Reeling from a tragic loss of a child as a result of a violent act is totally devastating. Moreso, if the perpetrator is actually someone you know, someone close to you, someone you love who has gone awry.
But then again, it is the painful process of picking up the pieces and moving on that really is more difficult; trying to deal with the memories, the guilt, and the hatred not only towards the person who killed your child but also yourself because you weren’t there when it happened.
For the audience who watched the gripping episode “Droga” on MMK on July 16, the circumstances in the life of Emily (Alessandra de Rossi) were heartbreaking and affecting.
Life repeats itself
After her father abandoned her family when she was young, Emily vowed to not allow having her children suffer the same fate. But life wasn’t obliging, even cruelly repeating itself. The father of her first child Cheska (Xyriel Manabat) also left them for another woman, leaving them to struggle with making a living.
But it was when Larry (Joem Bascon) came into their lives that made matters even worse.
While at first he did show potential of being a responsible, loving husband and father to his two children Rose (Alora Sasam) and Chona (Joan Bugcat) and Emily’s own child Cheska, little did anyone expect that he would turn into one diabolical creature.
And that was because of the menacing influence of illegal drugs.
Larry changed his ways—from stashing cash from their store at the wet market so he could purchase the prohibited substances to becoming hateful, arrogant, suspicious, and worse violent and abusive towards Emily and the children, and even pointing a gun at them as they were trying to flee.
Emily had reported Larry to the authorities twice but he was not booked for his misdemeanors due to lack of evidence.
Worst act of violence
But when Emily decided to leave for Dagupan City to look for a job and left her children in the care of her mother Myrna (Maureen Mauricio), Larry committed his worst act of violence. Chancing upon Cheska strolling in the market, Larry cornered her and demanded that she went home with him. Cheska resisted, saying Emily had instructed her to stay with her grandmother.
Cheska’s resistance further infuriated Larry, who dragged her out in the open with a gun pointed at her. Now Larry’s hostage, Cheska pleaded her foster father to let her go but in the full view of neighbors and barangay authorities Larry even tightened his grip and forcibly hauled her to his home.
Police then surrounded the area and demanded that Larry release the child to no avail. Myrna appealed to the authorities to take immediate action but they said they had to wait for SWAT team to contain the area.
Cheska’s tragic end
And as Larry became increasingly stressed and pressured by a crying Cheska and the surrounding police forces demanding his surrender, Larry pulled the trigger on the poor child, with a gunshot to the chest. She died instantly. Larry himself was taken down by the SWAT forces who rushed inside the house after hearing the gunshot.
The most heartbreaking thing about this was that as the tragic scene unfolded, Emily was at a church praying for deliverance and safety for her children. And as she stepped out of the church, Emily received a call from a frantic Myrna and was completely devastated upon hearing the news.
Upon seeing Cheska’s remains at her wake, Emily was inconsolable. She wailed unabashedly as Myrna and her returning father tried to comfort her. She said she wished Cheska would forgive her for what has happened, and the fact that she brought her eventual killer into their lives.
She remained distraught and ridden with guilt days and months after Cheska’s funeral. Until after reflecting upon the reality of still having to take care of her remaining two children, Emily finally decided to step out of her depression and return to her family. As she held on and embraced her kids upon her return at Myrna’s home, she told her mother that she has not yet been fully healed from the tragedy, but is confident she can move on with them at their side.
This gives a poignant reminder about the realities of life and how we should overcome its frailties with the help of not only the people dear to us but primarily by ourselves, forgiving and encouraging that we can do it no matter what.
It was a message so impressively delivered in one of the most intense and transfixing MMK episodes to date, presenting exceptional performances from the cast and riveting storytelling through masterful creative execution, led by director Dondon Santos.
Alessandra de Rossi was clearly in her element as one of the country’s top actresses with a genuine and deep portrayal of the distraught and troubled Emily from her face acting to body language. Joem Bascon effortlessly delivered the goods in depicting an insanely flawed, unstable person with much believability and thrill in his every move onscreen. Xyriel Manabat is slowly carving into a brilliant young actress with her laudable portrayal and should be provided more opportunities to further mould her craft. Maureen Mauricio is likewise a welcome addition, as she reveals one of her most impressive acting performances so far.