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Friday, December 23, 2005

Alborada - telenovela recap

Since this, the first summary, is the one Google picks up, let me assure you they are ONGOING.

If you want to see all the summaries in order, look to the right. See that other column of writing? Now scroll down till you see the picture of Doña Juana and Modesta - it's just ABOVE the picture of the elephant.

Between Doña Juana and the elephant, there is a numerical list (ONE TWO THREE FOUR etc.) and if you click on the numbers in order, you'll get all my recaps.

I post summaries on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Tip: you can bookmark the blog so you can get back here easily!

I've decided to let myself get attached to the telenovela Alborada. The costumes are cheesy but the hero, Fernando Colunga, the same one as in Amor Real (which I recapped here), is very cute. (Muy guapo.)

This summary is for people who are trying to watch the novela but are having trouble keeping up with the story. All others, move along to some other post.

OK. Our heroine, Hipolita, is hopelessly tangled in family webs. Her first sin was to be born out of wedlock to a weak and easily cowed mother, Asuncion.

Asuncion had had a brief liaison with a rich man and Hipolita was the outcome.

To spare embarrassment, Asunción was "convinced" to send her illegitimate daughter Hipolita far away, to Santa Rita, Panama, to be raised by grandmother.

I have to stop for a moment here and brag that I know Asunción's dentist! She (the dentist) recently moved here from Mexico City and joined my Triangle Jewish Chorale. Small world.

The grandmother gave Hipolita in marriage to Antonio, who is impotent and, according to the subtitles, efeminado. Antonio's mother, knowing Hipolita must bear a son or the family will lose its estate, and knowing that her son is not up to the job, throws a political prisoner into Hipolita's dark bedroom one night and tells him, "make a baby with her or you're going to die."

Who is this prisoner? He turns out to be our hero, Don Luis, a rich and handsome Mexican set up for disaster in Panama by his cousin, the slimy Diego.

Don Luis agrees to do it, thinking he will actually just slip out the boudoir window and escape. However, Hipolita wakes up and, thinking Luis is her husband Antonio finally come to her bed, is beautiful and convincing and, oh well, delaying escape a few more minutes won't matter.

It was dark, see? So Hipolita never sees his face or learns his name, but he does tell her of the mother-in-law's plot. So Hipolita's ultra peeved.

Especially when she gets pregnant and the mother-in-law gets nastier and nastier, blaming Hipolita for a second sin - the bearing of an illegitimate son, Rafael! Pretty unfair, de verdad? (In public, all claim the boy to be Antonio's.)

So three years later Hipolita and her little boy Rafael escape, along with a maid, and head for Mexico. Hipolita wants to meet her mother and also find her boy's father.

She decides for the sake of safety and propriety to pretend Rafael is her maid's son.

On the ship to Mexico she meets an extremely cute guy, Martin, who is coincidentally the son of Don Luis's servant/friend. Martin offers to help her get to where her mom lives and also kind of falls in love with her.

After a sweet first meeting with her mother, Hipolita is brutally terrorized by her rabid, overbearing stepfather (Francisco), furious to have his wife's bastard daughter show up on the doorstep.

Another person very angry that Hipolita has arrived is Doña Juana, our major villainess. She's not a happy woman, though she lives on the luxurious Guevara estate. What's her problem?

1. Long ago she switched babies with (I think) her brother, the Count of Guevara.

Doña Juana's true son is Diego, whom she dotes on even though he is a womanizing, lying, scheming drunk. He was raised as the son of the Count of Guevara and now is Count himself, which was the plan all along.

See his cheesy suit?

Meanwhile through all these years Doña Juana has had to pretend that our hero Don Luis is her son - she never liked him and now she's trying to help Diego kill him. She's afraid her secret is coming unraveled.

2. Doña Juana knows Hipolita's father was Agustín, a nobleman who is (coincidentally) also the father of Esperanza, Don Luis's religious and frigid wife. Yes, sadly, our hero is already married.

His wife Esperanza has had four miscarriages and has been told by the doctor that another pregnancy will kill her, so Don Luis avoids her completely. She, however, insists on telling everybody that the Virgin Mary came to her in a dream and told her she would have a son. Luis thinks his wife is an irritating ditz and is trying to get their marriage annulled.

(It seems there were two legitimate reasons for annullment: either the partner doesn't have sex with you or the partner can't give you children. So our hero and heroine, Don Luis and Hipolita, each fulfill one of these conditions.)

Esperanza is desperate for a kid though she hates sex. She keeps trying to get Doña Juana (who seems to run the whole show) and her own father Agustín to force Luis to come to bed.

Anyway - Doña Juana insists that the inconvenient Hipolita must go directly back to Panama, to the arms of her evil mother-in-law and also probably to jail - or perhaps the ship will tragically spring a leak en route...

Hipolita goes back to her mother's home and is locked up by her brutal stepfather, pending her departure on the next boat to Panama.

However, both Don Luis and the drunken Count Diego have fallen for her and these powerful men are filibustering the removal to Panama.

So Hipolita cools her heels - with maid and baby Rafael - in a locked bedroom.

Count Diego comes to the stepfather and makes a secret offer: he, Diego, will take the inconvenient stepdaughter off his hands! Diego proposes to install Hipolita in the home of a "nice widow" and come screw her from time to time.

The dad says ok and Hipolita, who is told of the offer in a different way, agrees to go.

The maid is opposed, but Hipolita says "it's the only offer I've gotten - somebody has to help me." She thinks once she's out of the locked bedroom she'll be able to send for Martin to help her - she's kind of sweet on him, as he is on her.

The little family of three is installed in the house. They instantly realize the "nice widow" is actually a prostitute and that they have traded one incarceration for another. Diego shows up and starts stroking Hipolita's hand suggestively.

Any questions?

You can find ALL my Alborada recaps listed in the sidebar on the right - just above the elephant!!

Stay tuned...

I also recapped Entre el Amor y el Odio here
And I recapped Amor Real here.

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At 10:21 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Oh my! That is quite a story line!

Here from Michele's today!

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Valerie said...

Hi there I am here from Michele's today. I can't believe how confusing that story line is but boy it seems like good TV to me.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger kenju said...

My mother-in-law, who spoke not one word of Spanish, used to watch the Hispanic channels and make up the story lines for the telenovellas. Sometimes whe was really funny in what she imagined they were saying - or what the situation was. At least she was using her imagination, and not just blindly watching crap on TV, like some of us do!

At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Esperanza! I feel for her, she tries so hard. I'm just afraid she's going to poison herself someday with all those aphrodisiacs.

I'm very intrigued by Doña Juana's maid, who apparently sees all and knows all. Never mess with the maid! (And those footmen are cute!)


At 8:52 AM, Blogger melinama said...

I think they are gradually making Esperanza LESS sympathetic, with her whining and now she's putting extra love potion in the wine ... I think that see-all maid is going to have an important moment in the plot at some point...

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A website has some good pictures for your telenovela recap. You did a great job on the recap, very detailed explanation.


At 5:33 PM, Blogger melinama said...

This may be the link Letty was suggesting:

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Hipolita's husband's name was Antonio, and that her step-father's name was Francisco. (?)

At 8:28 PM, Blogger melinama said...

I'm embarrassed and have fixed it.
Thanks for helping out.

At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also the word "afeminado" means that he likes men.

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recap....Thanks, due to the holidays I've missed it.

Note: Fernando Colunga is babylishish!

At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i watch the telenovela too,and i love it,Fernando Colungna is super hot,also Martin and Hipolita's stepfather's son,Andres,he falls in love with a young girl named Marina,the maid/friend of don luis's aunt.did you see when diego decides to "make" the baby for esperanza,he makes her have sex with her because he tells her"the virgin mary said you would have a baby,but she never told you who that baby's father would be,right?"so they have sex more than once,but the love poison she put in don luis's wine was drank buy diego and not luis,(the poison was supposed to make the men "horny")so after they had sex,he got poisoned,everyone checked the food,and drinks to see if they found poison,they never did,so they thought don luis was the one that poisoned him(don luis and diego hate each other!)now Andres,his servant,has to take a sip out of everything before diego eats or drinks it,(for the safety of diego)isn't that cruel?

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a huge "Alborada" fan. Been watching spanish soaps for years (My grandmother got me into them). I read that you needed a picture of Catalina with her habit. I found one on I tried to put here but I couldn't Thanks again!

At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a huge "Alborada" fan. Been watching spanish soaps for years (My grandmother got me into them). I read that you needed a picture of Catalina with her habit. I found one on I tried to put here but I couldn't Thanks again!

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Jasmine said...

Hi there,

I just wanted to thank you so so much for posting these details about Alborada. I am a caucasian woman who has been trying to learn spanish for years and have recently found that the most inspiring and entertaining way is through novelas. I am currently watching an old one (amigas y rivales) and have had three friends of mine tell me to start watching alborada. So, I though I would get the 411 on it before attempting to watch it.

Thanks again for your service!


Jasmine in San Fran, Cali

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed Friday, 13, 2006 episode of Alborada. Does anyone out there know where I can get a copy of this espisode?

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your commentary on “Alborada,” but I must take issue with your comments about the costumes. They are not “cheesy” at all, but rather accurate replicas of the fashions of the times, as shown in the portraiture of this period of the history of late Viceregal Mexico. There is also some symbolism in the costumes. Don Diego wears the clothes he does because he is a rich wastrel. Don Luis, on the other hand, is an honest man, as shown by the plain dark gray suit he always wears. There are many attempts at accuracy in the story. For example, Martín’s attitude toward Luis, and toward the rich in general, is the direct result of his having spent some time in Europe, where revolutionary ideas were rife. Indeed, the French and the American Revolutions were not that long ago in the past. The Mexican Revolution freeing Mexico from Spain is not that far in the future, and there are many events and comments that foreshadow it. It is fun to view the novel not just from the perspective of entertainment, but for the historical touches that lend it some validity.

Keep up the good work!

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have looked far, I have looked wide but I cannot for the life of me find a definition for what ALBORADA means...

Is it a place, an idea, an era... a poem, a song?...

Any help will be appreciated.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger melinama said...

It's a poetic word for "dawn."

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Well, I want to tell that I live in Mexico and I see the telenovela "Alborada". I find very good their comments on this novel.
In what will all finish?
I feel pain for Diego, I find that he is not bad, only this a little confused because he doesn't know how to be a Count and he worries about that... also the actor, Luis Roberto Guzmán, I think he's quite good-looking and he is a great person.

I hope you are not very cruel with him.

Greetings of Mexico
Happiness for this work
Don't get lost the end

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Amie in AZ said...

I thought Hipolita and su criada ran away into hiding before she had her baby, hence Rafael needing a last name...I didn't think Antonio or his evil mother knew she was ever pregnant (wasn't the criada using chicken blood to fake out the suegra to think she'd had her period?) I'm in the US, so we're about a month behind Mexico in episodes. Here, Antonio just arrived in Veracruz (with his boyfriend?) and I'm assumming he has no clue that Hipolita has a son, am I mistaken? (I am a gringa, so I do miss about 10-15% of the conversations). Thanks, your summary was great for my mom, who I've just managed to get hooked on the novela! ;-)
-La huera

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

iam sirry for luis manrique he is a hamsom man and all those proplems that he has i alwas watch laborada i never misit that my favore novela my email is pleas sent mw a email thank you and watch alborada at 9;00pm brenda bedore

At 11:13 AM, Blogger UniqueMonique said...

I've only been watching Alborada for about a month now but like many others, Fernando Colunga keeps me coming back! From what I've read about him, he's not only handsome but also a really nice person.

Many thanks for your story-line summation, it helped me put some things and people together. I'm learning Spanish and keep my dictionary handy but often miss crucial bits and pieces when the dialogue picks up speed...

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Im very surprised to see that so many people watch Spanish soap's to learn the language. Im hispanic, so I've pretty much been watching them my whole life. I do agree with one of the blogs with regards to the costumes, they are pretty accurate as well as symbolic. I would like to add something though, this particular soap has broken a taboo (people in novelas, do go to the bathroom), as seen on the episode where Diego goes to the bathroom in front of his mother, or the servants carrying their masters urine. The writer and producer of this novela is known for her elaborate historical novels, she does extensive research and she's getting better with every novela.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an amazing woman. I love your blog. Thanks,
Chris in KC

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern:
I am a Gringa who knows a few words and phrases in Spanish. Wish I could speak fluently.
I have been watching "Alborada" for the last 2 months and won't even consider an American show at that time.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great work you're doing. Now many things are much clearer and I can enjoy this wonderful story even more. I think if they would put it out on a dvd with English subtitles, it would be a winner.
Thanks again
Tia Alicia

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Whom it may concern..
I love this novela. But I also want to know how long will Hipolita be without her memory....Please someone let me know?

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, I liked a lot this page, Im from Jalisco,Mexico, so I have to say sorry about my writting, its not very good.
In Mexico this novela finished yesterday (febuary 24th)it was awesome, I loved it. I liked better then Amor Real from the same producer. Im not going to tell you whats happening, but I can tell you that its a great story from the begining till the end. Keep watching novelas Mexicanas, there the best.

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chapter summaries are also available on the web site (in Spanish). Here you can peek ahead.
Here in Ontario Canada, this novela is in week 2 only. I like the fact that it is moving along fairly quickly.
I love looking at Fernando Colunga. He looked good in Amor Real but in this one, he really is a 10.

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you guys know that Lucero (hipolita) is a singer in her real life, and her real husband.."Mijares" sings also and has a beautiful voice?
Also, Daniela Romo (Dona Juana) is also a singer, famous in her days for her long beautiful black hair.
I lived in Mexico several years, and believe me, many people still keep behaving like the novel.
when I married ( my husband is mexican),I had to stay several weeks in my inlaws...and they never let me out alone to walk about ...always had to be with one of them !!!!!! I was glad when my husband came to rescue me !!!!

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Juanita Banana said...

Wow! This site is an amazing discovery for someone whose Spanish is less than perfect. Thanks!!!

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following "Alborada" will be La Verdad Oculta and I heard it was pretty good. By the way, does anyone have the "Alborada recorded completely? I usually purchase the DVD when it comes out, but they cut too much out of it and I really want this one completely.

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your comments so much I don't possibly think I can watch another novella with out them, I think I would enjoy a really bad one if I could read your comments.
Thanks so very much. I have written down you new web address for future referece..

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly love watching this soap opera, I have alway enjoyed these kinds of novelas, because I enjoy the time era it takes place in.At this moment the soap opera is coming to an end,it only has 3 days left in florida, I will surely miss it when it is over. I can't wait till it goes for sale on DVD.

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those which are not very familiar with the mexican actors that appear in Alborada, here is some more information about them... Besides the fact that Daniela Romo(DOÑA JUANA) and Lucero (HIPOLITA) are also famous mexican singers, Mariana Garza (ESPERANZA) was for many years part of a very popular group called "Timbiriche" (the same group where Thalia, which is now Tonny Mottola's wife, started as a singer), and Vanessa Guzman (PERLA) was Miss Mexico 1995. Maria Rojo (VICTORIA) has been involved in politics and Monica Miguel (MODESTA) is not only performing the character of "criada" of Doña Juana, but also she is one of the Directors of Alborada!

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting such great commentaries! Alborada was just over tonight in Florida..and my. It was excellent!
(And so are the men...Mmmmmm, yum, Diego ♥ )

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello everyone. Alborada finished tonight here in California. Such a wonderful novela. This to me is the novela of the year. I'm not sure I'll be drawn to another one like I was with this one. And the about giving a girl weak knees!

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me what is the name of the song from alborada that is sung by intocable....

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sad that ALBORADA has ended. I hope Carla Estrada is not going to make us wait 2 more years (the time she took between AMOR REAL and ALBORADA) to see another great soup opera like this!!!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger nata said...

does anyone knows what happend the last episode. i wached every episode except the last one on friday the april 21 emergency
thank you from st.louis
alborada means dawn.

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello All~

There are new novelas that are quite good. I knoq that Telemundo subtitles them in English in (CC2) You know instead of closed captioning 1..choose 2..well anyway.

First, Telemundo used to buy novelas from COlombia, but now Telemundo has money, They have created their own studio in Mexico City.

1. Amor Mio (really good one)
Channel 44, @8pm. (chicago)

7pm Central TIme
Filmed in Acapulco,GRO, Mexico!



Go to
CLock on the Telemundo logo, and you can watch the trailer for the novela.

In Telemundo:

At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a complex story line but I guess that typical among telenovelas though I think Amor Real had a simpler plot...i totally agree with everyone!fernando colunga is such a good actor and yeah,they say he is a good person too!I'm just wondering why he never married right???Thalia should have picked him instead of the old Tommy Mottola!!!lol

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if long version is available on DVD? I bought the one on amazon but they cut to much out.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger tessanoel said...

Starting to love this series, I am waiting for Amor Real.


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