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What We Know About The New Member In "Money Heist" Named Manila

Warning: Spoilers ahead.
IMAGE Netflix/Money Heist

*Spoilers for season 3 and 4 below*

Look out, La Casa De Papel fans! A new heist maven has been added to the team. And guess what? Her name is Manila. 

Manila, whose real name is Julia, was first seen in season three as one of the hostages during the heist on the Royal Bank of Spain. However, in a spicy twist of events, she was revealed to be an undercover agent for the Professor's gang—recruited by her godfather Moscow, she was enlisted to blend in with the hostages, ratting them out to the robbers if they had any plans to rebel. 

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That's not all there is to her riveting character, though: Manila is also a trans woman. Money Heist is notable for its positive depiction of the LGBTQ+ community. One gang member, a Serbian soldier codenamed Helsinki, is openly queer. In a clear effort to pronounce support for the community, the newest season features a sweet reunion between Manila and her family friends Moscow and Denver, who had presumably last seen her years before her transition. "Everyone is free to do whatever they want and when they want it," Denver says before swooping in to give Manila a hug. 


In a video call interview with Preview, actress Belen Cuesta revealed that she was overjoyed to be joining the Heist family. "I am especially thrilled to be [a part of this] show, [despite] what's happening internationally...As an actress, it's thrilling to do [these] high action scenes. I look forward to [continually] working with Alex, and our director. Also, on a professional level, I think I'm very lucky to get to get to do something like this. This is very different [from] what I have been doing lately," she said. 


In the show, the robbers each adopt a city as a code name. Characters are named Tokyo, Lisbon, Rio, Stockholm, Nairobi, and others. According to the show's creator, Alex Pina, the cities were chosen randomly during the writing of the first season. However, for the latter seasons, cities were selected according to the countries with the highest number of Money Heist fans.

"The cities were chosen randomly in the first season, for example, for a [crew member's] shirt that read 'Tokyo'. Now, we work with cities with a certain sound [and] uniqueness. Some names are a tribute to those countries that have welcomed us so well," he told the Spanish publication El Periodico. Given this, we bet that the new character is definitely a shoutout to Filipino fans of the show! 

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.









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Katherine Go 2 days ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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