MANILA — After 31 years, Asia’s longest-running drama anthology “MMK” will conclude in December, marking the end of an era on Philippine television, its host Charo Santos-Concio announced on Monday.
Santos-Concio, the screen icon and ABS-CBN executive who has been reading the letters that inspire “MMK’s” episodes since 1991, bid farewell in a message of gratitude to those who formed part of the series in the past three decades.
“Hindi na po mabilang ang nasalaysay na kuwento dito sa ‘MMK’ — mga kuwentong totoo, mga salamin ng sarili ninyong buhay na nagbigay ng aral at ng panibagong pag-asa,” she said.
Originally titled “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” the ABS-CBN program premiered in May 1991, dramatizing real-life stories as shared by letter senders. Its success saw the title expand as a radio drama, a 1994 movie, and a comic book adaptation, among others, with its regular weekend run (and the guessing game of its episode titles) making a mark on pop culture.
“Kami po ay tagapaghatid lang ng mga kuwento,” Santos-Concio said. “Kung mauulit man ang lahat, hindi po ako magdadalawang isip na piliin muli ang role na ito. Kulang po ang tatlumpu’t isang taon para magpasalamat sa inyo.”
As presenter of “MMK,” Santos-Concio cemented her status as a household name, aside from being an acclaimed film actress and a respected showbiz pillar. So iconic has been her style of calm and clear hosting that it would often inspire imitation and parodies, which Santos-Concio would welcome with laughter or a good-humored reprimand (as in the case of comedy superstar Vice Ganda).
“Gusto ko pong magbigay-pugay sa lahat ng nagpadala ng sulat, sa aming mga direktor, writers, researchers, production staff, at sa lahat ng naging bahagi ng aming programa.
“Sa mga artistang gumanap, maraming, maraming salamat. Sa management ng ABS-CBN, sa aming mga sponsors at higit sa lahat sa inyong mga tagapanood, kayo po ang nagsabing makahulugan sa inyo ang aming ginagawa,” she said.
Throughout its decades on air, “MMK” has reaped countless recognitions here and abroad, both for its creative and productions teams as well as its actors. With screen legends and film veterans starring in episodes of the show, “MMK” would later be regarded as an acting showcase for seasoned and upcoming stars, or a rite of passage for Kapamilya talents.
When ABS-CBN was beset with twin crises of the pandemic and its forced broadcast shutdown, “MMK” was among the few programs that endured and later resumed offering fresh episodes on digital and traditional broadcast platforms.
Leading up to its December 10 farewell, “MMK” will air a three-part episode starting November 26 to mark its 31st anniversary.
In her speech of gratitude, Santos-Concio did not discount the possibility of reuniting with her viewers in another capacity, after “MMK” bids farewell.
“Salamat po sa lahat ng nakaraan at sa anumang paraan na maaaaring pa tayong muling magkita,” she said. “Ito po si Charo Santos, ang inyong tagahanga at tagapag-kuwento.”