Maris Racal showed immense depth with a moving, credible and affectual delivery in an epic performance as Jayren Lom-oc in the second part of Maalaala Mo Kaya’s two-part Father’s Day special on June 19, “Bisikleta.”
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Maris gave her spotlight portrayal so incredibly touching and riveting, tugging viewers’ hearts with every step of her character’s journey. She left viewers raving about how portrayal, with netizens even cheering her on to get an acting award.
Given how deep and compelling Jai’s story was amid Father’s Day, Maris truly did not let director Jerome Pobocan down in giving that unforgettable performance that made people truly connect and feel the pain of a daughter wishing only to reform the life of a father she never knew, but still loved truly despite his shortcomings.
Viewers felt how she tried, and did it with all her heart. Jai would stay on her father Jericho (Cris Villanueva)’s side even with her Nanay Elena’s (Ana Abad Santos) opposition. This is despite the risk that all her efforts will go for naught, as he remained obstinate and stubbornly addicted to illegal drugs. But the touching thing is that she never gave up on Jericho, trying her best to encourage him to mend his ways and start anew.
The bright spot about the story was that there was a spark of hope for Jai’s dreams to come true, with Jericho slowly reaching soberness. As a delivery rider, Jai would even take her dad on bicycle rides in the park, which he treasured deeply, as she gifted him with a bike. They would even share time at a church, the last place his father would visit given his terrible mistakes in the past. Jericho would even break down in tears realizing how this daughter he previously abandoned would not leave his side.
As the pandemic happened, however, the volume of orders as a delivery rider forced Jai to spend less time with Jericho, and this left him alone and isolated at his living quarters. Jai didn’t realize it but her father was experiences withdrawal symptoms from his addiction. He would get back into his drug addiction, even using the meager amounts they were saving for those supplies.
This broke Jai’s heart, as indeed her best efforts at reforming her father is starting to go to waste. But Jai could not give up on Jericho, given that his tuberculosis is worsening and no one else would provide necessary care.
Due to the pandemic, there were fears that Jericho had contracted the COVID-19 virus and was thus evicted from the dormitory he was staying. Jai would literally carry her father at her back and find him a place to stay. She even tried to secretly bring him to her room at Nanay Elena’s house, but when her mother got word of that “breach,” she ordered Jai to take him out since she thought Jericho’s illness was contagious.
Again, Jai would carry his father at her back, and brought him to a new place to stay, only to have his tuberculosis heightened due to an affliction with AIDS. As his condition worsened, Jai brought Jericho to a hospital for treatment. Despite having insisted to stay, hospital health protocols forced Jai to leave Jericho in the hospital, pending the results of a COVID-19 swab test. Nurses told her they would just contact her if the results are out.
Days passed and Jai said she never received an update, and when she went to the hospital to ask how her father was doing, she was told that they were trying to contact her the previous night in vain to tell her that Jericho had died. The news brought Jai to her knees in tears, as she was not able to be with her beloved dad during his final moments.
With Jai’s big loss, he could only find solace in her Nanay Elena, who had been regretful for her cruel ways in making Jai avoid her father, and Jai apologizing to her mother and her Tatay Dodong (Mike Lloren) for being disrespectful towards them. Despite everything, Jai still found the loving family who would make her complete.
Certainly, MMK “Bisikleta” offers more than just a reminder of loving your fathers, and telling them about it, it is about showing deep understanding and acceptance despite all his frailties and mistakes in life. Direk Jerome’s superb direction even made the episode more affectual, with awesome writing, lighting design, editing, and breathtaking camera work.
Asidefrom Maris, the episode again highlights’ Cris Villanueva’s brilliance in taking on his difficult role to churn out a believable portrayal. While the role might seem run-of-the-mill, Cris’s take on the character truly made extra impactful and special.
Netizens were likewise impressed: