What really makes Elisse Joson and McCoy de Leon stand out as a love team is their outstanding chemistry, either thespically or visually, but more importantly with the genuineness of their intimacy.
McLisse, as they are popularly known, might have experienced a roller coaster ride in the relationship, with indications on Instagram posts seem encouraging, we are still captivated by their tandem, whenever we see them together.
This is particularly true in their appearance on the 2017 Maalaala Mo Kaya episode “Laptop,” shown on The Best of MMK last Saturday, October 10, which still displayed a kilig factor that thrilled viewers, despite their ill-fated destiny given the circumstances faced by their characters.
Actually you won’t first recognize Elisse at the onset, being placed on impressive prosthetics, to portray the chubby foodie entrepreneur Rose. And her character is truly identifiable to most of the plus-size populace.
Just like the utter desperation she feels when being confronted with a very critical, nagging mom Nita (Ara Mina), who would always notice her physical attributes, and her lack of confidence that is rooted in the fact that no one has truly taken her seriously and being made fun of because of her appearance.
But just like multitudes of individuals like her around the world in the digital age, they resort to Internet posing, or one who creates a fake persona online assuming the attributes of another existing person. In this case, Rose used the profile pictures and other images of her beautiful cousin Liza (Ysabel Ortega) to pose as the fake person “Sophia Esconde.” Using her false identity, Rose would prey on guy friends who would believe she is the slim and gorgeous “Sophia.”
It didn’t take long before her friend and secret crush Josh (McCoy de Leon) noticed Sophia’s charm online. Josh immediately fell in love with Rose’s fake identity. After learning that Sophia is actually a “friend” of Rose, Josh would get closer to her with the intention of actually trying to hit it off with Sophia.
Since she was getting all the attention from Josh, Rose went to the next level of using her fake identity while collaborating with Liza to make Josh believe that Sophia actually fallen for him as well. Rose would ask Liza to pose for a birthday greeting pic for Josh in a special post on the Sophia Esconde poser account, which Josh believed to be genuine.
Yet when Rose felt overjoyed with how things has turned out, having captured Josh’s heart albeit in a deceitful manner, she decided to take things to the extreme. She would give her mobile number to Josh, and eventually would confess her love for him as well. While Rose tried to prevent a face-to-face meeting between the two claiming as Sophia of having strict parents, she actually had catfished Josh into a relationship.
This fake, virtual relationship led to extreme delight for Rose and Josh for the wrong reasons—Rose believing that Josh would eventually still love her even if she would reveal she actually was Sophia, and Josh trusting that the girl who captured his heart online is now actually his real girlfriend. In her plan to soon reveal the truth to Josh, Rose tried her best to lose weight and succeeded in losing 60 kgs in two months. Now svelte and more captivating, Rose would think that Josh would forgive her and love her still as the real person, not her fake persona, when she confesses her wrongdoing.
But when a rendezvous was set, and Josh was trying to call her girlfriend he believed as Sophia, he saw Rose approaching him with her cellphone ringing. He saw it was his number calling her, realizing her friend had been fooled him all along.
Rose was so embarrassed with what has transpired that she no longer had the guts to confess the truth and excused herself. She would call a common guy friend Kevin (Patrick Sugui) to spill the beans and this made Josh more furious and walked out.
Rose would then try to appease Josh in a subsequent call, but Josh was too hurt and outraged by her actions. Josh would end the call by telling Rose he would never forgive her for the deception and treachery.
Regretful and remorseful for what she has done, Rose learned to live with the fact that Josh won’t be coming back. And this made her feel depressed, resorting again to her fatty comfort food to ease the pain. And this led her to regaining weight and appear as the same obese, overweight person as before. But her mommy Nita would tell her it’s okay since her real beauty as a person will always prevail no matter how chubby she looks, and she has to believe in herself to prove it. Rose said she would look forward to a time to loving a man who would love her back for who she truly is, no matter how fat or burly she looks.
In the end, she indeed found that person in Gil (Vin Abrenica) who accepted and loved her completely for what she truly is.
While the ending is not that surprising, considering how the narrative offers a light and simple diversion to mostly heavy melodramatic episodes of this classic anthology, we notice a profound, impressive delivery of key production elements that made MMK “Laptop” quite catchy and relatable.
And this made us see the message quite clearer—how pushing falsehoods and a make-believe world, such as catfishing, or Internet posers luring someone into a relationship by a fake online presence, is truly dastardly and unforgivable. The story likewise emphasized how this mistake changed the life of the transgressor, finding the true meaning of life by instilling self-respect, self-confidence, and genuineness.
Indeed, director Raz dela Torre set the table right for a meaningful and profound “Laptop” episode we would always keep in mind.
Of course, it was not a full kilig outing for the McLisse pair, but both showed impressive acting chops in the episode, with their believable portrayals, that made fans still feel thrilled and giddy with their appearance together. Yet we are still hoping for a rekindling of their heartwarming on-air romance soon.
Netizens were also impressed.