In their version of a round table discussion titled “Unbreakable,” the cast members of The Broken Marriage Vow – Jodi Sta Maria, Zanjoe Marudo, Sue Ramirez, Zaijian Jaranilla, Bianca Manalo, Ketchup Eusebio, Jane Oineza, and Jake Ejercito – offered their analogy on the series’ characters and shared their journey of portraying them.
The Broken Marriage Vow changed the way we look at ‘kabit-seryes.’ While previous teleseryes with the same theme called for scandalous confrontations, as if louder is better, the Pinoy adaptation of original BBC drama “Doctor Foster” kept the characters tamed – yet dangerous.
There was Diane (Jane), who appeared just an ordinary student in the beginning but has a ‘palaban’ side as well. Jodi, the one who shared more scenes with Jane, praised the latter for being so giving and comfortable to work with. They had instant rapport, which travelled through our screens.
Connection is truly important among co-stars. Proof would be Ketchup and Bianca, who portrayed believable characters, Charlie and Carol Manansala, thanks to teamwork. Every night before taping, they would dedicate songs to each other just to get the feel of their characters’ journey as a couple.
Bianca shared, “Ise-send ko pa ‘yung lyrics. So, talagang sa gabi, umiiyak na ako. Magkausap kami, magka-text tayong dalawa and then siya rin, magse-send ng kanta niya for Carol. So, gustong-gusto ko ‘yung partnership nating dalawa sa show kasi talagang ginawa talaga nating para tayong mag-asawa para hindi tayo mahirapan.”
Bianca clarified that she’s no Carol in real life. She’s not one to tolerate a husband’s cheating. Sue butted in, saying Bianca, whom she described as intimidating, also has an element of surprise in her. There’s always a powerful look in Bianca’s eyes, Sue described.
Zanjoe would agree, saying his ‘angas’ becomes extra challenging in scenes with Carol due to her strong presence.
Jodi would call Bianca a revelation, “I’ve seen you act before and this was totally a different attack from you.” She recalled how Bianca does not easily break from her character, “There was a scene na ginawa natin, nand’on tayo sa coffee shop. You were so in character the whole day that you didn’t want to talk to Ketchup. Nilalapitan ka niya, nakikita ko sa peripheral ko, sinisiko mo siya. Ang galing-galing lang how you executed that scene.”
The next one’s Gabby played by Jake, whom Zaijian shared ‘angry’ scenes with. Admittedly, Zaijian felt nervous and shy on their first scene together since they’re pretty much strangers to one another. But, smart as he is, he used the ‘stranger’ vibes to establish his bitterness toward Gabby, the campus coach who, in Gio’s perspective, will completely destroy his parents’ possible reconciliation.
Also working with Jake for the first time, Jodi likened him to a sponge that easily absorbs what he’s taught but brings out his own flavor as well. She observed his eagerness to learn and she foresees a bright future for him. At first, there was awkwardness but, brilliant as she is, Jodi used that to make Jill and Gabby’s encounters more believable, “First time namin magkakilala, first time namin magkatrabaho. Pero I think nag-work din ‘yung ilang na ‘yun doon sa parang dynamics ni Gabby at ni Jill.”
He may be the youngest in the cast but Zaijian managed to keep up with everyone, and even got the most praises during the discussion. He sketched Gio’s character with so much depth that it was easy to be caught by his emotions.
In Jodi’s words, “Wala akong nakikitang ibang bata na kasing-edad mo na mapu-pull off si Gio. Because, hindi lang naman siya bata, eh. ‘Yung character kasi, ang lalim at ang bigat ng dinadala. At naiintindihan mo ‘yung journey niya kaya mo na-pull off nang tama ‘yung character ni Gio. Isa kang malalim na artista.”
We totally agree with Sue when she said Gio’s role requires brilliance, which Zaijian obviously has, “Si Zaijian is a very smart actor, that’s what I think of him. He always knows where he’s going. He knows where he’s been. To pull off a character as complex as Gio, you really have to be a smart actor, and you did so, so well.”
It’s in the eyes, said Jake, “iSyempre marami kaming eksena at laging galit si Gio kay Gabby. ‘Yung mata niya pa lang talaga, nasisindak na ako. Wala pa siyang sinasabi, tumatagos ‘yung mata pa lang.”
Bianca added, “’Yung character ni Gio, talagang alam niyang vying for an award. Hindi siya bumibitaw. Gan’un niya dinidibdib ‘yung bawat eksena. Kaya ang galing-galing mo, napabilib mo ako sobra. Ang galing mo talaga, Zaijian.”
Zanjoe lauded his on-screen son’s perseverance, which is a factor in building a character, “Ang galing ng pagtahi-tahi ni Zaijian ng character. Pinag-aralan niyang mabuti. Hindi siya basta-basta nagbibitaw ng linya, parang, hindi niya minamadali. Alam niya kung kailan ibibigay ‘yung tamang emosyon, ‘yung saktong emosyon sa isang eksena kasi alam niya ‘yung mga susunod niya pang gagawin at ‘yung pinanggalingan niya.”
Sharing the same opinion, Ketchup and Jane said Zaijian was able to deliver Gio’s transition from a happy boy with a perfect family to a teenager with so much angst.
Just listen to Zaijian's motivation for each character, and you’d know he’s a thinking actor. For instance, in his scenes with Lexy, played by Sue, the motivation is to see her as “irritating.”
On David’s character, played by Zanjoe, his motivation is Gio’s bitterness, “Made-describe ko as traitor kasi akala ni Gio, si David kakampi niya. Siya ‘yung takbuhan ni Gio, akala niya mahal na mahal siya ni David, ‘yun ‘yung hugot ko naman.”
Sue called Zanjoe an alpha actor, “He comes on the set prepared. Medyo intimidating din siyang ka-eksena because I never know what I’m going to get sa mga eksenang ginagawa namin.”
Jodi is amazed by Zanjoe’s performance in every scene, having been a witness to his evolution as an actor. “With so much unpredictability… alam mo ‘yung, each and every time, masu-surprise ka. Ang tingin ko sa kanya, isa siyang chameleon, kasi parang laging iba doon sa napagsamahan namin before. Parang, kung ano ‘yung binigay na character sa kanya, doon siya nagta-transform.”
At some point, Zanje wanted to redeem his character but he realized that even if not, viewers can still learn from David, “Kahit ang isang character ay hindi magandang impluwensiya sa mga manonood, eh may iiwan at iiwan din siyang magandang lessons sa mga tao.”
The ensemble cast gave Jodi a round of applause, calling her exceptional. She has set the bar high for a teleserye character, as Zanjoe put it. Reacting to the endless praises from her co-stars, Jodi said she feels validated as an actress. Admittedly, she had doubts portraying Dr. Jill Ilustre, but the positive comments are confirmation of her purpose as an artist.
“Siguro, ‘yung pinakanakakataba ng puso sa akin, habang ginagawa ko ‘tong The Broken Marriage Vow, gabi-gabi kinukuwestiyon ko kung ano ba talaga ang purpose kung bakit ko ‘to ginagawa, kung bakit ako nandito, nahihirapan naman ako. Hearing all these good words coming from all of you, doon ko na-realize na, okay, ito pala ‘yung purpose. ‘Yung ginawa ko sa show, ‘yung samahan natin sa show, kahit papaano nakaimpuwensiya nang maganda sa iba. That’s very affirming,” Jodi thanked her co-actors.
The Broken Marriage Vow is a teleserye on a colossal scale – a Pinoy adaptation of a globally-known drama, shot in Baguio City for almost a year during the pandemic, mounted by some of the industry’s finest gems. Thus, the cast members picked the word “proud” to describe how it feels to be part of the show.
Zanjoe is proud to add the teleserye to his acting portfolio. Bianca is proud to have shown a different side of her, proving that she can also conquer heavy drama. And for a newcomer like Jake, it’s like his lucky stars aligned and brought him to Baguio to be part of a big teleserye masterpiece.
Besides the upgrade in their acting resumes, Sue is proud of the Filipino artistry, “This is something that we can really show different countries kung paano natin naipasok ‘yung sarili natin doon sa scene na ‘yun, kung paano natin binigyan ng sarili nating kwento ‘yung ‘Doctor Foster.’”
Jodi seconded, “Napaka-challenging ng ginawa nating lahat considering the fact na anim na ‘yung adaptations na nauna sa atin. ‘Yung iba, nag-expect na kokopyahin natin sakto kung ano ‘yung napanood nila sa previous adaptations. Pero kailangan natin siyang gawin na sariling atin, maipakita ang pamilyang Pilipino, kultura natin, buhay natin, how we relate to each other, and how infidelity can affect not only the family but the community talaga.”
The lead actress said she’s grateful to be part of this project, acknowledging the whole team who mounted the series. It takes a village to create such a masterpiece, indeed. The best thing is they grew a solid bond that will surely remain alive even after the teleserye ends. Ask them their memorable moments in the bubble and you’ll get almost the same answer – their bonding during rest days.
For their final message, the cast thanked the viewers, each other, the creatives and crew, and offered the highest glory to the Lord.
The cast closed the discussion by teasing an explosive finale week. While some of you expect the same ending as in the previous adaptations, the stars of The Broken Marriage Vow promised that theirs is going to be extremely shocking.
Don't miss the last five episodes of The Broken Marriage Vow on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.