Sylvia Sanchez and JM de Guzman in the Kapamilya teleserye Pamilya Ko. Sensitive acting at its best.
Ordinary people in Pamilya Ko
Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Pamilya Ko must be a difficult teleserye to mount.

All at once, it involves eight siblings and their friends, a loving couple and doting grandparents fiercely protective of what they felt was a prejudiced grandson.

It should be easy to cast but to find young actors capable of good ensemble acting isn’t that easy to harness.

On the other hand, a good ensemble without a good director will not look any good. A grounded director needs to unify the cast and make them look like a part of one vision. Otherwise, they will just be good actors not related to their characters.

For this reason, there is a lot to appreciate in the new teleserye, Pamilya Ko which premiered last Sept. 9.

It opens with a family trooping to school's moving-up ceremony involving several members of the family.

The cum laude in the family forgets his cellphone where he encoded his commencement speech and the concerned kuya motors back to the house to find it just in time for his big moment in the graduation ceremony.

Indeed, they are all together on this.

What is commendable is how the young ensemble acts as one without betraying their individual qualities.

Obviously, there is a rebel streak in Beri Mabunga played very well by Kiko Estrada and the character is perennially in conflict with Chico Mabunga played with such inner fire by JM de Guzman.

Add to that are the characters played superbly by Perla Bautista and Noel Trinidad who provide good contrast to the couple played by Sylvia Sanchez and Joey Marquez.

Come to think of it, the family problems seen in Pamilya Ko are nothing new but the story is so well-fleshed out you feel like you are seeing them for the first time in one family.

To be sure, there is a lot in this teleserye that will connect well with any family member.

The case of the isolated son (JM) and the protective grandparents (Perla and Noel) and the case of mother (Sylvia) hurt by death in the family provide the characters a good platform to showcase their best as actors.

But the ones who shone in the one-week episodes were clearly the matriarch (Sylvia) and the son (JM) who provided enough pathos to make everyone teary-eyed at the end of the screening.

Their confrontations were always interrupted by applause and when snatches from coming episodes with another woman (Irma Adlawan) getting into the picture, the audience was already worked out they were all in combat position to block the obvious villain in the teleserye.

Moreover, the close bonding of the family tugs at the heart, the difficulties — typical of families in distress — look utterly familiar. But the most heart-rending part is how some members of the family cope with betrayal.

As it is, the one-week episode is a winner on many counts among them riveting performances by Sylvia, JM and Irma, sensitive direction by Raymund Ocampo and a versatile supporting cast.

Pamilya Ko airs weekdays before TV Patrol.

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