It may not be Mother’s Day yet, but Maalaala Mo Kaya served us with a heartwarming narrative about a mother’s unwavering love for her son amid the circumstance they were in, in its latest episode on Saturday, September 10, tagged #MMKLostSon.
Titled “Passport,” it follows the distressing journey of Olympia “Olie” Tulay, exceptionally portrayed by veteran actress Lotlot de Leon, in her pursuit of getting reunited with beloved son to whom she got estranged with for more than two decades.
Olie is an overseas Filipina worker who had a relationship and a child with a Sudanese named Ibrahim while working in Saudi Arabia. She was indeed blessed to have him as he accepted and loved not just her and their son Abdalla, but her two daughters from her previous marriage, too. Besides, Ibrahim also did not only allow her to go on a one-month vacation here in the Philippines to visit her family in Mindoro, but also offered Olie the opportunity to bring her other kids Liezel and Mae in Saudi Arabia to stay with them.
Unfortunately, that dream of Olie didn’t come true anymore due to the unforeseen death of Ibrahim. His younger brother Morsy (Ivan Carapiet) proposed the idea of her tying the knot with him in order to continue supporting her and Abdalla, which she didn’t accept right away. She asked if she could leave to the Philippines with her son and think about it, but Morsy refused and instead asked her to sign a document that would allow him and his wife to be Abdalla’s legal guardians while she’s away.
Despite her hesitations, she still trusted him and signed it. But much to her frustration, Morsy prevented him from communicating with her son when she’s already in Mindoro. As she expressed her disagreement in marrying him, Morsy told her that their family would never let Abdalla live with her as they didn’t want him to become a Christian.
Thus, she desperately did everything to return to Saudi Arabia, even though it meant having to use a dead people’s birth certificate after her passport got confiscated and revoked for fraudulence. She also got into a relationship with a man she didn’t love but promised to help get her son by taking her to Saudi. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned as her new partner Akhmad fooled her as he brought her to Egypt instead. Besides, she found out through his conversation with his sister over the phone that he really didn’t have the intention to marry her, but she was just there to be their house helper and their mom’s caretaker.
Although her life was put on the line after going with Akhmad and then escaping from his family, Olie was still determined to return to Saudi and take her son back. But this persistence of her took a toll on her relationship with her daughters, as well as to her youngest child Teggy (Ynigo Delen) as they’d gone a bit aloof to her.
Then one day, Morsy invited her to meet with him, which enkindled her hope. Much to her dismay, he still didn’t let her see Abdalla and instead told her to stop bothering her since her son was already living a comfortable and happy life without her. He related that Abdalla was going to a private school, at the top of his class, has a lot of friends, living at a huge house, and driving his own car. Besides, he told him that his son had already forgotten about her, which truly broke her heart.
It may be painful for her, but this made her decide to finally give up and be a mother to her other children. And in 2021, after 23 years of searching for him, Olie received a direct message from Abdalla, telling her how much he yearns to talk to and see her, as well as how a day wouldn’t pass without him thinking of her. Abdalla even sent her baby pictures of him that he got from relatives, proving that he’s indeed the son she’d been longing to see.
Then their much-awaited reunion finally happened, yet only via video call. There, they expressed how much they missed one another and clarified the questions that have been boggling their minds through the years. Olie was able to tell him that she didn’t abandon him, for she actually did everything to see him again and take him back from his dad’s family.
Abdalla, on the other hand, has also never forgotten her as he even started looking for her, too, when he was 15 years old. He asked every Filipino he bumped into, but nobody could point him to her, as well as tried to find her on social media to no avail. So, it wasn’t true that he did not remember her anymore as he could still recall the times when she slept beside him and sang him the lullaby that his Ate Liezel used to sing to him when he went to Mindoro as a baby.
They may not be together in the past two decades, but he dedicated all his achievements from the university for her. He didn’t stop searching for her as he always felt that she had never forgotten about him and she still thought of him even though they’re faraway from each other.
It’s indeed delighting that all the sacrifices and painful things that Olie went through paid off in the end, as she finally found the son that she’d been longing to be with and the much-awaited opportunity for them to be reunited in the flesh is somehow within reach.
Without a doubt, Lotlot de Leon did an exceptional job in her portrayal of Olie, as we really felt the pain she felt during her breakdown moments – from the moment she saw Ibrahim’s lifeless body, she found out that she wouldn’t be able to see her son anymore, and she realized that she was fooled by her then-new partner, to the moment that she finally met and spoke with her long-lost son Abdalla. Of course, who could miss her dramatic performance right on the first few seconds of this episode?
The performances of Aya Fernandez as Liezel, Yen Quirante as May, and Ynigo Delen as Teggy were also impressive and they apparently gave their all in their limited appearances. The same goes to Louise Abuel, who despite only gracing our screens in the last few minutes of the episode, was successful in piercing our hearts and making us all cry with his compelling performance as the adult Abdalla.
At the same time, we were equally astounded by the acting prowess of Ivan Carapiet as the treacherous Morsy, Jet Alcantara as Ibrahim, and Tanya Gomez as Olie’s mother. Certainly, these wouldn’t all possible without the excellent writing of Chie Floresca and brilliant helming of Diretor Raz S. Dela Torre, as well as the efforts of the entire production team.
The story of Olie and Abdalla only proves that there’s absolutely nothing possible in a mother’s love. As what host Charo Santos stated at the end of the episode, a mother’s love could amazingly defy time, distance, and limitations as it is strong enough to reach her child, regardless of how far they are from each other. Besides, it can also heal all wounds and pains, in spite of how it gravely took a toll on both of them, as well as to the other children of Olie. Isn’t it wonderful that boundless and forever love is possible through our moms, right?
Furthermore, it also reminds us that it is our family who’s going to help us and be there for us in the ups and lows of life. Just like what Olie’s family did as she went through the ordeal of finding and taking back her lost son.
Get your weekly dose of inspiration by not missing an episode of MMK, Saturdays at 8PM on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z and iWantTFC.