As what host Charo Santos stated in the beginning of the episode, being in love is one of the greatest feelings in the world as it truly empowers us and makes us feel that we can reach, conquer, and fix everything. However, there are times when life will put love to the test, just like what happened to the letter senders of the Maalaala Mo Kaya episode aired on Saturday, October 1.
Viktoria and Nick’s inspiring love story
Tagged “#MMKLupusLove,” it follows the journey of Filipina-American Viktoria Angela Cupay and her now-husband Nicholas William Baldo, compellingly portrayed by Andrea Brillantes and Jameson Blake, whose unconditional love for each other was challenged because of Viktoria’s lupus. To those who aren’t familiar yet, lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body attacks its own tissues and organs.
The two met at a club in San Francisco, USA, in 2018 where Viktoria was partying with her friends while Nick was drinking alone at the bar. She was initially hesitant to take on her friends’ dare for her to strike up a conversation with him because of the traumatic experiences she had with her past relationships with American guys. However, she still heeded and introduced herself as “Angela.”
Nick was seemingly smitten by her mesmerizing beauty and pleasant personality at first sight, so he didn’t let the opportunity of getting to know her simply pass up. As they spoke to one another anew after he asked for her mobile number, they found out that they are actually both from Illinois and were only in San Francisco for personal reasons – Nick for work and Angela for vacation. She eventually got complacent with him, so she and her friends invited him to join them in their lunch date the following day.
Nick came and they had the chance to further get to know each other better, which strengthened the inexplicable connection that Viktoria felt towards him. But she was unsure if it’s going to progress into something more because of various reasons, including the 2000-mile distance between them (which means long-distance relationship) and her lupus.
Just when she assumed that Nick would runaway from her upon confessing that she has lupus, she found herself wrong and, at the same time, touched as Nick promised that he’s going to stay by her side and continue to pursue her. Fear and anxiety may have initially hindered her from getting in a relationship with him, but Nick was able to prove that they could make it possible.
Unfortunately, her condition worsened in 2019 when she suffered from the rare but serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which eventually deteriorated to toxic epidermal necrolysis that indeed put her life in danger. Throughout that agonizing ordeal, Nick was there to keep on watching over and be with her family. He even chose to resign from his job in San Francisco to be able to take good care of her round-the-clock.
One day, their prayers were heard and their efforts in making a thousand paper cranes were apparently appreciated by the heavens as Viktoria finally gain her consciousness after a month of being in coma. Nick continued to take care of her, even after he almost died. As soon as she got conscious again, he proposed marriage to her using his grandmother’s engagement ring that signified the unwavering love of his grandparents in the midst of war and uncertainty.
Her recovery had been slow and long, which got her absolutely disheartened and almost made her give up. But Nick’s presence and words of encouragement have instantly renewed her strength and courage to keep going on. It may have been difficult for her to love herself again after she recovered, but Nick’s unconditional love for her is enough to fill her heart and soul. Her excruciating journey also motivated her to share her lupus journey on social media in order to inspire and empower others who have the same condition as hers.
And based on the clip shown at the end of the episode, Viktoria and Nick are now already married!
Takeaways from this episode
Each episode of MMK indeed never fails to make us reflect about our lives and leave us at least one lesson in life. The “Engagement Ring” episode has indeed restored our faith in true and unconditional love, during this time when romantic relationships have become seemingly fleeting. Viktoria and Nick are living testaments that it still exists as they already lived by the oft-quoted wedding vow that says, “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” although they were not married yet,
Together, they fought Viktoria’s lupus, as Nick refused to leave her despite knowing her illness, and even took good care of her when her condition deteriorated and proposed marriage to her after she woke up from coma. And during those times when the pain and grief she felt were unbearable already, Nick became her source of strength and courage to keep fighting. The inspiring couple, as well as Viktoria’s family, remind us that love indeed conquers all.
Besides, this moving story also showed the importance of having a strong support system in our lives, especially during the challenging times, as those people – may it be family, friends, special someone, and others – will help us endure the hardships and pain that we’re going to go through and move of from them. Thus, Viktoria is truly blessed to have her loved ones around her as she fights lupus.
Positive feedbacks from netizens
Apart from the inspiring and tear-jerking story of #MMKLupusLove, to which many viewers were surely able to relate to, we also found ourselves engrossed by the performances of its lead stars Andrea Brillantes and Jameson Blake.
True to her screen surname, Andrea indeed shone in this episode because of her unbelievably brilliant portrayal of Viktoria. From delighting us with her contagious sunny disposition in the early parts of the episode, we then found ourselves empathizing and crying with her in the latter scenes as her character’s battle with lupus got more critical. The incredible dramatic prowess she exhibited in this episode was so commendable, that her name made it to the top trending topics on Twitter.
On the other hand, Jameson didn’t only captivate us with his innate charm, but with his compelling performance as Nick, too. He indeed succeeded not only in winning our hearts, but also touching it, especially during Nick’s poignant moments with Viktoria. His chemistry with Andrea was also notable for many viewers, based on their reactions on the said social media platform.
Seasoned actress Sharmaine Suarez also moved us with her depiction of Greta, a dutiful mother who constantly stayed by her child’s side may it be in her happiest moments or in her gloomiest and most painful ordeal. Although their exposures were only limited, Pinoy Big Brother Otso alumni Criza Taa and Batit Espiritu were still able to impress us with their performances as Viktoria’s younger siblings.
With how the “Engagement Ring” episode succeeded in piercing our hearts and making us kilig, screenwriter Joan Habana truly did a great job in coming up with a beautifully written script. Of course, it wouldn’t be extra heart-tugging without the great execution of Direk Kevin Z. Alambra and the efforts of the whole MMK staff and crew.
Here are some of the positive feedbacks from Twittizens who were able to watch the episode and made it break into the top trending topics on Twitter:
Get your weekly dose of inspiring stories and valuable life lessons by not missing an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya, Saturdays at 8PM on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, iWantTFC, and TFC. You may also watch episode highlights on ABS-CBN Entertainment's official website and YouTube Channel.