A love so genuine and true is what any person seeks, but even if time gets in the way and a dreaded disease makes it so challenging and difficult, sharing such love should all be worth it.
For John (Kit Thompson), whose love for Angel (Jane Oineza) remained authentic and real through the short time they shared it—from the time they adorably exchanged sweet messages on Facebook Messenger to the devastating, tragic ordeals they faced together.
In Maalaala Mo Kaya’s February 12 episode, “Simbahan,” we witness this kind of love so endearingly true, yet heartbreakingly cut short by things beyond their control.
John, an overstaying college student, had been in constant search for that girl of his dreams by adding random users as friends on Facebook. Among all those he added, one of them messaged him back, a saleslady named Angel.
After weeks of chatting online, John and Angel hit it off, and they soon set their first meet-up. John said he wanted to meet Angel near a neighborhood church. When they first laid their eyes on each other, John immediately expressed his sincere and genuine love for Angel as he had always shown her virtually. Their face to face meet up further validated his feelings for her.
As Angel saw and felt the genuineness of John’s love, she did not waste time in reciprocating that affection. John and Angel indeed found the true love they had been searching for so long, and they never held back in consistently sacrificing and devoting their lives for one another, as they planned their future together as husband and wife.
Then tragedy struck.
Angel first told John the pain she felt on her left breast that she said resulted from an accidental fall. But a closer medical diagnosis revealed a dreaded result. Angel had a growing lump. While initially Angel and John downplayed it, further tests showed it had been malignant, confirming their fears. Angel had breast cancer.
Devastated, Angel needed to undergo a mastectomy on her left breast and needed regular radiation therapy and chemotherapy. After a while, these treatments led to her frailness and hair loss. When the amount of hair loss had been significant, she decided to have all her hair shaven off. As she encountered these glaring, depressing changes in her body, John was right by her side to care, support, and strengthen her through it all.
In the months that followed, Angel had experienced a remission that brought immense joy to the couple and their respective families. During this time, their happiness also overflowed as John finally completed his college degree after nine years.
But when they visited the oncologist again, John and Angel received distressing news, her cancer recurred. This time it has spread to the liver, which worsens even faster, reaching a certain Stage 4 in so short a time. This led to Angel’s utter desolation and despondence, with John trying his best to keep her spirits up despite the devastating news.
To keep her happy despite facing the dreaded, life-threatening disease, John asked Angel’s hand in marriage, saying he would dedicate and commit his life to her forever, whatever happens. But while Angel remained resolute in her love for John, she gave one grim remark about her condition, emphasizing his efforts in tying the knot with her would go for naught, as death seemed certain.
John could not accept this and told Angel to remain steadfast in her fight against her cancer, assuring her there will always be hope for her to recover from her illness, with continued therapy and guidance from her oncologist.
Then their big wedding day came. But even as Angel fought hard to make it to their wedding, ready to walk down the aisle to marry the man who strengthened and stood by her in facing her cancer, her condition worsened. Angel could not step out of her bridal car since she felt so sick and nauseous. A worried John went in the car to check on Angel, who said that with her condition, she feels she couldn’t make it to their wedding. “Hindi ko na kaya, pagod na ako. I’m sorry,” she said.
But John told Angel that they should push through with their wedding, since this was what she always wanted ever since. He also reminded her that she had him promise that whatever happens, he would make sure that they would stand before the altar, exchanging their wedding vows.
Because of this, Angel went on to proceed to the church on a wheelchair to reach the altar to meet her dashing groom and say their “I dos”. And nothing could match the joy the couple felt as they became husband and wife, and finally kissed as loving newlyweds.
But as they spent their first night together as a married couple, Angel was in John’s arms on their matrimonial bed when her condition deteriorated. She told him how happy she was finally being his wife, but said he might be the “record holder” of having the shortest time of being married. Angel said she does not want to leave John, but with her worsening state, this might happen soon. He told her he doesn’t believe what has happened to them, being so much in love with one another, yet losing each other after a short time. “Para tayong dinaya,” he said.
But Angel said she felt satisfied with the kind of love they shared, being so genuine and true: “Grabeng minahal natin ang isa’t isa. Kahit maikli lang ang panahon ang binigay nila sa atin, hindi importante ‘yun. Sobrang pagmamahal ang meron tayo. Kahit wala na ako, mararamdaman mo pa rin ‘yun, John, habang buhay. Mahal na mahal kita.”
John said that they’ve shown that despite this misfortune they experienced, they still triumphed in proving the true love they have for each other. Angel then responded by saying in a faint tone: “’Di nila alam kung gaano kita kamahal. I love you, John.” After John reaffirmed his own love for Angel, she heaved her final breath, leaving John terribly inconsolable.
Several months after Angel’s death, John visited her at her final resting place, telling her of a job interview he had, wherein he said he probably passed it after mentioning how much of an inspiration she was in his life. He said he will say the same story to any person he will meet, about how an angel came into his life for so short a time, but left a kind of love that still enamors him to this day and for the rest of his life.
MMK “Simbahan” is considered an ideal offering for “Feb-ibig” with the powerful message it offers about how true love overcomes any of life’s challenges, including the misfortune of a dreaded disease. This may lead to an abrupt separation physically, but sharing such a love so true, makes it transcend life itself. Thanks to Jerome Pobocan’s able direction, that message becomes so clear and felt with the episode’s intense and effective storytelling and creative elements.
We are pleased with Kit Thompson’s progression as a dramatic actor in this outing, as he displayed impressive chops in all the difficult, heartbreaking scenes needing emotional depth and credibility. His style shows a good sign of further prominence in future projects.
But the entire episode showcases Jane Oineza’s continuing streak of outstanding performances on
MMK, which she has headlined multiple times in the past with some award-winning portrayals. This is no different from her other appearances, as she proved her scintillating craft in profoundly and intensely personifying a character that will surely be difficult to forget.