It was in the latter part of November when Maalaala Mo Kaya host Charo Santos announced that the longest-running drama anthology in the country is coming to an end – much to everyone’s shock and sadness. Among those who expressed their regret were the actors who, at least once in their lives, appeared on the well-loved show.
Apart from portraying the lives of ordinary and famous Filipinos alike, it has also served as a launching pad for some actors who were then just beginning their showbiz careers or their journeys in ABS-CBN.
Let’s look back on the first-ever MMK appearances of the 11 Kapamilya actresses that we included in this Kapamilya Snaps feature!
First on the list is Vina, who, at the age 16, was tapped to star in the first-ever episode of the iconic program titled “Rubber Shoes” aired in May 1991. It chronicled the story of a hardworking street-sweeper played by Robert Arevalo, who did everything that he could to support the education and whims of his ambitious son (Romnick Sarmenta), even though it meant putting his own well-being at risk.
Of course, the singer-actress didn’t miss the opportunity to express how “humbled and thankful” she is for being part of the show’s remarkable three-decade run, through an Instagram post in which she also wrote, “You all made us laugh and cry with your beautiful stories over the years. Salamat po”.
One of the most adored young actresses during the ‘90s, Angelica truly endeared us with her every TV and movie portrayal, which includes the “Sa Kanlungan Mo, Inay” episode of MMK in 1994.
There, she played the youngest child of a wealthy family, with Mara Clara (1992) OG lead stars Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes playing as her older sisters. The story revolved around a family, whose three daughters chose to waste their lives away in their pursuit of escaping their tumultuous home and the struggles that they went through as a family.
The Asia's Songbird was able to appear in several episodes of MMK in the past three decades of her showbiz career, with the episode entitled “Lobo” as her first-ever stint in the well-loved show.
Considered as one of the highest-rated and most memorable episodes of MMK, it featured the life story of a mentally-challenged woman named Abby, who found love in Piolo Pascual’s character Brian (Piolo Pascual). In a previous interview, Regine imparted how it’s one of the most memorable roles she’s ever taken on.
Before skyrocketing to immense popularity and becoming one of today’s biggest actresses, did you know that Nadine made her first-ever appearance on the drama anthology through the “Puno” episode in 2004? It recounted the life story of late politician Miriam Defensor-Santiago, as portrayed by actresses Julia Clarete and Tessie Tomas.
Before endearing us with her cuteness and many talents as one of the pioneer cast of Goin’ Bulilit, Kathryn first impressed us with her stints in other Kapamilya programs, including MMK. In 2005, she appeared in the “Fried Chicken” episode as the daughter of Albert Martinez’s character.
In an exclusive interview in 2017 for the 25th anniversary of the drama anthology, she reminisced her most unforgettable experiences in the show and the importance of it to the viewers and actors by uttering “kulang kung walang MMK!”
Two years after being hailed as the grand winner of Star Circle National Teen Quest in 2004, Erich had her MMK debut via the “Regalo” episode, in which she played the role of Con-Con, one of the daughters of Star For All Seasons Vilma Santos’ character and a sister to the character of Maja Salvador.
The said episode highlighted the journey of a mother who tried to balance her family and career while taking care of her daughter with cerebral palsy.
As soon as she transferred to ABS-CBN in 2007, Angel immediately show off her acting chops to avid viewers by starring in the “Pilat” episode of MMK. Aside from it being her first-ever project as a certified Kapamilya, what made this stint extra memorable was the “Best Single Performance by an Actress” recognition that she got from Star Awards for Television – her first-ever best actress award.
“Pilat” is a tale of a dutiful daughter and diligent breadwinner named Melody. She fell in love with a guy Jeffrey, played by Kapamilya heartthrob Sam Milby, but was forced to choose between her family and her dignity in the end.
After appearing in several teleseryes and the kiddie gag show Goin’ Bulilit, Julia was able to further showcase her potential to be a dramatic actress in the MMK episode entitled “Card” in 2008.
She portrayed Abby, a young girl who was devastated upon finding out that the mother she knew was not really her biological parent. But this discovery also led her to the realization of the true meaning of love and family through her Yaya Adela, who she fondly calls “nanay”.
The same went for Belle who landed her first-ever MMK project as the younger version of the character Elisa in the “Kabibe” episode in 2012. This followed the tale of childhood sweethearts Elisa and Lito, who fulfilled their wish of getting married after 45 years of going separate ways and having families of their own.
After keeping herself occupied with her first-ever acting project Be Careful With My Heart, Janella then had her MMK debut via her portrayal of Neneng in an episode titled “Card” in 2014, which she topbilled alongside former onscreen partner Marlo Mortel.
The episode followed the story of their characters Neneng and Celo, who used to be academic rivals all throughout elementary and high school. In the long run, he developed feelings towards her and began to make attempts to win over her heart.
Last, but definitely not the least, is Kaila, who initially showed fans her potential in the two-part episode titled “Selda” and “Tablet”, which recounted the story of former radio DJ and Pinoy Big Brother housemate Karen Bordador.
As MMK nears its finale, the fast-rising actress has taken on the significant role of closing the drama anthology as Abby, the main character in the three-part episode titled “Scarlet Women.”
Each of these Kapamilya actresses portrayed a character that any woman can relate to, whether it’s falling in love or showing unconditional love for the family. Were you able to watch those episodes, Kapamilya?