A big winner means more than just winning a reality-based TV competition.
It encapsulates the real winner in you in more ways than one. This includes how you deal with life’s ordeals—all with a rollicking, positive disposition.
This is one outlook everyone aspires to have, and this they have seen personified in 19-year-old MayMay Entrata, who inspired viewers so much in her journey to Pinoy Big Brother Lucky Season 7’s pinnacle.
Home so close to heart
But what strengthened her to carry so much yet remained the jovial, funny personality that she is? Her family, though unconventional, always had her back through those tough times, making home a word so close to her heart.
Thus, MMK’s “Bahay” depicts that special person honed out of the loving home not without the hardship not everyone can handle. This home wasn’t what you’d expect, with MayMay (who plays herself) having been in the care of her maternal grandparents Papa Joe (Dante Rivero) and Mama Ludy (Ces Quesada) when her mom Lorna (Vina Morales) had to migrate to Japan for work and eventually tied the knot with a Japanese national and had her own family. Her father Arnel (Gerald Madrid) had abandoned them previously after MayMay was born.
It wasn’t really like a broken home for the blissful MayMay, as she always had the support of her grandparents and relatives in the house she lived in with brother Vincent (Paul Salas). Just like her eventful stint on PBB, she was the wacky-go-lucky entertainer at her home and in school in Cagayan de Oro dancing and singing to her heart’s delight, with funny, witty vibes that always bring smiles to everyone she encounters.
And, like any girl her age, she was dreamer, wishing that someday she would appear on-screen with her favorite Kapamilya celebrities as a star akin to her childhood favorite character San Cai in Meteor Garden. Not only did she dream, but tried her best to make it a reality by auditioning for top reality-based programs, such as Pilipinas Got Talent and The Voice Philippines. While she didn’t succeed, MayMay had not lost hope.
But she faced the worst challenges in her young life, with Papa Joe suffering a heart attack, which forced their family to sell their home, as they struggled every day to make both ends meet. Lorna experiencing her own trials in Japan, having been separated from her Japanese husband and dealing with financial woes, thus being unable to support her. Despite these, however, MayMay remained unfazed and took her ordeals in stride as she found ways to deal with her situation.
MayMay’s foremost concern is to help her family in any way she can. As she worked part-time, MayMay’s efforts paid off, securing a scholarship from her school as a member of the school choir. This eased the burden somewhat, as her other family members scoured for ways to survive.
But, when a friend Carla (Kira Billenger) asked if she could accompany her to a PBB audition, little did she know that it would change her life forever. As she joined the audition herself, MayMay was first hesitant, given the formidable competition she faced just getting the attention of the auditioners. But when it was her turn to show what she’s got, MayMay surprised and delighted everyone with her comical and hilarious self as she narrated her amusing encounter with a jeepney driver, “duping” her of the correct fare as a student.
Since then, everything turned for the better, as PBB eventually picked MayMay as a teen housemate for its Lucky Season 7, showing that impressive persona of that “Wacky-Go-Lucky ng Cagayan de Oro.” With the kind of resiliency and strength, and that enjoyable and diverting figure viewers appreciate, MayMay had since succeeded week after week in fulfilling difficult tasks and interacting with fellow housemates.
But, even as she relished her newfound prominence, the worst blow was yet to come. As she had been in Bahay Ni Kuya, a relative called her to relay the dreadful news of Papa Joe’s passing that devastated her. She wailed on-air and was eventually allowed by Big Brother to attend her beloved grandfather’s wake.
For the first time, she had been shrouded with despair and extreme sadness with Papa Joe’s death due to cardiac arrest, being the sole source of happiness and strength she had been relying on all her life. Because of this, she considered withdrawing as a contestant having lost the person she loves so much.
But, after realizing and remembering her mission of helping her family especially with Papa Joe’s passing, MayMay decided to go back to PBB with a deep sense of purpose. And, with her enamoring and impressive showing in the last phase of the competition, being part of the PBB Dream Team, MayMay made everyone believe she got what it takes to be a big winner, inside out.
It was merely a confirmation of what everyone had expected—MayMay Enrata was named the PBB Lucky Season 7 Big Winner, emerging victorious over top housemates from the Teen, Celebrity, and Regular contests.
Everyone who watched “Bahay” had become believers of this simple teen who made it big just by being her inspiring self. The dramatic execution was effectual and authentic, thanks to director Raz dela Torre and writers Joan Habana and Arah Jell Badayos, taking each step of her journey with striking creative and production elements that made viewers truly appreciate her story.
Vina Morales as Lorna is as genuine as you get, with her emphatic take on a mother saddled with personal, filial, and worldly conundrums. With her performance, you get to empathize instead of judge her predicament. Dante Rivero shows why he is one of the best actors our country has produced, giving so much of himself in his portrayal of Papa Joe, a central character in MayMay’s life. Just like any role he brought to life, Dante understood it well and made a performance that touched everyone who watched.
MayMay is one spark that we all want to explode like fireworks in the future. She has the spirit and the passion to deliver an entertaining, lovable and emboldened character that anyone would take to heart in future projects.