In the midst of the worst moment of one’s life—having to face death head-on with a killer disease—being selfless seems too much to ask yet important to make it all worth it.
Yet that is what Alot (Sharlene San Pedro) did in her heart-wrenching yet inspiring tale on MMK “Bracelet” aired on Saturday, September 7.
Sharlene San Pedro was heartbreaking and intense in her portrayal of the young, vibrant, Hallyu-loving girl, whose tragic fate did not measure up to her unrelenting spirit and positivity. But the impeccable performance of Meryll Soriano showed depth and relatability to playing Alot’s mom Nanay Gina, who dealt with her family’s overwhelming ordeals with utmost inner strength.
Gina also had to cope with a hurtful past, having to take care of her mother Gloria (Daisy Carino) who abandoned her when she was young. But nothing was more devastating to her than learning that Alot had leukemia.
But despite this, both mother and daughter had the courage to fight this unspeakable torment and kept holding on. Alot had remained in high spirits, still dreaming of a delightful visit at the beach and jubilant debut when she turned 18. And Gina would not give up, remained focused on finding resources to support her daughter’s 100,000 peso per cycle of chemotherapy.
This was terribly difficult for Gina, yet she managed to secure the financial help she needed for Alot’s treatments. Eventually they heard the good news they had yearned for—Alot’s leukemia had a remission.
Amid all the hardships Alot faced, people, including relatives and even strangers in social media, had been supportive to her—from giving gifts like a blue colored hairpiece to actually financing her dream beach trip and debut party.
It was however during that party when Alot collapsed and was rushed to the hospital anew. The dreaded cancer now had a recurrence, and the entire family again was in tatters. Alot said she was tired, and had the realization that her hopes had turned bleak, given how the disease had advanced.
Here, Alot only wished for the beach vacation she had longed for—yet frail and weak, needing assistance in every move while in a wheelchair. In this beach visit, Alot told her Nanay Gina the top item in her “bucket list” - that her mom and lola would sincerely and genuinely reconcile. Alot gave Gina the bracelet her lola Gloria gave her.
The moment came when Gina approached Gloria, who she hadn’t intently spoken with for the longest time despite living under one roof. There they opened up about what has happened in the past—the reason why Gloria left her with her father when she was young and how Gina missed her motherly love, something she had sought while growing up. What they realized after their long-anticipated “dialogue” was that they still truly loved each other, and even though their motherly bond was missing, Gina remained a dutiful and loving mother to her own kids.
Gina and Gloria would then embrace, and Alot was relieved and happy to see their reconciliation before she collapsed on the beach with blood flowing out of her nose. And when they brought Alot once more to the hospital, she was fighting for her life and would need emergency blood transfusion. Since the hospital didn’t have the supply of blood Alot needed, Gina would rush out to find it despite her daughter begging her not to leave.
When she raced out and eventually came back with the amount of blood necessary for the transfusion, it was too late. Alot went into a deep coma and could not recover. She would then succumb to the killer disease, as her mom wept at her bedside.
With Alot gone, the family returned to the beach their precious princess had enjoyed visiting. They would view her message thanking them for all the support and love, and for being patient with her as she was afflicted with leukemia. Gina would also thank her daughter for being an instrument of love, resilience, and peace, so their family could move on facing and overcoming life’s struggles with the strength and positivity she showed.
Memorable and endearing
It was a memorable and endearing episode given how the story was brought to life by not only exceptional performances of the cast but also the way the production was handled—from its moving script by Joan Habana to its superb pacing and breathtaking production value, as put together by director Chiqui Lacsamana.
Sharlene indeed gave her best dramatic performance in this episode. She would effortlessly embody the spirited and hard-wearing young leukemia victim with her natural, deeply felt and well-understood characterization, especially in the last, waning hours of her losing fight against cancer.
But Meryl stood out as the acting luminary who shone in the spotlight. She would depict the self-sacrificing and courageous mother with irrepressible flair—not holding back in every intense scene, touching viewers with her thespic might. And in her short yet gripping appearances, Daisy Carino was indeed brilliant and resounding in portraying the well-meaning and repentant lola, owning up to her sins and sincerely making it all up to her forgiving daughter and thankful to her understanding grandchild for all the love she expressed when she was alive.