ABS-CBN aired the pilot episode of Asintado, its new primetime action series, last night, January 15, 2018.
It starts with Julia Montes being pursued by someone, her life is clearly in danger. A voiceover tells us that in life, people always choose between good and evil. She says: “Ang mahalaga ay naninindigan ka: sa buhay, sa pamilya, at sa pag-ibig. Kahit kamatayan man ang kapalit nito. Ang importante: may ipinaglaban ka. Nagiging mali ang desisyon pag di napapanindigan.”
A flashback takes us to 1999. A little girl is talking to her father on the phone. He is Robert Ramirez (Luis Alandy) and his daughter Juliana is on the other end. He works in the government and she calls him “superhero ng mga superhero.” His other daughter, Katrina, keeps part of her face covered because of a deformity.
Robert is unable to go home to his family because he has a mission. He talks to Celeste Ramos (Cherry Pie Picache), who works with Senator Galvez (Mari Kaimo), Head of Reform Movement of the Philippines. They are the good guys.
Robert has given information to Celeste that he overheard Governor Salvador del Mundo (Nonie Buencamino) talking about a shipment of guns that was on its way. Governor del Mundo is not only the head of the province of Bulacan, he also owns DOM Mining Company.
The shipment is bound to be given to rebel forces and, if this happens, the government’s peace negotiations will be halted. Eric Salazar (Christian Vasquez) and Major Gregorio Calata (Art Acuña) hide out in a warehouse with Celeste, trying to catch the smugglers and foil their plans.
After an action-packed encounter, they open the crates to reveal…only garlic in the cargo.
Celeste calls Robert to tell him that the mission was a bust and to ask him to obtain more evidence: a CCTV video with audio that they can use. While Robert is trying to do this, news breaks that the president has passed away due to organ failure. On TV, Governor del Mundo laments the passing of an old friend and ally.
Back in Rizal province, Juliana and Katrina are outside a church. A small group of children spy Katrina and the deformity on her face and start teasing her, calling her “halimaw.” One throws a stone and hits her. Juliana fights with them, defending her sister.
Meanwhile, Major Gregorio and Eric die in a violent car chase and gunfight. Celeste runs away and narrowly escapes.
Celeste calls Robert. Tearfully, she tells him what happened. An unidentified man listens in on their conversation. Celeste confirms that Robert has the evidence but Robert is having second thoughts about giving it to Celeste, in fear for the lives of his wife and daughters.
“Kailangan gawin na natin ang tama, para matapos na ang lahat na ito,” Celeste says. Robert tells her that he will think about it and call her after the New Year’s celebrations.
In San Ildefonso, Governor del Mundo talks to his wife Hillary (Agot Isidro). She is melancholic, remembering how two years ago, their daughter perished in a fire while the couple was at a party. Finally, the governor convinces her to join him.
At the party, Miranda Ojeda (Lorna Tolentino), the governor’s trusted aide, enters with her son Gael. Suddenly, a staff member breaks the news that the new president will not be able to attend the party. Miranda gets on her mobile phone and calls President Montemayor directly.
At the del Mundos’ party, the President arrives and is welcomed by the couple. Then, Governor del Mundo gives a speech lauding the departed president. He then announces that he will run for congress.
Meanwhile, Robert and his family hug and kiss each other at the stroke of midnight, looking forward to a new year. As they are greeting each other, a masked man pours gasoline outside their house.
The masked man sets their house on fire. Robert tries to evacuate his family from their small, wooden house. A beam falls on his wife and as he tries to save her, he gives the evidence, hidden in a book (Animal Farm by George Orwell) to the children, telling them to keep it safe and to take care of each other. Just as the children exit from the house, a burning beam falls on Robert. The children cry as they see their house and parents engulfed in flames.
The next day, Celeste goes to Robert’s house only to find it has burned down. A neighbor tells her of the accident, how the parents perished, but the children survived.
A distraught Celeste rushes to Senator Galvez and tells him she feels guilty about the deaths. She asks him for help to find Robert’s daughters.
At the orphanage, children are bullying Katrina and calling her “aswang.” Juliana comes to her sister’s defense. But Katrina gets mad at her sister and says it’s her fault that their parents died.
Hillary arrives at the orphanage in a vehicle, escorted by aides. She is looking to adopt.
Celeste also arrives there on foot.
Hillary wants to see the children, and the head of the orphanage shows her an album. She finds out about the Ramirez girls and how their parents died in a fire.
Katrina locks Juliana in a room.
When Hillary comes around to meet the children, Katrina hugs her and begs her to adopt her. Moved by pity, she decides to take Katrina with her at that moment.
After another orphan opens the door to find Juliana in the room, she tells Juliana that Katrina has been taken away for adoption.
Celeste is at the waiting area and sees Juliana running. Juliana cries while she runs after her sister. But the del Mundos’ vehicle, with Hillary and Katrina inside, is speeding away.
AGB RATINGS. How did the pilot episode of Asintado fare in the ratings game based on AGB Nielsen data?
The new ABS-CBN teleserye registered an AGB rating of 5%.
Its rival program in GMA-7, Impostora, registered an AGB rating of 6.2%.
The new Kapamilya afternoon series got a TV rating that is 1.2 points lower than Impostora.