How will a family survive and keep the faith and strength when almost all members suffer from a long-term illness that gradually makes them physically weak? Take inspiration from Maalaala Mo Kaya’s special two-part episode about a family suffering from chronic kidney disease, #Loving2Care, topbilled by seasoned actor Nonie Buencamino and teen drama idol Zaijian Jaranilla.
Before #Loving2Care airs on our TV and digital screens tonight (July 3) Zaijian guested on Kapamilya Chat to talk about the episode, his co-actors, and the lessons viewers can learn in this heartwarming tale.
Growing up in the limelight, Zaijian is thankful that he still gets to do what he loves most and people continue to appreciate his acting skills. Asked if there’s pressure to keep up with the success of his now-iconic role as Santino in May Bukas Pa, the young actor said pressure is a good sign of humility and eagerness to learn.
“Kasi ‘pag nawala ‘yan parang kampante ka na, ‘Ako na ‘yung pinakamagaling.’ Dapat hindi mawala ‘yan sa sistema mo. Hindi naman sa nakikipagkompetensya ka, pero maraming magagaling, so dapat ikaw ‘yung pinakamasipag,” he explained.
For Zaijian, the true mark of success is longevity than praises, albeit difficult to achieve. “Kasi sa dami na ng ginampanan mo, dapat iba-iba ‘yung ipakita mo para hindi magsawa sa’yo ‘yung tao.” With that, he’s thankful to his home network for the unwavering support, “kasi kahit nung nag-puberty stage, binibigyan pa rin nila ako ng projects, kahit nga ngayong pandemic.”
While others who start young would succumb to burnout, Zaijian is not one to give up on his passion. He never thought of quitting showbiz and he doesn’t usually decline offers, “’Pag nandiyan ‘yung blessing, tanggapin mo lang nang tanggapin.” Eventually, this attitude sharpened his versatility as an actor, who is now open to playing any type of role.
Zaijian went on to talk about MMK “Loving2Care” where he plays Andy, a devoted son and healthcare worker. The first part of “Love2Care” highlights Andy’s life with his family while the next episode revolves around his fight against chronic kidney disease.
This is not his first time working with Nonie but it’s the most dramatic, thus far. Working with the veteran actor, Zaijian said they had teamwork and he wasn’t shy to ask for help when needed. “Kung anong ibabato niya, kailangan mo rin ibalik. Minsan, ‘pag may mga scenes na nahihirapan ako, nagtatanong ako sa kanya ng mga tips at i-a-advice niya naman ako kung anong dapat kong gawin.”
Playing his siblings are Karen Reyes and Akihiro Blanco, whom he had fun mobile gaming sessions during breaks. They instantly hit it off, hence work went easy.
Zaijian shared that he was able to talk to the letter-sender, Andy. He shared that Andy was very optimistic, even taking his disease as a blessing and a way to inspire other people. For Andy, his illness gives him purpose to live and serve.
The former child star also gives props to Andy’s father for his unbreakable strength, “Saludo ako sa Tatay niya kasi sobrang tatag niya sa mga problemang napagdaanan nila. Parang kung kasama mo talaga ‘yung pamilya mo, doon ka mas titibay.”
Asked about his similarities with his character, Zaijian thought of positivity and passion. Through Andy and his family’s inspiring story, he learned that perspective makes a difference just as how Andy took his disease in a positive light. “Maging kuntento tayo sa mga bagay na nakikita natin. Maging thankful lang tayo palagi.” And he hopes viewers will also learn such lessons and more.
Catch the two-part episode MMK “Loving2Care” directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng this July 3 and 10 on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, and iWanTFC.