The central characters, Gabriel (Gomez) and Carmina (Zulueta) are introduced as children. Gabriel, a peasnat boy of twelve, is picked off the streets by the Salvador clan to become an adopted son. Carmina is thrilled with her new "brother" but her blood brother Milo begins to be filled with jealousy and resentment towards the new family addition. When Gabriel and Carmina grow up, the passion of their great love challenges the claustrophobic structures of social order, propriety, class system, and strict family tradition. However, reality intrudes and the lovers part. Gabriel, moved by bitterness, returns to exact revenge on all. Tragedy strikes, and both the innocent and the guilty are swept by the violent surge of lust, passion, remorse, and retribution.