Since they were young, Ferdie (Cris Villanueva) and Elvira (Vina Morales) fought for the love they share despite the strong disapproval of Elvira’s family. They faced the world side by side and built a home for their three sons – all diagnosed with a rare skin condition called anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.
A doting father, Ferdie needed to go through great lengths in order to provide for his family amid a pile of tribulation including his in-laws’ continuing disapproval. His sacrifices softened the heart of Elvira’s mother but not that of his brother-in-law, Paquito (Epi Quizon)’s. The latter even forced them to leave the house in the middle of a rainy night while Elvira was in a distant province for work. Ferdie and his sons ended up sleeping under a tarpaulin until he found enough resources to build a small hut.
The family lived under the simple abode, which they constructed all together and filled it with happy memories as much as they could. Elvira gave birth to two more girls fortunately spared from the disease. As the three sons were growing up, however, struggles continued to test Ferdie’s forbearance.
The brothers’ condition, concluded to have been passed down from Elvira’s bloodline, was characterized by the reduced ability to sweat, thus, the challenge of cooling down. Ferdie and Elvira took turns to fan the kids especially at night time. In an attempt to ease the discomfort, the Plazo brothers carried wet towels around, often washed their hair and body, and soaked in a nearby river.
The disorder has also affected Adrian, Kiervy, and Evan’s physical appearances –, thinning eyebrows and hair, everted lips, facial deformation, and pigmented skin. The public’s judging stares and mockery had many times shrunk the brothers’ courage. It was during those trying times, though, that Ferdie would instil the greater value of a good heart than a beautiful face. Elvira died later on, leaving the five children under Ferdie’s sole responsibility and care. The pain and misery did not stop Ferdie from pressing on, nonetheless. He instead prayed for a longer life and immense strength to be able to fulfil his purpose – to teach his children how to love themselves until the world learns to do so as well.
The episode’s ensemble cast included Cris Villanueva and Vina Morales and Seth Fedelin, Harvey Bautista, and Uno Madrid as the Plazo Brothers. Take a peek into the preparation and actual filming of the inspiring “Ilog” episode in this behind-the-scene photo compilation.