MANILA - "Ikaw Lamang," ABS-CBN's top-rating series starring Kim Chiu and Coco Martin, came full circle on Friday as it concluded with its opening scene that first aired in March 2014.
In the first minutes of the pilot episode, characters portrayed by Chiu and Martin, apparently strangers, nearly cross paths as they look around an old building.
But in the final scene of "Ikaw Lamang," the two are revealed to be Andrea and Gabriel after their wedding. After touring the place separately, they meet near the fountain seen in the first episode and share a kiss.
The happy ending, however, did not come easily for the couple.
The scene is the culmination of decades of conflict between the respective fathers of Andrea and Gabriel, Franco (Jake Cuenca/Christopher de Leon) and Samuel (Martin/Joel Torre).
Love story across generations
Dubbed a master teleserye, "Ikaw Lamang" spanned generations: Book 1 started in the '60s and ended two decades later. Book 2, which featured a new set of cast, began last August 11 in the year 2005.
Still obsessed with claiming Isabelle (Chiu/Amy Austria) as his wife, Franco kept her captive, along with their daughter Andrea, upon learning that Samuel is still alive years after he plotted his death by setting a ship ablaze.
Samuel and Gabriel's attempt to save the women they love resulted in Samuel's death in the hands of Franco. Ultimately, Gabriel avenged his father when Franco accidentally fell off a docked ship as they struggled, and skewered by the hook of a nearby crane.
Andrea and Gabriel's wedding, as it unfolded, was also the fulfillment of their respective parents' love story, which started in the small town of Salvacion and endured circumstances that kept Samuel and Isabelle apart.
Over the four decades it spanned, "Ikaw Lamang" grew its cast to include portrayals of characters in their older years. The series also starred Julia Montes, Ronaldo Valdez, Tirso Cruz III Cherie Gil, Cherry Pie Picaches, Angel Aquino, John Estrada, KC Concepcion, and Mylene Dizon.
Portraying the lead characters as children were Zaijan Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, Louise Abuel, Alyanna Angeles, Yogo Singh, and Jana Agoncillo.
No. 1 in its time slot
A production of ABS-CBN's Dreamscape Entertainment Television, "Ikaw Lamang" was consistently the No. 1 TV series in its time slot across its seven-month run.
In September, it averaged a national viewership of 27.5%, according to Kantar Media, ranking it the fifth most-watched TV program in the Philippines for the month.
"Ikaw Lamang" was also a hit on social media, with terms related to the series consistently figuring in the top trends Twitter. The final episode, for instance, became the No. 1 trending topic on the micro-blogging site as it aired.
Replacing "Ikaw Lamang" in its time slot starting October 27 is Star Creatives' "Forevermore," a romantic comedy starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil under the direction of Cathy Garcia-Molina.