Who would have thought that a fantaserye about bird people would be more than just a flight of feathers and a pageantry of Filipino mythical creatures and deities.
Mulawin vs Ravena (MvR) has reached greater heights when it started hinting against dictatorship. While it did not explicitly uttered the term “Martial Law,” the present storyline of MvR tackles the Mulawins’ struggle against the dictatorship and fascism of Haring Daragit (Roi Vinzon).
As a matter of fact, in the fantaserye, gone are the days when Avila, the nest of the Mulawins atop Mt. Apo, espoused equality, unity in diversity, and communal leadership. Avila had been living peacefully with other races, including humans, and had a council of leaders representing different races / species to guide the whole community. Up until Daragit schemed to be elected first as leader of the council and then later moved to dissolve the council and to be appointed as king of the Mulawins.
Daragit banked on racism. He fanned the anti-Tabon (half-Mulawin, half-human) flame among the pure breed to weaken and weed out the advocates of freedom, justice and equality – the likes of Panabon (Ariel Rivera), a Tabon himself. Drastically, Daragit pushed to the margins the Tabons, humans, and the pure Mulawins who supported Panabon. From laws prohibiting and excluding Tabons and humans, to the wing amputation and consequent death of Libero (Kristoffer Martin), to the secret alliance with select Ravenas ploying to annihilate the human kind, and to the killings of those who resist Daragit.
But it wasn’t without a fight. One of the earliest critics of Daragit’s autocracy was Aviona (Carla Abellana), a pure Mulawin who believes that there can be peaceful coexistence among all races and species. Aviona lamentend the then-looming dictatorship of Daragit and exacted all efforts to prevent such. Aviona, wife-partner to a human, Rodrigo (Tom Rodriguez) and the mother of Anya (Bea Binene), protesting the rule of Daragit, left Avila. Who knows if she’s plotting to overthrow the dictator.
The most recent episodes, however, assure the viewers of one thing: the terrible tyranny of Daragit has only strengthened the “people’s struggle for emancipation.” While solidifying their ranks, the new generation of Mulawin teens – Pagaspas (Miguel Tan Felix), Lawiswis (Bianca Umali) and Anya will search for their childhood friend Almiro (Derrick Monasterio), who, at an early age, has exhibited selfless love, compassion and justice.
In more ways than one, Mulawin vs Ravena is an allegory of or a commentary on the realpolitik of present-day Philippines.
Graphic Art by Reginald Kira