Screen veteran Maricel Soriano turned emotional Thursday as she gave a speech ahead of the premiere of the restored version of a "John en Marsha" film, saying it would be her first time to see and hear her "daddy," film icon Dolphy, since he passed away 6 years ago.
Soriano was one of the original cast members, along with Evelyn "Matutina" Bontogon Guerrero and Madel de Leon Cendaña, who attended the premiere of ABS-CBN Film Restoration's update of "John en Marsha sa Probinsya" at Cinema Centenario in Quezon City.
"John en Marsha," the beloved sitcom about the Puruntong family, ran for 17 years and spawned several films, including "Probinsya" in 1985.
Of the main cast, several have passed away: Dolphy (John), Nida Blanca (Marsha), Dely Atay-Atayan (Doña Delilah), and Rolly Quizon (Rolly).
Soriano played Shirley, the daughter of the titular characters and the sister of Rolly.
"Marami akong gustong sabihin. Nag-uumapaw ang dibdib ko sa sobrang kaligayahan," Soriano began her speech inside the cinema, shortly before the start of the restored film's screening.
Soriano then opened up about her close relationship with Dolphy, whom she referred to as her father, and how she has avoided watching any of his films since he died in 2012.
She said: "Itong pelikulang 'to, iba ito, kasi ito ay pelikula na kasama namin ang daddy namin. Sobrang saya ako na may kasamang lungkot, na may kasamang tampo, may mga masasakit, may mga masasaya. Halo-halo.
"Magmula nang mawala ang daddy ko, hindi ako nanonood sa kaniya, hindi ko siya pinapakinggan, kasi hindi ako makatulog. Hindi ko kaya . . . Tuwing may problema ako, ang takbuhan ko ang daddy ko."
Referring to possibly turning emotional as she sees "Probinsya," Soriano went on: " 'Pag nakita niyong nag-excuse me ako, nagkakaintindihan na tayo. Alam niyo na 'yon."
After "John en Marsha" concluded with a 1991 movie, Soriano continued her close relationship with Dolphy and his family. During the premiere, she was seated beside Dolphy's son, actor-director Eric Quizon. They referred to each other as "kapatid," or sibling.
Ending her speech, Soriano explained why "John en Marsha" will always remain special to her.
"For 47 years, ang dami ko nang nagawa, marami na akong nakasama, pero iba si John at si Marsha. In real life, I am a product of a broken family. Pero hindi ibig sabihin noon, hindi ako nakatikim ng pagmamahal ng totoong pamilya. Dahil kay John at kay Marsha, alam ko ang pakiramdam ng isang buong pamilya," she said.