There are performances that make audiences notice you, and there are those that bring you incredible acclaim.
But in MMK “Tubig,” Shaina Magdayao gave a portrayal that should make you remember her for a long time, a legacy that will place her in a different league among her peers.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Mga paghahandang ginawa ni Shaina para sa #MMKBabangonAkoAtLalaba
While the heartbreaking story of Sarah should definitely make people woke and have the government act upon abuses on our dear OFWs, Shaina’s portrayal of the brave and gritty OFWs who underwent unspeakable hardship and insurmountable odds just to attain the justice she deserves was poignantly moving.
From the get-go, depicting a troubled past with all the men in her life from her adoptive father (Bembol Roco) to her unfaithful and irresponsible husband (Mon Confiado), Shaina left us shookt with the way she portrayed Sarah facing her misfortunes. Her understanding and connection with the character was deep, thus allowing her to embody the character in the most moving and heart-stopping way.
She left us distraught from the time her father practically forced her into an arranged marriage with the soldier-son of a kumpare, up to when that scheming husband would not only cheat on her but also distance her from their children with his lies. But what could prepare her for an even more abominable and pitiful situation after departing for Saudi Arabia and work as a domestic helper/
After being maltreated by her employer and was secured by Saudi authorities, Sarah would experience a living hell under police custody. A number of Saudi policemen would molest her repeatedly, and at times gang-raping her in successive, mortifying incidents of physical abuse that even included guards having her drink water from a toilet bowl.
But amid all the suffering and inhumane treatment she underwent, redemption came. A righteous police officer came in her cell and offered genuine help, and while Sarah didn’t trust him at first, the bottled water he gave her became her long-awaited sign of freedom.
And, as she thought of children she sacrificed her dignity for, Sarah would then rise up and fight against her abusers. A stirring scene was when Sarah pointed at each of the police officers who molested her in a roundup. And, even if she’d fight against people in high places in the kingdom, Sarah would pursue legal action with the help of Philippine authorities and local prosecutors. She would win the case, with lengthy jail terms given to the perpetrators.
The Saudi government would then award her one million pesos as indemnification. When Sarah returned to the Philippines vindicated and free, she had a tearful reunion with her family, particularly with her father, who blamed himself for her ordeals. She would forgive him and eventually see her beloved children once more, feeling all the more triumphant and fulfilled.
While Shaina’s performance was unforgettable, as we felt her agony throughout her unfortunate travails seeing the hurt even through her eyes, we are amazed with Bembol Roco’s mesmerizing thespic presence, portraying the erring yet repentant father quite exceptionally. Mon Confiado, was likewise in his villainous best, proving how much he is one of the baddest kontrabidas in the country, letting our blood boil with his dastardly actions as Sarah’s husband.
WATCH: Sarah’s Full Interview with Ms Charo Santos
The storytelling was straightforward and compelling, and with Nuel C. Naval’s brilliant direction, the episode was as inspiring and heart-rending—a true eye-opener on the plight of the country’s modern day heroes.