Season 1, Episode 1 – The one with the plane crash
The pilot begins with a scene on a boat where Lupita (Rita Avila) gives birth to a baby girl, MariMar, or Maria del Mar – a fitting name, she said, for one who had been born at sea. Lupita is assisted by her close friend, Silva who also took her in while she stowed away from her husband’s home whose wicked mother Dolores (Pilar Pilapil) disapproves of Lupita as her son’s wife.
Silva’s husband however didn’t like the idea of having to care for another person who is as poor as them, especially one who has an infant. Additional mouths to feed are an added burden. So Lupita, feeling unwanted left for her.
Just then, Gustavo (Jestoni Alarcon) finds her and brings her back to his family. By this time, Gustavo had firmly warned his mother that should Lupita run away again because of her distaste for Lupita’s poverty, he will leave his parents’ home and never to return again. At first, all was well with Dolores pretending to love Lupita; asking for forgiveness; even making it seem that she dotes on the newborn Marimar. However she was already hatching up a plan to get rid of her poor daughter-in-law for good.
One night, when Gustavo had to go attend to some errands in their hacienda, she gives Lupita a glass of milk, on the pretense that this will be good for her, caring for her infant daughter. Once the sedative took effect on the unsuspecting Lupita, Dolores set her up with an accomplice and makes it seem that Lupita had left Gustavo for another man. Gustavo and Dolores then find Lupita in a small hut, sleeping with another man. In his rage, Gustavo sends Lupita and his daughter away.
Lupita goes back to her own home, the one she grew up in. Being alone in life, and having had parents who passed away early, she and her daughter make the old hut their new home and make a living selling rice cakes and sweets. Later Gustavo finds out that his own mother set Lupita up. He swore to look for his wronged wife and daughter and left his parents home to come to Manila. Meanwhile, Silva finds Lupita and Marimar selling their wares near a bus stop and the two catch up on the latest news about them. Lupita made Silva swear she will never tell anyone, especially Gustavo where they are.
After seven years, Gustavo's parents (Pilar Pilapil and Jaime Fabregas) who had been living abroad got killed in an accident. His cousin Esperanza (Bing Loyzaga) went home to Manila to deliver him the sad news. Gustavo heads backs to the province to bury his parents. In their grave, Silva appears and tells Gustavo where he can find his wife and daughter. Gustavo finds Lupita and MariMar and asks for their forgiveness. He showers his family with presents and gives Marimar a gold necklace with her name especially made for her. The young Marimar (Ella Cruz) declares that having both parents by her side is the best thing she could ever hope for.
Gustavo then tells his family that he plans to take them to Manila and live there. On their flight to Manila, Marimar gives Gustavo a piece of paper where she drew three figures – that of a father, a mother and a daughter – representing Gustavo, Lupita and Marimar and how happy they are together. Fate though had other plans. The plane they were riding had engine trouble and crashed in the middle of the sea. We see Gustavo desperately calling out for Lupita and Marimar amidst bodies and debris. He ran to a girl calling for her father, thinking it was Marimar but it wasn’t. He continues calling and looking for Lupita and Marimar on the beach.
The pilot ends with the crashed plane exploding before the fear-stricken face of Gustavo.
My take: It’s actually entertaining. I loved the characters of Pilar Pilapil and Jaime Fabregas as Gustavo’s parents. Seasoned actors that can eclipse not so good ones on screen. Also re-teaming up of Jestoni and Rita who is as pretty as ever.
Quotable lines: Pilar’s loaded statement, “Hindi ko naman pinapalayas ang hampas-lupa mong asawa, basta na lang shang umalis!” Hampas-lupa...wow! Will be definitely watching for more.