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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Telenovela Alborada, #27

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.
UPDATE: Alborada souvenir cards (painted by me, Melinama) for sale here.

1. THANKS for all the nice comments! You make it worthwhile and fun to do this. Thanks for all the help with history and vocabulary and all the entertaining speculation.

2. I asked how many more episodes we have to go, and Margarita has already given us an answer: EIGHTEEN. !!

Wednesday: Santiago asks his sister to keep quiet about Gasca being their father's murderer. She wants to go home, but he says he can't leave till the Gasca matter is settled. They decide to move to the hostel to get away from the crazy Guevara family which houses and protects an assassin.


  • Isabel confabs with Sara, who muses: "No wonder when I returned [to the Guevara Palace] she [Juana] wouldn't let me see the children..." "Because you'd have noticed that Luis wasn't Luis!" "Do you think Diego knew?" "I don't know, probably ... Oh, how I hate that scrawny (esmirriado) guy." "Diego isn't fat like his father, Don Carlos?" "No, the one that looks like Carlos is Luis!" [But Luis isn't fat!?]
    UPDATE: Margarita says: Corpulent (corpulento) doesn't necessarily mean fat (although it could) but rather stocky or "filled out."

    Marina tells her mom about the unsatisfactory conversation with Andrés and says she doesn't want a forced marriage, better she should stay single, if she can't have Andres she doesn't want any. The older women try to convince her she could find a better one - "They're making them thangs every day" - "How about that Marcos? He's of humble origin but well educated."

    Victoria says she can't stay in town much longer, it's too dangerous for her (there is that warrant out for her supposed murder of her husband) and Sara says that she, for her part, is tired and wants to retire and leave the control of the underworld in the capable hands of Marina's future husband, whomsoever he might be. (Wow, what a dowry!)

    Sara reminisces: "On my last visit [to the Guevaras], even though Juana wouldn't let me near the boys, from afar they certainly seemed to be Luis and Diego - and if Luis is not Juana's son, why does he have such a marked air of the Guevara family?" She thinks Luis is Carlos's son. Victoria: "Maybe he is Carlos's bastard." "No, Carlos was in love with his wife." "Aw, mom, men get hot and have sex with whatever comes along."

    Knock on the door - Pardo, the corrupt commandant, has arrived. Victoria hides. Sara bribes Pardo to bring Gasca to justice even despite Gasca's protected status as the Count's man.

  • Felipe fills Luis in about Gasca killing Agustín. They agree it had to have been Juana or Diego's idea. "Juana didn't want anybody to know that Hipólita was Agustín's bastard daughter - Juana protected him for years." "And it was just when the medallion was proving him to be her father that the murder occurred." "Or maybe it was because you weren't really her son, and the murder protected that secret."

    They remember Modesta jumped to agree with their suggestion that Luis was an unknown baby substituted for Juana's dead baby. Why would she do that? Surely not, if it was in fact the truth... "She was afraid?" "No way, Modesta is made of stone." "Well if Juana and Modesta are lying, then perhaps I'm not actually the child of nobody parents."

    Felipe says he's told Luis for years that if somebody wants something desperately, it's for rivalry in love, business, or fear. He suggests perhaps Don Carlos's money was somehow in play ... Cristobal: "Maybe Luis is Carlos's natural son." Felipe says he needs to work on extricating Luis's fortune from the Guevara family. "Don't give up your money - a lot of people depend on you." Cristobal and Felipe bundle themselves out of the room like the Keystone Cops.
UPDATE: I thought Francisco called Cristobal a "patron blanco" but Bob and Margarita agree he said "patron blando:" a soft boss, an easy mark. This goes with my guess that soon todo el mundo would either be living or working at his palace...
  • With the aid of a little bag of gold, Francisco squeezes the name "Sara de Oviedo" out of Ramon and Arcadio. He queries Asunción, who remembers Sara from when she (Asunción) was very young and newly under Juana's protection. She says Sara's people were rich Jews, that Sara was a dear friend of Aurora (the former Count's wife), that she was thought to have burned in the fire on the barge, that her family was later burned up in the plaza for being heretics. "No, Francisco, this is not a proper family, and besides, they're Jews and you can't let your son have relations with them." "QUIET! I'm thinking." The accounting-machine tape is rolling behind Francisco's eyes (remember, his son Andrés says he's very good with numbers.) On the negative side: they're Jews. On the positive side: they have Money. What to do? What to do?

  • Hipólita dutifully tells Antonio dinner was delicious. He nuzzles her neck, she shrinks away, he says "Why wait longer?" "Antonio, it's no good. I have a lot of affection for you but Luis is the only man I've ever loved." "Don't you see you're hurting me?" "Yes, but I have to tell the truth." She rolls out the old it's-your-fault story and he yells that he's tired of hearing it. The only new element to the argument is his defiant assertion: "I've been with HUNDREDS of whores and I was able to satisfy them!" [Yeah, because you paid them. --- Ed.] "Then marry one of them!" He almost hits her, then fondles his forelock instead. Hipólita points out their life has become the hell they'd feared for Marina and Andrés; she reminds him he promised to give her a divorce if things didn't work out. But he says "No! You're my wife and we made a promise before the altar to stay together until death." [With this statement, according to the rules of the telenovelas, Antonio has condemned himself to death. Never get between the man and woman who have top billing. -- Ed.] "Well, don't expect me to desire you."

  • Diego is very drunk when Pardo arrives to say Gasca has been detained for the murder of Agustín. Pardo and Diego remind each other of their special arrangement (hint: it involves money) and they mutually surmise: surely the jeweler (the Sevillano) is lying and it surely couldn't have been Gasca who did the vile deed... "I've enjoyed our collaboration as always."

  • Gasca strolls in the plaza eating something (Gasca eats? I thought he sucked blood by night); guards come to arrest him. He tries slashing them with his sword but they tie him up in ropes and drag him away. Andres, Antonio, and Higinio are watching.

    Santiago is pleased to see Gasca rushed past him at the Commandant's headquarters. Gasca tells Pardo: "The jeweler was lying and I know no man by the name of Ramón [the other witness]." "Well in the mean time you'll have to stay in jail." "The Count won't allow this."

    Higinio reports Gasca's arrest to Sara and Victoria. Victoria wants to go look him in the face and say she hates him and make him confess to the murder of Victoria's husband and the robbing of Marina. Sara says it's dangerous. Higinio says they'll need a reliable witness; Victoria says Luis will do it, he owes her one.

  • Juana discusses Pardo's visit with her hungover son Diego. Diego says Pardo came for payment - for the time Diego told him to treat Luis as badly as possible when he was charged with murder after the escape-from-the-nunnery fiasco. "You never told me about that." "I don't have to tell you everything."

    Suddenly Diego starts to moan and stagger. This is how we really know the novela is ending - the villains are starting to topple. Juana later tells Modesta of his pain, the rings under his eyes, weakness in his legs, marks on his face, and that he is ... well, she uses the word sobarse, which is a good one.

    Sobarse: handle, finger oneself; feel up, grope oneself; massage oneself. (When non-reflexive, sobar also means, in Mexico: "to suck up to.")

[By the way, I fell asleep in the middle of doing this recap; when I woke up this morning the big ol' dictionary was still at my side on the bed. It's time for this to be over, my friends!!]
  • Hipólita goes to the Palacio Lara to see her sister - or rather, to see Luis in his sequestration at Lara. Ada of course objects, saying if Antonio found out "instead of a divorce he'll give you a nice tomb."
    UPDATE: Margarita writes: "I think Ada said 'una tunda' instead of 'una tumba' when she told Hipólita what Antonio would give her instead of a divorce. A 'tunda' is slang for a beating. Back then, as we all know, wife beatings were common practice. I will say that Antonio has my sympathies for in his own clumsy way, he's trying to make things right. If only he would get some sense and grant Hipólita her divorce and marry Perla (as Hipólita so wisely suggested) and all would be happy!

  • Victoria, on her way to see Luis before visiting Pardo, stops the carriage and pops out to say hello to Hipólita. "But how dare you greet me, when it's your fault Martin died?" "Oh, I see you regained your memory. It wasn't my fault..." but Hipólita walks off and tells Luis she wants to turn Victoria in, reminding him that in her previous incarnation as the Pirate Queen Victoria had not gotten a doctor for Martin after he was wounded. Luis says there really weren't any doctors out there and there wouldn't have been any time to help Martin anyway, but Hipólita is not moved.

  • Victoria and Isabel chat about Agustín. Isabel remembers his jewels, the ones sold to the jeweler by Gasca. She is doubtful that Gasca could have done the murder but is happy to hear he's detained. "I hope they send him to the scaffold." "But first I need him to confess to murdering my husband and stealing my daughter. I need someone to testify for me." "Well Luis is away - but I'll do it!" I love Isabel best of all.

  • Catalina tells Cristóbal her matchmaking (between Marina and Andrés) sputtered out, and then asks if he thinks it's improper that they leave Hipólita and Luis alone together. "Well, it certainly isn't proper, but it's hard to tell Luis what to do."

  • Hipólita, wearing the worst hair-bow in the world, tells Luis that Rafael says "Daddy" all the time... She explains Antonio refuses to divorce her - not just because he hates Luis, but also because he wants to vindicate himself for the past. To her credit, she keeps Antonio's secret. Our tenor Placido Domingo strikes up the theme song as Luis and Hipólita get mushy and she says she loves him and wants to live with him. (Luis, not Placido.)

You know how gmail provides you with links based on the content of your emails? I got an email from reader Catalina, correcting me thus:
"Hampa" does indeed refer to the underworld, but the article it takes is "el" ("el hampa") simply because it begins with a stressed "a", like "el agua," "el alba," el "el arpa." It is, however, a feminine noun. I do know this kind of thing because I was a professor of Spanish language and literature for many years, and I am now a nationally certifed courtroom and medical interpreter.
The site google matched this email with was The Grouchy Grammarian. Good one, Google!

Thursday: Victoria, Isabel, Marina, and Marcos come by carriage to the jail. Isabel is planning to listen in and be witness to any confession Gasca might make to Victoria, but Cristóbal comes along and says no way a lady should enter the jail, he'll do it. Isabel stomps her little foot and says she WANTS to see the jail, but she reluctantly agrees to go home. Victoria tells Marcos to stay with Marina while this odd errand is going down.

Marcos cheerfully attends Marina and she reviews with him. He doesn't think it will be easy to trap Gasca into a confession. Andrés barges in, all jealous. Marcos suavely escorts Marina to a bench and then hisses to Andrés: "You said you weren't interested! She's pretty, let me try - I don't care if I'm not her first." "Don't you dare!" "Of course I dare, and anyway you've rejected her because of your stupid prejudices." "My prejudices aren't stupid!" They're pursing their lips at each other like angry fish. "Yes, they are - and since you don't want to marry her, you've lost your chance." But then Marcos kneels sweetly next to Marina and says that while he'd like to audition for roll of sweetheart, he knows she and Andrés love each other. "Andrés' hard head is in the way ... he'll come around." How charming Marcos was in this scene. Is he the nice guy who never gets the girl? Andrés sulks behind a pillar.

Isabel reports to Hipólita and Luis, who are decorously holding hands in bed, and suggests that Luis rob Hipólita and Rafael away.

Andrés is wringing his hands and pacing madly in very charming style as he asks his sister Catalina if she'd known Marcos was interested in Marina. "Of course I'm bothered, I thought they were just friends," he splutters. Andrés is very cute here, bouncing in and out of the chair and flapping his arms with jealousy. He then warns Catalina that Antonio is growing suspicious of all the visits Hipólita is making to the Palacio de Lara...

Malaquías tells Juana he hopes getting married will help Diego take an interest in the businesses. Antonio's desire to spend money on planting new vanilla bushes (trees? vines? tubers?), Luis's absence, and supposed resignation from the family businesses, and Diego's lies cause Juana to equivocate.

Later she hisses to Modesta, "My son is a BOCON," which I couldn't find in my dictionaries.
UPDATE: Bob and Margarita both write that bocon is a bigmouth, a blabbermouth.

Pardo smoothly covers for Gasca when Victoria and Cristóbal arrive to see him, mentioning importantly that the primary witness in the Agustín case - "Ramón" - is not to be found. We, of course, know he is at Cristóbal's palace learning how to use a broom, wear knickers, and comb his hair.

OK, it's time for Hipólita to take off that silly hair-bow. Catalina warns her that Antonio is getting suspicious (there's a big build-up about this, I wonder if it will fizzle).

Antonio keeps his appointment with Juana. He mutters his suspicions about Luis's supposed trip and then listens as she makes her case for Rafael staying at the castle from time to time. He agrees to her request.

Gasca is peeing in his smoky/foggy cell when Victoria shows up. Cristóbal lurks behind her in the hallway where Gasca can't see him. Surprisingly, Gasca is soon admitting that he killed Victoria's husband and stole her baby - "because there wasn't much of value in the house and I thought I could get some ransom for her ...

Gasca calls the baby an escuincle, (esquincle?) which Bob thought might be of Indian origin, and of which Margarita wrote: "it's slang and almost derogatory for a child; much like "mocoso(a)" which literally means a "snot nosed kid."

... but when I found out who the dead guy was, it seemed best to disappear." "Why did you kill my husband?" "He got in the way." Victoria, crying, shouts, "you're garbage - you'll be in here till the day you die." "His Excellency will get me out." "If you get out, I'll kill you."

Cristóbal rushes to Fray Alvaro and reminds him of the indictment of Victoria found in the archive. "Oh, yes, I remember, she was a Jew." "Jewish or not, we're all children of God. She's lived in hiding for 15 years because of this accusation. But she's innocent - today the real killer confessed." "Was it a forced confession?" "No, spontaneous. And I give you my word - it was Amilcar Gasca."

During the review at Sara's house, the only new datum was Victoria's murdered husband's name: Felix.

Fray Alvaro goes to Pardo's headquarters asking for Gasca. Pardo glibly tries to put him off, saying the witness (Ramón) still hasn't shown up. "I come for religious reasons." Alvaro tells Pardo about the testament to Gasca's confession; he will take him away that very moment "to be interrogated until he confesses." "But Gasca works for His Excellency the COUNT OF GUEVARA!" (imagine little jewels hanging between the letters). Fray Alvaro, who looks a little too much like Santa Claus to be believable, says: "The church is far higher than aristocrats and oropeles

oropele: "tinsel, frippery."

His arguments silenced, Pardo hands Gasca over. Knowing he's in for it now, Gasca shouts "That Jewess is a lying traitor dog."

Cristóbal watches Gasca dragged through the street to the church with ropes tied around his neck; the monks waddle placidly behind, their crosses waving in the air. In the torture room, Gasca confesses and your recapper gets some rest. Bald torture guy, screws, racks, etc., Gasca cries out for pity! "Pain purifies and the truth appears" is the calm rejoinder. Later: "OK, I killed him!" "Now tell us how!" Hot branding irons. Gasca is upside down.

Cristóbal then goes home and tells Ramón, who is arranging flowers: "You'll have to testify whether you're terrified or not." He asks Marcos to continue covering for Luis. Marcos asks if Gasca also confessed to shooting Luis. Cristóbal said they hadn't gotten around to that line item yet, but "perhaps Gasca is getting punished for all his sins at the same time."

Antonio tells Hipólita he's given Juana permission to have Rafael visit at the castle. "But she isn't even his real grandmother ... I'm not comfortable with this: Juana doesn't love Luis, she kidnapped Rafael and she tried to kill me." (Typing that made me laugh, she makes such excellent points...) He says he has to stay in good with the Guevaras, he's far from home and his finances "aren't splendid. ... so it behooves us to suck up to important people."

Pardo isn't happy to tell Diego Gasca is being tortured by the Inquisition. "Oh no, he could tell things about me and my family. Kill him, Pardo!" Pardo says it's too hard and even though Diego offers "as much money as it takes" Pardo doesn't want to meddle in the church's affairs.

Diego tells his mother, Juana, about Gasca being in the clutches of the church. She is truly horrified to find out that Diego ordered Agustín's murder. "Well, ma, you yourself told me he was the only person who knew we babies were switched." But back to Gasca: "He could tell about my attempts to kill Luis, ma! We're lost!"

Modesta, looking dreamily away, suggests there are privileged prisoners who get food and drink from home. Diego suggests poisoning Gasca and then - seeing how strung out his mother is - he buries his head in her lap saying "I know I'm worrying you." "You're killing me little by little..."

Fray Alvaro cheerfully reports to Cristóbal that Gasca confessed and then asks, is Diego sick? because he hasn't come yet for his visit to clear up the "problem of Esperanza."

We see Gasca, bloody, dragged through the streets.

Friday: I see we have now gone from ultimas semanas to ultimos capitulos!!

Oh, I have to admit I felt a little sorry for Gasca lying there in the dungeon covered with scratches. I never really bought him as the worst guy in the world. If it were up to me, it would be Francisco lying there. I really hate that dude Francisco.

Santiago seems a little miffed that Gasca is going down, not for the murder of Santiago's father, but for the murder of Marina's father.

Luis is grumbling about being in bed doing nothing when Hipólita arrives. They review. She asks if he knows why Juana would be wanting Rafael to visit her, seeing as how he's not actually her grandson. Luis has given up trying to understand his mother's machinations. He tells Hipólita: "My team thinks I'm Don Carlos's bastard."

Hipólita is afraid Juana will steal Rafael again - and she's not thrilled with the prospect of Rafael being the next Count. "I just want him to grow up happy and normal, not as a despot like Diego." She says Antonio won't give her the divorce - "his life has been unfortunate." "Well how about your life and mine? Hunh." Luis plans to go hide out on a farm (nearby, so H & R can visit) to convalesce; if Diego did indeed instigate his murder, it will be less dangerous if he thinks it was successful.

Asunción is muttering, "Jews!" to Catalina. "Your father is obsessed with that hacienda and dowry." Catalina again brings up as-long-as-they're-happy, the mother says "Happinesss doesn't exist." "It does for me, with Cristóbal." "Just wait, you'll see." "You actually WANT me to be unhappy?" "No, I want for my daughters a life without pain." "I'm sorry for you, mom - you were deceived by your lover, and then you got a husband who's vulgar, insensitive, egotistical..." "That's your father you're talking about!" "Well, he shouldn't humiliate you." "I'm his wife, he has the right to." "Cristóbal says wives and husbands have the same rights." "Just pray he doesn't change."

Francisco, in the headquarters of EL Hampa (i.e. Sara's hideout), is muttering about their being Jews. "Is that inconvenient for you?" "We're Catholics." Sara points out that Victoria converted to Catholicism when she married the Inquisitor's brother, and that Marina was raised Catholic, but Francisco says he's a hidalgo (the lower ranks of nobility) and things need to be put right. "What are you asking?" "I'm asking that you put a haciendo and lands in my name for my lifetime." Victoria, with a twisted smile, reminds him his son doesn't want her. "I'll make him marry her." "She deserves better than a forced marriage, she's young, pretty, rich, and pure despite Diego. Your son's awfully fussy (remilgado). There are others who'd love to marry her."

Francisco leaves and rants at Andrés: "I'm tired of your stubbornness! You'll never have another opportunity like this!" "Matrimony is life-long." "You'll be RICH life-long, like Cristóbal and Luis." "Money's important, but so is dignity." "Don't be stupid, money confers dignity and prestige. When you have money the whole world respects you. Don't be a zopenco (blockhead)." Hits his blockhead son's head. "You better decide, those women have their eye on another candidate." "Marcos...?"

Well, yes. Isabel has Marcos over and asks if he likes Marina. "Yes, but she's in love with Andrés." "Love, pishtush, it comes and goes. You can conquer her, you're a cute guy." "I don't want to put one over on my friend Andrés." "Victoria is considering you as a possible husband for Marina." He looks stunned.

In the market, there is chanting as Modesta toddles by. She has a picnic basket and puts coins in the hands of every single soldier the whole way down the dark tunnels to Gasca's cell. He's sleeping on the floor, shirtless, covered with cuts. "I've come from Juana and Diego." "Can they get me out?" "Of course. Here's food and drink, and I brought salve for your wounds. Did you confess anything?" "Yes, I couldn't take the pain." "What? Did you mention Diego?" "They didn't ask." "When they do, don't talk." He cries and chokes as he stuffs bread into his mouth. Modesta suggests he share the food with other prisoners but he surrounds it with his arms jealously there in the dirt.

Ada's shrill complaints have become so repetitive I want to hit the MUTE button when I see her face. When Hipólita hears her husband Antonio won't be home for dinner, she says she hopes he's with a woman. "I hope he falls in love."

Well, yes. Antonio shows up at Perla's; she's looking very good in her red dress. They've missed each other. "You're the only person in this city I feel happy around." "Everybody feels happy around whores." She complains that the work Francisco promised hasn't come through. "I'm tired of seeking clients in the street. I thought when I had a house things would be better, but they're the same, walking hours in the plaza looking for a good client, a decent man who doesn't hit me and who doesn't leave without paying."

Antonio suggests he could give her a monthly allowance so she wouldn't have to look for anybody. She jumps on the idea - "I'd be your lover? I promise I'll just be yours, I'll be faithful. It isn't my fault I ended up like this ... blah blah blah ..." Now, you and I have heard her make this exact speech before, but it really resonates with Antonio when she says: "Nobody defended me." "No, children can't defend themselves," he says. "People didn't see what was happening to me." "No, they don't..." "Others only see that I'm a whore, disgusting (cochina), a sinner." Antonio remembers his mother shouting about his sinning. "It really comforts me that you understand" "More than you know... We all have a dark side." "You too?" "Why not? I'll tell you some other time, now I have to go. Next time I'll bring your monthly allowance." She picks up one of the coins he leaves and makes the sign of the cross with it!

Juana tells her son Diego, "I need you to help me and all you do is drink." "I'm nervous and only wine calms me down." "You use any pretext." Modesta shows up and gives them the welcome news that Gasca hasn't yet spilled any beans about Diego. "He'll stay quiet if you get him out." "We'll just have to kill him," Diego responds.

Cristóbal and Felipe muse some more about Luis's parentage and then discuss Antonio visiting Perla. "Do you visit whores, Felipe?" "Once in a while, but I've never left Carmela's side." "How is she?" "She's good -- Marcos has been a tremendous comfort." "Isn't that boy ever going to marry? It's good to have a family." Then, stricken, Cristóbal remembers about Martin and apologizes for the sore subject. "There's not a moment of the day I don't think about him." Cristóbal in turn says there's never a time he isn't thanking God for Catalina.

Luis doesn't want to hide out in Valverda, it's too far, he needs Hipólita to visit, "And don't tell me it's a sin, I don't care." He's interested to hear about Antonio and Perla.

Ada noticed Antonio getting back very late, perhaps drunk. Hipólita: "He didn't used to drink." They have the usual conversation. Hipólita says she's going to accept Luis's offer - she'll leave town with him and start a new life. Ada says Antonio will send the authorities after her, but Hipólita's willing to take the risk.

Marcos tells Felipe: "Victoria is considering me as a husband for Marina. I like her, but even though Andrés is being a jackass about it, he loves her and I don't want to betray him. I'm not in love, but I could be a good husband." Felipe says Marcos is a great guy and deserves the best, and suggests he go talk to Andrés.

So he does. He tells Andrés "those women," Marina's mother and grandmother, are seeking a new husband candidate. "Marriage is often not about affection but is a business arrangement, so if you have the luck of liking your future wife, you shouldn't let it pass. I know you have reservations, but what is your guarantee that any future wife would be faithful? Look at Esperanza... So, decide: you go for Marina or I will."

Isabel mentions she saw Modesta leaving with food. Juana: "It's for the, uh, orphans. You don't believe it but Modesta is a good-hearted woman." Isabel tries to figure out what Juana knows about Luis's disappearance. "What has Diego said?" "Nothing."

Then Juana tries to find out what Isabel and Sara de Oviedo discussed. "Sara lives here in Cuencas. She hates you and never will forgive you for denouncing her family." Juana says it's a lie. Isabel: "But I saw you threaten to denounce Sara herself to the Inquisition." "It was just to get rid of her, she was such a busybody (mentiche)." "So you didn't do it?" "Of course not, just cause I didn't like her doesn't mean I'd get rid of her that way." "You did it to keep her away from the palace -- because she'd know Luis wasn't Luis! ... How could you bury your little baby and hide him, all for the money of my brother! ... Did he have a wake, a mass? " "Yeah, the works." "Had he died before you 'found' Luis?" (Juana computes and answers no.) "Did you ever take him flowers? "I did at first" "Shall we go take flowers sometime?" "Yes."

We then see Modesta on a second picnic-basket trip, driving right past the orphans to the dungeon of the Inquisition. She crosses all the palms with silver yet again. Gasca's lying with his head in the breadcrumbs from the previous visit.

Andrés goes to the mistresses of "El Hampa" (the Underworld) and asks if their offer is still open. He'd like to marry Marina. "Is it for the money?" "No, that's not important to me." Victoria smiles.

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 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patron blando, a soft boss, and easy mark.

At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bocon, big mouth, blabber mouth.

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Esquincle is a child. I have never seen this word written, so I kind of always thought it might be of Indian origin. Maybe I was wrong.

At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there =)

I counted 18 remaining episodes on the list of posts (Alas, I have seen the headings, but have resisted the urge of reading the actual summaries). It's sad for this great story to end, but I can completely see how relieved you'll be to not spend all the hours trascribing and translating. As it is, part of me is relieved to be rid of this addiction, fun though it is.

Corpulent (corpulento) doesn't necessarily mean fat (although it could) but rather stocky or "filled out." I don't think anyone would accuse Luis of being fat!

I'm inclined to agree with Bob that Fransisco called Cristobal "blando" rather than "blanco." Basically that he's soft.

Actually, what Hipolita says to Antonio is more or less "don't make me desire for that (his death) to happen" when he tells her they should stay together until they die.

Also, I thing Ada said "una tunda" instead of "una tumba" when she told Hipolita what Antonio would give her instead of a divorce. A "tunda" is slang for a beating. Back then, as we all know, wife beatings were common practice. I will say that Antonio has my sympathies for in his own clumsy way, he's trying to make things right. If only he would get some sense and grant Hipolita her divorce and marry Perla (as Hipolita so wisely suggested) and all would be happy!

As Bob pointed out, bocon is a big mouth and escuincle(a) (I think this is how you would spell it as the "u" would be silent otherwise, unless they had the little umlat dots over the u) is slang and almost derrogatory for a child; much like "mocoso(a)" which literally means a "snot nosed kid."

I have to agree that Marcos deserves a good wife. He's handsome, wise for his age (especially when he tells Andres how it's so rare to get to marry for love and that he should seize the chance), and is the perfect balance between our youngish lovers: as idealistic as the hotheaded Martin, but with a little more sense, and as gentle as the wusy Andres, but with an actual backbone. Maybe he'll get someone in the next novela!

Take care,

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Thanks again for all your work on recapping the novela, Melinama. I hope it hasn't made you stop enjoying it. My offer still stands - if you want to or have to skip a night. let me know and I'll do it. This blog has really made watching the novela twice as much fun - having an opportunity to discuss it with all of you.

Concerning Antonio giving Hipolita a divorce, I don't think he could even if he wanted to. I don't believe that in a Catholic country in 1800, you could just get a divorce for any reason. We recall that very early on in the novela, Hipolita discussed the idea of getting a divorce because Antonio had not consummated the marriage. This would have been a problem, of course, because thanks to Luis she wasn't a virgin anymore. Luis was contemplating a divorce from Esperanza because she couldn't produce a child. On what grounds could Antonio give Hipolita a divorce? Irreconciliable differences was not grounds for divorce in the Catholic Church. Adultery with Luis? That would have serious consequences for Hipolita since it was a crime in Church law and she wouldn't be permitted to marry again. I was reading an article online about divorce in the Catholic church and there was the possibility of getting a separation from bed and board but the parties couldn't remarry. In our times (at least in the US) 'no fault' divorce is the norm and isn't a big problem. This wasn't true in the past. It was difficult and sometimes impossible for parties to divorce and be able to remarry in the Church. So Antonio is going to have to die to set Hipolita free to marry Luis.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thinking that because of the looks between Modesta and Juana, that they are already poisoning Gasca. I think that Modesta purposely shares the food she brings with the old man in the dungeon as an alibi. Probably later on she will say "I could not have poisoned Gasca because everything I brought I shared with the anciano. See he is still alive so if I was poising Gasca then the anciano would be dead too."

Its just too convienent that Modesta is bringing food to Gasca after Diego says to bring poisoned food. I doubt she would do that just on Diego's insistence.

AND I would really like to see Francisco tortured instead. He is the real villan. Cochino!

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and I meant to say that I think the WINE is poisoned. Not the food. Thats why she leaves the food and takes the wine bottle.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word is "escuincle" and it comes from nahuatl, the language of one of the ancient tribes of Mexico that were precursor of the Aztecs. If it were spelled with a "qu" it would be pronounced "eskeenkle", which it is not. Other words that come from Nahuatl are tomato (tomatl), avocado (aguacatl) and coyote (coyotl). Interesting, no?

Also, that slang word for "busybody" is "metiche" (from the verb "meterse"--to put oneself into), not "mentiche."

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Modesta probably got the nasty job of poisoning Gasca because as an Indian she is exepmt from the inquisition. Indians only were exempt, all others were fair game.

I suspect in the end we will find out Juana had Diego by someone other than her husband. Probably that all purpose inpregnator, Augustin.

About the Indian words we use, I think almost all of the ote words are of Indian origin. Tecolote, guapalote/guijalote,paplote, zopolote etc are probably Aztec. Ote seems to indicate something in the air, except cenote which is in the ground.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Jewels said...

Is anyone else thinking, "finally you, idiot?" now that Andres came to his senses thanks to Marcos. Personally, I think Marcos is a doll and a much better choice for a husband but you can't choose who you fall in love with (can you?). This will be interesting with Francisco's quandry: first he wanted to force Andres to marry Marina for the money and now that he knows her heritage wants to keep Andres from her. He's so mean, when is he going to get his????

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

first of all.....I just want to say I've never watched a show as obsessed with peeing and pooping as this one.

every week at least 2 people are on the pot!!
I'm so shocked each time that I can't concentrate on what's being said!!

I think the only ones who haven't relieved themselves (as far as I can tell - having just come into the show halfway through) are Luis and Hipolita!
good grief!!!

in regards to the question on divorce above ^^^^^.....

the one who would have had trouble would have been Luis not Antonio.....Luis had plainly consumated his marriage - Esperanza just was unable to bring children to term.

However - Antonio and Hipolita (or -lyta....whatever) did NOT consummate their marriage. It dousn't matter that she is not a virgin anymore....she never slept with her husband which allows the two to seek an annulment (which simply means that there never was a valid marriage)

Where with Luis....the only way to "solve" the problem in the telenovela was to kill off Esperanza because there was no way to really split the two of them.

he could've sought a "divorce" on the grounds of adultery when she got pregnant and it wasn't his but that would've opened her up to big time troubles with the church so he wouldn't do that. he's a nice guy!

I think there will be an "annulment"/divorce for Antonia and Hipolita based on their unconsummated marriage and that they'll both be happy with someone else (ie Perla and Luis. I don't think he'll be killed off.

in regards to the "FAT WIDOW" who is to marry Diego....

she was seen at the ball!!
there were several chicks being presented to him with whom he was unimpressed and then this chunky chick walks up and he makes her spin around for a better look.
go figger....

last thing is a question - do these telenovelas come out on DVD?
or does anyone here have it recorded to DVD where I could get copies....because I missed the first half of this and would like to go back and see it when this one (sadly) ends...

you can email me here:

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am like portal I really want a copy of this on DVD if someone has them. My daughter and I missed some of the beginning plus we just want to have the whole novela to watch over again! So please help us! If you can help us that is when I will give my email! Thanks!
(***Thanks portal for aking the question. I was going to ask on another board but never got the nerve up. Thanks for leading the way!***)
Also Thank You Melinama for creating such a place and all your dedication! It is so fun!

At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this novela. I have watch it with my husband. I speak little spanish and have enjoyed learning thru this. If there is a dvd of this could you please let me know. Also, I thought louis was burnt on his leg? Are they gonna find this? I think this is a great story. And thank you for the recaps. Like I said I do not speak alot of spanish so I enjoy reading the recaps so I understand the show better..Thanks again.

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to add my deepest graditude to you, Melinama, for all your hard work recapping this for all of us out here. It has meant so much to me, and I can well believe you're getting very tired all the time you're putting in doing this for us "Alborada" lovers out here.

I'm not big on movies anymore, but I'm so impressed with these actors and actresses. They are just wonderful, better than their U.S. counterparts in my judgement. And, I'm sure they don't have the benefit of multiple re-takes that U.S. actors have.

Now we've figured out the various parentage of the other young people in the Novela, where does Raphael come in? Who does he belong to?

Also, this is not important, but the other day I read a word "jampas", which was not in my dictionary. I've figured it was a typo for the word "jamas". Does anyone know if this is a word?

Thanks again, Melinama.

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have there been any positive reports about VERDAD OCULTA yet? Since VERDAD OCULTA is replacing Alborada, and indications are that neither Peregrina nor Barrera de Amor are very good, I'm going to suggest the following:
(I'm not completely caught up with recaps and comments so sorry if this has already been discussed)
Could we, as a group, decide to follow VERDAD OCULTA (assuming someone can tell us it is being well-received in mexico at this time), and think about sharing the recap job among 3-4 people, so no one gets too tired out?
I know Melinama has done a beyond-outstanding job but is understandably tired and wants a any way to arrange a continuation of this group?
I know we all LOVE Alborada and most of us prefer period pieces (like alborada and amor real), but for the spring of this year, we are not going to have that choice and I hate to loose the momentum, comaraderie, etc of our wonderful telenovela community her in cyberspace!

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I only found your recaps - and by accident, at that! - in the past few weeks, so I'm a little late on boarding the gratitude boat, but thank you! I love these! Prior to this, I was making up my own plotlines - though amusingly, I did get the one about Luis deflowering and knocking up Hipolita right. XD Now, though, I can figure out what's going on fairly well in between the summaries, even with my oh-so-limited command of Spanish. ^_^)

I found myself almost hoping that Antonio would hit Hipolita; if only because it would mean we wouldn't have to wait for him to fall off his horse to free the poor girl. They'd be lining up in droves to arrange an 'accident'. (Not that I'm really all that keen on Antonio biting the dust, mind you; I just wish he'd come to his damn senses and run off with Perla.) Had the fleeting sympathy pains for Gasca, too.

Only three weeks left? Oi, what am I going to do without my Alborada? ^^; If you don't mind me asking, what's the difference between 'ultimas semanas' and 'ultimos capitulos'? I'd guessed that the former was 'final weeks', but haven't been able to grap the latter yet...

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In answer to the reader who asked about getting Alborada on DVD, yes, it will be out but not right away. My son found Amor Real for me at Wal-Mart several months after it aired.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Hi everybody,

Shadowpup - ultimos capitulos means "final chapters" - it just means the end is closer than when they say "ultimas semanas" (final weeks).

Anybody know why Univision is so cagey about this? Why don't they just TELL us??

At 9:27 AM, Blogger melinama said...

My souvenir cards as promised are now on board - see this post.

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all!

Catalina: is their a feminine form of "metiche," "meticha" maybe? just wondering.

Jewels: yes, thank goodness Andres finally got over his virgin hangup. I'm so proud of him, heehee. And it looks from the previews he may actually confront his dad in the next episode. I love that he's growing a backbone!

As for the DVD it will probably be a seriously abbreviated version and not the whole 4 month series. Not that I suggest it, as it may be illegal for all I know, but I have seen some full-lenght DVD's of different novelas for sale on ebay (including Amor Real). They seem to be copied off the TV.

"jamas" means "never" or "ever" and "nunca jamas" means "never ever" (one of my favorite novela exclamations)

Chau, amigos!

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhh! Don't get too hung up on Andres marrying Marina. Remember that nasty business with the pillow and that fellow that wouldn't die fast enough? If the poison doesn't act fast enough, Gasca will spill the beans.

I want to thank Melinama and all of the other ladies for their input. There are a lot of things in novelas that go right over the heads of men.

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aha, thank you! The only non-English dictionary I have around here is Japanese, and the things I was coming up with online weren't helpful at all. ^^;

At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I was hoping someone might share their copy with me! Most likely they will offer an abbreviated version but that is not good enough. I want to be able to see what We misssed and anytime we feel like it watch it all over again!
(If I had known how much we were going to love this I had taped it from the beginning!)
Only meaning I found for the word jampas is doorway. Not sure if that is correct.(Remember them saying it but forget how it was used.)

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ruth:
Nah, "metiche" is for both feminine and masculine" "Es un metiche" (He's a buttinsky) or "Es una metiche" (She's a buttinsky).

To Anonymous:
The Dictionary of the Royal Academy of Spain lists no such word as "jampa." I wonder if this isn't a misspelling of our old friend "hampa," (silent h)meaning "underworld." On the other hand, it could be phonetic representation of the pronunciation of some Puerto Rican Spanish speakers of the word "rampa" (cramp). Puerto Ricans often use a gutteral "h" sound when pronouncing an initial r instead of rolling the r. Who knows? As we translators say, what is the context?

To bw:
I think you mean "jamba" not "jampa".

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice idea to keep this community of bloggers on line for future novela translations... i for one wish i could help to translate....but i need all your help in the recaps....but i enjoy reading everyones comments...they are as fun and interesting as the novela..If you bloggers go to another site,leave the info where I can get there. Prattie Place is enjoyable too... i enjoy all your comments and blogs...thanks for your time ...hang in there.... Bev

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been recording Alborada on DVD since the beginning and if you'd like you can contact me a and I can make you copies of the episodes you would like. I only ask that you send the Blank DVD's to me so that I don't have to buy them myself.
The recordings are off of TV, but they are pretty good quality.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Hi Carole: I'm game to keep up the group by doing summaries of La Verdad Oculta. I would suggest setting up a group on Google Groups and then anyone can subscribe and post summaries or comments or whatever. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me how bad or good La Verdad Oculta is. Since it is the 9pm offering, it should be the best Univision has to offer and you get into a novela no matter how bad it is. Sometimes a really bad one is funny. Doing some of the summaries while Melinama was away made me realize that it is even better Spanish practice to try and get everything that is said rather than just following along with the general idea. When we get a little closer to the end of Alborada, I will set it up and anyone who wants to contribute can do so.

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my mother got me into this show, I was wondering if it is going to come out on DVD ro VHS soon? I want to watch it from beginning. thanks.
i do not have english captions on my tv so I was wanting to buy the dvd to put the captions on there.

my email is
if you can give me any insight where to buy this great story.

At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean. Just lost my nice long blog- darn! Don't know what happened to it (Sorry if this shows up twice). But just wanted to thank you very very much for your willingness to recap VERDAD OCULTA! Estoy muy agradecida! ALBORADA is what I most look forward to every day (Don't let my family members hear that!) and I am sure you are right, Jean that it's not very difficult to "get into" any telenovela on Univision, even if it is not terrific. Inocente de Ti comes to mind- not a great telenovela but I enjoyed anyway.
This blog has certainly enlightened me on the political, social and economic history of Mexico (and Latin America in general) The blog has made the whole Alborada experience that much more reflective, robust, expansive--THANK YOU- all of you, historians, reenactors, and inguists- alike. AND ESPECIALLY, you, Melinama for your tireless efforts. Imagine, to be a musician, an artist, a writer, a mom (!)--exhausting just
to imagine!

At 6:12 AM, Blogger melinama said...


I've created a "test blog" for people who'd like to work on recapping the "next" novela (or any other novela, I guess, no reason to restrict it to just one). I have invited Ruth, Jean, Sylvia and Sylvia (who recapped for me before) to be team members.

If YOU would like to be a team member drop me an email at

at the moment all this means is that you will have access to the test blog so you can practice posting. It's not visible to the public so you can feel free to mess around as much as you like.

There are others of you who would be GREAT recappers and this won't obligate you to any particular schedule. So let me know if you want to play.

At 6:13 AM, Blogger melinama said...


The subtitles are in SPANISH not English.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Jean said...

To Zelda:
I believe that the subtitles for the abridged version of Amor Real that is available commercially are in English. So says the IMDb and

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was hard for me to see the Inquisition jail and the torture. I will go to the museum in Lima, when I go to Lima. One of my ancestors was in the hands of the Inquisition in Lima for four years, afterwards he was in a convent, at his expense, for four or five months. I imagine to recuperate before he went back to his home in La Serena, Chile. He spoke against God and did not pay the tighe to the church. He had been the governor of Tucuman, and he seemed to have been a very outspoken man, who made enemies. All I could think when Gasca was being torture, was about him.


At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you, I would like to still have a copy of this novela in all its glory if at all possible. I was reading a little on the new show coming up and it sounds interesting. I am going to watch because of one of the characters the guy is on the dance show Balando por un Sueno. I think thats how it is spelled. I think his name is David. thanks all and i love coming here to get the summaries of what is going on. I wish I was a better translater so I could help. I am hispanic but still learning myself. i catch bits and pieces so then I put it all together. I too am glad Andres is over his hangup, they will look so good a couple. Franscisco makes me mad all the time, I cannot stand him, he is too greedy for me.
thanks again for this great blog. when my translating gets better i will have to help out on the other novelela.


At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone please I NEED YOUR HELP... WHere can i get a copy of the final episode of "LA Verdad Oculta" THank you for your help.. ~Jenn


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