The laughter usually brought by the phenomenal tandem of Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, or more popularly known as MayWard, was reduced to tears as they tugged our hearts with their impressive portrayal of inspiring young couple Gab Sta. Ana and Maxine Blanco in last Saturday’s episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya.
PHOTOS: Tingnan ang mga huling larawan ng MMK letter sender na si Gab kasama si Max
Titled “Sunflower,” it took us back to the rousing journey of how cancer-stricken Max courageously fought her ailment amidst difficulties, how her loving and patient boyfriend Gab never left her side and continued to love her unconditionally, and how their six-year relationship was a great testament that true love could indeed conquer all.
The bittersweet love story
Gab and Max’s romance was a case of love at first sight. He admittedly fell in love with her on the very first time he laid his eyes on her at a pool party they both attended. He grew more smitten with when she invited him to join their game and struck a conversation with him.
Having ‘no girlfriend since birth’, he used to get bashful whenever she’s around, but being the outgoing gal that she was, not to mention being popular in their school as a volleyball varsity player and a student council officer, Max would always be at ease talking to Gab. Despite the differences in their personalities, a wonderful friendship still bloomed between them, with Max encouraging him to unleash his true self and do everything he wants to pursue.
This made Gab’s feelings towards her prosper, thus he decided to woo her although it would make his parents mad. After months of courtship, they became a couple. Unfortunately, their relationship was only short-lived due to his parents’ disapproval and his failure to defend whatever they had, which urged Max to breakup with him.
They became classmates by the next school year and both agreed to move on and just go back to being friends. It was even Gab who first consoled her when she broke up with her then-boyfriend.
After a few months, they’re able to rekindle their romance, and this time, his parents’ had been really supportive of them. Thus, their relationship was able to last until they entered college, the time when they discovered about her illness. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 osteosarcoma or bone cancer.
Since then, Gab made the most out of their remaining time together by always dropping by the hospital to visit her, help her with her missed lessons, and stay by her bedside until she woke up. He also never left her side and untiringly ushered her whenever she wished to go, especially when she was allowed to go back to school, when her left leg got amputated.
Unfortunately, Max wasn’t able to recover from her sickness and died last March 23, a day after she and Gab celebrated their birthdays together. Her death was indeed painful for those she left behind, but they, especially Gab, turned her inspiring and zestful life as inspiration to always ‘live life to the max’.
The positive reactions from netizens
The “Sunflower” episode was indeed something that’s worth watching because of the inspiration and lessons in love and life that it was able to inculcate in our hearts and minds. What made it more gripping was the exceptional dramatic prowess unleashed by its ensemble of cast, especially by Maymay and Edward who marked their first MMK episode together.
LOOK: Behind-The-Scenes: Paghahandang ginawa nina Maymay at Edward sa MMK Gab & Max episode
In fact, the hashtag for that evening, #MMKGabAndMax, was among the trending topics on Twitter as it was able to amass millions of tweets from viewers and fans of MayWard alike who were raving about the unmistakable performance of the two promising young thespians and commenting how deserving they both are to receive an acting award.
WATCH: MayWard’s heartbreaking scene as Max and Gab on MMK “Sunflower”
Episode writer Akeem del Rosario also did a great job in coming up with a well-written script that truly brought Gab and Max’s heartwarming love story to life again and touched our hearts with the exchanges among the characters, while the brilliant execution of Director Kevin Z. Alambra of the whole episode was also lauded by the audiences.