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Friday, April 21, 2006

Telenovela Alborada, #36 (the end)

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.

Friday: OK friends, here we go for the last time!

Flogging time for our adulterous heroine. Did you notice that, although it's Hipólita who's getting flogged, it's Ada who needs three people supporting her as she sobs? And how do you like the big fat executioner in spandex tights? Doesn't he remind you of tweedle-dum (or tweedle-dee)? Is he a leftover from some wrestling show? Or will he, perhaps, turn up again some day as the next pudgy veterinarian love-interest?


In the crowd, below the flogging-station, Marcos asks Cristóbal: "What if Luis doesn't get back in time? Higinio and the guys are ready, will you give the sign?" Cristóbal sighs at the innocent people who might get hurt, says it's the hardest decision he's ever made, and then says OK, we'll do it ...

Hipólita watches another woman, a thief, being flogged. Then it's her turn. They drone away about her sin, the evidence, and her confession. They tear her dress down the back and start flogging. (At least the executioner is behind her so she doesn't have to see his ghastly fat belly hanging over his black leather belt.)

OK, that's it: Cristóbal gives the sign! Higinio and his gang surge forward! The dignitaries in wigs stand in astonishment!

And suddenly, Luis gallops up! "Let her go! I have her pardon from the Viceroy!"

Fray Alvaro doesn't believe the Viceroy really issued a pardon, and even if he did, the Church is a higher authority than civil government. Alvaro says, clear the way so the punishment can continue...

... but just then, up rides a guard: "Stop in the name of the Viceroy!" Here comes the Viceroy's carriage, and here is the Viceroy himself. He gets on stage and says "Faith can't win with cruelty, it wins with piety and understanding. The Inquisition has been abolished in Spain, and as of today, it is abolished here in New Spain too!" Alvaro is discomfited, Team Luis hugs. Luis helps Hipólita off the stage.

In a darkened bedroom, Modesta and Juana discuss the dramatic rescue, and Eloise's father's request that his daughter's marriage with Diego be annulled.

Juana: "Here are two letters, one for the regidor with my confession and the other is for Luis. I told the regidor you're not to blame for anything. After ... I hope you'll go back to your hometown. Asi es y asi sera. Juana drinks the poisoned wine, a rosary wrapped around her wrist. She kisses Modesta's hand.

Cristóbal tends Hipólita's wounds. Luis: "Forgive me for not getting there sooner." She says it was her proper punishment, he says it was cruelty. Dagoberto comes in and says: "Antonio is dying and wants to say goodbye to Hipólita." She hadn't known about his fight with Diego, and his attempt to lie for her to the regidor.

In his own dark room, Diego tells his servants to make his cushions comfy and bring him wine. "The doctor only wants you drinking infusions." "I don't care what that fool said, I don't want his disgusting potions, I want wine."

Here comes Modesta with wine ... very SPECIAL wine, Diego ..."Here, it will help you recover your strength." "See, you imbeciles? Bring me a whole bottle." He drinks, but it isn't the best vintage.... "This is dreadful, bring me the good stuff. ... How's my mom?" Evasively, Modesta replies: "Praying for herself and for you."

Perla's with Antonio when Luis and Hipólita appear. She retires, rather unwillingly; Luis and Antonio acknowledge each other with dignity and Luis retires too. Hipólita: "They told me what you did for me, Antonio, I appreciate it with all my soul." Antonio makes the final of his many deathbed speeches. "You earned it ... Diego promised (to retract) and then attacked me treacherously. ... You're at liberty now. I just wanted us to say goodbye so I could die in peace." "I'm sorry, I feel so guilty." "Let's be done with guilt and fault-finding, it was I who made the first mistake."

He continues with his self-analyzing (he talks like a guy who sees a shrink regularly): "You know what my problem has always been? I always sought the approval of others, first and foremost my mother and, later, you. It never occurred to me that the only one who had to approve of me was - me." She mentions others who've loved him. He interrupts and changes the subject: "You love Luis, I understand, he's a good man and he really loves you. But I, I also loved you, in my way." "I also love you a lot." "I know I don't have the right to ask this because I was never affectionate with Rafaelito, but my deepest desire is that you take care of my child." She says she will. They smile, hold hands, he dies. Por fin!

Just outside the deathbed scene, Perla complains again about Antonio inconveniently dying before he could give his name to the baby. "I'm a child of the earth, I never cared about name or family, but I hoped my child would have a decent life."

Luis crossly says she needs to do something about it herself, and she says she wants to. Marcos looks on, sort of hang-dog. I guess it's supposed to be love ... Perla contines: "Also, Antonio wanted me to marry a good man, but who would marry a whore who's carrying another man's baby?"

Voiceover of Juana praying in Latin; we cut to her not looking so good after drinking her poisoned wine. "Do you think it's time?" Modesta nods and puts Juana's tiara on her! We wouldn't want to die without our tiara, would we?

Juana and Modesta stagger down the hall to Diego's room. The servant reports: "He got the wine he asked for and now he's asleep." Juana: "All of you, get out!"

Diego's lying in his longjohns with his creepy white mask. Juana gets in bed with him! She gives her cane to Modesta, she won't be needing it any more!

She embraces the sleeping Diego, saying "Pardon me, my dear son - I couldn't allow you to face people's scorn. It was all my fault. I ask God's pardon, for both of us." She holds his mask over his face! Modesta cries quietly, head bowed in sorrow. The mask falls! A wonderful wind blows the curtains open and a beam of light falls across the bodies in the bed!

Now Modesta uses the creepy mask as a death mask - and we realize this scene was set up months ago...

Isabel arrives, barking that Diego and Juana must write a confession (that Luis is the true Count) and vacate the castle immediately! Modesta says "They're, uh, asleep" -- Isabel bustles right by and starts shouting at them. But they're dead, she soon discovers. She's really freaked!

Modesta gives Juana's letter for Luis to his servant and then sits with the Regidor as he reads the letter Juana sent him: "I exchanged the babies... [etc]" Modesta says: "I know the note says I'm guiltless, but it's not true, I helped the whole way. ... before the eyes of God nothing is hidden, nobody escapes, and now I put myself in your hands to be punished. Juana and Diego are now in front of the Creator - she asked me and I poisoned them, they're dead." Beyond indignant, he yells: "Put her in jail and then straight to the gallows, no trial for her!"

Luis and Cristóbal visit the corpses. Luis kneels. "Seeing them thus, I finally understand why she did what she did - she loved her son above everything." Cris thinks there was more to it - ambition? "We are complicated beings..." "They say death purifies, and I think it's true because all their anger is gone. ... All that's left to me is profound pain."

Luis reads Juana's note: "You always thought I didn't love you, but it isn't true. I was never an affectionate person, and I didn't want to enflame Diego's jealousy of you, but in this last moment of my life, I confess to you that I would have preferred a thousand times that you had been my son. I beg pardon for all the damage I did you, even though I know neither you nor your father will forgive me." He holds the note to his heart and then burns it.

Juana and Diego lie in state together, all in white, many important people in attendance at the funeral. Incredibly, their sins are never revealed -- after the Old Dude, Sara, and Dagoberto all tell the Regidor they were eyewitnesses to Luis being the Count, Regidor points out that a family as important as this one should suppress this sort of irregularity. Luckily, since Luis is the next Count anyway, there's no need to air the gossip... The Regidor gives Luis the special Count-of-Guevara beanie and secret handshake. There are manly hugs all round and brass fanfares. Cristobal gives his usual sanctimonious advice.

Elsewhere, Perla cries and asks Marcos to thank Luis for taking care of Antonio's funeral mass and burial. "Now I'm alone and pregnant..." "I always told you to count on me." They embrace.


Felipe is ripping black crepe off his house. "Enough already with the mourning, I want us to be happy again." He's bought Carmela a pretty not-black dress that she can wear to Luis and Hipólita's wedding next day. She says she's happy at his side. They embrace quite fervently. He tells her she's beautiful. Aww!

Luis and Hipólita wed at last. These long crowd scenes are, I think, an opportunity for the cast to say goodbye and enjoy their last moments in the sun. Isabel wanted a bigger event. Felipe says he feels proud, like a father, whereupon Carmela tells him he will, in fact, be a father again - she's pregnant. There is a long, stupid dance in the plaza (no comparison to that magnificent ballroom scene in Amor Real).

Perla complains to Marcos: "I'm fatter every day." "And sexier!" AGAIN she complains about her child growing up "the child of nobody." Marcos: "I don't know how to say this. You know I've always liked you, and I understand your life - once you told me I'm not your type - but I'm a good, honorable man, the kind Antonio told you to find..." "But I'm expecting a child that's not yours." "I didn't know MY father, either, but Don Felipe took care of me, raised me, helped me, gave me affection -- why can't I do the same for your child?" "Why didn't I ever notice you?" "You did..." "I always had affection for you, Marcos."

Luis and the very pregnant Hipólita have some sweet kissies. My guess is that a lot of people complained to Ms. Estrada about there being no happiness for the protagonists at the end of Amor Real - in the last scene of that telenovela, Colunga was deposited, half dead in a wagon full of straw, at his love's farm after months or years of her thinking him dead! No kissies! That was no fun! So now, kissies.

Elsewhere, Asunción is bustling along saying "NO!" Francisco promises, "Everything's going to be different." "I don't believe you, I'm tired of your reproaches, your nastiness, your wine, everything! I've decided!" He barks, "You're not going! because you're my woman." "All you care about is the hacienda, you don't care about your son or daughter, I'll talk to them and explain what hell my life has been at your side, they'll help me." "If you leave, don't come back!" "I don't intend to come back." She drives off in a carriage! Hurrah!

More months pass. Hipólita has her baby. All the women are in the room exhorting. Catalina is scared but she wants to stay, to see what she has to look forward to. The guys are out in the hall, Luis is hyperventilating. It's a girl, and she's "completita." They name her Aurora, after Luis's mom.

Later, Asuncion tells Hipólita: "You're a wonderful woman, daughter - your determination and courage used to scare me but now I admire you. You're the best mother I've known - I'm sorry I didn't defend you the way you defend Rafael - forgive me for abandoning you, and for being such a lousy mother when you came to find me again."

Francisco shows up and wants to talk. Asunción crossly asks him what he's doing there. "I ask you to come back - I miss you, I need you - I never told you but I always felt affection for you." "You never showed it." "Hipólita and my son taught me a lesson."

Oh, how I continue to hate Francisco as he selfishly continues: "I don't want to live alone. Also, I'm your husband, I'm ashamed that you're living with your children." "That bothers me a little too - so I'll think about it. But at the first provocation, I'll come back to them forever." "I'll never give you reason to complain." "Also it's lonely out there, so I want to spend part of my time there and part here." He agrees.

Really, I'd prefer that she dress in black leather and put her spiked stiletto to his throat and whip him, but you can't always get what you want.

Last scene: It's a group baptism, I think, with a zillion people.

The producers rented a boatload of babies for this scene. Everybody has a baby. They spent extra to get those special, quiet, calm babies. The babies that come from the pod people.

In the crowd, Francisco gives Asunción a flower; seeing this, Isabel gets a little sneer of suspicion on her face, just as I do.

Lastly, Aurelio rushes up and gives news to Cristóbal, who immediately jumps up on the stage and delivers it to the crowd. "Ladies and Gentlemen, the struggle for independence has succeeded, we are a free country, Viva Equality!"

He, an aristocrat loaded with dough, looks happy about the revolution. But I have to say it - I really must - concerning equality: There is not much of it in evidence, not back then and not now, either!

But let's not be churlish! As our cast jostles happily, hugs, and enjoys their armfuls upon armfuls of eerily clean quiet babies, I bid you good night!

Any future blogging of telenovelas will take place at My complete set of Alborada recaps, however, will remain here at Pratie Place indefinitely. The full list is to the right - below the picture of Modesta and Doña Juana, just above the elephant. Click on the numbers in order!

You can buy (cheap) souvenir cards I painted in honor of our Alborada adventure
Amor Real
Entre el Amor y el Odio
"Telenovela villains meet lurid, dreadful deaths"

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At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Melinama et al,

One more time, thank you, thank you! I could hardly wait for tonight's finale to be over so that I could check on your version. I think your recap was better than the "grand" finale itself. Except for the nice touch of Dona Juana in basic black and pearls for her death scene this was hardly my favorite capitulo. I wanted Diego to be thoroughly humiliated before he was dispatched. As for the Asuncion and Francisco reconciliation, what an unsatisfactory outcome, no justice and no satisfaction! I know reality has no place in judging these telenovelas, but I couldn't help wondering how Hipolita had avoided scars on her back after that flogging. There wasn't much back to that last dress she was wearing. And what happened to Marina? I don't remember any announcement of a baby for her and that seems to be the only happy outcome for any woman of childbearing age in this story. Was she at the party? I didn't see her but I was ironing and missed some.

As for FC's "goofy" smile -- hey, while all of you were waiting for him to take his shirt off, I was getting mine every time he smiled at Rafael, those dimples! I always was a sucker for man who had dimples when he smiled!

I will check out Caray,Caray but I find it hard to believe we can all have this much fun again. It has been great!


At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to all =)

Manne: yes, we see Marina at the final "Baptismal Party" scene and Andres pats her very pregnant belly. Marcos also hands Perla their new baby (the white outfit makes it impossible to determine whether it is a boy or a girl) and as Melinama pointed out, we have quiet babies all around =)

For those of you who will be suffering from "Alborada" withdrawal (won't we all?) I have a couple of suggestions:

1. ebay has a number of sellers who have complete DVD sets of various telenovelas for sale. In addition to "Alborada," there is "Amor Real" (the other historical one with FC) and "Corazon Salvaje" (featuring the late Eduardo Palomo as a sexy swashbuckler in the early 1900s).

2. If you don't want to spend as much $$$ (It adds up quickly) you can go to Blockbuster or Netflix. You will probably get the abbreviated versions (most run about 4.5 hours) but it's better than nothing. You can also look for movies. The golden age of cinema has passed for most hispanic coutries, but you can look for some old classics or some of the more recent period pieces. I highly recommend "Como Agua Para Chocolate" (the English title is "Like Water for Chocolate") if you haven't seen it. It's in Spanish, but you can just turn on the English subtitles. It's all about forbidden love and food.

I must get on my soapbox for a minute and mention that comparing "Alborada" and "La Fea Mas Bella" is much like comparing "The English Patient" to "The Producers." They are both movies, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. Mexico (and many other hispanic countries) don't have the budget for major motion pictures, so they make telenovelas where they can get more bang for their buck (The "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy only adds up to about 12 hours - that's if you go with the 'extended version/director's cut' ones - whereas "Alborada" lasted about 80 hours or so - once you add in the commercial breaks). Telenovelas can go from period dramas (such as "Alborada" and "Bodas de Odio") to musical comedies ("Quiero Ser" featured Menudo, the set they had at the time) to Horror ("El Maleficio" was one of my favorites) to children's shows (including "Mundo de Juguete" and "Chispita" which featured a very young Lucero and Beatriz Moreno) and even biographies (don't remember their exact titles, but there was one about dictator Porifirio Diaz and one about the catholic saint Martin de Porres) and just about everything in between. Many are based on romance novels (think Harlequin) and other fiction print and some are losely based around some current event (there was one once about a drug cartel). Wouldn't it be cool if they did one about "Like Water for Chocolate"? How about one based on the Dumas books about the musketeers? Come to think of it, Modesta crying while readying Juana made me think of poor Mouston when Porthos died. My point is that altough there are many bad telenovelas out there (in addition to the fabulous ones like "Alborada") the fact that they are not your taste doesn't mean they are bad. Matter of fact, "La fea..." has a very promising cast inlcuding Angelica Maria (an amazing singer-actress, think of a cross between Julie Andrews and Bernadette Peters) and her real life daughter in the main role. Most of the cast are singer-actors (like Mandy Patinkin and Tyne Daly) though I don't think it's a musical. Still, they have already released a soundtrack which features some of the cast as well as other popular performers. It's just a matter of what you're into.

I must retire as I have to get up early tomorrow, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this fabulous blog. Maybe I'll have to drop by caray,caray...


PS: I must echo everyone's praises of melinama. Even on the days I got to watch "Alborada," I still read the blog 'cause I loved her descriptions and everyone's comments.

At 3:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am completely amazed and (aside from that Francisco business) incredibly pleased (and also very proud of myself for how much I understood tonight, which was just about everything - couldn't have managed that without you, Melinama!).

So dashing, Team Luis! So not quite in time, Team Viceroy! (And that bit about the Inquisition being abolished? I wanted to jump up and applaud with the crowd. So cheesy to be announced just then, as if it was all for our dear Hipolita's sake. So wonderful!)

The bit with Juana and the tiara really got to me. She may have been a conniving bitch, but she was always very regal, and I think that entire scene did a good job of conveying how much she must have wanted to go with even a scrap of class.

And oh, Antonio! How I hated you sometimes - but so many tears for you tonight! Quite a few for Perla, too, until she started griping after she got kicked out of the deathroom.

Totally with you on the bit about happy endings for women. *Facepalm* That's exactly what I was thinking during the babymony (are baptismal and christening the same thing? The outfits on the pod children looked very much like christening gowns, to me) - "I see 'happy ending' in telenovela means, 'Everybody's pregnant!'" (Though I must say, I think I was happier for Felipe and Carmela than I was for anyone else! ^^; They just deserve it so very much.)

Viva Alborada! Viva Melinama! Buenos noches to you - and mañana, Caray, Caray!

At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Margarita: Thanks for the suggestions! Pirates, you say? *Sells soulscraps; flees to eBay*

At 7:30 AM, Blogger melinama said...

What I would like to see: a period novela that focused on the indigenous population. In the (admittedly few) novelas I've watched, the Indians are charicatured in a way nobody gets away with in this country. Remember "Upstairs, Downstairs"? Wouldn't it be cool to see a novela done that way, with intelligent understanding being given to the "underclass"?

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adding my thanks, melinama---finding Alborado and this site a few weeks ago provided me with a lovely new experience and many new words in espanol;---now I'm off to find the dvds so I can catch up with all those wonderful early posts. Muchos gracias for all your hard work. And I agree with the person who noted the wonderful look fernando always got on his face when he saw rafaelito---he must really love kids; i don't think you can fake that look. Susanlynn, feeling a little deflated

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant thank everyone enough. This was a fun telenovela to watch and a fun blog spot in which to share!

THank you Melinama for your dedication and humor. Thank you everyone else who filled in with reports and messages. This has been a web site that I have looked forward to checking in on a regular basis regardless of whether I watched the show or not. The posts were worth their own entertainment value! I will definately be following you to Caray Caray!

As for the show I too was let down that Fransisco wasnt smashed by a stage coach or left to die in the fields. What a dissapointment. It would have been easy for them to have shown Fransisco murdered by his workers for mistreatment...

But watching Donna Juanna die with her spoiled son was worth its weight in gold. I loved the silly crown! I loved watching Modesta admit her complicity!

As for Nando (FC) I thought that Felipe was laughing at or with him when the Christina show replayed the clip of the shirt removing scene. Im sure I saw humor in Felipes eyes and maybe FC's too during that clip. Its like they knew this scene was devised for the fans to oogle FC undressed and they were laughing while doing it. But then again I once thought Modesta was secretly poisoning Gasca and his cell mate so what do I know?

What a great group (elenco)! Thank you again!

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good job mom!

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the people that want more information on Fernando Colunga go to search print his name on the line and click searh and you will get his biography,pictures and lots more.Thank you for all the was very helpful when I missed an episode. Juanita in WI.

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank MELINAMA for her insight, devotion, knowledge of the Spanish language and wonderful sense of humor.
Without this site I would not have been turned on to Amor Real, which in my opinion is the best novela I have ever seen. I own the complete set (18 DVDs)
I will miss my fellow bloggers; hope to reunite in the future with another "period novela"
Thanks to Lesa for all you have done and continue to do. You have loved Fer longer than anyone I know and are a true fan.
Thanks to Fernando Colunga for being such a good actor, not to mention pleasing to the eye, handsome beyond compare (need I go on?) and making the past 4 months the most fun for me in a good long while.
I will miss all of you, things will never be the same.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL--When Cristina showed the infamous and widely discussed and drooled over shirtremoving scene, hub turned said to me what I myself had been thinking... ''It looks like that guy[AKA Felipe] is thinking, 'I want some of that.' I assured him that Luis and the loyal, trustworthy, clever, and brave Felipe did not have ''that'' kind of relationship. It does look like the actor playing Felipe is getting a kick out of what's taking place ---I guess Fernando was taking one for the team and sharing some beefcake with the masses---They would periodically do the same to the actor [Adrian Paul] who played Duncan Mccleod in The Highlander tv series[check out this series on's great...goes back and forth in time with an immortal..lots of swording and romance]....every once in a while it would be ''time for Duncan to remove his shirt and boost ratings---likewise with Joe Lando out in the colorado wilderness in Dr. Quinn---note: I notice that a common device is to injure these Adonises as a means to get them barechested---I've noticed that they never get head wounds or a nasty blow to an arm or foot ---it's always something necessatating removal of the camisa!!!--Case in point, Luis recuperating at Cristobal's after yet another unsuccessful murder attempt by Diego provided several episodes for us to gaze upon that sixpack as Cris administered to our noble wounded hero while streams of visitors stopped by----Anyhoo, The actor playing Felipe is great --loved his unruffled confidence in the prison as he handed the second bag of coins over and said. ''here's your permission!'' [I got that!!!] ---wish he could have been on Cristina, too---along with Tia and Cristobal. Loved watchging Dona Juana sing and shake her groove thing--- Susanlynn, experiencing withdrawal, filled with ennui, LOOKING FOR THOSE MARGARITAS

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to you, and your co-bloggers for the wonderful recap job on Alborada.

When the series started I estimated my comprehension at about 20%. I now figure I am up to 60% or better for some sections, because of being able to know ahead of time what the conversations will be about.

Re: Fernando Colunga, I understand that he himself is Metizo, and as such is part of a marginalized portion of Mexican society. This is quite a breakthrough for him to achieve such popularity. (love those cheekbones... and the rest of him)

It is also noticeable that he must spend a lot of his off-camera time playing with the children on set. Their reactions to him are very real and affectionate, especially the little lad who played Rafael. There was one scene in Cristobal's courtyard (B.A. - before amnesia) where it was obvious that they had a special "I'm-gonna-get-you game" going.

Thanks again. Shirley

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first tuned into Alborada while lying on the sofa recovering from a cold in January, I had no idea what an amazing experience was about to unfold! I lucked into finding Melinama's blog right away, and was also lucky to get a friend to start watching (we'd meet over coffee and discuss Alborada in our stumbling Spanish). Reading all the blogs and the comments became an essential part of the Alborada adventure. It was just too much fun and highly entertaining to learn what everyone was saying! I agree about the men on horseback - they're delightful. That shot of Felipe in the intro where his horse appears to dance as he pauses mid-dash is one of my favorites. And I liked Cristobal's hat! I'll be back to see what else Melinama is posting on her web site (lots of good stuff here!). And I'll check out Caray!Caray! Maybe we can petition Univision to do some more period novelas, as well as ask them to do an indigenous series (modern day Mayas in Chiapas?). When I was in Nicaragua a while back, a friend there was into watching a Brazilian telenovela that was dubbed into Spanish called Renacer that began in earlier times with a campesino making a pact with a magic tree in the rainforest. The hero was muy guapo. Has anyone heard of Renacer? Mil gracias to Melinama for her wonderful, unforgettable recaps! Can't thank you enough! And thanks to all those whose comments show what a huge community of intelligent and lively telenovela aficionados is out there!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Thank you all so much for your kind comments! You made the whole exhausting project worthwhile!

Jean has posted her recap of the 1/2 hour Cristina segment over on caraycaray... leave her a comment of appreciation!

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your recaps are simply the best, and in the end the pod babies made the show!!!

At 12:59 PM, Blogger e-mish said...

Thank you Melinama and everyone else for the wonderful recaps which helped me to enjoy Alborada even more. My Spanish is extremely limited, but with your help I was able to grasp much of what was going on.

Like many I'm going to seriously miss this show. Alborada was my first introduction to the world of Hispanic telenovelas; and now thanks to you and everyone else I have a short list of others to seek out as well.

I have the most massive crushes on Fernando Colunga and Ernest Lagurdia (sp?) now (and the guy that played Diego is much better looking without that horrible wig then I thought). I also enjoyed seeing some of the cast on the Christina show -- the clips of the two main acresses singing were a nice touch. The actress who played Juana has a beautiful voice.

Again, thanks to everyone for their recaps and their witty comments, they all made my visits here and my enjoyment of Alborada that much greater.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much Melinama for making this blog so interesting. It looks like Felipe is getting a kick out the shirt episode.
Last night I was thinking that FC is fine, but the great one is Luis. He is the answer to any woman's dream. He is polite, he is considerate, he is protective, without being controlling. He leaves enough room for her to be her self. He is the perfect man, who does not exist anywhere, only in our dreams. When they are talking and he ask, whay should I believe you and she says: "porque yo, soy yo". That is fantastic. I do not believe that FC without his lines will compare, but surprise, surprise Diego seems to be very interesting.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger novelera said...

Wow! I didn't watch my Tivo'd episode until today because I had a monthly dinner to attend last night. I have so enjoyed your summaries. You did a wonderful job. I was in tears many times watching the last episode. Daniela Romo was magisterial! And Peniche also. It took him a long time to die, but it was worth every minute for the pathos he wrung out of it. I totally agree that Francisco got off WAY too easy. Couldn't they have dragged him behind a galloping horse or something? On the Cristina portion, Lucero really impressed me. What a lively, fun, terrific woman she seems. She also alluded to what they've said on the Univision foro. When she began the novela she was nursing her baby and appeared pretty bosomy. Then later on, the dresses kind of hung loosely around her chest when the nursing was done. I'm really going to miss them. I didn't think Amor Real could be surpassed, but in some ways I liked Alborada more. Thanks again for all your hard work!
Sylvia G.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinama: Have you heard of "Ramona"? It is a period novela with focus on a love story between a Mexican woman and an Indian. I didn't see it, but have seen bits and pieces and it has a lot of focus on the Indian people. Another period novela I have seen advertised for sale is "La Antorcha Encendida" about the founding of Mexico or the Mexican government and one of the actors is Ernesto LaGuardia aka Cristobal (he looks young in this one!).

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

You have outdone yourself with this last recap! Brilliant! Brava!
I, too, was very surprised and delighted to see a more acceptable resolution of the Asuncion/Francisco story. It was FAR too little, he was the worst of the bad guys to me, but at least he got *something* of a comeuppance.

I will miss the show, your recaps, and reading the comments here. I will definitely keep visiting this blog, since I enjoy your writing so much. We are a non-religious family, but my 17-year-old is starting the process of converting to Judaism, with our full approval, so I feel a connection to your site for that reason, too.

I will most definitely visit caraycaray often, and I think I will start watching Barrera de Amor. It looks very campy and fun.
I hope to see all of you over there!

Take care, everyone!

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What a great sense of humor and agreat job you did. Splendid. I was as much fun to wait for your recaps.

I tried to get in hppt://, but I could not get in. How do you get in?


At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just had a thought. In the final episode, Hipolita and Luis name their baby girl Aurora after Luis's mother. Auroro means ''dawn''...Alborado means ''dawn''---nice touch---The baby represents the beginning of their dawn , the beginning of their new life together. Susanlynn

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinama: Thanks to you and everyone for making Alborada so much fun. I discovered this blog about half way through looking for a cd of the music. Now at least if I find myself going through serious withdrawl on Monday night, I will have Placido Domingo to help. It wasn't really too long after Amor Real that Alborada came along so I am hoping soon that Fernando returns riding his horse into a new period novela. For now, I just hope Rafael recovers from being carried around by crying women for months. I also think Juana and Diego got a better exit than they deserved while poor Modesta must pay for everything! Still, it was an awesome ending. Wouldn't it be great if the issues facing us today could be resolved in the spirit of the real, benevolent Conde de Guevara?

At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe nobody mentioned Hipolita's disappearing pregnancy belly! In the wedding scene, she's pretty slim even in the empire waist gown. In the "noche de boda" scene, she looks to have swallowed a watermelon. That must have been quite a wedding feast!

Also, there is a great article on titled "Misterios de Alborada". Where DID Isabel get those cigarrettes?

At 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brava bravissima, Melinama! Take a bow, you deserve it. Thank you for going way way beyond the extra mile in the humor and intelligence of your synopses. This has been such a wonderful experience.

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Ramona and liked it. But it was not about indigenous people in Mexico. It took place in California when that state was becoming part of the US, and Mexicans there were fighting for their land. The indigenous person that Ramona ran away with was, as I remember it, an Apache. Ramona was based on a novel written by Helen Hunt Jackson in 1884. She was a Native American activist. Before it was a Mexican telenovela it was the subject of two movies in the US, the first made in 1910. A 1936 version starred Loretta Young and Don Ameche. The telenovela is available on Ebay, but it is pretty expensive.

There was a telenovela starring Adela Noriega (the heroine of Amor Real) as an indigenous girl. I can't remember if it was Chiapas, but it was pretty superficial, and the indigenous part didn't last long. I lost interest and started watching some other telenovela. It is also available on Ebay and costs less than Ramona.

La Antorcha Encendida is a story about events leading up to the Mexican War of Independence in 1821 (Padre Hidalgo and his crew). It is very good and has an allstar cast, including Ernesto LaGuardia (Cristobal). It is available on Amazon, Ebay, etc., but I have read comments by people who complained about how much or how badly it was edited.

Thanks so much, Melinama, for devoting your blog to Alborada for so long. It was as much fun reading your recaps (and everyone's comments) as it was to watch the show. Kay

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

Interesting, the Mexican inquisition ended in 1821. The Spanish Inquisition ended in 1834 (Queen Christina ended it. The Papel Inquisition changed its name in 1968. The director of the Papel inquisition four of them became Popes. Paul V, Pios V, Sixtus V and de present Pope was also encharged of the institution which was renamed to replace the Old Inquisition. mtw

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A question and some irony : I've been rereading some earlier episode translations. Why did Ramon decide to save Luis after he was shot by Gasca? I could never understand that---perhaps, he was hoping to be rewarded. It's ironis that Ramon saved Luis, but, in the end, was killed by Luis. Any ideas? Susanlynn

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinama, I can't thank you enough for the amazing and wonderful recaps. They added immeasurably to my enjoyment of this, my alltime favorite, telenovela. Your talent is great, so I wish you much success in all future enveavors. Thank you! Thank you! Heather

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a little search on Daniela Romo on On one of her CDs "Mis Mejores Canciones: 17 Super Exitos, Vol. II", there is a song titled "Veneno para Dos". She should've sung that on Cristina!

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


are you going to keep the Alborada re-caps here? I'll probably need them as reference as I re-run the DVDs of the Alborada I missed. If you're going to take them off I guess I need to *gasp* print.


At 3:33 PM, Blogger melinama said...

I don't want to see Noriega playing an indigenous maiden, I want to see a real live indigenous maiden. I think it's no longer acceptable to just slap a suntan on a white dude and call him an indian.

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is zelda again,
I only got to see part of the last episode, I had to attend graduation. I am glad you are keeping the recaps here. Thank you and I did bookmark the other site.

I did get to see part of the wedding celebration and wondered how she got loose then I had to leave again. I am so glad my mother got me hooked this was a good novela.

bye for now.
and good luck everyone and see you all on the other blog.

p/s I will be sending out my dvds to the lady who said she would tape them for me. I am probably going to send them UPS, so look for my email okdokie..

Thank you again for this great site and recaps.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Jean said...

I just watched the finale. No one has mentioned that when the Regidor declares Luis to be the Conde de Guevara and when the revolution is announced right at the end, they play the Ride of the Valkyrie from Wagner's Die Valkyrie. It seems a rather strange choice for what must have been intended to be triumphant music.

Anyway, Alborada was a great novela made even more enjoyable by the community that Melinama made possible through her blog. I think Barerra de Amor will be good Spanish practice and fun too.

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still musing over the attraction of historical romance..alborada in particular---it's a world devoid of TECHNOLOGY---noone is using a blackberry or talking on a cellphone--people , therefore, focus on the NOW--the people right in front of them---there's no ESPN to take Luis's attention off Hipolita---as he gazes intently into her eyes, he isn't wondering what's happening in the big game on the tube----noone is faxing anyone or checking email every half hour!!!--Susanlynn, a little cranky about the technology

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinama, I want to add my thanks to all the others you are receiving for all your hard work recapping Alborada. It was a trememdous job you did, and your dedication is to be admired.

I had never seen a telenovela before this one, and I must say by the end I have such respect and admiration for all the actors and actresses in this cast. They are better than anything I've seen in the States in a long, long time. And when I saw and heard Hipo and Juana sing on Christina, I was blown away. I really think Univision should sell Alborada to a US cable network with either English voice-overs or subtitles. Dubbing in English would be better as I lost alot of the nuiances by reading the subtitle. Anyway, I think it would help Americans better understand Mexican culture--and that can't be a bad thing with the current immigration debate.

Curtain-Calls for you, Melinama. I will be checking back at Pratie Place to see what you're up to, and will do likewise with Caray,Caray to read the posts. I don't think I'll be watching Barrera, but will want to see what you all have to say about it.

I'm just sad it's over, but maybe now I can get back to giving my dog his evening walk.

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading this blog over the last few weeks. I don't speak very much Spanish at all, and thought I'd try to follow along with a novela and see if my ear could get more attuned. Well, that didn't happen! So, I looked for some kind of recap to tell me what was going on and I found ya'll. The translations made watching so much more fun because I couldn't wait to read the witty comments. Yup, that hat of Cristobal's must have gotten its own salary. It took more screen space than some of the characters. I'm so glad you will be continuing on the other blog. Thanks again!
Alexandria, VA

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anonymous- do you think that Alborada would be as successful in the us? I wonder how the ratings would fare. I don't think it would do really well. It looks to me like we're obssessed with reality tv and bloody crime shows. It also seems to me that there is no soul left in most American TV. By and large, It's mostly flash and no substance. Lots of noise and no nuts!
I am in no way putting down Alborada. I agree about the level of quality in the show. You can really tell that they put a lot of thought and care into wardrobe, sets and backgrounds, including bystanders in crowd shots. The actors seemed to really be proud of it, too. By and large, they did their research and it shows that they really tried. I hate American T.V. when I recognize sets and backgrounds stolen from previous shows, particularly sitcoms. Not to mention a commercial every 2 seconds. It ruins the movie magic to me. I thnk it is because we've gotten so used to the crap on U.S. television that when we see something really special and unique like Alborada it really makes an impact on us! It did on me. I want to again thank you Melinama for the recaps! I hope you keep them on your site! I am anxiously waiting for my Amor Real dvd from Netflix!!!! ......I need a fernando fix!!

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi every one. Thanks for all the recaps. I don't think that I will watch another novela any time soon. I am a big fan of Fernando Colunga and Ernesto Laguardia I only watch novelas when they are in them. So far, I have been lucky because they were together in Amor Real and Alborada. The gran final was great the only wrinkle was the Marcos/Perla union. It was not fare for Marcos. He derserved better.

I don't know if you people know, but "La fea mas bella" is a remake of a Colombian novela called "Betty la fea". Betty was a showed about five years ago in Telemundo. It was a great success. Univision bought the rights for the second part. It was a mess. When it did not have audience they decided to make it a mini-series. It was aired on Sundays. They had to cut it short because nobody was watching.

I don't think that "La Fea" is going to be a success even with the great cast. It just looks too stupid.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, these novelas are seen all around the world. They dub them into the native languages of the area. We were laughing in my office about one of the novelas, and then we realized that we all had seen the same novela in Spanish, Russian and Tagolic.

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I check this blog from time to time. I can not believe it. It is still going. It was the best telenovela I have ever senn. Well I have not seen too many. Melimana thank you. You did such a terrific job. Your sense of humor is great. I was as much fun to read this blog and to see the program. I am sorry that it ended. If they run it again, I would watch it again.

Thank you.mtw

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sigh. It's over. Virtue rewarded, evil punished, the lovers united. I'll kind of miss it - I'd love to see it with English subtitles.

And Jean, one minor detail - the music they played at the end was the overture for The Flying Dutchman (Der Fliegende Hollander) - still Wagner, just a different opera.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Malinama and everyone else that participated in this wonderful site. I loved reading everyone's comments. I have to say when I first heard Fernando C. did porn i was very surprised and curious. Now that I know it was not true...I am disappointed and glad at the same time. He seems like a true gentleman that knows exactly what he wants. I sure would like to meet him one day....I am sure my husband wouldnt mind :)

Thanks again everyone!!

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the impression last night that FC without his lines was lost, but I found Diego quite nice. It is interesting to see the actors in real life. I did not know that Modesta was the director. She looked so different. Even Modestas walk was special.

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Someone here said that she wished she had a "Modesta" who was an events planner, etc. Ironic then that the actress who played Modesta also directed Alborada. See, not only is "Modesta" an events planner, henchman, chemist, nanny, maid, major domo, strategist, seamstress/taylor, kidnapper, etc., but she also controlled and directed the characters from behind the scenes. It's almost worthy of the Twilight Zone! I loved this soap. Yeah, there were problems here and there (such as Hipolita's sudden belly on her wedding night, Cristobal's use of "ok", and so forth ), but as my sister says, "It's a soap, for crying out loud." Ok, so what. I still got sucked in big time. By the way, on you can buy another historical soap, "Corazon Salvaje" . Of course, it's edited like crazy, but fun all the same. The company is in Mexico so be careful filling in the shipping info. With shipping and handling it comes out to about $25.00 US. Amor Real (the heavily edited DVD) can be found on

Thank you so much webmaster, for you wonderful recaps.


At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of OK, could Cristobal have been saying...''O, que?''Just a thought. Wow! Suddenly there are mucho sites for Alborada. Susanlynn, missing being in Alboradaville

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read an article about 3 months ago that said some US television folks have decided to experiment with the Latin telenovela format in the United States (3 months, mas o menos, and then over). And what are they thinking of starting with? -- not Alborada, but Betty la Fea (the Columbian predecesor of current Mexican version). I seem to remember that Salma Hayak is one of the producers (she's was in Mexican telenovelas before going to Hollywood). It's possible that the US version, Ugly Betty, may be here as early as this summer. Kay

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kay, I also heard about that. I saw when Salma Hayak was in the Cristina Show. But I thought her project was a movie of this Betty la Fea in English. Either way it should be interesting.

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There,

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous said...
Instead of OK, could Cristobal have been saying...''O, que?''Just a thought.


Hmmm…. I don’t think it was “O, que?” It sounded like OK. Also, one of the reviewers on mentioned another OK from one of Diego’s manservants.

I may have posted part of this message twice, if so, I apologize. Thanks for all your comments. I read EVERY post and enjoy each and every one. I just realized that Modesta was not also a taylor, but rather a tailor. Heh-heh. I wonder if you can also stutter while typing. By the way, some have asked about English subtitles. Amor Real is available with English sub-titles either on ebay or .

I think “novela” style soaps would be a big hit in the US. Remember Centennial, Shogun, Lonesome Dove, Upstairs Downstairs, etc.? They weren’t as long as novelas, but there is a market for historical action/adventure/romance. Please, please, please, please…..

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

I have just received my copy of Amor Real from netflix. It has English subtitles! I have always loved period films and series. I have to say that the quality is superb! . Just like Aborada, the sets, costumes, acting are all amazing. Fernando Colunga is wonderful in it. He portrays a really complicated character with finesse. I think he gives a better performance in Amor Real than Alborada!. Am curious to know what others think. I also recognized the actor who played Cristobal, and the actress from Barrerra De Amor ( Manola). I just wanted everybody to know. If yoy're having Alborada withdrawal ,Amor Real is worth every dime! I only have the seven hour version but hope to buy the full legnth eventually. I was wondering do they ever rebroadcast popular telenovelas? Alborada was so popular I was wondering if it might be rebroadcast if BDL and Beas Feas tank. Its probably a dream.

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

VCR leaves mom MIA!

Does anyone have a copy of the Alborada ultimo capitulo for my poor mother? Please write:

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am planning to buy Amor Real--checked Target, but the store did not carry it. Someone here posted that Blockbuster has it, so I'll try there next. I read that the Alborado finale got higher ratings than the Kennedy center honors program. Also, I loved the miniseries that used to be so popular. My mother and I used to watch reruns of miniseries like ''Mistral's Daughter'' on the WE channel. Now, you can't find anything but reality shows on TV....I have enough reality in my life...I need a little fantasy!!! Just had a wonderful birthday dinner with my 2 daughters and hub. They all laughed when I quoted that famous line ''pistules, boils, and swellings in the humid zones.'' Susanlynn, telenovelaless

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One interesting fact, reading about the Inquisition I found out that women who were punished, like Hipolita, the were naked from the waist up and then whipped.

Did you also notice that at their wedding and later at the babtisms there were not the elegant people of Cuencas, neither was the regidor there. The guest invited would not have been in dona Juana's list.

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would I do if I couldn't read your blog to find out what happened on the grand finale??
I had looked forward to it all week, and then I missed it. Now I am lost without alborada.
What novela do you recommend now?

At 6:40 PM, Blogger melinama said...


We've migrated to and are recapping "Barrera del Amor," which is on at the 9 pm time slot. Be there or be square!

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the segment(May 9,06) on El Gordo y La Flaca where Fernando Colunga spoke about his privacy and the incident with press crossing the line? Can someone help me? I understood some but not all.
Thank you for helping!
(They also replay this at 4 AM if you missed it.)

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when Alborada will be coming out on dvd?

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

Hello Everybody!

Findinf this site was like discovering a gold mine! I just wana ask you all one thing

DID YOU NOTICE THE LACK OF CHEMISTRY BETWEEN HIPOLITA AND LUIS? it looked like she almost did not care for luis.....totaly indifferent with an on and off frown of concearn or fake smile of happiness it truly bugged me!

What do you guys think?

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee--i thought the chemistry between luis/hipolita was muy caliente!!!--i thought lucero did a good job of portraying woman attracted to someone she did not know if she could trust [haven't we all been there and done that?]---she was married and risking everything if she let herself fall under luis's spell especially in a time and place where women lived under lots of control by the church, society, and the men in their lives ---and when she found out that he was the mystery boinker of santa rita , she really tried to pull away because he hadn't been honest with her ---i thought lucero was good at showing that hipolita knew she was risking a lot if she succumbed to luis's charms, so she was trying very hard not to--...just my opinion---on the other hand, i don't find the same chemistry between manuel and matilde in ''amor real''[i've only seen clips online]---anyway, alborada is a great telenovela ...on that, we can agree, i'm sure. susanlynn

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

Indeed,alborada is another great telenovela from carla estrada. It was really good to see Fernando Colunga again!He's beyond words amazing!He's like the most lovable and noble man in the world in the roles he played. They say he really is in real life but I'm still wondering how come he is still single?with that looks, body and attitude...women are surely chasing him!

Just a suggestion to everyone, you should also try korean drama series, well in general...asian drama series (asianovelas)they are way shorter,fewer characters, lighter plots but still has great stories!In Asia though,Philippine telenovelas are like of the mexican or spanish ones since the country has been ruled by spain for 333 yrs!

Check it out!(mysoju and are really a lot of tear jerkers and funny series!let me take the endless love series as an example of a truly heartwarming story!(korean-with the beautiful song hye kyo!)


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