She’s back in the flesh and is very much poised, sophisticated, and fierce—all set to unleash that hidden wrath she has for a friend she felt abandoned her by leaving her to rot in jail to cover up for her own accidental misdeed.
And it is how Marissa tries her best to contain her rage that makes us truly relate and feel for her—the result of one epic, brilliant performance of Jodi Sta. Maria, who impressively nailed the complex character to wide acclaim.
In the fourth episode of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin on Thursday, August 20, Marissa finally reveals herself to Ellice (Iza Calzado) at a restaurant. Shocked and bewildered at seeing her best friend again, who she clearly knew underwent incredible hardship while incarcerated because of her, Ellice could only ask how Marissa was doing and only offered an apology for those wasted years in prison. Ellice even claimed having asked her late father Jorge (Lito Pimentel) how she was doing in prison, when she agreed to take the blame in for the killing of the congressman’s son Victor (Albie Casino) in exchange for the hefty 10 million pesos. But Marissa was having none of that, knowing that Ellice clearly abandoned her, enjoyed and led a blissful and fruitful life in the US, all at her expense.
Holding back her fury, Marissa would only assure Ellice that life has been prosperous for her, and tell her not to mind those “past transgressions” but deep inside the vicious rancor seems ready to erupt.
We would notice that while Ellice tried to show her delight in seeing Marissa again, her guilt seems overwhelming given that she had kept that secret about Marissa for the longest time, even from her husband Gabriel (Sam Milby). While she had the impression that everything was okay with Marissa, Ellice still feels restless and concerned.
When Ellice told Marissa’s mother, Lucing (Maricel Soriano) about having seen Marissa again, the latter was anxious yet eager to see her long-lost daughter again. At the exact time Ellice and Gabriel left Lucing at their home, Marissa arrived to meet her mother face-to-face for the first time in years.
When Lucing sees Marissa, she would weep for joy, unable to contain her happiness upon seeing her dear daughter after those years not having a single clue about her whereabouts. While Lucing was delighted, Marissa still felt agitated with how things turned out. But she would assure Lucing that everything’s fine with her. She told her mother that the reason she wasn’t able to get in touch with her for so long was because she did not want her to feel the pain of knowing she had undergone hardships while in jail and had been struggling since then. She said she vowed to reappear once everything turned out fine for her, and as such, it was the right time for them to see each other once more.
Marissa would then tell Lucing that she can now take her back into her care while she starts plotting to wreak havoc on Ellice’s life.
Meanwhile, another tempest begins for Ellice as resentment seems brewing between her and Gabriel’s family, who wants her to just sell off her father’s floundering business and instead focus on being a wife and mother. Ellice would not abide by their wishes, saying she will do all it takes to save their family business, while balancing her career with family—a decision which Gabriel fully supports.
With how the narrative and production are turning out, we are seeing not only a surefire teleserye phenomenon through an unprecedented platform, but a potential Filipino drama classic that is set to captivate the world stage. All the creative and production elements are simply breathtaking, from the opening billboard and theme song to the production design and direction.
We were all enthralled seeing the Diamond Star at her element, pouring out a superb, multi-layered depiction of a pained, deprived mother seeing her child for the first time after a long while. Maricel is certainly that dramatic luminary that should further make Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin shine.
Iza Calzado likewise gave out a sterling portrayal of Ellice, offering the right characterization in that gripping, pivotal encounter with Marissa. She showed emphatically how a person in that situation would have acted, with that seemingly dubious show of delight, yet with a deep, heavy feeling of remorse and guilt.
But what truly stands out in the episode is deep, admirable, potentially award-winning performance of Jodi Sta Maria in portraying a complex, troubled yet determined character who carries and endures a wide spectrum of vivid emotions all embroiled in an understandable and relatable fit. But despite this, she shows a quite different persona on the outside, trying to feign a gregarious, gratified existence to conceal her vicious intentions.