As host Charo Santos announced that Maalaala Mo Kaya is going to end after more than three decades on air, she didn’t just thank the viewers who ardently supported it, but also the actors and the people who have become part of it.
And in the past week, the long-running drama anthology has published two two-minute videos across its social media platforms, which featured some of its producers and directors who spearheaded the productions of the episodes that made us inspired, happy, laugh, cry, and even kilig.
Probably just like some of her colleagues, the show has been part of producer Catherine San Pablo’s life and of her family’s viewing habit, which fueled her aspiration to work in ABS-CBN as soon as finished her studies.
While many of us tend to get starstruck every time we see our favorite artists, she, on the other hand, feels the same when she meets a letter sender as she regards them as “heroes” because of the hardships they went through in life. She also believes that through the inspiring stories they deliver, MMK is able to stir other to change themselves and their lives for the better.
Meanwhile, producer Ann Guimbangunan, enthused how she has completed her journey from being a production assistant to becoming an executive producer in the program, through which she’s able to learn a lot. In the past 31 years, it has become the “therapy” and “relief” of avid viewers every Saturday as we cried and laughed together. Now that it’s approaching its conclusion, she stated, “Naniniwala ako na babalik at babalik din ‘yong tahanang palagi kong inuuwian.”
Producer Kat Juban imparted how she’s able to keep pace with the story of the letter senders by perusing the research and script, which made it different from teleseryes. Among the true-to-life stories they presented, she shared how she got affected by the story of an OFW named “Sarah”, whose harrowing journey in Saudi Arabia was portrayed by Shaina Magdayao in the “Tubig” episode in 2019.
Aside from simply reading their stories and coming up with a creative way of telling it to the audiences, producer Lindsay Anne Dizon-Camilleri recounted that they also visited the letter senders right at their homes to know them more. It also delighted her whenever viewers comment that they’re able to relate with and learn a lot from the stories that they share, which reflects the lives of Filipinos worldwide. Thus, she considers her job at MMK for 18 years as something that’s more than just work.
With regards to the most remarkable story for her, she divulged that it would be the “Rehas” episode in 2007, wherein Gina Pareño played the role of Remedios, an elderly woman who had to face a great turmoil when insanity struck her three children. It made her realize that we actually have awareness with regards to mental illness.
Being part of MMK ever since it began in 1991, Director Dado C. Lumibao related that he’s able to witness how the narratives they’ve featured have changed through the years. As he heard people describe inspiring stories as “pang-MMK,” he observed how it has been synonymous to the lives of ordinary persons, as it’s able to give them voice in a society where they are usually overlooked.
Director Raz C. Dela Torre, who takes pride on being able to helm almost a hundred episodes, remarked on how MMK has meant a lot to many people, so more than the full title Maalaala Mo Kaya, it has also equated to “magandang kuwento at mahusay na pagkukuwento, de-kalidad na produksyon, [at] mahusay na pag-arte.”
He also commented, “The fact that it has permeated into the pop culture or sa kulturang Pilipino, I think that’s proof of what MMK has achieved. Not all television shows have done that.”
Head researcher-turned-director Kevin Alambra seemingly echoed this when he said, “Hindi ‘yon magsu-succeed at hindi ‘yon tutuloy hanggang more than three decades kung wala talaga ‘yong nagku-kuwento. Para magkaroon ka ng 1,348 na tao na nagtiwala ng kuwento nila sa MMK at ikuwento siya, malaking bagay ‘yon.”
Being able to tell those inspiring and significant stories has indeed given him the maturity as an individual and as a creator, making his journey so worth it.
For Direk Dado, 31 years is indeed not enough for he believes that there’s surely a lot of stories to tell and lessons to learn. He quoted its iconic host Charo Santos, “hangga’t may mga kuwento, ang MMK nandiyan.”
Catch the remaining episodes of MMK’s “Tatlong Dekadang Pasasalamat” offering entitled “Scarlet Women” this coming December 3 and 10, on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live and A2Z.