From the tone of her voice, you knew she meant it with all her heart.
Sylvia Sanchez was aghast, deeply emotional when she faced a select number of press people milling around her, and tried to contain herself amid the brouhaha about son Arjo Atayde’s love life.
Faced with an avalanche of hate from a fandom that perilously believed that Arjo’s beloved was only meant for a ship they long assumed was true.
In tears she said in a recorded interview: “Ina ako na nagtitimpi, ina ako na nasasaktan para sa mga anak ko…Ito na lang pakiusap ko sa inyo bilang ina – ‘yung pagbabanta n’yo na patayin si Ria, si Arjo, ako, asawa ko, ako na lang. Ako na lang. Barilin n’yo ‘ko, patayin n’yo ‘ko, tatanggapin ko, ako na lang. Bilang nanay huwag na mga anak ko, huwag na sila, ako na lang. Nakikiusap ako, ako na lang patayin n’yo.”
This may seem as a dramatic line from one of her biggest melodramas, but it is actually real. It shows how much being a superb actress famous for her scintillating depictions of a mother, has actually been the same kind of figure off screen.
Before anything else, we’d like to thank everyone for their overwhelming love and support. Although it is difficult and anxiety-inducing knowing that both our parents are positive with COVID-19, all the well wishes and get well soon messages have definitely uplifted our family — especially them. A week into their self-isolation and a week after having their swab tests done, our parents are slowly getting better. Although it’s taking longer than their usual recovery time, we are happy to see them with their spirits still high. Apart from that, it has enlightened us to know that no one that they have come in contact with before the quarantine and no one else here at home are showing symptoms. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. We ask that you continue to pray for our parents, our household that nobody else contracted it, every other individual and family dealing with this same ordeal and of course, all our frontliners who continue to risk their lives everyday for our safety. Please all stay safe, healthy, take your vitamins and stay at home if you have the option. - Arjo, Ria, Gela and Xavi
Devoted, caring, courageous, self-sacrificing, laying down her life for her precious kids—all traits of an ideal mother. Such traits we’ve long witnessed Sylvia portray in fictional characters, and exude in real-life, to her children Arjo, Ria, Gela and Xavi.
Her closeness and intimacy with her children is touching and inspiring—something we all wish to have in our families.
Sylvia would even give a dose of this in a special appearance on Gandang Gabi Vice with Arjo and Ria and did an acting showdown.
Indeed an epitome of that mother figure revered by many, Sylvia had since taken so many roles that made her among the most sought after actress to portray mother roles in films and TV.
She began to get attention as a teleserye mother when she played Teresita, the mom of Jodi Sta. Maria’s character Maya in Be Careful With My Heart.
As she portrayed that character, Sylvia landed her first spotlight mother role when she played mom to son Arjo in the 2014 drama Pure Love. Arjo said this was a “dream come true” for him, as he praised his mom in an Instagram post: “one of the most admired actresses in the country.”
In an interview with Magandang Buhay momshies, Sylvia said this portrayal of the disabled Ramona, mom of Arjo’s character Raymond, though short, was one of her most challenging depictions, given that it was the first time she and Arjo would work together onscreen. Her performance in the series was widely commended and it opened doors for her in subsequent grandmother roles.
WATCH: Ano ang pinaka-challenging role na ginampanan ni Sylvia
Sylvia would then join the cast of Ningning in 2015 and My Super D in 2016, both as loving moms to the main characters, leaving a lasting mark in the minds of viewers of how she can deeply and credibly play a loving and courageous mom.
But nothing was grander than Sylvia’s launching role as a leading mother character in the riveting 2016 drama The Greatest Love, which became her most critically acclaimed and widely discussed and praised performance on social media.
She would depict the same endearing mother character, named Gloria, keeping her growing family intact as her children begin to lead separate lives.
As Gloria struggled to bring a sense of family in her disintegrating brood, she would show signs of dementia and would lose her memory bit by painstaking bit, until she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
As her dire condition progresses, Gloria would still seek to bring back the love her family once shared in a race against time before she completely lost her memory forever, and succumbing to complications of the disease in the end.
Sylvia’s dramatic prowess was highlighted in the drama, after viewers felt the pain, struggle, frustration, longing, tragedy, and of course, the unconditional love a mother feels for her children in her performance.
After The Greatest Love, Sylvia would again become that selfless, dedicated mother in her follow-up leading role—a reunion with son Arjo in Hanggang Saan.
Sylvia’s character Sonya, a hardworking, responsible mother, is charged with the murder of a pre-need company president. A gripping scene was when Sonya had decided to turn herself in and admitted her role in the death of the executive.
As her case was being tried, with Arjo’s character lawyer Paco, her son, continued to defend her in court, until she was found innocent of the crime, when evidence was discovered to pinpoint the murdered executive’s business partner as the mastermind. The murderer, Jacob, played by Ariel Rivera would escape prison and kidnap Sonya and terrorize her and with Paco and brother Domeng (Yves Flores) in the hideout. When rescue operations take place, a scuffle would lead to Paco killing Jacob.
Sylvia certainly has become the ultimate go-to actress for mother portrayals on TV. It didn’t take long before she made it to primetime, landing another lead maternal character in an outstanding family drama that became the talk of the town.
At face value, Pamilya Ko seemed just another feel-good, light teleserye that would emphasize the importance of families in society. But when the show began to air in 2019, it showed a complicated, identifiable picture of a common family facing real issues and problems.
Again, Sylvia’s role as Luz, matriarch of the Mabunga family, captivated audiences with her intent to keep her unconventional yet tightly knit clan together despite all the challenges they face. A typical ordeal a family faces is when the head of the family had been involved in an affair. In one unforgettable scene, Luz hears the truth from Fernan that he indeed became unfaithful to her when he worked abroad. Livid about the revelation, Luz eventually would break down.
Yet in the continuing narrative, Luz becomes the rock that keeps the Mabunga family stable at the onset of problems that beset them, and the inspiration that keeps all her eight children united and supportive of one another.
In her 32 years in the business, Sylvia Sanchez allured us a young eye-catching actress when she started, eventually impressing us as an outstanding thespian.