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Girl in a jacket

Highlighting MMK’s influence on Philippine pop culture

MMK (Maalaala Mo Kaya?) has been a part of Filipinos’ Saturday nights, in one way or another. You might have seen it on the bus on your way home from work, or on the TV in the comfort of your own home (that is, if you’re home on a weekend night).

But now that we have to bid goodbye to ABS-CBN’s long-running drama anthology, it’s just apt that we take a look at the impact of MMK on Philippine pop culture, in the 31 years that it’s been on air.


Guessing the title of MMK episodes

Have you ever played this ‘game’ before? Well, you must’ve been an avid watcher if you did. People who grew up watching MMK would know the thrill of guessing the title at the end of the episode. Episode titles are usually one or two words and are symbolic to the whole story of the episode. Sometime during its run, MMK launched a “Text Mo, Title Mo Promo” which gave the viewers a chance to win mobile credits and cash prizes if they guessed the episode title right.

It has become a pop culture facet that it spawned comedy skits from today’s digital content creators, just like this one:


Seeing child actors grow up in MMK episodes

Zaijan Jaranilla on MMK
Screen grabbed from ‘Callao Cave’ Episode (2011) and ‘Urn’ Episode (2021)

For 31 years, the show has starred different actors and actresses, and some have grown with the show, appearing in episodes during their childhood, teenage, and adult years. Some of the notable ones are Zaijan Jaranilla, Nash Aguas, Sharlene San Pedro, and Kathryn Bernardo.


MMK as the ‘starting ground’ of newbie artists

Maris Racal on MMK.
Screen grabbed from ‘Bottled Water’ Episode (2015) and ‘Stationery’ Episode (2019)

Through the years, many newbie artists would star in MMK, usually making it as their springboard for bigger acting gigs. Rookie artists from the reality show ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ would often star in MMK if they wanted to pursue a career in acting. Some of them would debut or act on the show during the early years of their career and would come back when they hit their big breaks–just look at Maris Racal, Loisa Andalio, and Joshua Garcia.


MMK’s iconic, timeless theme song

The show got its name from the title of the song “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” a song written by Filipino composer Constancio De Guzman, but was originally written in Spanish, with its original title “Dulce Princesa”–and odd coincidence that Filipino singer Dulce would cover the song originally as theme for the first few years of the show. Through the years, it would be covered by other artists such as Carol Banawa, but it became such an iconic melody that the first few bars of the melody would have you thinking of Charo Santos Concio, with a letter in hand, facing the camera. Speaking of which…


“Dear Charo”

The remarkable “Dear Charo” line of the host, Charo Santos Concio, starts every episode of the show.  It became a by-word that people just mention “Dear Charo” when friends start unloading their “senti” stories, meaning you’re in for a sob story (at least, for those of us who grew up watching MMK).

MMK bowing down after 31 years is definitely an end of an era. Although nothing can beat watching MMK on TV, we can always look back on our favorite episodes on YouTube. Thank you for the 3 decades, MMK!



Other POP! stories that you might like:

‘Tatlong Dekadang Pasasalamat’: A love letter to MMK

Commentary: Are we really bad at all things money or are we just too busy surviving?

KDrama stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin welcome their first child

Lola Amour and Arthur Miguel reminisce as they mark another milestone in their careers


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