Not every family and relationship is blood-related. Because love is much more than that. This coming Saturday, May 15, Maalaala Mo Kaya pays homage to every mother – her ability to turn a stranger into family, and love even if a child came to her in a different way.
Starred by Meryll Soriano and Aljon Mendoza, “A Mother’s Love” tells the story of a courageous woman, Larcy, who welcomed and loved Ryan like her own. Albeit challenging, raising three kids give meaning to her mundane life. But apart from the typical struggles of motherhood, Larcy will face the dreaded day when Ryan has to leave for his biological parent.
LOOK: Behind-the-scene photos of MMK “Mother’s Sacrifice” episode
Meryll and Aljon shared more about their tapping experiences in this episode of Kapamilya Chat. This marks Meryll’s comeback after giving birth to her second baby, who she introduced to the public last January. The talented actress is busy juggling motherhood duties such as breastfeeding and new normal ‘rakets’ like vlogging. She has also founded a small online community for mothers wherein they can uplift and help each other.
Aljon also learned to ride along the digital wave during the pandemic. Besides that, he takes on ‘tito’ duties to his nephews and nieces and he also prepares for his next portrayal. On his MMK guesting, Aljon said he wanted to give his best performance as tribute to his own mother. His closeness with his mom made it easy to play a loving son and it also helped that Meryll was a mother-figure to him on set.
For Meryll’s part, she didn’t have to prepare much, with enough maternal experiences to inspire her performance. Just like Larcy, she has a lot of love to give, thus she was more relaxed building the character. The only challenging part was to breast pump while on set and still be time-conscious.
Meryll is no stranger to intense drama and she has quite a collection of accolades to prove her brilliance. But that doesn’t mean she’s immune to pressure, especially if she’s playing a plum role. “Lagi akong natatakot. Bago mag-day one, hindi talaga ako nakakatulog kasi excited, anxious, sobrang kabado ka, lahat naghahalo-halo. Hangga’t hindi ako nagfi-first scene, nahihirapan akong kumalma.”
Aljon tried to get to know Meryll by searching her up on the web. He looked for her past portrayals as part of his preparations. Of course, he didn’t want to appear lax and unworthy of his role. He also wanted the episode to come out flawless.
Meryll used to be impatient with newcomers like Aljon as she couldn’t relate to their struggles. Besides, she was well-trained by family members like Maricel Soriano and Mel Martinez. “Dati masungit ako kasi siyempre hindi ako dumaan sa ganun. Bata pa lang ako artista na ako at maayroon akong magandang guidance. Nandiyan si Tita Maricel at Tito Mel, so hindi ako nagkulang sa mga pa-training.”
But as she matures in the industry, she also learned to be extra lenient towards newbies. “’Yung mga baguhan ngayon ay aking ine-embrace at tinutulungan na hindi kabahan. Dati pa naman may mga nai-intimidate na sa akin. Siguro mukha akong mataray pero tinatanggal ko ‘yun.” She wants the rookies to not be scared and just see her fun personality. Instead of using her status to control others, she lets the newbies feel more at ease and supported.
Working with Aljon, for instance, she saw the young actor’s reluctance in some scenes. Therefore, telling him to “just let go and be free.” The best thing about Aljon, she said, is he listens and he knows how to give and take. It was so easy for Meryll to get along with her young co-star, “Talagang mahal ko na ang batang ito.”
Aljon was quiet throughout, just taking in Meryll’s positive words. He also reacted to fans’ observation that he can match Joshua Garcia’s level of acting. Aljon takes that as a compliment, although he wishes to carve his own path.
Through their MMK episode, Aljon realized more the value of forgiveness and that no matter what happens, love will always prevail. Meryll was reminded of the power of maternal love. “Sometimes, you take it for granted. Family is important. Yung love, kahit hindi mo kadugo, iba ‘yung sakripisyo. Magandang reminder sa atin, ngayon na we’re stuck in a bubble, kung ano ang pagmamahal,” she said.
Asked for a message to their characters, Meryll told Larcy to just continue being a devoted mother and an inspiration to many. She wishes viewers will also get inspired by Larcy’s story. Aljon, on the other hand, assured Ryan that he is surrounded by so much love. He is lucky to find a family who loved him despite not being blood-related and have two mothers. More importantly, he told him to learn how to forgive and always look on the bright side.
Catch MMK “A Mother’s Love” this Saturday, May 15, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.