What’s compelling about star volleybelle Sisi Rondina’s story is not about breathtaking skills on court, but most of all her strong, unbreakable ties with family.
Yes, we all marvel at how she propelled her UAAP team, the UST Golden Tigresses, to glory with her astonishing elevation, powerful kills, heavy scoring, harrowing digs, and commanding leadership. But MMK’s “MVP” episode on July 20 is more about Sisi Rondina as a loving daughter, caring and responsible sister, a selfless member of her family, willing to sacrifice for the sake of her loved ones.
Effortless and natural depiction
Kim Chiu embodied Sisi brilliantly as she captured the frustration and the misery of one who excellently soars in her chosen path, yet fails to celebrate it with those she loves so dearly. This is clearly seen with her effortless and natural depiction of Sisi’s despondency even after every triumph in her storied collegiate career.
This is rooted from her heartbreaking separation from her mother Alona (Yayo Aguila), who had to leave for Brunei as an OFW to earn a living to boost her husband Arnold’s (Dennis Padilla) meager income as a fisherman and mechanic to support Sisi and her siblings’ education.
It’s a common sight—parents leaving their children to seek greener pastures so they could provide for them, yet on MMK “MVP” it has become surprisingly and amazingly relatable and touching. With all of Sisi’s accomplishments, it is definitely so unexpected that the yearning to have a complete family by her side is more important.
This happened in a touching scene before her MVP year and Alona had been preparing for her departure that Sisi had tried to burn her travel documents so she could stay.
WATCH: Sisi, nagmakaawa sa ina na huwag nang magtrabaho sa ibang bansa
All the while, Sisi had wanted to even shoulder expenses of her sisters’ schooling while financing Arnold’s recuperation from a lung ailment, as she played for a professional volleyball team simultaneously as a member of the UST varsity team. This was so that Alona would not need to work abroad anymore and support them.
Dream come true
And this dream came true, as Alona decided to forego her plans to go back to Brunei and instead find work at home, which made Sisi get overwhelmed with joy hearing the news from her mom herself.
WATCH: Sisi, mas determinadong mapaabot ang UST sa finals ng UAAP Women’s Volleyball
This was deemed climactic as Sisi would get the biggest surprise of her life. After leading the Golden Tigresses to its first UAAP Women’s Volleyball finals appearance in nine years and named the Season 81 MVP, Sisi would see her complete family celebrating those triumphs with her.
Kim displayed her impressive dramatic prowess in these defining moments of Sisi’s story, and made us truly feel what she went through. In a spotlight moment, Kim did not even have to utter a word when Dennis Padilla as Arnold told her not to succumb to loneliness, as this would not make her succeed in life. Only her eye movements, body language and raw emotion made us feel how Sisi appreciated and took her father’s advice to heart.
And of course, who couldn’t miss her accurate depiction of Sisi’s facial expressions and mannerisms that made viewers remember her liveliness and morale-boosting presence on court. Kim’s portrayal showed that she could take on any role with such deep familiarity and naturalness of the character she portrays.
The story was simple and straightforward, yet the execution of Director Raymund Ocampo of Wildflower fame made the Sisi’s tale extra special. His creative guidance made the cast perform well with their characterizations and the production value stunning and eye-catching, especially the lighting design that was mind-blowing.
Yayo Aguila and Dennis Padilla likewise made outstanding dramatic performances that proved noteworthy milestones in their respective careers as character actors.