Thursday, June 07, 2007

Catalina y Sebastian: Millionaire Men Don't Grow on Trees!

Tonite, the first episode of that 8-year old telenovela, "Catalina y Sebastian" began showing on T.V. We saw a much younger (and slimmer) Silvia Navarro "Catalina", dominantly featured as the principal actress.

Like every telenovela at the beginning, there is always a "PAST" shrouded in secrecy, that would always return to threaten and haunt the beautiful future.

Our famous actor (Sergio Klainer), "Lic Ordonez" of The Gardener's daughter fame, played the role the conscientious father of Catalina, called "Gustavo Negrete" and he had an avaricious wife, called "Adela" (Claudia Islas), who lives in a facade of glamorous life that her husband's income could not sustain.

This precarious situation drove that family into a mountain of debts that threatened Gustavo with imprisonment, and his family with eviction and a life of misery. The greed, selfishness and ambition of Adela triggered an intrigue to 'sell-off' Catalina into a dreaded marriage, to one old rich man- "Don GuadaLupe Mendoza" (Fidel Garriga).

But destiny played a fast one on them, as Don Lupe got injured from falling off a horse in his ranch, so it was his son, "Sebastian Mendoza" (Sergio Basañez- our "Diego", of 'Cuando Seas Mia' fame), who substituted for him at the ordained meeting with Gustavo.

Catalina had her own romantic dreams, which she nursed, to get married to her heartthrob - Eduardo. But Eduardo betrayed that dream by secretly dating an older rich lady for her money. That rich lady was called "Silvia" (Kenia Gascon) or Marissa Gomez, of the famed gardener's daughter telenovela. She would show up tomorrow in Episode 2. I look forward to know how she looked 8 years ago. She must have had a young look then to have rivaled 'Paloma' in a telenovela.

In the ranch, the newly arrived heir and son of Don Lupe- Sebastián, faced a silent war waged by the usurper foreman of the ranch, called "Carmelo" (Alberto Mayagoitia).

He was embittered and envious of Sebastian. Having served Lupe as servant from youth, he felt threatened that, Sebastián being the heir-apparent, would take all his privileges and favors, which he had taken for granted, in the absence of "Diego", pardon me, I mean to write Sebastián.

Carmelo was orphaned from boyhood. His origin was shrouded in mystery, a mystery that haunted him until adulthood. He lived in the believe of an unproven rumor that he was the bastard child of Lupe. He never knew the love of any parent when he grew up in the ranch, except the generous disposition of jolly good old man Lupe, (who is in his 50's), and that of an old maid called "Petra". This is what set the stage for intrigues, rumors, forgeries and scandal that later made the life of Sebastián a misery....

"Vanessa Sotomayor" (Alejandra Lazcano), was another character from the gardener's daughter that showed up here in Catalina y Sebastian. She played the role of "Martina", the lovely younger sister of Sebastian. She had a friend called, "Emilia" (María Rebeca). Emilia would play the role of a Jealous, desperate, scheming lover, like that of Jennifer de la Vega, of the gardener's daughter telenovela.

Emilia would set as her mission, the destruction of Catalina, so that she could marry Sebastian. She would go to ugly lengths to fulfill her mission, as this telenovela rolls on.

One mortal and vengeful enemy we cannot forget to mention in this snippet is Madam "Antonieta", played by Regina Torné. Her enmity with Don Lupe was rooted in the secret and odious past. Being a sworn enemy of Lupe Mendoza, she carefully planed how to bring down and ruin him, using members of his household against him. She promises to be the "Consuelo Alcantara" of this novela.

The Intimacy Test in Marriage

Lasting marriage is all about intimacy, once it is lost, that marriage would inevitably hit the rocks. More than anything else, this is one thing that should be closely watched and jealously guarded by couples.

When I talk of intimacy, not just of the bed (that is perhaps 40% of the intimacy equation). I am talking of the intimacy of thoughts and actions. I mean the intimate bonds of true friendship.

long after the hoopla of wedding receptions, what makes marriages to go the marathon distance is not the hubby-wife relationships and duties, but the intimate bonds of friendship that runs deeper than public certification of marriage. This is what made me publish this story of deeper marital lessons from my dear friend, Omodesola Ilechukwu (Mrs.) Please, enjoy:

"When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her
hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate
quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

"Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let
her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic

"She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me
softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw
away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That
night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she
wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could
hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew.
I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

"With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which
stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my

"She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who
had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt
sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take
back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly.

"Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected
to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce
which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and
clearer now.

"The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing
something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep
and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

"When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just
did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

"In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't
want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce.
She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal
a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a
month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

"This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked
me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

"She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her
out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was
going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her
odd request

"I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed
loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she
has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

"My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce
intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the
first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is
holding mummy in his arms.

"His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the
sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her
in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son
about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down
outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove
alone to the office.

"On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned
on my chest
. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that
I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she
was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair
was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I
wondered what I had done to her.

"On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning.
This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

"On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was
growing again
. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry
her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made
me stronger.

"She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a
few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my
dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so
thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

"Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness
in her heart
. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

"Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry
mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an
essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer
and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I
might change my mind at this last minute
. I then held her in my arms,
walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her
hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly;
it was just like our wedding day

"But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I
held her in my arms, I could hardly move a step
. Our son had gone to
school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life
lacked intimacy!

"I drove to office... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door.
I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...
I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I
do not want the divorce anymore

"She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do
you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I
said, I won't divorce.

"My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value
the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more
Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day
I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

"Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then
slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove

"At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers
for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled
and wrote, 'I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart'.

"The small details of your lives are what really matter in a
relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the
bank, blah..blah.. blah
. These create an environment conducive for
happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

"So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things
for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Feel free to share this story with someone out there, you just might save a marriage. Thank you sister Omodesola for this story and happy birthday to your Son, on Friday, 15th June 2007.

"I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today. I know that the world is a looking glass and gives back to me the reflection of my own soul. Now I understand the secret of correcting the attitude of others and that is to correct my own."

The Curtain Drawn Over TGD

The curtain has finally been drawn over the gardener's Daughter (La Hija del Jardinero) telenovela, some few hours ago, after 9 months and 10 days. This would make me to effectively break my emotional ties with that soap opera, and move forward to reach my dreams of serializing other telenovelas for our collective pleasures on this blog.

Luis Alejandro Montero paid the prize of 2-decades of treachery and perfidy - 10 years behind bars! I am not too happy about the repentance of Jennifer de la Vega, at the last minute. I would have wanted her punished with an equal penalty, with her 'comrade' and accomplice, L.A.

10 years behind bars or in a psychiatric clinic, would definitely have broken her pride and send her out of the beauty and fashion industry, and would make her to be ineligible for marriage. She was the chief promoter of mischief and misery for Luisa Fernanda.To pardon and release Jennifer to go home from the psychiatric clinic, after the so-called repentance, was unfair to Solozarno and Luis Alejandro. To me, Jenny does not seem to have fully repented, because, up till the last second, she was still expecting Carlos Eduardo to return to her bosom, not caring for the feelings and sacrifices of her emotional 'spare tyre', poor Guillermo.

I would miss "Mr. M-A-R-V-E-L-O-U-S"! Victor was another super comedian who spiced the wracking tensed moments throughout the telenovela. I am happy and, at the same time sad for Xochil. Happy because she would be marrying her heartthrob- Dr. Anzola. Sad because, she still felt unsecured, after everything. They are not soul-mates, and she is heavily prone to hit the bottle, being addicted to alcohol.

It looked like, half-way into this final episode, Don Fernando was substituted with another man with a bigger body frame than the old man that played that role for 179 and 1/2 episodes.

My good sister and friend Bola Oluyemi of Mums and Dads' Children, has written me and sent me the summaries of Catalina y Sebastian which would take off probably tonight. I saw that she had 'let the cat out of the bag', by 'greeting' me for my 10th marriage anniversary today. Shhhhh! it is a quiet family affair here. I don't have anointing for partying (like sister Omodesola would say).

I need to edit it (Catalina y Sebastian), to make it flow as we read ahead of the beginning. Lorenzo's Wife, I have an appointment with you for this month, so friends, keep praying for me to have the emotional and enthusiastic resources to pay off a significant part of my Telenovela debts this month.