For Maalaala Mo Kaya’s two-part special Father’s Day episodes titled Finding Papa, Cris Villanueva plays a father who gets reunited with his daughter (played by Maris Racal) who searched for him for 20 years.
“Ang natutunan ko dito, ang pagmamahal hindi lang dahil sa matagal kayong nagsama or hindi lang dahil kilalang kilala mo yung tao ay mapuputol ang pagmamahal. Para sa akin, basta alam mo kung saan ka nanggaling, yung pagmamahal would somehow be automatic. Walang makakapagpigil dun eh pag hinanap mo yung anak mo or yung tatay mo or nanay mo. Parang kumbaga walang makakapigil talaga sa pagmamahal ng isang pamilya. Meron talagang parang link yun,” he shared during the MMK mediacon.
During their three-day lock-in taping for the episodes, Cris shared what he thought of his younger co-star. “Si Maris is very giving. Ang ganda ng pagkakaganap niya the way she was sobrang excited na makasama papa niya. Sobrang tuwang tuwa siya na nakita niya yung papa niya and dun niya dinala. Hinikayat niya na maging family sila kahit dalawa lang sila,” he said.
Apart from playing an estranged father, Cris’s character is also an HIV positive patient.
“Si Direk Jerome (Pobocan) we collaborated really well. I’ve worked with him a long, long time ago sa Recuerdo de Amor and I really liked his work. Ang ganda ng storya nito. Kung hindi ko binigay yung tamang arte dun, sayang lang. So talagang tiyinaga namin. I’m really proud of this episode. I think it’s going to be really nice.
“Like how Maris did her role na naka-relate talaga ako ng husto, the way she was doing it. At nakatulong ng husto sa pagbigay ko sa character. Yung pagmamahal na nabuo ng mag-ama is something else.
“You know one thing na gusto ko dito is that it is backed up by videos na makikita sa Facebook, yung ginagawa nung mag-ama. Kasi the daughter apparently is very much into Facebook. Lahat ng nangyayari sa buhay niya, kinukunan niya ng video so talagang meron kaming napupulot sa mga videos na ginagawa niya. Nakikita namin na very, very full of love, very hopeful, and how they did was out of this world. It was full of love,” he said.
As a doting father in real life to his beauty queen daughter Zara Carbonell (who won the Miss Tourism Worldwide pageant in 2018), Cris shared their secret to having a strong father and daughter bond.
“I think communication with your children. That’s very, very important for me. Aside from being a father, I’m also very maternal. I see to it that I always think about their well-being. I don’t know if I can really say I’m the best at it but I’m pretty sure na I am doing my best and I hope that is enough,” he said.
Watch the MMK two-part episode of titled Finding Papa starring Cris Villanueva and Maris Racal and directed by Jerome Pobocan on June 12 and June 19 at 9 pm on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live YouTube channel, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page, and iWantTFC.