REVIEW: Joshua Garcia, Loisa Andalio thrill viewers with team-up on MMK “Puno”

Love indeed won in the “Puno” episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya aired last Saturday, June 27, as it featured the unlikely romance of letter sender Ernesto Guira Jr. (Joshua Garcia), who’s gay, with his childhood sweetheart Jonna (Loisa Andalio) and how they’re able to overcome every challenge and obstacle that came their way. It was actually first broadcast in 2016 and was replayed to mark the conclusion of Pride Month.

The kilig, inspiring love story

It all started in their hometown in Borongan, Eastern Samar, when the young Ernesto (Bugoy Cariño) was both bullied and admired by other kids because of his being gay. While his mother (Aleck Bovick) was very much fine with it, his father (Rommel Padilla) was truly against it. And out of his love for him, Ernesto tried his best to exude his masculinity with the help of his cousins. While playing with them one day, one of his girl playmates introduced her cousin Jonna (Dexie Daulat), to whom he immediately had a crush on.

In their teenage years, Ernesto’s (Joshua Garcia) admiration for Jonna (Loisa Andalio) grew as he wooed her and they eventually became a couple. However, their almost one year relationship ended after he went to Manila to live with his older sister (Marlann Flores) and continue his education there. Just when they assumed that long distance relationship can work for them, their loss of communication became a hindrance for them. Thus, he just focused his attention on his academics and the dance troupe he joined, which buried his feelings for Jonna.

With her absence in his life, Ernesto became a full-fledged gay as he dolled himself up with makeup and skimpy dresses and identified himself as “Barbie”. While his older sister fully accepted him, his older brother (Johan Santos), father, and mother expressed their disappointment towards and repudiated him upon finding out his secret. Aside from dressing up as a woman, he also had in a relationship with a guy named Jayson (Patrick Sugui), which didn’t last long.

Later on, his mom approached him unexpectedly to apologize in behalf of his father and brother for how they reacted and to tell him that they already accepted him.

As Ernesto and his family went back to Borongan, his connection with Jonna was also rekindled. After a number of awkward encounters, the former sweethearts finally mustered the courage to talk with each other one day and reminisced the good times they used to spend together.

It was during their barrio’s dance party wherein they were able to confess to one another that they actually never moved on and still have feelings for each other. Their romance was rekindled and Ernesto decided to be masculine again for Jonna. While his parents were so delighted and supportive for them, it was totally a different story on her side as her mom (Marites Joaquin) and brother strongly objected. Even their neighbors also expressed their doubts regarding their relationship since he’s still gay.

Just when he’s about to give up, Ernesto’s parents consoled and encouraged him to continue fighting for Jonna if he truly loves her and simply shrug off the snide comments being hurled by people around them. In the end, he courageously faced her family and told them how sincere his intentions were for her and he apparently won their favour and has been living happily with her and their kids.

Impeccable performance of the cast

Of course, every project wouldn’t be great without the people working behind and in front of the camera.

Even though he’d been only in the industry for two years then, Joshua was already able to prove his versatility as an actor with his compelling portrayal of Ernesto. And for sure, the adoring fans of his team-up with his fellow Pinoy Big Brother All-In alumni Loisa Andalio were all delighted to see them again on-screen after their parted ways to do separate projects.

Supporting cast members Rommel Padilla, Aleck Bovick, Bugoy Cariño, Marlann Flores, Patrick Sugui, Johan Santos, Alora Sasam, Kamille Filoteo, Marites Joaquin, Kokoy de Santos, and Dexie Daulat also enthralled us with their superb performances in this episode impressively written by Jimuel P. Dela Cruz and helmed by top-caliber director Jeffrey Jeturian.

Positive feedbacks from netizens

As this MMK episode didn’t only showcase the brilliance of Joshua Garcia and Loisa Andalio, but also succeeded in conveying the message of a love that’s unconditional, unchanging, and genderless, netizens turn to Twitter to express their appreciation.