As its way of joining the world in commemorating World AIDS Day last December 1, Maalaala Mo Kaya re-aired its remarkable “Pulang Laso” episode this Saturday, December 4, topbilled by award-winning actors Joem Bascon and Carlo Aquino.
The heart-rending, inspiring story
The episode followed the against all odds love story of gay couple Allan (Joem) and Kevin (Carlo) whose love for each was tremendously challenged by various circumstances – from the discrimination and disdain they got from the people around them, including their families, who perceive them as immoral every time they did public display of affection, up to the heartbreaking death that tore them apart.
Their paths first crossed at a movie house, which ensued to casual sex and later on a romantic relationship. But their journey had never been easy as they struggled to tell their families the truth about their identities, more so about their relationship, in their fear of being disowned. Besides, Allan was also afraid to be committed again after his past failed relationship, but Kevin assured him that they would be fine as long as they have one another.
Despite being kicked out of their house after mustering the courage to confess about his real identity and choosing Allan than his parents, Kevin accepted it optimistically and decided to live in with Allan. He lived independently and a simpler life, making both ends meet and helping Allan win their finances by working as a personal trainer at a gym.
However, their dream of growing old together began to get shattered when Kevin got suddenly sick. What seemed to be a simple case of colds and diarrhea, turned out to be symptoms of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). As he consistently rejected Allan’s offer to take him to the hospital to be checked, the virus already spread inside his system and his disease was already in the final stage when they found out about it. Allan was also declared HIV positive.
As Allan was in disbelief since Kevin was his only sex partner in the past three years that they’d been together, Kevin later on apologized and confessed that he actually had sex with a few of his clients in exchange of extra amount. That, of course, enraged Allan, but their strong love for each other still prevailed.
On the last moments of Kevin, his parents finally accepted his sexual orientation and his relationship with Allan, and at the same time asked for his forgiveness for everything ill that they did to him. He and Allan also professed their love for each other for one last time before his final breath.
Allan went on to become an HIV/AIDS advocate, giving motivational talks and facilitating various events for people who are suffering from the same illness to give them hope that it’s still possible for them to live normally and that they’re not alone in facing this battle.
The compelling performances of the actors
With how they’re able to captivate us with their portrayals, it wasn’t surprising that Joem took home the “Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Single Drama” trophy from the Golden Screen Awards in 2014 for his amazing performance as Allan in this episode.
Of course, their chemistry would not work if not for Carlo’s impressive performance as Kevin as well. He’s able to just put the right amount of femininity needed by his character and immediately capture us not just with his swooning looks and gazes, but with his acting chops as well.
Aside from making some of the viewers kilig, Joem and Carlo were also able to move us, and arguably even made some of the audience cry, in their dramatic scenes because of their compelling performances. The music scoring also suited the tear-jerking scenes all too well, thus, making those either extra thrilling or extra heart-rending.
Apart from the actors, writer Benjamin Benson Logronio and director Nuel C. Naval, as well as the whole production staff, should be commended for doing a great job in establishing this narrative, writing the script so well, and in executing each scene perfectly.
Furthermore, the netizens also enthused on how the episode was indeed a great way to raise awareness on AIDS and show support to people infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
Get your weekly dose of inspiration by watching Maalaala Mo Kaya every Saturday on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11!