There have been thousands of letters featured in Maalaala Mo Kaya in the past 31 years, all of which have brought inspiration, smiles, and tears. Every MMK story has been an absolute journey not just for the letter senders but also for the actors dramatizing them.
In this video, Kapamilya stars who lent their acting brilliance (and even life stories) to MMK share which episode they consider the most unforgettable.
Some narratives require intense transformations from the actors like Seth Fedelin who wore prosthetics for his role as one of the three Plazo Brothers. In the “Ilog” episode, the brothers were diagnosed with a rare illness called Anhidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia characterized by the inability to sweat due to the absence of skin pores. The condition resulted in physical deformities, thus the need for prosthetic makeup. It posed as a challenge, considering the prosthetic was too hot wear, but Seth enjoyed the process.
For Francine Diaz, her earliest MMK portrayals taught her important techniques in acting and camera angles, which she carried with her in her succeeding projects.
McCoy de Leon delivered an impeccable performance in the “Lambat” episode. He played Romel, a fisherman, whose family was plagued with a genetic disease. He considers this episode the most unforgettable because of the complex, naturalistic filming process.
“Nag-shoot kami sa dagat. Buong araw talaga feel na feel kong doon ako nakatira. Pawis na pawis ako minsan tapos ang itim ko na, natural ‘yung pangingitim ko… Meron pa ngang time na nagkakaasugat-sugat na ako sa sobrang init. May mga crying scenes siyempre na kailangan ibigay,” he added that the experience was worth it and his character inspired him to appreciate life even more.
JC Alcantara’s top pick is “TV” featuring his life story. He thanked Charo Santos for granting his request to have his life story dramatized in MMK. “Nag-usap lang kami nu’n one on one and then sabi ko lang, ‘Ma’am Charo, baka naman ma-story n’yo ‘yung life ko sa MMK.’ Hindi siya nag-atubili na mag-yes. Pina-contact niya lahat, game na. Kaya sobrang saya ko that time na maibahagi yung kwento ng buhay ko,” he said of how the episode came to be.
Diether Ocampo’s numerous appearances left a mark on the viewers. He said the team’s vision is to always capture the letter sender’s experience.
Mon Confiado has two most unforgettable MMK picks. The first one is tagged “Mother Gambler” where he played the womanizer husband to Lara Quigaman’s character, who turned into addiction in an attempt to get past their marital woes. Next is the chilling psychological tale of Charo (Bela Padilla), who, after getting herself an anting-anting, started to hear diabolical voices in her head. Trivia: In the original script, the devil’s advocate was supposed to be just a voice but Director Nuel Naval decided to have the evil voice personified, which Mon portrayed.
Also a constant face in MMK, Meg imperial picked one unforgettable story, which is “VHF Radio Love” where she played the letter-sender, a girl dumped by her radio pal-turned-boyfriend after 16 years of ‘relationship.’ She said it’s a light romance drama on the surface but the realization cuts deep. “Para sa akin noong time na ‘yun, naiisip ko ang sakit naman nu’n na after 16 years niya na-realize makipaghiwalay,” Meg recalled.
Jenny Miller’s unforgettable episode is “Dyip” which tells the love story of a Pinay nanny and an Australian tourist. “Nagbigay ng hope lalo na sa mga maids na may mame-meet silang prince charming.”
For Karina Bautista, “Scarlet Women,” the special episode that marked MMK’s farewell is unforgettable for being her most daring and challenging role yet. “To go through that process, to feel what she feels was very difficult and somehow kasi pag actor ka nagse-stay sayo yung feeling na ‘yun. Nahihirapan akong mag-recover. Pero nakayanan naman and I think everyone said that I was good, so it shows that the pain was real,” she said.
Ralph Malibunas has been part of the show as a letter sender. His life story was portrayed by Jeremiah Lisbo and it has to be the most unforgettable for him, even if he only talked to Jeremiah and the team via Zoom due to pandemic restrictions at the time.
One of Amanda Zamora’s earliest assignments after PBB is MMK “Taho” which tells the story of Gimmy (Joey Marquez), who, despite his illness, continues to sell taho and help other people. It was one of her earliest lock-in experiences, and that makes this episode more unforgettable for her.
For some, an episode would change them as a person. RK Bagatsing’s “Surfboard” is memorable not only because it’s his first MMK starring, but more so it pushed him to conquer his fear in surfing. According to RK, he already met the letter-sender Harry during one of his trips to Baler. Coincidentally, the offer to play Harry’s story came when he decided to stop surfing for a while due to a traumatic surfing session that almost caused him to drown. But then again, he knew an MMK role is something he couldn’t just let pass.
Jake Cuenca considers “Litrato” one for the books since he shared the screen with Angel Locsin, “Every time I work with Angel Locsin, everytime my name is beside Angel’s, I’m so proud.”
Of all the letters read in MMK, which one is the most unforgettable for you, Kapamilya?