PAANDAR 2019: 7 Celebrity life stories that touched our hearts on Maalaala Mo Kaya

This year, a number of new personalities have surfaced and have begun to create a mark not only in the local entertainment scene, but in the field of athletics as well.

But prior to achieving the success they savor and reaching the great heights they’re now at, little did we know that these people have come a long way and endured a lot of hardships in life, as what we’ve witnessed in the narration of their life stories in the long-running drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya.

As we’re about to bid farewell to 2019 in a few days, here are the seven celebrities whose anecdotes truly inspired us.

Yamyam Gucong

From making us laugh with his hilarious quirks as one of the housemates of Pinoy Big Brother Otso and an up-and-coming comedian, Big Winner Yamyam Gucong left us all crying in the “Bukid” episode as he narrated his heart-rending grit to glory story.

We saw the various challenges he had to endure growing up to an impoverished family of farmers and how their plight fueled him to go after his ambitions of finishing his studies and helping their family with their finances at the same time. They might be facing a lot of challenges then, but that never spoiled his sunny disposition as he was still able to emanate good vibes to his family, friends, and other people around him. Yamyam’s status didn’t hinder him as well to pursue the girl he loved despite their extreme differences.

His family might have initially doubted his capabilities and refused to support him in his endeavours, but he never let those hinder him from fulfilling his once far-flung dreams.

Zephanie Dimaranan

This 16-year-old charmer has reminded us to not easily give up with our dreams amidst the setbacks that would come along our way through the presentation of her rousing journey in the MMK episode titled “Contest.”

Portrayed by Yesha Camile and Maris Racal, we witnessed how Zephanie used to only aspire to be as talented as her older sister and to become as famous as her singing idols, too.

Attesting to the cliché aphorism “fall down seven, stand up eight,” every defeat she experienced only fueled her to continue joining various singing competitions both amateur and on television in pursuit of following her passion and of helping their family. 

Her story was also a great reminder for us to not let the number of failures and triumphs we had measure our worth, but of how we put the life and talent God has given us into good use or something purposeful. Keeping this in mind, Zephanie mustered the courage to try again, and that time in Idol Philippines wherein she was hailed as the first-ever grand champion.

Brenda Mage

In this era when we’re all encouraging everyone to embrace our genuine selves and relentlessly follow our dreams, Brenda Mage is definitely someone who deeply knows about it, as what we have seen in the narration of his inspiring life on MMK titled “Kumelavoo”, in which he was able to show-off his acting chops too.

Far from the funny persona he brandishes whenever he performs in public, his life is comparably dramatic.

At a very young age, he experienced discrimination for being gay and not being accepted by his own father. Being the eldest child, he was compelled to help their parents support their family, which urged him to go to Manila to score better job opportunities and, at the same time, to make his wildest dream of becoming an artist come true.

His path going to where he is right now had been long, winding, and bumpy, but it did not stop him from continuously treading on until he got his biggest break via It’s Showtime’s Miss Q & A Intertalaktic 2019 wherein he was among the most remarkable candidates. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Paul Desiderio

Before being hailed as the hero of the Men’s Basketball Team of the University of the Philippines, cager Paul Desiderio used to only aspire of becoming a great basketball player.

Titled “Jersey”, his inspiring anecdote featured on MMK that starred Ronnie Alonte reminded us to keep on fighting and never lose hope regardless of how colossal the challenges we have to confront.

He and his ’16 strong’ team might have fallen short in clinching the first-ever championship for their beloved university after three decades, yet his fighting spirit and dedication to serve his alma mater were highly admirable.

Sisi Rondina

Another athlete who created her mark this 2019 is University of Sto. Tomas Golden Tigresses star volleybelle Sisi Rondina, whose rousing life story was featured on the “MVP” episode of MMK.

Since there’s certainly a plethora of write-ups about her as an ace volleyball player, the on-screen depiction of her life, which starred Kim Chiu, zeroed in her facet as a loving daughter, caring and responsible sister, and a selfless member of their family who’s willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of her loved ones.

Indeed, her story is a testament that one will surely reach greater heights in life as long as he/she has immense love and respect for his/her family, especially to his/her parents.

Violeta Bayawa

By simply joining the Tawag ng Tanghalan Season 3 at the age of 70 is already enough for us to consider how a great inspiration Nanay Violeta is.

While her confidence to participate in a singing contest mostly dominated by comparably younger singers, what actually melted our hearts the most is her unconditional and undying love for her then-estranged husband Zach.

Thrilling us with their unmistakable chemistry, Joseph Marco and Ritz Azul were indeed able to take us back in the younger years of Nanay Violeta and Tatay Zach -- from the moment their paths crossed, up to the time when the latter had to leave her and their daughter to work abroad.

As they're currently in the process of rebuilding their relationship after not being together for how many decades, here's to hoping that love will be sweeter the second time around for them!

Moira Dela Torre and Jason Hernandez

There's definitely no doubt that they are indeed among the most popular artists of their generation.

However, aside from their musical prowess, what makes this awesome couple extra admirable was their heavenly and inspiring love story that many of us surely aspire to have as well.

Aside from that, Janella Salvador's impressive acting also brought us back to that period when Moira suffered from depression and anxiety that almost took her life and how she's able to cope through music and her unwavering faith to God.

We're able to take a glimpse as well of what happened on the surprise marriage proposal of Jason, played by Kiko Estrada, that truly became the talk of the town then.

Let's keep ourselves inspired by the true-to-life stories of our kababayans, either celebrity or not, by watching Maalaala Mo Kaya, every Saturday evening.