In what became her shining moment as an actress, Kathryn Bernardo proved her worth as the country’s most illuminating artist today with this 2015 showcase appearance on Maalaala Mo Kaya.
On the episode “Parol” re-aired on The Best of MMK last Saturday, September 12, Kathryn brought her thespic might in full force, wielding the same sharpness and effectivity of the equally brilliant co-actors in the episode.
In the end, it was a centerpiece performance that would further prove and seal her immense stature in the industry.
Kathryn plays Daisy, a girl raised by caring, adoptive parents Ed (Smokey Manaloto) and Erlie (Assunta de Rossi) who taught her genuine, unconditional love. Despite being adopted, Daisy has always been loved and treasured by her foster parents as if she was their own. They would care for her, provided what she needed, and sent her to good schools. Time came when the truth was revealed when Daisy got older, but she never took it against Ed and Erlie, whom she still continued to love despite all. And they remained blissful and contented until difficult ordeals hit the family.
Ed suffered a stroke, and his attitude towards the family changed. From being responsible, loving and caring, he turned irritable, arrogant, and fault finder. He would also soon make bad decisions regarding investments and lose their income, forcing Daisy to stop her schooling and find work as a call center agent. But what to be the most difficult for Daisy was that Ed would always vent his ire towards her, even at times when was just showing her love and concern, and that she was actually already the breadwinner of the family.
When Daisy was promoted as a trainer at the call center, further torment struck the family. Erlie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of this, Daisy had no other choice but to focus on caring for Erlie. She had to turn down a bigger opportunity in the company so that she could spend more time taking care of her ill mom. It came to a point when Erlie could not take chemotherapy treatments anymore, and this left her frail and weak, making lose her appetite and the desire to live. But with Daisy’s help and Ed’s encouragement, Erlie did find the strength to keep on fighting the deadly disease through alternative means. And fortunately, she had a remission.
In the next four years, the family again lived happily just like old times. Until, Erlie experienced a fateful recurrence of the breast cancer that metastized to the lungs, which is far more serious and deadly than before. While continuous chemotherapy remains an option, doctors see a complete recovery futile.
As Erlie’s condition worsened, she was again rushed to the hospital. However as they reached the facility, Daisy realized that Ed was also not well and had chest pains and difficulty breathing. She advised Ed to just go back home and rest and asked her friends to accompany him. But after a while, she received a frantic call from her friend saying that Ed suffered a heart attack and was also rushed to another hospital. It didn’t take long before she received another call from a friend telling her the terrible news: Ed had passed away.
Devastated, Daisy rushed to discover Ed’s lifeless body in the hospital morgue and broke down. Amid all the grief, Daisy would receive another call from the other hospital where Erlie was and received distressing news that she was brought to the ICU as her condition likewise worsened. Burdened with these terrible tragedies, Daisy tried to remain composed and strong.
After overseeing the funeral arrangements, Daisy would break the terrible news to Erlie that Ed had passed away. Paralyzed and unable to speak, Erlie could only shed a tear as she felt the whole world crumbled down on her.
Seeing the pain and suffering Erlie is enduring because of her illness, Daisy notices that Erlie seems to see Ed “fetching” her to go to the afterlife. She asks her if she wishes to go to Ed, Erlie would write on a note, “Paano Ka?” To which Daisy told her not to mind her because she can take care of herself. She said she doesn’t want to see her suffer the pain anymore.
It didn’t take long before Daisy was asked if she’d continue life support, and with the doctors’ advice decided to stop it to end her mother’s suffering.
With the death of her loving adoptive parents, Daisy saw the true meaning of genuine, unconditional love and incredible happiness that she thought she would never find again—and this initially made her desolate and miserable. But she would soon realize in a vision of Ed “visiting” her with a Christmas lantern on hand that her life is just actually starting, and that more opportunities to find the same kind of happiness and unconditional love will never be hard to find.
With its captivating story and Kathryn’s memorable performance, MMK “Parol” truly lights up the viewers’ spirits with its effervescent storytelling and well-crafted dramatic scenes. Direk Mae Cruz-Alviar truly brought the best out of its cast, as its three main stars gave out their most impressive dramatic performances.
Smokey Manaloto has always been a dramatic revelation, but for this episode he surely took a notch higher in his craft with this superb portrayal of a disillusioned head of the family. We are particularly impressed with Assunta de Rossi’s impeccable performance as the ill, suffering Erlie whose impact on the screen is so solid, that a mere look on her face speaks volumes.
And yes, Kathryn takes the biggest slice of the dramatic pie as the responsible, loving adoptive daughter. We see her not only as a the Queen of Hearts or Box Office Star that will continue to dominate the scene, but certainly as an incredible actress we will all admire for a long time.