With the growing fanciness of Filipinos towards Asian cultures, traditions, and scenic sights through the Asian telenovelas adapted by ABS-CBN during the early 2000s, the family-oriented melodrama Vietnam Rose was the network’s own take to the growing programming trend. It ran from September 19, 2005 to February 10, 2006.
Vietnam Rose chronicled the story of a Vietnamese boat lady named Nguyen Dang Thiem Yeu (Kathryn Bernardo/Maricel Soriano) who was forced to leave her homeland in order for her to fully overcome the trauma brought by the war and after witnessing how her Vietcong father (Luis Alandy) was brutally shot by a Filipino military medic (Christopher Peralta/Ricky Davao) to whom her mother (Gillette Sandico) had an illicit affair. She was adopted by Vida Mojica (Chanda Romero), a Filipina who saved her while she was young and later on raised her in the Philippines and rechristened her as Carina.
After many years, Carina had gradually adjusted to the Filipino culture without compromising her Vietnamese ways and became a successful businesswoman. She married Alexander Dela Cerna (John Estrada), the son of one of the country’s most influential clans in the country, and had one daughter, Faith (Michelle Madrigal). However, her seemingly perfect life got disrupted when the nightmares of her terrible past began to haunt her and an image of her dying mother appeared to her, begging for her to comeback home in Vietnam.
This was when complications confronted her as she tried to settle everything and she finally met her resentful half-sister Đoàn Đặng Thiên Tín (Angelica Panganiban). Amidst the conflicts and hitches the two sisters had to go through, they were bound by their sense of duty and oath to their dying mother to take care of each other and to their ultimate goal of attaining absolute happiness.
What to expect with a masterpiece collaboratively worked on by two of this country’s greatest storytellers – Director Joel Lamangan and screenwriter Ricky Lee? Certainly, a world-class series that would be ingrained in the hearts and minds of the audiences as long as they live. Aside from its unique, relatable, and poignant plot, what made this drama more beautiful was the top-caliber cast, which apart from the aforementioned actors included Jay Manalo, Rosa Rosal, Gina Alajar, Baron Geisler, Assunta de Rossi, Jason Abalos, and Joseph Bitangcol, among others. Moreover, it also showed some of the picturesque and historic sites of Vietnam for a more authentic vibe.
In addition, what made this series highly remarkable was Kathryn Bernardo’s impeccable acting as a child star then, crying due to the traumatic scenes she just witnessed while running for her life as military helicopters hovered the gloomy skies and people aimlessly ran to hide from the foraying bullets and bombs. Despite the difficulty of learning a foreign language in a short period of time, Angelica was able to deliver her lines in Vietnamese flawlessly.