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The Broken Marriage Vow: How stars feel about their characters’ fates in series finale

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
The Broken Marriage Vow: How stars feel about their charactersâ fates in series finale
Jodi Sta. Maria on being the revenge-seeking, betrayed wife Dr. Jill Ilustre: ‘Even if she’s the heroine, she’s flawed.’
STAR / File

After a successful five-month run, The Broken Marriage Vow is taking its final bow tonight.

In an intimate roundtable interview ahead of the series finale, lead stars Jodi Sta. Maria, Zanjoe Marudo, Sue Ramirez and Zaijian Jaranilla were careful not to reveal how close or faithful the Philippine adaptation’s ending to that of the original material, the BBC series Doctor Foster, or even its hit Korean counterpart, The World of the Married. They, nevertheless, weighed in on their characters’ fates when asked if they were satisfied with how things turned out in the end.

Jodi, who plays the revenge-seeking, betrayed wife Dr. Jill Ilustre, said, “‘If I’d say I’m happy with the ending, ang biased ko dun sa character. But towards the end, may makikita kayo na OK, I guess, ganun yung magiging reaction.”

She added, “Of course, meron kang maiisip na sana pwede ganito ang nangyari or ganito gawin. But since hindi naman talaga tayo pwede lumayo duon sa ano na ang nailatag at naibigay na story, and with respect to our creative team and our writers, yun ang gagawin.”

While Dr. Jill’s actions towards the last episode could be considered extreme “to the point of manipulating the husband, even to the point of using herself as a bait because she wants to prove a point that this person is never going to change,” Jodi said part of her acting approach was not to judge her character.

“Even if she’s the heroine, she’s flawed. She’s human. Siguro may gusto lang siyang patunayan… iba-iba rin kasi ang mga babae. There are women who are palaban. You’ve seen videos on YouTube, TikTok or whatever platform, where women pull the hair of the mistresses and drag them to the streets.

Zaijian Jaranilla on portraying Gio Ilustre: ‘Kids don’t deserve to end up in broken families…’

“Then you hear stories of women who are very aware of their husbands’ womanizing or philandering ways, but choose to keep quiet. Their reason for it is that their love for the family is stronger than their feelings. So, different people, different situations, we really can’t compare, may kanya-kanyang pinang-gagalingan.”

“I’m happy for Lexi… for whatever her decision is,” said Sue on the “ending” of her character Lexy Lucero, the other woman-turned-wife in the series.

The 25-year-old actress also said that besides the show’s theme of infidelity and its consequences, audiences should also take a closer look at the characters’ behaviors.

Sue Ramirez on playing mistress Lexy Lucero: ‘I’m happy for whatever her decision is in the end.’

“Each and every character is different and your reaction to every character — you also have to base (that) on where the character is coming from. We can also apply that in real life, that each person we meet, they have their silent battles that we don’t have any clue about. Kahit humaharap sila sa atin na nakatawa sila, hindi natin naiintindihan yung kabuuan ng lahat ng bagay. So, let’s not judge the decisions that people make for themselves,” she said.

“Like Lexy, she made a mistake, but you have to dig deep into where she’s coming from and where she’s heading to na dala-dala yung decision na yun. And if that doesn’t work out, then you have to learn from it and move on. Your life doesn’t have to stop just because of a wrong decision.”

Zanjoe Marudo says what happened to his cheating husband character, David Ilustre, is a cautionary tale.

Zanjoe, on the other hand, admitted that if given the chance, there were a few things he’d love to incorporate into his character as the cheating husband David Ilustre, but he stayed true to the script.

And as the “most hated” character in The Broken Marriage Vow, he was asked if there was anything he liked about playing David. “Nung ginagawa ko siya nung umpisa, parang tina-try ko pa yung atake na maintindihan pa rin ng tao bakit siya ganun. Pero medyo mahirap gawin. Kahit anong acting gawin ko, walang maniniwala,” he laughed.

“I don’t know pero ang tao kasi nagkaroon ng standard kung ano ang tama at mali, and may mga tao na pwede kasing para sa inyo mali siya, pero para sa kanya, tama siya. Tingin ko sa character ni David, may ganung tao talaga, na tingin niya, tama siya. But as myself (Zanjoe), mali yun (that’s wrong).”

Zanjoe also confessed that playing David got him scared about marriage. The 39-year-old eligible bachelor shared, “Nakakatakot. Nakakatakot pala, challenging pero siguro fulfilling.”

The actor, however, said that his ultimate goal for his portrayal was to reflect reality and situations that could occur in real life. But, instead of focusing on his character’s fall from grace, he wanted viewers to learn about what could happen if things like cheating were avoided.

As for Zaijian, who plays the onscreen son of Jodi and Zanjoe, he said he was happy with the development of his character in the series. He noted, “As the actor playing Gio, I saw his growth, from being a stubborn kid to a mature one.”

Zaijian also had some lessons to share for young people in similar situations. According to the 20-year-old former child star, self-pity and self-blame are the top “enemies” children in broken families have to deal with. But he encouraged them to believe that someone would always be there for them in their lowest moments.

“Di naman po deserve ng mga bata ang mga nangyari sa kanila at mapunta sa isang broken family. But (they have to remember) laging may tao na andyan para sayo, ‘wag mo lang isara yung pinto mo sa lahat ng possible na mangyari. Be open-minded,” he said.

From the perspective of a parent, Jodi also had a lengthy reflection about broken families. “I think, for a parent, it’s so important to have open communication with your children or your child. You have to keep on reassuring them that it’s not their fault why the separation happened and that they are not to blame for what had happened.

“Because some children, they have a tendency to blame themselves, and that’s why perhaps they go through this rebellious stage. It’s because they have a lot of shame, they have a lot of, you know, guilt, is this my fault, am I the cause, am I not enough to keep them together?”

The 40-year-old drama star and single mom, who finished her psychology degree last year, further said, “It’s like they’re being burdened by that one problem na wala naman silang kinalaman, wala naman silang kasalanan, because first of all, choices yun ng mga magulang nila eh. As a mom myself, it’s really important to keep on checking on your children, assuring them of your love even if your relationship with the daddy or mommy didn’t work out. If he is loved, I think that’s the most important thing.”

Jodi also defended Zaijian’s character, whose actions she noticed were criticized online.

She said, “We have to understand that there are psychological implications of what happened na kung nasasaktan kayo sa paghihiwalay ninyo bilang mga magulang, bilang mag-asawa, can you just imagine the damage that separation has caused the child? Sometimes, the only thing we look at is how they react, but the underlying reason for that behavior, we forget. This child is also hurting, this child is also going through a very difficult time. And we don’t even know if they’re able to process what’s happening to them.

“Most of them, because of their being young, they’re not able to process these things. They need help from us, they need help from the parents, or maybe a support group or if not, you can always see a counselor. Just extend any help that you can,” Jodi concluded.

Produced by ABS-CBN and Dreamscape Entertainment, The Broken Marriage Vow’airs tonight at 9:20 on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5 and Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. Advance episodes are already streaming on iWantTFC and Viu.

THE BROKEN MARRIAGE VOW

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