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EB God Gave Me You: Penance by Default

[EB God Gave Me You Featured Image from Eat Bulaga Facebook Page.] EB God Gave Me You was the Holy Wednesday presentation of Eat Bulaga. It is part of their annual tradition of setting aside regular programming for the Holy Week. It also served as an opportunity to showcase any dramatic talent that the resident “dabarkads” (hosts) of Eat Bulaga. So on the last day before all networks switch to Lenten programming. Eat Bulaga saved the most anticipated Lenten episode for last.

EB God Gave Me You
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

The EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode is about Dani, a flight stewardess who in in a relationship with Matthew (played by Jake Ejercito), a commercial plane pilot. Despite working in the same airline company, they don’t always meet eye to eye. Just when Matthew is ready to marry Dani, tragedy strikes. I won’t spoil that for you. The ripple effects that occurred after the tragedy served as the meat of the story.

Matthew is not supposed to be in a rush to propose to Dani. In fact, he already saved a day only for him and her. But since his friend, James (played by Alden Richards), was too drunk to attend to his own chores as a pilot, he had some change of plans. This caused immense guilt on James’ part for losing Matthew. He was so disheartened that he blamed God. It pushed his confidante and fellow pilot, Frank (played by Jose Manalo), to slap some sense into him at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode.

Frank told James that if ever he wanted to make it up to Matthew, he should continue doing the things that make the latter happy. And James just discovered where to start at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. In Matthew’s bachelor’s pad where he found Matthew’s grieving girlfriend, Dani. In their grief, they found each other. Dani served as James’ key to penance for the indirect cause of James’ demise. Matthew’s itinerary for the supposed weekend getaway between him and Dani served as James’ guide.

EB God Gave Me You
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

With Dani and James starting to fall for each other, James’ next problem is how to clear the air to Dani. He still harbored guilt over what happened. And explaining the circumstances to her meant admitting his part in Matthew’s untimely death. Frank had to convince James to come clean to Dani. And just when he’s ready, Matthew’s dad (played by Michael de Mesa) came and sent James away from Dani. Dani learned of everything from Matthew’s dad and got angry at James too. For what James did, she called him selfish.

Frank served as the voice of reason at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. While he went downright harsh in slapping some sense to James, he had to be calm and collected in talking to Matthew’s dad. It was an accident. Nobody expected Matthew to die. It also pushed him to mention how pent-up anger only emotionally destroys the person who kept it, not the object of the anger. It almost ruined Frank when he learned of what happened to his daughter. Frank left him shortly to ponder his words.

Dani may be preoccupied with thoughts of James’ selfish brand of penance. But the other interesting subplot in the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode was Lancelot’s story. Lancelot (played by Wally Bayola) was their airline’s receptionist. He often asked Dani to send gifts to his wife at the airport. And Dani had to come clean about what she discovered about his wife.

EB God Gave Me You
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

The gifts are just at the airport with no one picking them up. Lancelot’s wife has left with another man. So Dani found it useless to send gifts. Then again, Lancelot knew all along at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. But he knew his part in the marriage was largely to blame for his wife’s abandonment. Soon, Lancelot’s behavior at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode served as a prelude to how the budding relationship between Dani and James would end. And I would not spoil that part for you anymore.

Opportunities for reflection were plenty here at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. In case you haven’t realized why TAPE Inc has turned these Lenten specials as an annual tradition, that is. And while the “kilig” scenes are still there, the somber moments served as excellent tidbits to reflect on your own life without going overboard with the dramatics. While the confrontation scene between Frank and James bordered on being physical, it did not go too hysterical to be unrealistic. No punches thrown since James was already intoxicated to begin with.

The tear-inducing scenes outnumbered the light scenes because there is no other way to tackle grief but by letting the characters grieve. The moment Matthew’s dad started bawling over his son’s loss, you understand the kind of pressure imposed by certain members of the audience on the actress that played Dani, Maine Mendoza. So certain scenes showed Dani in grief. And most performers forget losing themselves in the role to unleash an authentic performance. Maine definitely remembered that at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode.

EB God Gave Me You
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

This is not about finding your best angle while crying it out in front of the cameras. If you have a director in touch with the right angles, all that is left for you is to perform. Cry if you must. No wonder some pundits referred to this method as “acting without acting”. You just lose yourself in the role to embody the character. Maine Mendoza succeeded in doing it several times at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode.

The most moving part for Dani was when she dreamed of Matthew. That’s when she cried like a young girl on the edge of being left again. She wouldn’t let go of Matthew’s memory. Just like his dad. Tears were shed. Forgiveness and letting go eventually became the prominent themes here at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. Dani refuses to let go because she didn’t think she had enough time spent with Matthew. And James refuses to let go because he can’t forgive himself.

Now prior to the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. Alden Richards is already a veteran at heavy drama productions. And it’s been awhile since he was brought back to his original forte. While he occasionally finds this dramatic prowess useful in some KalyeSerye episodes, it was never maximized again until the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode. And just like how Maine Mendoza allowed herself to be lost in the character of Dani to deliver a credible performance. Alden Richards used the same approach to immerse himself into the conflicted character of James.

Conflicted because let’s face it. He’s doing penance more because he can’t forgive himself and less because he was really sorry for what happened. Even if everyone else around him (including Matthew’s dad) has forgiven him, he can’t forgive himself. Dani was right. He was selfish for “making it up to Matthew” without even telling her what really happened prior to Matthew’s sudden death. He thought that by covering his tracks would help in improving the situation at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode.

EB God Gave Me You
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

James had to be humble enough to admit that he can’t forgive himself. He only realized it when Matthew’s dad managed to forgive him as opposed to his inability to forgive himself. That’s when the reflection aspect of EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode kicked in. He was advised to talk to God. Because in the course of trying to do everything that would make Matthew happy, he didn’t seek God’s guidance prior to pushing through with his plan.

In the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode, James used his free will to make amends with Dani. But only remembered seeking God’s blessing when he has ran out of options. And also because blaming God for everything that he did wrong is the worst way to handle grief. It’s that part of the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode that struck a chord with several viewers. Knowing what to do without seeking God’s guidance and blessing beforehand.

EB God Gave Me You
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

Prayers helped clear James’ head on what his next step should be. He distanced himself from Dani after sending her flowers and an apology note. Clearly, by this time, Dani has loved James enough to not tear the letter even after reading it. The hopia moments that followed at the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode helped brace the audience for a decent ending.

Overall, the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode helped everyone reflect on issues not usually tackled in the KalyeSerye. As to whether Eat Bulaga would upload the EB God Gave Me You Lenten episode replay on their social media accounts is for us to find out. Like their official Facebook page and subscribe to their official YouTube channel to get alerted on recent uploads.

Ever used the Holy Week to reflect and meditate? The most underrated benefit of prayer is the opportunity to meditate. [This is why some vacationers pick underrated beaches to meditate better without the inconvenience of rave parties.] Soon enough, there will be more episode recaps to be published here. So like our official Facebook page, The Philippines Web. And follow us on Twitter @pinasamazing. We’d be expecting you.