It was the biggest opportunity for Jane de Leon to display her acting flair, but of course her ability to take on an “action” role as well, given her upcoming anticipated stint as the Pinay superhero Darna.
On MMK’s episode “Medal” on January 18, Jane proved she can shine on both areas, making everyone believe she is ready for major lead roles that will allow her to make her mark in the industry.
WATCH: How Jane de Leon prepared for her MMK role as World Boxing Champion Nesthy Petecio
Playing AIBA women’s world boxing championship and 2019 SEA Games women’s featherweight gold medalist Nesthy Petecio, Jane made the most of the chance by her intense and powerful individual acting performance while exhibiting impressive fight moves that showed she was a natural and believable as a champion female boxer.
PHOTOS: Mga paghahandang ginawa ni Jane de Leon bilang Nesthy Petecio sa MMK
Jane depicted the impressive journey of Nesthy effectively with her deeply felt portrayal, from the time she was an aspiring boxer to the difficulties experienced by her family and her challenges as an up-and-coming national pugilist. This includes her own personal struggles seeking a better life for her family, who faced severe hardship and condescension from their own relatives.
Nesthy had long been passionate about boxing, with her father (Bembol Roco) as her supporter and trainer since she was very young. But what really pushed her was seeing her uncles looking down on her father and even sought to cast them out of their land.
This motivated her to pack a solid punch in the ring, leading to impressive victories in the local circuit until national boxing officials took notice and invited her to train for the national boxing team. Encouraged by the scholarship and the allowances that are given national athletes, Nesthy further focused on sharpening her skills.
It didn’t take long before she would face her own difficulties in reaching her dreams, notably the challenges in training and the ordeals facing their family, including health scares and her father’s suicide attempt. By just rolling with the punches, Nesthy overcame these and even stood above her setbacks, winning international competitions, and made her first major win at the Jakarta-Palembang SEA Games in 2011, taking home the silver in the women’s bantamweight division.
Her longing for her family and personal troubles led to a near fall-out with her coaches, but she would regain focus and determination to still achieve her dreams, all for her beloved family. Nesthy would get the chance to represent the country in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, and pocket Php8 million incentive if she brought home a gold. Unfortunately, she lost in the preliminaries and was devastated by her defeat, making her even doubt if boxing was really her calling.
But a pep talk with her parents about the reality and importance of losing in achieving success strengthened Nesthy’s resolve anew and again fought for her dreams. After winning the silver in the 2015 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju, South Korea, Nesthy set her sights on the bigger prize. In the 2019 staging of the event in Ulan-Ude, Russia, Nesthy finally fulfilled her dreams by being the world’s best female boxer in the featherweight division by winning the gold.
As the country’s “face” of women’s boxing, Nesthy was the prominent face in the lighting of the 2019 SEA Games cauldron in Clark, Pampanga with Senator Manny Pacquiao, before herself bagging the gold medal in the Philippines.
What’s more fulfilling for Nesthy than winning international accolades and medals was gaining the respect and honor for her family, as she sets her sights on the sport’s grandest stage in the Olympics.
Above the outstanding performance of Jane de Leon and the supporting cast, especially veteran acting luminary Bembol Roco, Maureen Mauricio, who played her mother, and Kiara Takahashi as Nesthy’s fellow female national boxing teammate Anna Liza, is the remarkable storytelling that made Nesthy’s tale quite moving and affectual. Direk Elfren Vibar made this even more effective with the exceptional use of brilliant creative elements, including a somber yet eye-catching lighting design to a stimulating musical score.