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Watching Maria Clara at Ibarra (part 1)

May 14, 2023 - - No comments

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I’ve been watching Maria Clara at Ibarra on Netflix and I thought of archiving my thoughts as posted on Instagram, here on my blog. My livetweet as I watch is here.

Appreciating the wide shots (you know I love a screenshottable shot), the outfits, the way things feel lush and large but also intimate. Remembering Noli as this goes along and it feels timeless. Ibarra is someone who leaves the country to learn and see things, and comes back to find that most of what he loves is gone (and plans to take everything else away are afoot). It does speak to contemporary people and I’m sad that many who want this probably don’t know that a book from 1887 has it. Also like how by episode 11 Klay our modern protagonist has completed the turn from thinking Noli is irrelevant, to being more immersed than her sorcerer (?) prof expected her to be. Felt! Di ko lang feel yung paramihan ng conflict, I am a low conflict gurl.

As a romance author, LOL.

I know which romance develops for the protagonist (everyone was talking about it as it aired) but now that I’m seeing it unfold with the LI not showing up ready to be LI all the way to episode 14ish wala lang I’m reminded of the differences in format and medium πŸ˜…. Happy to see that scenes still look gorgeous.

and then Klay attended a literary conference–no she didn’t lol she just wound up in a space where she was not taken seriously hahaha isn’t it great that after a hundred plus years things are different /sarcasm 

But also: It’s good that they explicitly said here that book banning is about oppression and made the direct connection to villainy.

And then I super love this tambay sa hagdan blocking πŸ’•

“Irog ko” is…kinda hot ok. Also this conversation which is really about a commitment to a relationship as equals but my romance brain also saw promises of a future (that they never get to have). 

Sandale if Maria Clara reads Count of Monte Cristo will that change her storyline? Pero no don’t tell me haha. I mean Klay had the key to her adventure in her hands but she didn’t read it to the end so she doesn’t know the new guy. 

Hello to Elias. I named a character after you. πŸ‘€Β 

One thing I have to get used to when watching series is the romance hero who doesn’t show up as one from the jump. I endured (πŸ˜…) 20+ eps of Fidel being the mouthpiece of the patriarchy, thankfully there wasn’t a lot of it because normally I’d DNF or ask for a dev edit lol. But what saves that for me is a clear and serious turnaround and he does that. So, ok Fidel. Now I have to be worried about this ship haha.

Gonna admit that even though I’ve encountered maybe a dozen versions of this, including remixes and retellings, I’m feeling this Ibarra in a different way. Maybe it’s the series format and the many hours I’ve spent on this version before it gets to this moment (his excommunication and very public downfall) that’s preceded by slow walking and a gazillion fancy-clothes house parties. The more time we spend on gentle, romantic, “let’s build a school for the kids” Crisostomo the more it hurts when this turn comes. And I knew it was coming, I just never really thought of the life he and Maria Clara could have had so the mourning was superficial. This version…I feel.

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About Mina


Mina V. Esguerra writes and publishes romance novels. She founded #RomanceClass, a community of Filipino authors of romance in English.
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