This very moving and heartbreaking MMK episode has made viewers truly grasp, comprehend and absorb one painstaking journey of an adopted child.
This “Palengke” episode offers that rare dramatic symphony of two fascinating artists giving out their best in one telling drama. Add to that an award winning director who brought together fascinating creative ingredients that made such a beautiful tale even more riveting and affectual.
Award-winning actress Ruby Ruiz and young dramatic marvel Vance Larena had that impressive thespic chemistry which made their mother-and-adopted son portrayal so natural and deeply felt.
From the time Ruby’s character Nanay Rosa accepted the baby an impoverished mom begged her to adopt, we were all driven and drawn to the story. The impeccable nature of her delivering the character—a believable play of a sacrificing mother who would do anything for her children, and most especially giving her unconditional love to a kid who is not her flesh and blood.
One could truly feel her sincerity and genuineness without even hearing a word she says, as she brings credibility to her character which she brought so close to everyone’s hearts.
Vance was also superbly effective in personifying all the tribulations an adopted child faces in the culture of tightly knit families. He gave Roel or Tong unspeakable sympathy and relatability among those who witnessed his performance.
The way he dealt with his foster siblings’ wrath due to their jealousy and cruelty was both heartbreaking and inspiring. He would take all the maltreatment and abuse in stride to spare Rosa the trouble of having to deal with a terrible dilemma, with the kind of courage rarely fathomed.
This is the reality Roel would carry all his life since hearing it straight from Rosa that he is indeed an “ampon”, thinking that he is a burden to the people around him, an outcast no one could accept and a jinx who brings utter misfortune. Yet the unconditional, all-encompassing love Nanay Rosa gave him was his deliverance, a saving grace that made him survive.
She would not leave him, even when Roel would experience the worst—having to live under a bridge after deciding to leave the family home after being at the raw end of incessant personal attacks and maltreatment.
And it was Rosa’s unfailing love that pushed Roel to change for the better. He would finish his studies and get a decent job in Manila as a restaurant server and performer.
Giving back the love
When he found success and earned a lot, Roel would give it all back to his loving foster mom by taking care of her in Manila and letting her visit places she could only dream of—having worked all her life as a market vendor just to make both ends meet for the family and not thinking of herself.
But little did Roel know that it was their last time together. When Rosa returned to her family, she would meet a freak accident that would claim her life, leaving Roel desolate and shattered. As he was grieving over his terrible loss, his sister (Sunshine Garcia) would meet him at Rosa’s grave. Instead of blaming him for yet another death in the family, they would tell him the heartfelt stories Rosa told them about Roel taking care of her, especially the times they traveled to scenic places she treasured. She would thank him for making their mother happy during those final moments of her life and apologized for all the bad things they’ve done to him. And when she told Roel to just approach them if he needed anything, Roel told them being accepted to their family only mattered to him—something they finally gave him with a heartfelt embrace.
Direk Ian Lorenos indeed wielded his creative magic into the mix, having to add a spellbinding backdrop to the touching story with breathtaking camera work and superb editing. He would bring the best out of the actors in every scene, giving them the motivation and drive they needed in effectively portraying their characters. Every frame had a poignant message to bring and nothing was left to waste.
Ruby proved that her Cinemalaya win as Best Actress for “Iska” was well-deserved with this exceptional portrayal of Nanay Rosa, and Vance is surely one remarkable actor to watch out for.