If one day you find out that you are not biologically related to the people you have been considering family your whole life, how would you feel? How would you deal with it? Well, Kapamilya actress Angelica Panganiban went through this exact ordeal – she lived most of her life with her family normally, and was already an adult when she found out about being an adopted child.
Earlier this week, Angelica Panganiban appeared as a guest for morning talk show Magandang Buhay. Here, she revealed how she was actually at a shoot for gag show ‘Banana Split’ when she had an argument with her mom, which led her to the discovery of her true identity.
“May tampuhan kami ni mama. Tapos sabi ko naiinis na ako, ayaw pa rin ako kausapin. Sabi ko, ‘Bakit ganyan? Ampon ba ako? Pakiramdam ko ampon ako. Lagi na lang kami nagtatalo. ‘Di ba ‘yung mga nanay dapat sobrang malambing lang sila? Bakit ako, lagi kaming nagtatalo ni mama? Hindi kami nagkakasundo.’ So sinabi ko word na ampon. ‘Yung pinsan ko umiyak, nag-break down,” she narrated.
She related that her cousin’s intense reaction made her nervous. When Angelica Panganiban prodded her cousin, he finally revealed the truth.
“Kasi ‘yung mommy ko, nagkaroon siya ng dementia. Nakita niya ako sa commercial noon. Sabi niya, ‘Ang ganda din ng ate mo, no?’ Tapos sabi niya, ‘Bakit hindi namin kamukha si ate, mommy?’ Sabi ng mommy ko, ‘Kasi ampon iyan. Pagkapanganak ko sa kuya mo, nagpatali na ako kaya hindi natin iyan tunay na kadugo.’ Ganun ka-casual niya nasabi.”
Angelica remembered how difficult it was at first to process this shocking truth:
“Nakatingin ako sa salamin tapos wala akong maramdaman. So sino palang kapamilya ko? Sino palang kadugo ko? Parang doon ako nagsimulang ma-fragile na ‘yung mga kasama ko, hindi ko sila kamag-anak. ‘Yun ang unang naramdaman ko. Hindi na ako nakabalik ng taping, dirediretso na ako umuwi. Hindi ako nakapagpaalam.”
It took Angge a while before she could confront her adoptive mother about the issue of her identity. She said she felt shame about all the times she engaged her mother in an argument:
“Nakapalan ako sa mukha ko. Grabe ‘yung mga pag-aalaga nila sa akin kasi hindi naman nila responsibilidad alagaan ako tapos ang kapal ng mukha kong talak talakan sila minsan.”
Back in 2010, Angelica actually had the opportunity to meet her biological father. His name is Mark Charlson from Iowa, United States. Even after reuniting with her dad, however, Angelica Panganiban couldn’t and wouldn’t take up her father’s surname – her real last name. She knows it is just right to keep the name of the family who has always stood beside her.
“Sobra akong thankful. Sabi ko nga wala na akong itatratong ibang pamilya kundi kayo. Kahit ‘yung daddy ko, American, ino-offer sa akin ipa-blue passport, citizenship, ganyan. Hindi ko kaya palitan ‘yung apilyido ko. Utang ko ‘yung buhay ko sa pamilyang nagpalaki sa akin.”
Sadly, Angelica never got to met her biological mother, who passed away in 2008.
What can you say about Angelica’s story? If you found out you were adopted, how do you think you’d react? Would you also refuse to use your biological surname in favor of the last name of your adoptive parents who have always cared for you? Let us know in the comments section below!