A best friend is someone who’d stand by you through thick and thin, accept you for what you are, and share life’s triumphs and highest points.
But you can only tell if this best friend is real and genuine if he or she would not hold back in telling you what you need to know to the point of castigating you—all for your own good.
That was what Matet de Leon’s Rowena embodied in the controversial hit drama The Legal Wife, whose striking, piercing, yet clever and meaningful remarks as she chastises her best friend Nicole, played by Maja Salvador, after one foolish move after another in her pointless love for Jericho Rosales’ Adrian.
And these lines surely were deeply engrained in the minds of viewers, who would discuss or post about what they heard on the show, which eventually turned viral.
Who could not relate to a best friend putting some sense into the mind of one blinded by hopelessness and desperation.
One particular line from Rowena really made everyone scream in approval, and this was when she grew exasperated over a pregnant Nicole’s seemingly relentless longing for Adrian, who had since told her off several times:
"Ang tigas din kasi ng ulo mo, eh 'no? Ilang beses ka ba itataboy ni Adrian bago ka mahiya sa sarili mo? Intindihan mo 'yang anak mo! Tigilan mo na si Adrian, utang na loob! At saka, teka lang, ha. Ano bang sustansiya meron 'yan si Adrian para kailanganin mo siya para mabuhay? Binibugbog mo 'yang katawan mo, binubugbog mo 'yang puso mo para sa lalaking ayaw ka naman! Lampas ka na sa pagiging loka-loka!"
And there are more unforgettable lines to really look back:
Indeed, Matet always portrays that best friend to a movie or teleserye’s lead character, and she quite famous for it, hence the monicker “Best Friend ng Bayan,” which she was to Judy Ann Santos, Sarah Geronimo, and Kim Chiu in their drama stints.
In an interview with Tapatan Ni Tunying in 2014, Matet talks about this “phenomenon,” which she said was strange because she never had too many friends since she was that little, adorable child star.
But as Rowena, Matet says, she became more celebrated and loved for that kind of role, given how she depicted not only as a supportive friend but one who would never think twice to correct a friend’s wrong.
Because of this, fans even asked her for helpful advice and guidance on how to face their own relationship problems. However, she would amusingly refer these forlorn individuals to the show’s writers for assistance.
The role was definitely one of the best characters she has ever portrayed, and this made her thankful for the opportunity.
Revisit this thought-provoking, virtuous, and assertive character in the re airing of The Legal Wife, weekdays on Kapamilya Gold.