By Alwin M. Ignacio

 In this concluding week of the said soap opera, Chan showed and presented to the viewing public that he is not just a pretty-faced male of a star, but an actor who knows how to give life to remarkable character, no matter how difficult it is.


Entertainment writer and lifestyle chronicler Arnel Ramos posted on Facebook  last Friday, “Ang sarap sampal-sampalin nina Ken Chan at Jeric Gonzales sa Destiny Rose, the scene where VInce consoles Destiny and tells her, ‘Baka may lalaking nakatadhana talaga para sa ‘yo. Yung tanggap ka. HIndi ka sasaktan kailanman.’ Ang husay-husay at bagay na bagay silang dalawa. At sa Lunes (tomorrow), ‘wag tayong kukurap as Vince finally reveals his true feelings for Destiny. Can’t get enough of Destiny Rose. Ken and Jeric, pinaluha n’yo ang isang hopeless romantic-turned- cynic na sa kaibuturan ay laging naniniwala sa pag-ibig.’

            Yes, dear readers, Ramos, just like this correspondent are “feeling bluer than blue, sadder than sad” as one ditty succinctly puts it, because what has become the afternoon habit for almost half-a-year by most members of the pink community and the general populace, Destiny Rose, the trailblazing drama about a transwoman bids us farewell.

            Ken Chan, the drama’s lead shared a Facebook post, “Kanina sa pagmulat ng aking mga mata ako’y napangiti pero nalungkot din naman kagad. Sabi ko sa sarili ko,’ ito na pala ang aming huling taping’.Kinuha ko ang aking script at paglipat ko sa huling pahina bumungad sakin kagad ang salitang WAKAS. Ang hirap isabuhay ng eksenang ito. Parang ayoko pang gawin pero kailangan na. Alam kong darating ang oras na tutuldukan na ang aming istorya pero dito ko napagtanto na ang bawat katupusan ay siya namang umpisa ng isang magandang kwento. Oo ito na ang aming huling taping pero hindi pa ito ang araw na magwawakas ang makulay na buhay ni Destiny Rose samahan niyo po kami hanggang sa pagtiklop ng aking talaarawan (diary).”

            The inevitable adieu of Destiny Rose’, without a doubt, triggered a sigh of relief from the fiercest rival network.

            The trio of Kapamilya shows pitted against Chan’s afternoon guilty pleasure are delight were Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita, Walang Iwanan and the Julia Baretto, Inigo Pascual, Miles Ocampo tear jerker, And I Love You So, proved to be no match as the Rose of afternoon prime  reigned supremely in its highly contested time slot.

What We Will Miss?                                  

            Thus, we wonder what we will all miss? It begns with the magical transformation of Ken. For the longest time, Chan has been branded as “just one of those Asian looking pretty boys.”  People started to be curious about Ken when he starred as the young Freddie Webb in the Cinemalaya film favorite, 1st ko Si Third.  When he bagged the role after a rigorous audition, kibitzers raised their eyebrows with a universal declaration that this gamble will bear no golden fruit.

            Of course, Destiny Rose ardent viewers know better. His transformation transcended the physical. The moment he stepped in the stilettos of the main character,  Chan totally became a “she.” When he embraced the character, all thoughts, deed and emotions, was geared towards being and becoming the “woman” that is Destiny Rose. The transformation of Ken Chan without a doubt is inspired and riveting.

            Because of his “all woman” Destiny, its loyal audiences were seduced, and how? They cannot help but feel giddy every time she is in the loving embrace and companionship of Gabriel and Vince.

            Mothers, sons and brothers and those who have a gay member in the family, cannot stop their tears rolling down their faces as her father Lito emotionally abused and terrorized her, scenes so familiar it sting.

            When you see her wail because of Gabriel, something inside you want to scream. The pain she experienced is so palpable, you cannot help but recollect that one moment in time when you loved and lost.  Ken portrayed Destiny Rose with a lot of emotional truth, with a fierce commitment to becoming and being a “her/she.”

            Also in the miss list are the eye candies and beefcakes. The Prince Charming incarnate Fabio Ide as Gabriel and his best friend and brother, Sig Aldeen as Mario.

            Gabriel is Ide’s most challenging character and role to date and he did acquit himself wonderfully.

           The best friend and the one who loves her for real, Vince, which Jeric Gonzales plays.  Gonzales is particularly endearing as Vince because as an audience, you feel his unsullied affections for Destiny. You know it is pure, coming from his very core and gut, a crystal case of ‘first love never dies.’ When they share the screen together, you know and feel how much Vince loves her. His being protective to Destiny is instinctive. Every fairy must have a VInce in her life.

            Gonzales  as Vince made us all believed that one who truly loves does not only see   and appreciate the physical. He rises above the superficiality and embraces and loves the essential that is invisble to the eye – his heart knows and what it dictates is what truly matters.  For Vince, his heart and Destiny’s heart, beat as one.

No Small Actors

            When the show rolls its final credits, the list are peppered with supporting actors who gave life and limb, heart and soul, vitriol and passion to the characters assigned to them.

            Kudos to Michael de Mesa, as Armani Vitto, mentor, pseudo father and fairy godmother of Destiny.

          Katrina Halili as the resident evil Jasmine and her collaborator, Irma Adlawan as Bethilda. Many are hoping a curse or wrath fall upon the two tormentors.

            Manilyn Reynes, Sheena Halili and Joko Diaz. The actors who act as Destiny’s family. Mother and daughter versus a domineering and a dictator of a father who hates Destiny like a plague. The resolution of their conflict is most anticipated.

        Jackie Lou Blanco as Dahlia and Melissa Mendez as Yvonne, two mothers of different backgrounds, beliefs and motivations. They are mothers who unconditionally love their respective children and will do every thing in their power to protect and love them.

            And of course, Destiny’s posse, whose members include beauty queen maker and fashion designer Renee Salud and Cinemalaya’s breakthrough star from the film Quick Change and another indie favorite Seoul Mates, Mimi Juareza.

The Truth And Nothing But…

            12When Destiny Rose finally says “the end,” we all get to realize the many truths it highlighted. The first fact being, the persecution against members of the LGBT community continues and despite the success of LGBT people in terms of career and relationships, many still crucify, curse and judge them. There are individuals and entities who are callous and prejudicial. The fight is never over and we really need a big stick to conk their heads and kill them with kindness to soften their hearts.

          Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to matters of the hearts. There should be no secrets. When you love someone, you must fight for it but you must also know when to let go and be gracious in your acceptance.

            Aside from romantic love, the greatest love of all is loving yourself and the same time the love that comes from your family.

            Even if you don’t need to please every body, one must always know his or her self worth. Realize your dreams by putting your talents and assets to great and maximum use. And don’t allow other people to dictate what you can, cannot, should and must do!

         If I were the producers of Destiny Rose, a book two must be airing sooner.

In this second book, more progressive LGBT concerns can be tackled, we all become witnesses to a more empowered central character with the love, support, embraces, hugs and kisses from Vince, of course.

            Destiny Rose Book Two will hopefully highlight the struggles and triumphs of a transwoman and her partner and together, how they make their relationship work and survive in the most passionate and lovable manner.

            The finale episodes of Destiny Rose airs this week.

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