A moving tale aired on the Maalaala Mo Kaya episode “Bible” (with the pre-airing title “Forgiving Heart”) last January 24 featured the story of one street thug turned pastor, who faced heartbreaks and struggles in his difficult life before changing his life for the better and choosing to forgive those who have wronged him.
REVIEW: Nash Aguas and Francis Magundayao show acting intensity, brillance in MMK "Bible"
Bert Pepino, played in the episode by Nash Aguas, appeared in this episode of MMK Kumustahan with host Charo Santos-Concio to tell his story while imparting how he overcame his ordeals to become an influential pastor and respected martial arts instructor.
Bert first admitted being a tough guy on the streets, not hesitating to beat people up if he was mad at them, even if they were his brothers. Bert also said that he despised people looking at him straight in the eye because he would construe that they are asking for a fight.
Bert shared that when his father was murdered, he felt hopeless because the person that he had always looked up to was gone. Bert added that even though his father abandoned him and his family for another woman, he still idolized him. Since then, Bert feared no one, and became tougher and stronger in his desire to avenge his father’s death. This was until his brother, Pastor Rey, portrayed by Jomari Angeles in the episode, made him realize that any form of vengeance would not bring their father back to life. Rey then influenced him to just reform his life and become a servant of God.
While he wanted to change for the better, Bert said he couldn’t help but go back to his old ways. He was faced with difficulties and challenges before he finally woke up and “fully surrendered his life to the Lord” as he said. He would then attend Bible classes, and with Rey’s guidance became a pastor himself. And that was also the only time when he finally learned how to show forgiveness even to those who plotted and carried out his father’s killing, which included his best friend Dodong, played in the episode by Francis Magundayao.
Bert said that before he changed his ways, he was relentless in seeking revenge over his father’s death. He said he always felt the urge to kill the perpetrators, just like what they did to his father. Bert said his love for him never changed.
He also bared how he felt the moment he saw Dodong again after the tragedy. While he was first excited and happy to see him again, Bert turned livid when Dodong confessed his participation in his father’s killing, being one of the gangmates who barged in his house and shot him to death. While he did not deny he was beyond enraged with Dodong’s admission, he would courageously tell his friend that with the grace of God, he has forgiven him.
On the advice he can give to everyone, Bert answered “Kahit anuman ang nagawa ng mga tao sa atin, masakit o sobrang sakit man, by the grace of God, we can forgive them.”
Watch more of MMK host Charo Santos-Concio’s enlightening conversation with letter sender Bert Pepino in this MMK Kumustahan video.