REVIEW: Arjo and Ria’s exceptional performances solidify inspiring message on MMK “Korona”

One’s love for siblings is so vastly wide and deep. From the time we grow up as children to the realization of our own individuality, and the cementing of our beliefs and advocacies. Yet if and when we and our beloved brother or sister go on separate ways in this regard, we would always rediscover nurture, or even strengthen this bond, especially when we see our siblings need it.

This is definitely true when we continue their fight at a time they could no longer carry on.
We all witnessed this on MMK’s December 8 episode “Korona” wherein a passionate native of the breathtaking Sibuyan island in Romblon, Armin (Arjo Atayde) had become a fervent defender of his hometown’s natural treasures, and its townsfolk, who stand helpless against the looming threat of mining. 

Bulwark in life

His sister, Rosedel (Ria Atayde), follows and idolizes Armin since they were kids. He would become her bulwark in life, supporting her at her most difficult times, particularly bearing a child when she was a teenager, and her triumphs as they both graduated with commerce and civil engineering degrees, respectively.
Yet when the looming mining threat became real, Armin had brazenly fought against it by way of mass protests, leading province mates in protecting Sibuyan’s natural resources and the future of their children. While Rosedel didn’t fully support her brother at first due to fear of armed reprisals from the mining company, she was there to assure Armin that she was truly by his side.

With his continuing fight, Armin’s supporters had also been zealous to their objective of keeping the mining company out of their province. It came to a point when the mining company had dispatched researchers to survey the area where they would build the mine. They blocked the researchers’ convoy, and with Armin joining them and approaching the convoy asking them to leave, a driver of the leading vehicle brandished a gun as Armin struggled to keep it from harm’s way. But as they wrestled, the gunman pointed it at him and fired, leaving Armin sprawling to ground and dying instantly. 

Continuing the fight

His death devastated everyone in the town he intensely fought for, especially Rosedel who treasured her brother so much yet felt wanting to express it more in his cause. And, emboldened by the anger she felt by Armin’s death, she vowed to continue the fight to protect the environment in Sibuyan and help its people in whatever way she can.

While she didn’t exactly follow the manner her brother fought his cause, Rosedel successfully fulfilled Armin’s dream by setting up projects that helped Sibuyan’s folk attain sustainable livelihood, not needing the lure of mining to receive temporary compensation. 

Here, Rosedel achieved what she really longed for since she and Armin grew up—that his brother would be truly proud of her.

Triumphant retelling

A touching drama and an astounding visual feast, MMK Korona was incredibly triumphant in presenting both the heartwarming ties of siblings and the ardent message of environment protection. MMK’s superb creative and production teams really went beyond what was expected of them in cinematically retelling such a heroic tale. 

But what really carried this episode through our hearts is the fantastic thespic performance of siblings Arjo and Ria Atayde, who proved that their artistic brilliance runs in the family. Arjo remained as impressive as ever, with his natural, deeply felt portrayal that doesn’t need any line to speak. Ria, on the other hand, was a revelation with her strong, forceful depiction of one torn by life’s intricacies yet remained a loyal and loving sister. Indeed, their first drama together was a spellbinding success!

Netizens have likewise been touched.