Throughout his remarkable journey in Pinoy Big Brother Otso, William "Yamyam" Gucong indeed made us fall in love with him because of the genuineness, vivacity, optimism, and steadfastness he exuded, catapulting him into becoming a crowd favorite and the Ultimate Big Winner in the end.
However, behind the sunny disposition he brandishes lies a man who has gone through a lot of struggles and setbacks in life that almost made it impossible for him to reach wherever he is at present, if not for the strong faith and willpower that enabled him to hurdle over those obstacles.
And now, two months after his triumphant and momentous finish in the reality show, the "Iskulit Bai of Bohol" was given the chance not only to tell everyone his inspiring grit-to-glory journey, but to showcase as well his acting prowess in portraying himself as his story was featured in the latest episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya aired last October 19.
Well-written and exquisitely executed narrative
The tandem of writer Mae Rose B. Balanay-Batacan and Director Thop Nazareno indeed a great job in narrating the journey of Yamyam via a well-written script and exquisitely helmed scenes. The episode was able to capture the most notable stages of his life from childhood up to the present.
Titled "Bukid", the episode presented how the field he and his family used to work in since he was a kid played a vital role in his journey and in molding him into becoming who he is -- a son who only wants nothing but the best for his family.
We witnessed how his deceased brother and their family's poverty served as inspirations for him to dream big and be fully determined to attain those. Despite his parents' discouragement because they know it would be impossible for them, he still pushed through working in Cebu, managed to go back to elementary school at 18 years old, and at the same time help their family in everything he could -- from contributing in their finances to taking good care of his younger siblings.
However, his journey wasn't only filled with problems as he also got his own share of happiness too! Not only because of his bubbly personality, there were also people around him who was able to put color into his life and lift him up whenever he needed it -- his friends in high school and his girlfriend Elaine.
It was also the field that almost made him give up the greatest opportunity that came into their lives as his parents, particularly his father, highly disapproved of him flying to Manila to try his luck in PBB in fears of being only tricked by opportunist and that he would only end up failing. He told him to just stay with them and help them in the farm. Thankfully, his mom realized how much Yamyam really wanted it so she gave him her blessings and helped him deal with it to their patriarch.
In the end, all his hardwork and patience paid off as he didn't only become the Ultimate Big Winner of PBB Otso, but he was also able to finish his high school education with flying colors.
Yamyam truly did a great job on his dramatic acting debut as he was able to effectively bring us back to how he and his family was before he shot up to immense fame. While he's apparently born comedian, he was able to deliver in the dramatic scenes as he impressively kept pace with his veteran co-actors Lito Pimentel and Glenda Garcia who portrayed his parents.
At the same time, the two said veterans once again proved their thespic brilliance as they're able to rivet us with their performances as the stern yet loving and supportive parents to Yamyam.
Meanwhile, talented young actors Xymon Pineda and Bon Andrew Lentejas both impressed us with how they gave life to the child and teenage versions of YamYam.
The appearances of Karen Reyes as Elaine and Juan Miguel Severo as his gay high school bestfriend were also notable with how they're able to spice up the dramatic narrative by bringing in kilig and chill vibes.
And of course, the acting debut of "You Do Note Girl" Marjorry Lingat and PBB Otso ex-housemates Banjo Dangalan and Wealand Ferrer also didn't fail to wow us as they played as Yamyam's siblings alongside PBB Lucky Season 7 almunus Yong Muhajil.
If there's a valuable lesson that we could pick up from Yamyam's stirring journey, it would be to "never give up."
Amidst of everything that tried to hinder him from pursuing his ambitions, including his own family, he still strived and worked hard until he was able to reach them. He proved that the true measure of success is not your destination, but with how you're able to endure all the pain and hardships and hurdle over the challenges that would come your way.
Apart from that, he also reminded us to always maintain a positive outlook and sunny disposition in life for these will surely help us get over everything we're going to go through.
His life is a living testament to billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates nugget of wisdom: "If you're born poor, it's not your fault. But if you die poor, it's your mistake."
The story of Yamyam was indeed laden with inspiration and lessons, to which many viewers were able to identify with.