MY PREVIOUS article on the “primera contravida” prompted many of my friends to request a piece on the “bidas.” According to them, the leading antagonists took the limelight last time, so it is but proper for their counterparts to take center stage as well.
What is highly noticeable among the protagonists in many Filipino movies and telenovelas is that they are always initially depicted as a bunch of weak individuals who are either uneducated or misinformed about the laws that protect them, or are simply afraid to stand up for their rights. As if their current misfortunes were not enough for their already miserable life, they are always at the receiving end of the contravida’s evil schemes.
It is only after experiencing unimaginable misfortunes that they begin to chart their own future and craft a winner-takes-all revenge plan. Along the way, they get to meet a Good Samaritan or two. Like our protagonists, these angels went through the same oppression and are therefore more than willing to join in the fray, no matter the danger and the costs are, for as long they witness the ultimate downfall of the “primera contravida.”
In “Pangako sa ‘Yo,” Amor de Jesus had to be thrown out of the Buenavista Hacienda while pregnant with her daughter. She had to live in the Payatas dumpsite and work in a club before ending up with James Powers, an abusive American. She inherited all her husband’s vast wealth, became an astute businesswoman and then returned to Punta Verde to take down Eduardo and Claudia Zalameda-Buenavista.
Primetime viewers were glued on the highly-acclaimed revenge drama series “Dirty Linen.” Rightfully so, they were all on the edge of their seats as they watched Alexa Salvacion, together with Mang Abe, Max and Lala, hatched her plan to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of Aling Olivia and the rest of the household helpers of the powerful Fiero clan. Along the way, they got the much-needed help from Lemuel M. Onore, a highly-principled police officer.
The story of Gigi de Jesus in “Magandang Dilag” is no different. Bullied and ridiculed by many for her looks, she and her mother were abandoned by the family patriarch. As it turned out, Joaquin Robles was from a well-to-do family who reappeared in their lives, made up for the lost times and then left them immense fortune. She was conned by the Elite Squad, lost her inheritance, was jailed but was eventually aided by Atty. Eric Oliveros and Sofia Veneracion vda. de Robles. Gigi did not only successfully reclaim what she had lost, she also exposed Magnus as a corrupt politician who was undeserving of the votes and the trust of the voting public.
Don’t you just love it when our collective voice as viewers rally behind the efforts of our bidas and curse every single move of the contavidas in our favorite telenovelas? We always long for that day when the bidas finally uncover the truth, unmask the evil faces of the seemingly good contravidas and get to live the life that they deserve. Imagine if this same attitude were translated to socio-political issues that truly matter as they continue to affect our existence as a people.
I hope the day comes when we are able to stand up to our government leaders whose idea of governance is to accumulate wealth and protect their own interests. These are the real-life contravidas who make life miserable for the Filipino taxpayers and many marginalized members of our society, the true bidas in our midst. Let us also take the cudgels for the lost, the least and the last because if we maintain a blind eye to their predicament, we are just as accountable as our elected officials whose election promises remain just like that – empty and hollow. Let us also find the firm resolve to support the efforts of many Good Samaritans in our country today. They may be far and few, but their number is definitely mounting. These are the human rights lawyers, social reforms and justice advocates, environmentalists, journalists and many others who lend their voices, time and resources to uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
The contravidas in Philippine politics and society have long dominated the scene. They have flexed their muscles, circumvented the law and flaunted their influence at the expense of the lives of the real bidas in the country. Let us rewrite our country’s grand telenovela by kicking all of them out of power. Let us not wait for a happy ending which might take a long time, or which might not happen at all. Let us end their reign of greed and power, and let us all have a happy ending as early as now!