REVIEW: Rita Avila, Paulo Angeles maintain intense dramatic chemistry, acting brilliance in MMK “Mesa”

Fighting for a love that’s true, while wonderful and fulfilling, entails much difficulty, especially if the romance is unacceptable to many, including people close to you.

REVIEW: Rita Avila, Paulo Angeles rouse viewers in May-December love on MMK “Entablado” 

In the second Maalaala Mo Kaya installment of a two-part episode, “Mesa”, Ivy (Rita Avila) and Carl (Paulo Angeles) might have found the love they’ve been searching for so long, but this left people uncomfortable if not totally despising their “unusual” love.

A middle-aged woman falling for a man 16 years younger is not common for most to understand, and Ivy and Carl still fought for their love, even if their worlds starting to fall apart.

Ivy’s sons were particularly miffed, even at the mention of Carl over the dinner table, and so was Carl’s mom, who thinks that their romance is improper. But still, with Carl’s insistence and determination, they still fought for their love. But things became harder for Ivy, when her youngest child Matty (JB Agustin) had been deeply scornful over their relationship, which led to problems in school, including a scuffle with schoolmates who were maligning his mother over her ties with Carl.

And this pained Ivy since her personal affairs are affecting her children negatively. This eventually led her to lose her grip on her love with Carl, since their romance is further tearing her family apart.  But Carl refused to let go, pleading with Ivy not to give up. 



Carl would then try his best to fit in Ivy’s family to the point of actually reasoning with Ivy to understand her children, but things got complicated when he was caught in a heated discussion between Ivy and her kids over the dinner table at Ivy’s home. She would dismiss what he was pointing out in front of her children, as Matty and Coco (Luke Alford) continued to give him the cold shoulder, and this led to Carl storming out.

Because of this, it was Carl’s turn to open up his frustrations to an apologetic Ivy over the incident, and was at the brink of giving up himself seeing he continued to earn the ire of her children. After telling Ivy he would go back to a bar he frequented, Ivy thought of Carl’s reckless past and inferred he was letting go and choosing to go back to his old ways.

Pagod lang ako,” Carl said. Ivy then asked, “Pagod lang o pagod na?” 

While Carl never did say he was ending their relationship, he would open up to his close friend at the bar (Batit Espiritu) about his hardship in dealing with his complicated romance. He wisely told him to understand what Ivy’s children is going through, given that he too underwent the same struggles, having suffered under an abusive stepfather. He also told him that if he really loved Ivy, he should take all the complications and the hardships as they come. “Mahal mo, nahihirapan ka?,” Carl’s friend told him. “Eh ‘di mas lalo mong paghirapan, mahal mo eh.”



As Ivy’s children began to hear their mother out, especially on the matter of her relationship with Carl, they would soon open up to someone who they now know loved their mother for who she truly is. Eventually they would learn to accept him, as Carl himself became a devoted “second dad” and “kuya” at the same time, supporting them in all ways possible.

For Carl, his “unusual” relationship in the eyes of many brought him purpose and direction, seeing someone who believes in him to become the best he can be, and for Ivy, the respect and love that pieced her broken self back and made herself whole again. 

Just like the first installment, “Entablado,” this week’s conclusion to the two-part episode, “Mesa,” effectively presents all the underlying factors that affect a special relationship, just like Ivy and Carl’s. It’s spine-tingling script offers an exceptional sense of what truly goes on in such a situation, without belaboring on the obvious age gap of the main characters.

Director Raz dela Torre pushed a deep, resounding presentation of this beautiful story, allowing the actors to thoroughly feel what their characters went through to give such believable, brilliant portrayals.



Rita Avila and Paulo Angeles again proved their powerful dramatic chemistry, showing genuineness and sincerity in portrayals they had been admittedly awkward for them to do, but incredibly pulled off.  Rita proved her longevity in the craft, giving her impressive, superb take on Ivy, to make audiences understand and feel character’s travails in a complicated relationship. So was Paulo Angeles’s amorous, affectionate, and appealing vibe that generated much acclaim as Carl that will surely invite more lead role credits to his name. 

Netizens were likewise impressed: