered a disruption. Many times, she had attempted to change the characters' dire fates to no avail (even though she has only read until Chapter 3 and knew basically nothing about their tragic ends). The latest episodes, notably with Maria Clara, sees her attempts seemingly bearing fruition with the latter beginning to wonder about her lot as a woman in her society. 

Elias' introduction also serves a signal to the darker turn of events as described in Rizal's novel. He is seen as a loyal friend to Ibarra and a patriot who would not mind offering his own life for the greater cause.

"Maria Clara at Ibarra" tells the story of 21st century nursing student named Klay who gets transmigrated inside the novel where she meets the characters made famous by Dr. Jose Rizal. It airs weeknights right after "24 Oras" on GMA-7.  

RELATED: Teacher shares how 'Maria Clara at Ibarra' influenced his nephew to read 'Noli Me Tangere'

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