REVIEW: MMK “Family Portrait” showcases a father’s struggles, accomplishments through late Edgardo Angara’s story

What makes a good father?

This possibly could be the most difficult question we have encountered because each of us has different relationships or experiences with our dads and there are definitely various types of dads.

But, regardless of how we see or describe our fathers, we all know that they share (almost, perhaps) absolutely the same difficult job – to work diligently and make huge sacrifices in order to provide the needs of the family and to give them a comfortable life. At the same time, to be the sturdy foundation that could be leaned on and be strongest source of strength and motivation of every family member.

However, what if your father is not only exclusive for your family as he tends to spend most of his time outside your home and prioritize the needs of other people than to be with you? Can you still say that he’s a great father?

These questions were answered in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s episode last February 2 that featured the inspiring story of the late former Senator Edgardo Angara.

His inspiring, rocky ascend to success

While most of the politicians and lawmakers we have in the country mostly came from influential political families, Edgardo’s main keys in achieving his aspirations were his intelligence and empathy, which their straitlaced parents had ingrained to him and his siblings growing up. Everyday a lot of people flock into their house to seek assistance for their financial woes and health concerns from his generous parents who willingly gave their services without waiting for anything in return.

As he grew old, he brandished his dad’s staunch passion for education as he took up Bachelor of Laws degree and used his expertise in helping other people, especially the poor. This was also the period when he met his ultimate love and constant partner in life, Gloria, and together they built their own family and established his own law firm.

Everything seemed to go well for them, until his wife had a miscarriage that totally devastated her and their family. This pushed Edong to slowdown in his job and give more time to their growing family.

However, he got himself completely occupied with work again as a NAMFREL (National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections) official and later on as a politician, when he ran and won as a senator in 1987. Although he suffered from heart attack during the campaign period, this didn’t stop him from his ambition of serving the Filipinos through his position.

His sincere compassion to his compatriots, especially to the marginalized sector, and his brilliant legislations earned him the appreciation, respect, and votes of the public as indicated by the length of time he served as a prolific senator for four terms and his notable contributions to the government agencies he handled.

But as his career as a statesman continued to flourish, his relationship with his family slowly crumbled, especially to his youngest daughter Katya. Katya’s rebellious misdeeds and suicidal attempt became his greatest challenge as a father and served as a wake-up call for him to allot more time to their family.

Adding fuel to the fire was his misunderstanding with Gloria, who consistently gave him a cold shoulder for a month when he failed to remember their wedding anniversary and his continuous absence at their home, especially that their children were all pursuing their respective endeavors abroad. They were able to fix it immediately.

A few months later, he found himself in a huge dispute with his youngest child again after Katya went back to the Philippines from studying in London and introduced to them her fiancé, to whom he was not in favor of. However, instead of getting mad at her, Edgardo told his son Sonny, that he is absolutely proud of them and what they have achieved in life.

Fortunately, he was able to regain his bond with them and they lived happily together until he once suffered to heart attack and eventually succumbed to it.

The story of SEJA, his moniker to the people close to him, only attests that the true measure of success is not with how much fortunes you gained but with how many lives you touched through your good deeds and the inspiration you pass on to the,

Moreover, it’s also a great reminder for the youth to not let themselves be blinded with material things, fame, or fake happiness, but they should focus on improving themselves through education and obedience to their parents as they strive for their dreams.

And lastly, it proves the old adage “Behind every successful man is a woman” as we witnessed how his wife Gloria had been there for him right from the very start and through thick and thin, not to mention that their they are indeed #RelationshipGoals!


The stellar ensemble

Excitement filled the hearts of the audiences after seeing real life couple Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong together on the screen again after a very long time as they compelled us with their top-caliber portrayal of Ed and Gloria Angara. We truly felt the true love they have for one another and the emotions they needed to exude in their every scene.

Apart from them, it was Alexa Ilacad who totally left us blown away with her impeccable performance as a rebellious daughter by displaying the appropriate emotions and delivering her lines perfectly. Furthermore, she stunned and impressed us as well with how she kept pace with the aforementioned veteran actors in their every scene together. She could be indeed the next big thing in showbiz!

Joining them were seasoned thespians James Blanco, Claire Ruiz, Sandino Martin, Michelle Vito, Danita Paner, Ana Abad Santos, Cindy Miranda, Jong Cuenco, and Joel Molina, and Cindy Miranda, Raikko Matteo, and Simon Pineda.

Strong impact to the viewers

As what we have mentioned, this episode of MMK stirred the televiewers not only because of its impressive roster of cast, but the untold story of the late former Senator Angara simply inspired them and that the prolific public servant like him is indeed worthy of being remembered and appreciated even beyond his life.

Here are some of the reactions from Twitter users: