As some people would say, “Not all heroes wear capes.” Sometimes, our heroes would even fashion an unshaven beard or classic beer belly, whichever comes first. However, they will always be there when we need them, through the good, the bad, and everything in between.
This June 16, we celebrate Father’s Day - a day where we recognize some of the ordinary and modern-day heroes of our lives. These are the fathers and father figures who work endlessly for their families, who sacrifice so much for their children, and yet who still have enough energy to crack a dad joke here and there.
In the ABS-CBN teleserye Sino Ang Maysala? Mea Culpa, we are able to witness Tatay Emil’s (Buboy Garovillo) genuine fatherly love and concern for Juris (Bela Padilla) even if she is not his flesh and blood, as she faces many challenges and difficult choices throughout her life. Like the hero he is, Tatay Emil literally rescues Juris as an orphan, cares for her, and eventually adopts her as his own daughter. Though he does not have much, and though he is not Juris’s biological father, he succeeds in raising Juris well by supporting her education and instilling in her a good set of morals and values. Even when his daughter is suddenly faced with a grave dilemma, he continuously urges her to choose to do what is right despite the consequences. The two may not always see eye to eye, but the love and trust they have for one another is what solidifies their bond as father and daughter despite their disagreements.
No father-daughter relationship is perfect, but we recognize that through good times and bad times, love can help overcome our obstacles in life. This Father’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the most significant moments between Juris and Tatay Emil:
1. When he felt the world came crashing upon hearing Juris’s confession
After receiving a phone call from Tatay Emil regarding Baby Leyna’s health, Juris rushes to the hospital to meet with her father and Leyna. Feeling extreme guilt, she finally opens up to her father about the real reason of how Leyna was brought into her life. Tatay Emil becomes weak and loses balance upon utter disbelief after hearing about the accident that took place in Baguio.
2. When he could not imagine Juris suffer in jail
Despite the pain it causes Tatay Emil, Juris finally builds the courage to surrender herself to authorities as her father advised her to do. As Juris prepares to leave, Tatay Emil tells her that he will accompany her to the police station. Drei (Tony Labrusca) decides to surrender himself as well, together with Juris. However, just as they are about to confess, Tatay Emil, Juris, and Drei witness the horrifying conditions of prisoners in jail, and become frightened.
3. When he willingly sacrificed for Juris
Tatay Emil decides to resign from his position in the school board as he believes his family’s situation will be a hindrance to fulfilling his responsibilities in running the school. Later on, Juris receives a phone call from her father that there has been another complication regarding Leyna’s condition. Tatay Emil, Juris, and Drei find out that Baby Leyna carries a hereditary blood disorder that can only be cured through a bone marrow transplant.
4. When he shows his forgiving heart to Juris
Tatay Emil, Juris, and her friends meet to discuss how to handle the situation they are in. Tatay Emil persistently urges the group to do what is right and confess, despite the group’s strong determination to keep the accident a secret. Later on, Juris weeps as she sincerely apologizes to her father for having disappointed him. In this emotional scene, she tells Tatay Emil how grateful she is that he rescued her when she was young; and that she wants nothing more than to make him proud of her. Juris then tells her father that she has decided to confess the truth to the authorities.
5. When he allows Juris to adopt Leyna
Juris decides to adopt Leyna with her father’s permission. The scene shows Juris’s friends interacting and playing with Leyna. Juris also has Leyna baptized. In the midst of these events, Fina (Jodi Sta. Maria) goes around desperately handing out flyers of her missing child.
6. When he advises Juris about the truth
A grown-up Leyna (Iyannah Joyce Sumalpong) gives Juris a present that reads, “best mom in the world.” The two have a touching moment until a news report on TV shows Fina saying that she has not lost hope and that she believes she will see Joy (Leyna’s birth name) again. Fearful of losing Leyna, Juris hugs her tightly while sharing a frightened look with her father.
7. When he wants Juris to correct her mistakes
While driving for her father, Juris and Tatay Emil get into an argument, which ends with Tatay Emil getting off of the car. Once again, Tatay Emil persuades Juris to correct her mistake and return the child to her rightful mother. However, Juris remains silent even after her father tells her he cannot recognize who she is anymore. Later on, Tatay Emil visits his late daughter and wife at the cemetery.
8. When he only wants Juris to do what is right
Juris returns home to yet another heated argument with her father. Tatay Emil stresses to his daughter that he cannot understand why she refuses to return Leyna to her biological mother despite knowing that it is the right thing to do. Juris desperately tells her father that she cannot give up Leyna so easily, especially since she believes Leyna’s condition will get worse under someone else’s care.
9. When he expresses his fatherly wisdom to Juris
While preparing for bed, Leyna feels sudden pain in her body due to her blood disorder. After putting Leyna to sleep, Tatay Emil talks with Juris and suggests that Leyna’s biological sibling will surely match Leyna for the bone marrow transplant, which is necessary to cure Leyna’s disease. After countless arguments, Juris continues to push for her belief that she is Leyna’s mother now; and that she loves her too much to give her up that easily. Meanwhile, Fina is determined to do whatever it takes to get her daughter back.
There’s no denying Tatay Emil’s pure fatherly heart for Juris despite the moral dilemmas and conflicts.