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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Telenovela Alborada, #25

This is a recap of the Univision telenovela Alborada. In order to read the whole post, you click "read the rest" at the bottom of this summary!

If you are new, please visit the recaps in ORDER - they are listed to the right under a picture of Doña Juana and Modesta. See the bottom of this post for more information.

Wednesday: We resume where we left off, Luis with his mouth open in astonishment to discover that the kidnapping of Rafael was accomplished by his "mother" Juana and her sidekick Modesta, who had Rafael in Valverdes all the time. "Hipolita was right, my mother planned it all!" Felipe counsels prudence in the upcoming confrontations but Luis is unhinged, not least by the possibility that Juana is not his mother at all. "Who am I, then? The son of some neighbor?"


Ada's happy to hear Antonio wants a calm life with Hipólita, but "what if Luis comes in the night?" "I'll have to tell him not to - even if Antonio doesn't find out, what if a neighbor sees him? He has to forget about me."

Esperanza gets Extreme Unction. Santiago and his wife (actually I'm starting to think this is a sister rather than a wife, but it doesn't matter) are in attendance. Also the abbess, who says to her brother Cristóbal, "I hope she and her maid are not condemned to hell." "The soul of her maid is in danger?" Cristóbal's sister has been hearing about the witchcraft and love potions, and that Esperanza never cried out when Diego ravished her, so it was not rape.

Juana strolls with Modesta, talking about nuptials with the Iturralde family. (I've yet to see this fat widow Diego plans to marry.) Modesta: "It's an honor for them to marry their daughter to Diego." "I hope Fray Alvaro is discrete (about Esperanza's sins), because if this gossip gets around we'll be shamed and there will be no wedding, no nothing." But a biddy shows up and already knows the gossip! So much for discretion!

Juana takes her tale of Esperanza being insane for a test drive. "We didn't have her committed to an asylum because it would have embarrassed Luis." Rattled, Juana terminates her promenade early.

She tells Diego (behind a crooked mask which mirrors his busted-up face) the Iturraldes are ready to sign on the dotted line. He wants the marriage as soon as possible. "I want Luis to die, mom, look what he did to me." "And look at what YOU did." "She seduced me!" "I'm tired of your nonsense, insanity." "I swear, if he dies I'll calm down." "You won't calm down till the day YOU die... I'm tired, son ..."

Juana is saying "I can't take any more" when Luis materializes. He accuses her of having set up the whole kidnapping and of sending Rafael to Valverde with Modesta. He won't listen to her bull hockey and says that's not why he's come. What he really wants to know: "Am I your son or not?" He confronts her with the evidence his team has accumulated. In response, she faints.

It turns out to have been, perhaps, a mild heart attack - the doctor says she has a weak heart and an "inflamed womb." She needs to rest and eat. He gives her valium. Valium is something they all could benefit from at this point. Stress City!

Modesta invades Luis's male sanctum, his laboratory, and tells the team about Juana's illness. She realizes they have only half the truth - while they've figured out that Luis is not Juana's son, they think he was some anonymous substitute acquired to secure the inheritance. This pleases Modesta and she agrees that's the way it was. Even so, Juana is hardly reassured - she feels Team Luis is only one step away from the full truth - but it buys some time.

Hipólita and Antonio walk arm-in-arm in the city as he gives her a lecture on the life-cycle of vanilla plants: they live only ten years, and his are halfway there. He needs to do a lot of planting, and for this he has to talk to Luis, who is legally in charge of these businesses. He needs a manager - and he needs his money to arrive from Panama.

Luis shows up seated magnificently on his horse and the two men sneer at each other.

Zed and I were astounded to see the scene end with a street poet reciting a poem by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (whom I blogged here and whose picture appears on the right, just under the "Pratie Home Page" link). Also, Zed's Spanish Literature class was discussing this EXACT POEM the day I visited last week! Synchrony!!

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Este, que ves, engaño colorido,
que del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de colores
es cauteloso engaño del sentido;

éste, en quien la lisonja ha pretendido
excusar de los años los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores,
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,

es un vano artificio del cuidado,
es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inútil para el hado;

es una necia diligencia errada,
es un afán caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadáver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.

Here is one translation and here is another but the gist of the part the guy declaims in the street is: "The beauty of my portrait is a vain artifice, a delicate flower, a useless safeguard, a foolish effort, a corpse, it's dust, shadows, nothing."

Carmela is creepily cozy with Marcos, she says it's a huge consolation that he lives with her and Felipe now that their son Martin is dead.

Isabel's upset to hear from Ada that Hipólita has confessed to having sex with Luis since arriving in Mexico. Now that husband of hers will shut her in even more. Ada tells Isabel: Antonio doesn't even like little Rafael and won't even look at him.

Marcos tells Cristobal: when in Valverde with Luis and Hipólita, the three had met an old man (a bit "gone in the head") who insisted Luis was Don Carlos (the dead Count) and that Luis said: "Yeah, people tell me I look like my uncle." "Hmm, and Isabel said the same thing." With furrowed brows the two decide he may be the Count's son. Should they tell Luis? He's so overloaded with stress already! Cristobal: "For the love of God, Marcos - DISCRETION."

Francisco tells Andrés he's been to see Victoria and Sara, because he's going to make sure his son is married off properly. "I don't want to marry Marina!" "Hey, I also married a woman who was first had by another." "And you've always reproached her." "The difference is, Marina has a lot of money and property, you could end up with a hacienda, I could manage it! And you'll have enough money for whores aplenty, enough to maintain a lover in high style! Salud!" Andres says no and stamps out.

Francisco shouts "He has to obey. And besides, he has to consider *my* needs!"

Rodrigo tells Antonio and Hipólita he's found a way to get back to Panama. Antonio wishes him luck and says he could use a few favors from Rodrigo when he gets back home, "Let's talk about it tonight," Hipólita almost chokes on her ice cream, perhaps she sees an opportunity for Luis to slip through her window ...

The regidor and Fray Alvaro cluck over the sacrilege and adultery of the dying Esperanza. They want to save the Guevara clan from huge embarrassment, but if Esperanza gets better, she'll have to stand trial and everything will come out. "Best if she dies," they agree.

Esperanza begs and receives pardon from Luis. She tells him, "Diego told me the Virgin sent him to me, and I thought it was true," causing Luis's jaw to knot even tighter.

Asuncion tells Catalina: Francisco will accept Sara and Victoria's offer and will marry Andrés to Marina, "because they offered him the gold and the Moor." (??? "El Moro.") Catalina says, as usual, that they love each other. Asuncion: "Yes, but a man never pardons. I've spent my life with reproaches and insults. And if they marry, and have money and property, your dad will be sticking his fingers in constantly and making their life hell." "Aren't parents wrong, sometimes?" "Only God can judge this."

Catalina goes to see her brother Andrés, who stubbornly continues to hold out for a future virgin: "OK, it's unfair, but that's what we men want. Do you think Cristobal would have married you if you'd already been with another man?"

Catalina asks Cristóbal what he'd do if she'd been in Marina's jam, he says he'd have been sorry for the pain she went through but would have married her anyway. "Every head is a world." ?

Cristóbal's surprised to hear that Marina is related to La Poderosa.

Things are deteriorating between Antonio and Hipólita, who again brings up Luis's visitation rights. A rumpus ensues - Antonio says she's trying to castrate him just as his mother did. She says if he wants her to stay with him, he has to accept Rafael.

Juana tells Diego it's not prudent to insist on assassinating Luis just now. She wants Luis to calmly get used to knowing half of the truth (that he's not her son) and not figure out the rest. "I DESPISE him," "Well he despises you too, and I just can't take any more, I'm sick, so I beg you not to worry me more..."

Thursday: Owing to technical difficulties (well, operator error) I didn't tape it so this recap is on the fly...

Juana takes to her bed in a beaded black gown, that seems uncomfortable, doesn't she have any jammies?

Santiago apologizes to Luis for his sister's behavior and marvels that the Count of Guevara could be such a "ruin."

Luis has grimly stopped calling Doña Juana "madre." Then he tells Isabel he can't call her "aunt" any more. That's a bit harsh! Isabel is devastated to hear Luis is not her nephew. She's also very upset about Juana's health - "She has always been as strong as an oak."

News comes from the convent that Esperanza is about to die. Luis has his crew informed and also sends word to Hipólita that he won't be able to come to her that night.

Hipólita broodingly tells Ada she should never have gone back to Antonio, who immediately walks in to tell her he has business and will be out late. Just as he leaves his house he gets buttonholed by Perla and they have PDA (remember that? "Public Display of Affection"?) which Marcos, who is on his way to deliver Luis's message, happens to see.

Around the corner, moments later, Perla is boasting: "I have a sexy new protector." Marcos comes up and confronts her. He says her liaison with Antonio wouldn't bother Luis, but perhaps he'll tell Hipólita...

At the convent, Esperanza tries to say something, but dies instead. The bed is ringed by nuns and family members. Mirtha sobs, "Little friend, what will I do without you? Will I go to jail?" (I guess these are two separate though related questions.)

UPDATE -- MTW writes: I believe that amita denotes ownership. The ama is the owner of a slave. I believe that Mirtha is Esperanza's slave. In colonial america, the indians did the work in the fields and the slaves the house work.

Cristóbal awkwardly points out: the Inquisition will not allow Esperanza to be buried in consecrated ground, so she shouldn't be carried back to the Palace. "The Inquisition doesn't care about anything but punishing sinners." The body should stay at the convent and be interred as soon as possible in an outlying piece of land where unbaptized babies are buried.

Hipólita gets the news about Esperanza and is sad for her half-sister, who only wanted a baby. "I felt the same way in Santa Rita..." (when Antonio never came to her bed). Ada says, "Let's go back to Santa Rita with Antonio and get some peace." Hipólita reluctantly agrees.

Rodrigo suggests to Antonio that he get Hipólita pregnant and is then astonished to hear they aren't sleeping together. "She HAS to do it, you have rights. What are you waiting for?"

Diego and Juana talk about Esperanza's interment. Diego says Luis has no right to forbid his attending. "Luis has every right, she was his wife." Juana loses it, sobbing, and Diego says, "You were always the strongest woman in the world, you have to take care of me." "But you have too many problems." "From now on I'll be good." "OK, then don't make trouble with Luis." "OK, but if he starts something ..."

Luis muses about looking so much like Don Carlos but his speculations lead nowhere.

Hipólita is sleeping in her mobcap. Antonio plucks up his courage and enters her room, saying "Don't be afraid, I just want some company." He lays his sword at the foot of the bed (I would find that rather threatening). He takes off his jacket, gets in bed awkwardly, and tries to snuggle. "Remember when you used to WANT me to come to your room? I want you, I always have. I know you don't want me now - but once you did..." He strokes her and says, let's forget the past ... she is wary and grossed-out. Antonio: "Don't doubt it - I'm a MAN. With desires." He keeps pawing her but she demurs and begs a few more days. The scary music stops and he says, deflatedly, OK. Then the music starts up again as he says "But the day MUST come, soon, and will you then be willing?" She says yes. His kisses are unwelcome. He leaves. She cries.

More horrible singing as Esperanza's coffin is carried out to a rough, dusty, desolate place behind the convent. The mourners follow, stumbling in the dirt. A humble hole is dug among the weeds and long grass and the coffin is buried. There are flashbacks. There is a shot of a withered rose in the desert. Symbolism.

Catalina begs Marina to come visit next day.

Gossip about Perla and Antonio has begun. Antonio accidentally (?) spent the night at Perla's. She offers him a huge hearty breakfast and says her affection for him is growing, that nobody has treated her this well, "except of course Luis," which causes Antonio to growl. She says Antonio, while drunk the previous night, told her his wife had rejected him. He denies it, but Perla has heard it all before. He says, "everyone's mistakes should be pardoned," Perla says: "will you pardon mine?" They tell each other they are good people.

Ada tells Hipólita Antonio was out all night. He eventually shows up, mumbling that he was out with Rodrigo. Ada thinks he was with a whore. "Hipólita, you look so sad. But maybe you'll get used to your husband." Hipo decides to go visit her sister Catalina for some distraction.

Juana has had some time to cook up a story for Luis. She tells him she never knew his parents' names, she happened to be strolling by a stagecoach which was robbed and the couple killed and the baby (Luis) only survived because he was hidden among the blankets. "We saved you, and then, when my son died ..." She may have heart failure and cancer of the uterus, but she's not too sick to lie lie lie.

Friday: Oh my lord, these people would just not stop talking! Usually I take about four pages of notes, and if I'm lucky (lots of repetition, sex, bad news which everybody has to tell to everybody else, or best of all a funeral) even less. Last night when I got home from doing my gig I had to take SEVEN PAGES of notes! Let's see if I can boil it down a bit for you.

Once again (see Wednesday), Luis had been left with his mouth hanging open. Juana had just said he'd been plucked out of a stagecoach over the corpses of his unknown parents. "Why didn't you tell me?" "I didn't want to mortify you." "You don't think it was worse to be raised thinking I was yours but treated so badly?" "You had position, education, riches, I thought that was enough." "Of course. And I appreciate it. One more question - why do I look like the previous Count, Carlos?" She tries to faint again (this is how she evaded his previous unexpected question), and then tells him it was "mere coincidence."

He decides to leave the palace and relinquish his stake in the Guevara businesses; he'll go to some other part of the world and begin a new life. "Don't be silly, nothing need change, I can't take any more scandal." "I'm not part of this family." "Yes, you are - years of affection prove it - even though I haven't shown it, I really love you." At this point, I actually sort of believed Juana! It's interesting to think it may be true - under all her coldness and scheming, perhap she really did develop an affection for him that not even she realized. Also, he's looking better and better in comparison to her own ruin of a son.

She kisses his hand, and they're both crying (don't worry, Luis's tears are very manly), but then he says he doesn't believe her. Still, he's affected - his gloved hand touches her bare one as she holds her cane. Lovely.

Catalina (who looks extremely foxy in her black dress) tells Hipólita: Marina is coming to the palace tomorrow at 4 in the afternoon, can an errand be devised that will send Andrés to the same place at the same time? Catalina doesn't want to meddle or matchmake, but her intuition is that if Marina and Andrés don't talk, they'll regret it some day.

Isabel signs the palace over to Luis. Gasca follows Luis as he stalks through the night. Asuncion says Esperanza was lucky to die rather than face the Inquisition.

Luis comes to Cristóbal's palace to talk, but instead finds Rafael there and dandles him a bit. The kid is improving. Luis tells Hipólita he's a nobody now and will leave the area to begin again - he wants her and Rafael to come too - she says he, Luis, may be free, but she's still married and could get busted. Even so, she'd go, she says, if it weren't for Rafael, but she doesn't want him to find out someday that his mom is living with a man who's not her husband. "Has Antonio 'tried stuff' with you?" "Yes." "So he's not gay after all?" "Uh, I guess not." "Have you slept with him?" "Not yet." "Not YET???" "He's my husband and has rights." "Well, I have more rights, I boinked you first and gave you a son, and besides, I love you." (In my opinion this would have sounded better if the "I love you" part had come first ...) Rafael runs in and the three of them experience a nanosecond of happiness together.

Diego likes the idea of Luis renouncing everything, but Juana says it will cause a terrible scandal, and it will reveal that she commited a crime (stealing a baby and pawning him off as her own in order to keep her husband's inheritance). He doesn't care - scandal is a small price to pay for being rid of Luis. Juana says Diego has a head of alcornoque.

Alcornoque: cork oak tree, blockhead, idiot.

Isabel bustles over to Juana's and demands to be let in - when the servant says no, she says she'll fire him if he doesn't let her pass! "Juana, I can't believe you never told me (about Luis not being Juana's natural son) ... you've never liked him." "I had affection for him, but it's NATURAL I would have more affection for Diego, who's part of my family." "Where did you bury the son of my brother? Did he have a dignified funeral?" What a sad, sad scene this was! But Isabel's going to be MORE upset when she finds out that, instead of a dead baby, she's saddled with Diego as a nephew! Blegh!

Juana asks Isabel to help convince Luis to stay. For one thing, through Luis's astute business dealings the family stake has doubled. Diego: "But the money he started with wasn't his." "Shut up!" Diego snidely says, "Oh, let him go if he wants to," and Isabel snaps "If he goes, you two are leaving first. This place is mine and I'm thinking of going to the regidor and having him send constables to chuck you out."

After Isabel steams out, Juana asks Diego, "Why did I have the misfortune of giving birth to you?" He screams.

Isabel tries to give Antonio 10,000 pesos to divorce Hipólita and instantly doubles her offer, pointing out he's going to find Rafael to be a constant reminder that his wife had been with another man. He says no, I have affection for her. Isabel: "Affection, huh, I have affection for my cat Chato. Affection is not love, and it has a price." "You're adorable! Did Luis suggest this?" "Of course not, he has dignity." "Well, so do I - and it's not for sale."

Diego sneezes on his servants as they polish the rings on his fingers. Antonio and Rodrigo enter and notice Diego's swollen face. "What happened to you?" "Luis beat me up because I screwed his wife." "Well, you could have expected that reaction." "I'd have preferred to kill him in a duel." "The scandal wouldn't have been good for your family."

Diego sneers that Luis is lucky his wife died since he'd been wanting to get rid of her. "And now you'd better watch that Hipólita of yours..." Antonio: "I can take care of my own."

Rodrigo is saying goodbye prior to leaving for Panama - he's found a stagecoach willing to take him by land. "Are you going too, Antonio?" "No, I have a wife and child, I can't risk it." "Don't forget, that child isn't yours." Antonio ignores the jibe and says he needs to talk to Luis about the vanilla plantation. "Not any more you don't, Luis is renouncing the businesses for family reasons. Talk to Malaquias now - cause it all bores me." Diego suggests they spend Rodrigo's last night at - surprise! - the brothel.

Luis tells his team he was plucked out of a stage coach. Felipe tells Luis he's entitled to the healthy gains he's earned for the estate, that's the law. "It feels undignified to accept it." "That's an expensive pride you've got there. Remember, the only one who will benefit from this renunciation is Diego." Also, if Luis tells the authorities he is NOT Luis Manrique, then Rafael loses the last name many people went through a lot of effort to procure for him. "It's as if you were adopted - you have the same rights as any child, and if you leave the estate business in Diego's hands, everybody will soon be in ruin." Felipe says: "Before doing anything rash at least be sure Juana's telling the truth. There are strange things ... I'll tell you tomorrow."

Isabel wants to put flowers on the tomb of her "real" nephew, the one who died as a baby according to Juana. She's sad she never knew him.

Asuncion tries bossing her daughter Catalina around - Catalina takes a deep breath and says, "I hate to tell you this, but Cristóbal has giving me freedom - I am in my own house here." Yeah! She then asks Cristóbal if she's wrong to let Luis and Hipólita talk together at Lara, he says of course not.

Cristóbal fills her in on what's happening with Luis, then says it's time to sign a matrimonial contract; if something happens to him, he wants her future assured. "We also need to specify the inheritance of our children - you do want children, don't you?" "Yes, lots." He doesn't go through a birds-and-bees lecture with her, but he does kiss her and say, "Are you ready?" she demurs and he says, "OK we can wait longer - but not too long or I'll be too old!" They hug and kiss chastely.

Luis, who'd told his scooby gang "I vant to be alone," walks the night streets followed by Gasca, who's wrapped in a comically vampirish cloak. Luis hears something, he turns, Gasca shoots him and then approaches for the kill but vamooses when a bunch of revelers stagger by. These revelers, after some debate, leave Luis bleeding on the ground.

Ramon and Arcadio the mute are coincidentally strolling by, moaning that everything they're into right now is way too dangerous. They see a guy stealing from a slumped form: "Hey, you lousy scavenger!" The guy scuttles off. "These types don't even respect the dead!" They recognize Luis, even realize it was probably Gasca that shot him, notice he's still alive, and drag him to Cristóbal's palace as, mistakenly, the town crier intones, "Eleven o'clock and all is well."

Meanwhile, at the brothel the fun and games never stop. Antonio is not playing; as Diego urges him to choose a filly, he says "I don't enjoy promiscuity."

In order that they "not be bored," Diego gives Antonio and Rodrigo the gossip about Luis. He says, "My mother picked him up and passed him off as her own." "Your MOTHER?" "Oh, er, that's to say, I'm referring to Doña Juana who has been like a mother to me."

When Luis wakes up, the danger past - because he had turned at the last minute, Gasca's bullet had missed its true target - he insists that nobody know where he is, not even Isabel: "Tell her I'm on a trip."

I post the new update every Wednesday and Saturday morning. All Alborada recaps are now listed in the sidebar to the right - below the small picture of Modesta and Doña Juana, just above the elephant. Click on the numbers (ONE TWO THREE ... ETC) to find them!

Amor Real
Entre el Amor y el Odio
"Telenovela villains meet lurid, dreadful deaths"

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At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a jewel. I love your recaps. You get it right everytime with such a sense of fun and lightness that I thoroughly enjoy. I'm already getting withdrawal symptoms and the novela is not even over yet. Thank God Lesa is taping "Amor Real" for me so I won't go completely bonkers.
I think Catalina is coming into herself. She's self assured and is becoming a source to be reckoned with. Good for her.
On the other hand, Hipolita who was such a modern woman, sure of herself is falling apart over the smallest things. I guess having an ex "afeminado" for a husband and a hottie like Luis for a lover will do that to a woman.

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Melinama, for your recaps! They are so delightful. Thanks also to the guest recappers, who also did a great job. After watching the show since early January, my Spanish is at the point where I now understand 90% of what is said now, but I still come here to read the recaps for enjoyment.

I, too, will miss the show when it is over, and our little community here. I hope the powers that be do another period telenovela soon, preferably with this same cast! :-)

At 11:46 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Thank you all for your support! Last night when I was watching at 12:30, falling asleep, and then when I was writing it up at 8:00 this morning, I was thinking: "What on earth did I get myself into this for?" but all of your comments make it worthwhile.

I will hate hate hate to lose you all! But I just don't think I can enjoy the modern time novelas (the concerns seem SO PETTY and the clothes are so shamelessly sleazy) as much as these period pieces. At least not enough to devote myself to blogging one of them!

Also - one would certainly want a rest after watching (not to mention blogging) for five months, five times a week. But Univision doesn't WANT us to rest - the new one will start right up - and if you don't watch from the very first episode, well, too bad...

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinama I enjoy your recaps sooo much I feel sorry every time I think of the end of the "novela".. anyway I jus wanted to clarify that yes, that is Santiago's sister, and what Mirtha said was "Amita" which means something like my little lady. I was shocked to see that she was the only one that was realy disturbed by Esperanza's death (with the "Santo Oficio" checking in Esperanza's story and all). One more little tid bit, Did you guys know that Rafael was the real baby of Lucero (Hipo)?

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that the child who play Rafael is the real life nephew of the actress who acts as Catalina.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few days ago all of the ladies pointed out the rock-solid qualities of Felipe and said Carmela was lucky to have him. I want to put in a good word for Mirtha. I find her complete devotion to Esperanza in the face of double betrayal (both by Luis and Diego), rape, barreness and madness to be deeply moving. She does not love wisely, or well, but she loves deeply and her love is "true like ice, like fire". I am hoping against hope that the writers hook her up with the equally admirable Vincente. To use melinama's word, they are both stalwart.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger melinama said...

I love Don Esteban's comment! I had been disposed to think of Mirtha as an evil companion (much as Modesta seems to be), but I think he's right - she merely adopted all the dreams and desires of her amita and did the best she could to follow through...

At 7:39 PM, Blogger melinama said...


Does anybody have a really romantic picture of Luis and Hipólita together? I want to paint a little picture of them together as a memento of our joint adventure... if so, could you email it to me (

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to second what Susana wrote. I too will miss your great recaps and Aborada. Likewise, I'm not interested in a more modern novella but will be back if they do another historical piece, I'll be back.

Now, maybe someone can clear something up for me. I thought the Inquisition was in the 15th and 16th century in Europe, and what was when many Jews migrated to Mexico, etc. I don't know my Mexican history except as relates to the U.S., but was not aware they burned anyone at the stake in Mexico.

Besides I find it interesting that the brother of the Chief Inquisitor would marry a Jew. As strick as the Church was (ie: Esperanza), how would they condone marrying between religions?

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also like to thank you for your wonderful recaps. My very rusty Spanish (why I started watching telenovelas in the first place)has a hard time keeping up with the Byzantine plot twists. I enjoy the modern telenovelas as well as the historical ones.

Regarding being burned at the stake, I found the following quote from this website:
"The Inquisition was never as virulent in Mexico as it was in Spain, where more than 4,000 people were burned at the stake. Many more were imprisoned for the "Jewish Heresy." Massacres were instigated that took thousands of lives. By contrast, between 1571 when the Inquisition was established in Mexico and 1821 when it ended, only about 110 people were actually burned at the stake. Perhaps the same number died under torture or in prison, either awaiting trial or after sentencing. There were no popular outcries against Jews. The Inquisition was imposed from Spain. It cannot be blamed on Mexicans."

At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I thought Lucero's children were a little older-pre teens. Someone needs to check this out.
I do know that one little girl who plays Diego's child is actually a niece of Lucero and the other is the granddaughter of Tia Isabel. They are really adorable.

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, just googled her and it seems she married in 1997 and she does have a very young son named Jose Manual.
But I'm still convinced they give that child something to make him SO obedient all the time. I mean he never cries or complains (unless they do many many takes of the actual scene, which I doubt.)

At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote the following:
"Besides I find it interesting that the brother of the Chief Inquisitor would marry a Jew. As strick as the Church was (ie: Esperanza), how would they condone marrying between religions?"
I, too find that very surprising. The only thing I can figure is that the brother was the black sheep of the family (there was some reference to that in a previous episode) and maybe that is why he did something so daring (marrying a jew). And after he married Victoria, he was more or less ostracized. Other possibility is that he didn't know she was jewish when he married her? Maybe Sarah and her daughter successfully hid their religious background and it was discovered after the marriage? That whole part is a real mystery to me.

At 12:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From another MB Rafael is Iran Castillo's cousin(Catalina). His name is Alexander.

Also Lucero has another child, I think it is a girl not sure though.

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucero has a baby daughter named Lucerito. Her son is a toddler like "Rafael." I have to say, one of the (many) things I love about this show is that boy, and the way the writers and cast handle having scenes with a three-year-old.

He is such a cute and engaging child, and I love how the other actors react with him in scenes. They all obviously adore him, and it's wonderful to see how everyone, including the director, just go with the flow when he says or does something. It comes off as very natural and charming. You'd never see that in an American tv show--everything is so regimented. I just love that aspect of this show. I am sure the actor who plays Antonio has a hard time resisting Rafael's charms when he's supposed to 'ignore' him. ;-)

Do we know what's next after Alborada? I would love to get involved in the next period piece, but I'm not interested in the modern-day telenovelas. I'm considering buying the DVD set of Amor Real on Ebay to tide me over once this show ends! ;-)

Right now I'm looking forward to what surely will happen to Gasca--a sendoff worthy of his villainy!

At 1:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello folks =)

Regarding Mirtha's comment of her amita: ama is the name that a slave would call her mistress (and 'amo' to her master). Although she had no choice but to serve Esperanza (being a slave and all), I do agree with Don Esteban that her devotion was genuine. Chances are she'd known and served her all her life and has been her confidant. Yes, she was a henchwoman for madwoman, but it was a mixture of duty and devotion, rather than malice, that drove her actions. In a previous episode, Vicente mentions to Marcos his concern that Mirtha might be in danger with the Inquisition (consorting with witch doctors and all) and Marcos said he would talk to Luis to see if he could intercede. Don't know how that will pan out with Luis not running on all 8 cylinders and all. I suspect they are hinting a possible romantic future for Mirtha and Vicente, but for the moment, her future does look a little dim. I suppose it's also possible that as a slave, she would now be property of Esperanza's next of kin.

As for the identity of the potato sack known as Rafael: From what I read on a few websites, he's definitely not Lucero's son (her son was four when filming began) and her daughter was less than one. Dunno if he was related to someone else in the cast or what they used to keep him calm. In one interview, Lucero mentioned he was thin (not much heavier than her daughter) and very sweet. It is entirely possible he might just be really well-tempered or have a heck of a wrangler. He's a little young to attribute this to high discipline, but it could be that as well. Remember Donnie Osmond when he was 5? Sometimes they're just naturally Stepford-like. He'll probably outgrow it.

Regarding the Inquisition: Darn Spaniards brought it with them! At the time of this telenovela (the 1700s according to one interview with Carla Estrada) Mexico was still a Spanish colony. Although they didn't burn as many in Mexico as they did in Europe, there were certainly many killings, incarcerations, etc. of non-Catholics. The bulk of the victims where the actual natives who were often branded and tortured until they converted to Catholicism. Mexico and Catholicism are strange bedfellows. On the one hand, much of the destruction that hapened in Mexico was done in the name of the church - tearing down their heathen temples and writings and chastising their practices, etc. Until Benito Juarez split the church and state, many civil matters such as education, marriage, birth records, etc. were controlled by the church. On the other hand, many priests were compassionate and were more interested in teaching them the language and grammar and trading information on agriculture and weaving. As a matter of fact, the Mexican Independence Movement was started by a Catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who led many troops until he was captured and executed. At least one of the great generals of the war was another priest, Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon. To that, add the only officially recognized sighting of the Virgin Mary in the Americas hapened in Mexico, to a native who had converted to catholicism. Hidalgo used her image, the Guadalupe, as a flag when he rallied his troops. I guess this is all a long way of saying, yes, we had the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico as well. Judaism was not a very common "problem," though certainly an issue. As for the Grand Inquisitor's brother marrying a Jew, that's why he was more or less dissowned by his family and lived in a humble home. Chances are he had to marry her in another country, or perhaps had to convert to Judaism (they don't mention that though - Jews were pretty strict about mixing in those days too). This is why Gasca didn't even know the Grand Inquisitor had a brother. The whole family probably considered him dead to them.

Hope this helps!

PS: Melinama - here is a link to some photos you can look at.
There's also another, but don't look at the first two sets - they will give some stuff away!

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing workouts. The men of Alborada had to be in good shape and very trusting.How many times have they had to carry caskests or a wounded friend.

Also Susana and Margarita thanks for the information on Lucero. I have never been able to find that much about her children.

At 2:20 AM, Blogger A Dot said...

I recall a previous eppy where Esperanza says to Mirtha, "..por eso te compré..." which led me to believe she is indeed her slave.

I thought I heard Doña Juana say they found baby Luis amongst unas mantas which would be linens, not blankets?

I think mortify and mortificar are rather false friends. I'd translate it more like, to worry.

Diego: "I would have prefered had he challenged me to a duel so I could kill him." [a bit more of word parsing, but I think the phraseology there was important. Heh, he thinks he could have killed him! lol]

Ah, distinction here, Cristobal was telling him that as an adopted son he has the same rights as a legitimate one.

[I cheered so loudly when Catalina told her momma who's boss! =D]

I just ADORE these period pieces! I like being able to come here to read [in English! ;)] some of the things I might miss since my channel doesn't come in that clearly and there are simply nights I miss it. Great resource y'all have here!

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Concering Mirtha: It would indeed make sense that she is a slave. I also recall another episode where Juana told Mirtha to shut up or they would send to a whorehouse, a 'burdel.'
However on the other side, I will offer a more complete translation of the conversation mentioned by Margarita between Vincente and Marcos when the funeral party returns to the Palacio at the end of Thursday's episode:
V. 'What will happen to Mirtha?'
M. 'I don't know. If the Inquisition has no mercy, she could go to prison.'
V. 'That's an injustice. She was only following orders.'
M. 'Where could she go then?'
V. 'I don't know. Surely to the free Negroes neighborhood. [Vincente says, 'Seguramente al barrio ...' Seguramente means surely or safely. I'm assuming that using the adverb plus 'to,' he means surely here as opposed to 'she would be safe in the free Negroes neighborhood.]
M. If you ask Luis, maybe he will help her. The boss [patron] doesn't hold a grudge.
If Mirtha were a slave, to run away from her masters would be a serious crime and I doubt that Vincente would advise it. Marcos might have suggested that Vincente ask Luis to buy Mirtha's freedom instead.

I don't think we should expect consistency here. The novela seems to have pretty much skirted the whole subject of slavery. It does look like Vincente and Mirtha might get together though.

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inquiry regarding SLAVES:
regarding Jean's comment- "Marcos might have suggested that Vincente ask Luis to buy Mirtha's freedom instead."
I'd like to know more about BUYING a slave's freedom in that era of Mexico. Who are the other slaves in Alborada (besides Mirtha?), as opposed to hired workers? Could a native (indian) be a slave--bought and sold -- or only the blacks/mestizos?
When I see the unconditional loyalty and devotion of Modesta and Mirtha, I think What an arrangement! Having someone totally look out for you every second of the day and night--even if you the most despicable human being on the face of the earth....
They are like human appendages (offering devotion beyond the level of loyal housekeepers, butlers, etc.). ---maybe what a dog would be like if he/she were able to talk and stand on all FOURS!

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate the historical discussions. One of the fascinating things about Alborada is the glimpses into basic daily life, like the women's bathroom at the ball.Thinking back on my Spanish classes in high school(in the dark ages of the '70's); politics and religion were totally ignored. History was presented as dry facts with no connection to real people -- vastly inferior to, for example, wondering what a woman like Mirtha had to deal with or what if you want to marry someone from the "wrong" religion.

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy =)

Mantas were light blankets, like flannel. Sometimes they have been used as shawls.

As for slavery in the 1700s, it's been a while since I took my history, but the majority of slaves were native indians. Mestizos (Spanish and Indian parents) would be slaves if the mother was a slave (in these cases, the Spaniard was usually the man). Blacks were also brought in as slaves (though not as much as in the US and Brazil) and if they had children with a slave native, the children were called Zambos. I'm just a fountain of useless information =) Anywhoo, I haven't heard about any other slaves in the DeGuevara palace, though it's possible some of the farmhands and house staff could be. Carlos and Aurora being the good people that they were, it's entirely possible they also chose not to have slaves. Once Mexico gained it's independence from Spain, slavery was abolished and all slaves were free, but that won't happen for a while since it's still the 1700s. I don't know if Luis could have bought her freedom, but chances are he would have "inherited" her from Esperanza as her husband and could have set her free, then either hired her a servant or given her the option to move to the barrio where the other free blacks live and get a job elsewhere. Still, that wouldn't solve the issue of the witchcraft, so she's not entirely out of the woods.

Take care,

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Due to the work of Fr. Las Casas, indians were not slaves in Latin America. Although they were called "encomiendas", and the land obtained by the conquerors were called "mercedes". The indians were given to the owner of the land by the king of Spain as "encomiendas" for a life time, sometimes for two lifetimes. They were not legally called slaves and could not be sold to another land owner, their children were free if the owner had the encomienda for one life time. The person who had an "encomienda" had the responsibility to educate them in the Christian faith and support them. The Catholic Church worked hard to protect the indians. The system was a feudal system. Mestizos were free and married mestizos. The slaves they had usually did the house work. It seems that Mirtha was a free person, because she left to live among the free blacks, as Vicente explained to somebody.

I do believe that the Inquisition will not leave Diego alone. All Santiago has to do is to go and talk to them and tell them that: "Diego told Esperanza that he was the "enviado de la virgen."


At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know the name of the beautiful tune in a valse tempo that a guitar plays in various chapters of Alborada.
Thanks in advance for your help.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Sorry, I don't know. I bet it was written specially for the show as "incidental music."

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Julie said...

When Asuncion refers to "gold and the Moor," I wonder if that was "gold and myrrh." (As in gold, frankincense, and myrrh.)

Just a thought (a few years late, perhaps!).


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