#TIMYTampoFeels: Of honesty, openness and managing family conflict

Personally,  I am allergic to hearing the word tampo associated with anything related to James and Nadine. Call it a hangover from all of the scenes where simple tampuhans in OTWOL have blown up to  major fights and separation, and the threat of divorce. While in my mind, I know that TIMY is a completely different show, I can’t help but have that same fear because I root for IsTi as much as I rooted for Cleah from the beginning.

tugofwartugofwar2The LOWDOWN:  After some initial awkwardness post Mama Cass blowup, Basti and Mama Cass have  sort of made their peace. But just as things were about to become okay, Iris gets sick and Mama Cass unwittingly undermines Basti’s ability to take care of his wife, which causes his discontent and unhappiness to resurface. Nestor, for his part, tries to help out Cass in secret with her work problems. Meanwhile, Ali gives Stephen some food for thought about coming out to his family and giving them the chance to know the real “Stephen.”

Last week, I was ready to shake Cass until all of her teeth fell off because of the pa-victim statements that made Iris feel bad about even considering moving out, even though it’s the practical thing to do.  But tonight, Cass got some advice from Mama Agnes ( the best type of friend – the one who calls you on your bullsh-t without holding back so long as its good for you).

I softened slightly towards her as I saw a glimpse of Cass, the mother who wanted to keep her daughter close to her and in the process win over Basti because he was already part of her family. While her reasons for competing with Val had a lot to do with Val’s betrayal with Nestor, I did get the sense that she was not being overbearing to make Basti miserable. It was just that she was so used to ruling the home with no one to contradict her (Iris has always been a good and obedient daughter never once going against her mom) that being overbearing seemed like a natural thing for her. Basti, on the other hand, who was so used to being independent and making his own decisions felt smothered when his decisions were questioned flat out by his mother in law.

It was obvious that everyone was trying their best to make the set up work but it was like an explosion waiting to happen just because their personalities and backgrounds were too different.  Tita Val and Tiyo Pilo gave Basti the right advice to move out while they have not yet gotten on each others’ nerves, but Tita Val’s advice was tainted by her own personal interest and was thus tailored to feed on Basti’s negative feelings towards Cass. Not cool, Tita V.

Tiyo Pilo, on the other hand, made a good point about parents/elders being used to their own way that they eventually meddle with the affairs of their children, even though said children are already married. Its not a bad thing per se, but these often trigger conflict between husbands and wives. I’m pretty sure thousands were able to relate to this scenario. All the best intentions, after all, don’t always get the desired results.

I give Iris credit for being sensitive to her husband’s problem, even though he didn’t  say anything. The fact that she reached out and wanted him to open up was a good sign for their relationship. I also felt bad for Iris for having to be caught in between two people she loved with all her heart and being forced to make a decision bound to hurt either one.  I also credit Basti for still keeping his cool despite being insulted unwittingly by his mother in law. By holding his tongue and still being polite, any open confrontation was avoided. It’s a testament to how much he loved Iris that he was careful about his relationship with his mom in law. And that’s another positive sign that IsTi really has potential to make their marriage work.

foodforthoughtMeanwhile, there was some excellent exchange between Stephen and Ali on the merits of coming out. While Stephen wanted to keep his family in the dark about his homosexuality to keep them oblivious and happy, Ali had a great point about giving them the opportunity to get to know the real him. As the two guys discussed who was being the more “selfish” between them, audiences again were compelled to think about what they would do if placed in a similar situation.  It was a rather brief segment but was strong enough to spark a fresh conversation about the issue of honesty in terms of gender.

I know tonight was intended as a transition episode to when IsTi eventually moves out but it also effectively set up the future conflict between Cass and Basti and Val and Nestor. It also set off the possibility of an extended arc for Stephen as he may take Ali’s advice and come clean to his dad. And just like that, the wheels have turned again and a new page flips open for Basti, Iris and Ali in their respective journeys.  Can’t wait for Iris and Basti to make up tomorrow after their first MQ.




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