MOTHER AND SON
By Pablo A. Tariman
Sylvia Sanchez has visibly lost weight and beside her son Arjo, they look like brother and sister.
During their long break from their respective top rating teleseryes, mother and son bonded every way they could.
Arjo accompanied his mother do regular workouts and that partly explains Sylvia’s trim looks.
For another, she finds true happiness from within and that’s her real beauty secret if she can call it such. “I find peace and quiet just being with my husband and four children. If they are safe and happy, I cannot really ask for more. Of course, bashers will always be there to spoil your day. But I have found a good and effortless way to isolate them. There is no point arguing with them and dignifying their insecurities. I believe this is one is one way to be happy. To be content with what you have and to be good at what you can do. For me this is what counts. Then you try to be of help to others in search of their career fulfillment. This makes my life easy and fulfilling.”
Son says it wasn’t all very smooth growing up with a showbiz mother. “In high school, she makes sure I am home before 10 in the evening. That’s the time when all my friends are still out there enjoying. One night I missed the curfew. She knew I was afraid of ghosts. When I went home trying to get in very quietly, I found a very dark living room and suddenly, a flying lampshade hit the floor and jolted me. ‘You realize what time is it?’ she asked. Yes, she is a disciplinarian in that sense. No way you can break the rule.”
Mother and son figure in the new teleserye, “Hanggang Saan” airing November 27 on Channel 2 and it is the first time they will have a long-term project in a major network.
Arjo is the celebrated villain in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano” while Sylvia is the equally celebrated mother in “The Greatest Love” which won her TV Best Actress trophies one after another.
Also earning a round of best supporting actor trophies is Arjo who admits it’s a struggle being a good son in the new project while identified as hard-headed and rebellious PMA graduate in the top-rating Coco Martin teleserye. “It’s not easy portraying the good son after months of being a hated villain. I am still working at my character and hopefully the initial taping sessions show some improvements. Going into character is not easy as people think it is. As far as I am concerned, I need to work hard at it. In real life, I am playful and very makulit. I like to think I am a good son. But portraying son with your real mother on television is a totally different undertaking. That character must be different from my real-life role as son. And I need to find a way to react to my mother as character, not as your real mother. Of course, it helps that we are like that in real life. But once viewed by millions on national TV, viewers expect different treatment. They expect you not just to be good but to also do justice to the story. And we have to find a way to relate to the other characters who make up the story.”
At this point, Sylvia admits Arjo is the better actor than herself. “I remember attending the culminating program of an actors’ workshop where he is one of the participants. When I saw him act for the first time, I knew at once he has it. So, the next move with my husband was to give him all the support when he decided to enter showbiz. I wasn’t like him when I was just starting. I thought that my first acting vehicles were not anything I can be proud of. Truth to tell, I know that my acting as a beginner was quite shallow. So, I have to work hard to hone my craft every chance I have. I didn’t become the actress I am today just like that. I have to count years and a lot of heartaches before I felt I was already accepted. But with Arjo, I find him a natural actor. It’s not because he is my son. He also did his homework and that credit belongs to him.”
Direk Mervyn Brondial says it’s an advantage if the characters portraying mother and son are members of a true-to-life family. “For a director, that means you don’t have to work hard to motivate them to relate to the mother and son characters. With that settled, you have to make them relate to the story and to the other characters and that’s where the big adjustments begin. Because in this teleserye, the mother is not Sylvia Sanchez in real life. She is made of a complicated stuff because her character has a controversial past that threatens her and her family. And that is where you realize you are lucky to assemble a nearly perfect cast for this very unusual story of a mother.”
“Hanggang Saan” directed by Mervyn Brondial and Jeffrey Jeturian stars Teresa Loyzaga, Sue Ramirez, Ariel Rivera, Yves Flores, Marlo Mortel, Rommel Padilla, Nanding Josef, and Junjun Quintana, among others. It airs November 27 on Channel 2 after “Pusong Ligaw.”