MANILA — “Walang kupas,” so went the sentiment of viewers of the debuting “Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit,” which saw the acting comeback of Kaye Abad after a four-year hiatus from showbiz.
The maiden episode of the RSB Drama production saw a series of tragic turns for Abad’s character Ella. By the pilot’s conclusion on Monday, the actress’ name was among the top trends on Twitter, with many praising Abad’s acting as moving and ever reliable.
The opening minutes revealed that Ella is the mother of the central character, Michaela (Sophia Reola), and while in the present she appeared to live a simple but happy life with her daughter, her past was shown to be fraught with tragedy.
An illegitimate child of construction magnate Gabriel Salvador (Leo Rialp), Ella was shunned by Divina (Pilar Pilapil), the wife of her father. For a time she lived under the same roof and was sent to school, but Ella’s fortune turned upside down with the assassination of Gabriel.
With her father dead and Divina in charge, Ella was made to pay for her education – by becoming a helper in the mansion that was once her home. She did have an ally in her stepbrother, Eric (Rafa Siguion-Reyna), but the latter felt powerless against Divina and couldn’t protect her.
The already dire situation made a turn for the worse with Ella getting involved in a romance that defied a fatal family rivalry. Divina had pinned the assassination of Gabriel on David Villaluna (Dante Rivero), a former business partner whose substandard materials cost the lives of Gabriel’s construction workers.
Drawn to Dante’s son, Michael (RK Bagatsing), Ella recognized the complication of being in a relationship with a Villaluna, prompting them to keep their ties, and later their engagement, a secret.
They were soon discovered, however, with Eric’s wife, Katrina (Cristine Reyes), informing Divina of the relationship. Katrina also happened to be the ex-girlfriend of Michael, and appeared hurt still after being left by the man she once hoped to marry.
Ella’s so-called “betrayal” led her to being thrown out of the Salvador mansion. Brought by Michael to the rival Villaluna home, Ella found the welcome to be conditional; David would only allow it if she agreed to being an instrument of vengeance against the Salvadors.
Realizing her relationship with Michael would only do more harm than good, Ella decided to leave, crossing paths with Eric. He had sought her out to tell her the “truth,” but the conversation was cut short by a confrontation with Michael and the latter’s brother, James (Enzo Pineda).
Eric lashed out at the two, accusing their family of being behind Gabriel’s assassination. The scuffle became fatal, with a three-way struggle resulting in a gunshot that hit Eric. At that moment, Ella lost her brother, and eventually, Michael, who has been shown in trailers to be behind bars over Eric’s death.