Nothing can stop anyone from pursuing dreams, not even a rare autoimmune disease that hits the very core of your trek.
RJ Cunanan had been gifted with an exceptional talent in dancing, something that made him one of the country’s best. But when the rare Guillian-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disease that causes paralysis at its worst form, afflicts RJ, it seemed the whole world crumbled. The physically challenging, well-coordinated body movements of dancesport, in which he solely excelled, was now something he could not do.
In the MMK episode “Dance Floor”, RJ (JJ Quilantang) was a kid whom his own biological mother Maya (Kathleen Hermosa) gave up for adoption as she wasn’t capable enough to raise him. Maya’s sister Vivian (Claudine Barretto) adopted RJ and even brought him to Brunei, where she worked. Here as a kid, Vivian noticed RJ’s talent in dancing that the child initially downplayed.
Honing dancing talent
When Vivian decided to come home for good with a grown RJ (Jameson Blake), this dancing talent she discovered while in Brunei was something she wanted him to hone further. She had him enroll in a dance studio where he had displayed his incredible prowess in Latin dance. This led him to compete and win in a number of dancesport competitions, with his adoptive mother Vivian supporting him.
But during a contest, RJ suddenly felt pain in his legs that led him to stumble. He then showed other symptoms, such as vomiting and a high fever, as the pain progressed to numbness and total incapacity to even walk. GBS had taken its toll on RJ, and doctors feared the worst about his condition.
Yet, even in the worst times, when RJ lost hope, Vivian still was there to strengthen him and encouraged him not to let anything stop from doing what he desired. And little by little, step by step, RJ regained his bearings, and better yet his composure and confidence, in overcoming the deadly disease.
RJ would then spring back into competitive dancesport form, representing the country in several international competitions. And even if the symptoms of GBS would recur, RJ would overcome it, especially with his single foster mom Vivian by his side to encourage, motivate, and guide him as both his mother and father.
The MMK episode “Dance Floor” effectively presented the kind of grit and determination an ailing person must have in overcoming the odds, to pursue something he or she is passionate about. Well-written and crafted, “Dance Floor” is again one of MMK’s most remarkable episodes.
This is primarily due to the exceptional performance of its two main cast members.
Jameson Blake is truly a dramatic revelation, effectively personifying not only RJ in his best as a dancesport competitor but as a GBS patient, in which he exceptional made everyone feel his pain and credibly depicting the disease.
And the Optimum Star Claudine Barretto definitely had this eventful and well-portrayed role as her fitting TV comeback. Claudine showed her impeccable versatility and thespic skill, and of course her superb, timeless onscreen charm. She is ready hopefully for another incredible return, in the format she had dominated for quite a while—the teleserye. Her upcoming comeback in a film is certainly much-anticipated as well, with this MMK appearance being a very good start.
IN PHOTOS: Pasilip sa paghahanda nina Claudine Barretto at Jameson sa MMK Dance Floor
Netizens were likewise thrilled.