A mother’s unconditional devotion, forgiveness, and sacrifice are some of the most powerful forms of love she can give to her children.
That is what Misis Piggy, iWantTFC’s newest light drama series, will show this upcoming May 2022 when it premieres on the digital streaming platform.
The series stars Sylvia Sanchez as Marivic, a mother to three children, namely Lani (Ria Atayde), Steffi (Iana Bernardez), and Jeffrey (Elijah Canlas), and how she journeys through the life of single motherhood.
Misis Piggy marks the first project of Sylvia and Ria with a mother-daughter role. Also, this marks their second project overall after Ningning.
With the series focusing on a mother’s relationship with her kids and with Mother’s Day coming up this May, Sylvia and Ria talked about their upcoming series and the mother-daughter relationship they have on & off-screen.
FOR ALL MOTHERS & CHILDREN
Although she is not new to portraying a mother on-screen, Sylvia Sanchez believes her role in Misis Piggy is quite different. She has often portrayed motherly roles in the past.
“This one is different from my past roles kasi nagta-tackle ‘to sa mga anak, kung ano ‘yong magiging epekto [sa kanila] ng mga hiwalay na mga magulang at kung minsan, natackle dito kung bakit naghihiwalay ang mga asawa,” the veteran actress explains.
“Minsan kasi kahit mahal natin ang isa’t isa, minsan pride na rin ang umiiral so ’yon ‘yong tina-tackle dito. Umiral ang pride dito ni Marivic. Sobrang mapagmahal, nakaka-intindi naman pero nasaktan siya na nanay,” she adds. “Mabait siyang nanay, nasaktan nga lang.”
Sylvia fondly relates to the character of Marivic because of how hardworking she is, how she is someone who does anything for her children, and how she looks at the positive side despite her internal issues.
“Ganoon ‘yong character ko, eh. Kahit may problema, may sakit, tatawa lang ng tatawa, nagpapaka-strong. Halos nakaka-relate talaga ako sa ugali ni Marivic,” she says. “Lahat ng nanay, I guess, makaka-relate kay Marivic.”
Ria, on the other hand, plays Lani, Marivic’s eldest daughter, who, for her, stepped in as the mother while Marivic stepped in the role of the father.
“Medyo ‘yon ‘yong clash namin, ‘yon ‘yong bububog ng character ko na kinailangan maging adult kahit bagets pa siya,” Ria says.
She relates to the character in real life because she is her mom Sylvia’s assistant in everything she does.
“To a certain extent, in terms of sharing responsibilities with my parents, medyo may similarities doon, but not too much naman,” she says.
When it comes to what viewers can learn from the series, Ria believes the saying “mothers know best” can really strike at their hearts.
“Mothers know best talaga and you really don’t know how it is until you are one yourself,” she explains. “I guess it just makes you understand to a certain extent din how moms can be, lalo na ngayong Mother’s Day.”
For Sylvia, she cites one dialogue in Misis Piggy that she wants mothers and children to, overall, remember as they watch the series.
“Iba ang pagiging matibay sa pagiging matigas,” she quotes her character Marivic. “‘Yon ang gusto kong ma-pick-up ng mga nanay, ng mga single moms na ma-pride, na minsan nakakalimot din.”
“Etong pagmamatigas na ‘to, eto ’yong naging cause ng paghihiwalay nilang mag-asawa, eh. Nakakalungkot dahil at the end of day, meron ding pagsisi si Marivic na ‘Sana, what if, gianwa ko ‘to, ano kayang mangayari?’ So, dapat alam natin ‘yong pagiging matibay sa pagiging matigas. At ’yon din ang natutunan ko,” she further explains.
Sylvia also learned that from her character, recalling how she had a tough attitude as a parent back in the day.
“Minsan kasi nalilito ako sa ibig sabihin ng bawat salitang iyan. Akala ko matibay ako, ‘yon pala matigas na ako. ’Yon ang gusto kong matutunan ng mga mommy and gusto ko ring matutunan ng mga anak. Alam naman ito ng mga anak, eh. Pero I’m sure dinedeny din ng mga anak pero kahit anong problema, sa mga magulang ka rin babagsak,” she says.
SUPPORTIVE AND UNDERSTANDING THROUGH AND THROUGH
With Misis Piggy centering on a mother’s relationship with her kids, Sylvia and Ria recalled their relationship as mother & daughter on and off-screen, the former recalling how she was a strict mother to Ria, and her other kids Pia, Arjo, Gela, and Xavi.
“Disciplinarian ako na nanay. Strict, alam mo ‘yon?” she recalls. “Naranasan nila lahat na lumuhod sa asin at lahat […] dahil naransan ko rin ’yon, eh. So, parang na-apply ko rin sa mga anak ko ’yon. [Pero] ngayon pinagtatawanan na nga lang nina Ria at Arjo ’yon, eh!”
“Isa ako sa mga ganoong nanay. Hindi pwede ‘to, kailangan sumunod sa’yo,” she adds.
Sylvia said her kids might have chosen to rebel with her style of parenting because of their generation. However, she remained thankful that they grew up into wonderful kids.
“Hindi nila tinake against sa’kin ’yon bagkus ngayon pinagtatawanan na lang nila,” she says.
However, she adds that there is a playful side inside her strict persona, recalling some moments when she is on the phone with her kids.
“Strikta ako na medyo makulit na nanay sa kanila. Matampuhin din na nanay ‘pag hindi nilalambing, hindi nagki-kiss, especially ‘pag tumatawag ako sa kanila at ’pag baba ng phone at hindi ko maririnig ’yong ‘I love you, mom.’ Nako, patay! Tatawag ako sa kanila at sasabihin ko na ‘Parang hindi ko narinig na nag-I love you, ka sa akin! Bakit? Ano ‘yon?’” she recalls.
However, slowly but surely and as time passes, Sylvia has learned to understand her kids and their generation as she grows with them.
“Mas naiintindahan ko mga anak ko, mas nakaka-adjust na ako, mas hindi na ganoon kabilis ang kamay ko and sa ngayon, mas iniintindi ko na si Ria, si Arjo, si Gela, at si Xavi. Mas pumapasok na ko sa henerasyon ng mga anak ko,” she says. “’Pag laki kong kinukumpara ang henerasyon ko sa henerasyon nila, mag-ka-clash lang.”
For Ria, she saw the shift of her mom from being high-strung to being chill but points out one consistent attitude she has towards her and her siblings.
“Pinaka-consistent sa mom ko is how supportive and generous and selfless she is as a mom, even in the simplest form tulad ng pagbigay ng balat sa manok. My mom is a mom through and through, sobra,” she recounts.
FACING THROUGH CHALLENGES
Yet, the mother-daughter tandem had also faced challenges along the way. For Ria, it was when she had a car accident during her trip to Tagaytay.
“I kind of went overboard with that,” she recalls. “Tumakas ako, then I got into a car accident. I think ’yon ’yong pinakamasakit na ulo na binigay ko sa kanya.”
According to Sylvia, Ria told her that she will go to a friend’s house in San Juan, Metro Manila but was shocked to find out at 6 AM that she figured in a vehicular accident going to Tagaytay.
“Akala ko nakauwi na siya ng 6 o’clock in the morning, biglang ginising kami ng first cousin niya, sinabi [sa akin na] si Ria naaksidente. Turn turtle ’yong sasakyan. Alam mo, blessing kasi ’pag nakita mo ’yong kotse, hindi mo akalain na buhay ’yong pasahero. ’Yon talaga tinalakan ko siya noon. Grabe ’yong talak,” she remembers.
For Sylvia, that was the greatest disappointment Ria ever gave her but reiterates how she is a good daughter throughout her life.
“’Yon lang ’yong pinakamatinding na disappoint niya ako but, other than that, wala naman,” she says. “Mabuting anak si Ria. Meron mang mga pagkakamali, pero mapapatawad mo kasi wala, eh. Lahat naman tayo hindi perfect ang anak, eh. Nagkakamali din. Wala siyang matinding binigay na problema sa amin ng daddy niya.”
Ria took away one lesson from that whole experience: never to lie again, especially to your parents.
“Disclose more than I choose to. Be more honest,” she learned.
LOVE IN LEARNINGS
After challenges and disappointments, the best part of being a mother, for Sylvia, is every time she goes home and gets showered with love from her children.
“Best part ay ’yong ’pag napagod ako, andyan ’yong mga anak ko, isang kiss lang, isang ‘I love you’ lang. ’Yon ’yon eh. ’Yong lambing lang nila,” she says.
Seeing her children grow as kinder, better people also warms her heart, saying: “Kahit papaano, napalaki ko silang mabubuting bata ng asawa ko. Kahit papaano, ’yon ’yong best part for us na mga nanay na, at least, masasabi namin na naging mabuti rin kaming magulang.”
Ria, on the other hand, says the best part about having Sylvia as a mother is having someone love her more than she loves herself.
“I’ll always have someone to defend me the way she does and to love me as fiercely as she does. Sobra. Ako, I’ve moved from it pero siya, galit pa rin siya doon sa nambully sa akin, alam mo ’yon? To be loved so fiercely that way and to love me more than I love myself, ganoon ’yong klaseng pagmamahal ng mom ko,” she says.
Ria herself has shown fierce love for Sylvia, the latter recalling all the lessons she has taught her as a parent.
“Si Ria, tinuruan ako totally paano maging nanay in a way na tinuruan niya ako na makinig sa kanilang lahat,” she says. “Natutunan kong magbaba ng pride, natutunan kong intindihin at yakapin ang mga anak ko,”
Sylvia recounts Ria saying she and her siblings feared her because of her tough parental style. She said she never wanted her kids to be scared of her but rather have respect prevail when it comes to their relationship.
Learning a lot from her daughter, Sylvia also considers Ria as her mentor, recalling a time she helped her come out of her box when it comes to her confidence, especially when it came to speaking English.
“Meron akong box sa sarili ko na natatakot ako. Winasak ko ’yong box na ’yon at si Ria ang tumulong sa akin sa pagwasak ng box na ’yon. Siya ’yong naging tutor ko. ’Pag nagkamali naman ako sa isang word na sasabihin, meron siyang magandang way na i-correct ako in a very nice way na hindi ako na-o-offend. So, mas natututo ako kay Ria,” she says.
Smiling widely and her eyes shining, Sylvia expresses her proudness of how Ria has grown, calling her one of many fulfillments in her life.
“Si Ria ang isa sa fulfillment ko bilang pagiging nanay. Nag-level up talaga si Ria. Ako, hindi ako nag-aral ng mabuti. Naging breadwinner ako, eh, so kailangan ko mag-stop ng pag-aaral. So, gusto ko sila magtapos ng pag-aaral. Gusto ko maglevel-up naman ako sa mga anak ko. Mas gusto ko na mas angat sa akin ang mga anak ko,” she says.
For Sylvia, Ria is also her mother, in the sense that when she is not able to fulfill her motherly duties, she steps in.
“Siya ’yong nandoon. Kahit saan ako, hindi ako matatakot dahil nandiyan si Ria. Sa mga problema ko nga, siya ang naging shoulder to cry on ko kaya siguro naging matapang din ’yong batang ’yan eh,” she says. “Honestly, aaminin ko sa inyo, ’pag si Ria nawala sa buhay ko, pilay ako. Grabe ako dumipende kay Ria. Si Ria ang pakpak ko.”
However, Sylvia reveals that Ria is now about to move on to another chapter in life: moving into her own home, which both of them have to face so they can learn to be independent of one another.
“Kailangan ko i-let go ’yong anak ko para matuto rin siya na siya lang din ang solo and, at the same time, para matuto rin ako na wala siya,” she admits.
Lastly, she adds how both of them nurtured each other and helped each other grow into who they are today.
“Sa mga anak ko, lahat tinuruan nila ako, pero iba ’yong tinuro sa akin ni Ria bilang nanay na mas na-appreciate ko at mas natutunan ko ano ba talaga ang nanay. Nag-grow ako, naturuan ako ni Ria and, at the same time, si Ria din nag-grow din at natulungan ko rin bilang anak. So, nagtulungan kaming dalawa. Proud ako sabihin na naging mabuti siyang bata, proud ako kung anong narating niya, at proud ako ano siya ngayon.” she says.
Ria kept it short but sweet when asked about what she learned from her mother, noting that she always kept in mind “to keep fighting, always, regardless of the circumstance. To always respect everybody, regardless of their status in life, and to always save some for yourself.”
HER PROUDEST MOMENT
Before the interview comes to a close, Sylvia recalled one proudest moment she had of Ria, specifically when she auditioned for the reality show Pinoy Big Brother (PBB).
“Hindi mo lang alam kung gaano mo ko pinahanga, Ria, noong nag-audition ka sa PBB,” she declared. “Pinahanga mo ko sobra na meron kang sobrang malaking puso. Hindi mo lang alam kung paano ako magpasalamat sa Diyos na naging anak kita.”
She recounts Ria entering the final stage of interviews, having a big chance of entering the PBB house. However, she had to let go of the opportunity, saying one of her fellow auditionees deserved it more than her.
“What? Ginive up mo ‘yong opportunity? Eh, ’yon ’yong pangarap mo? Give me one good reason bakit mo ginawa ’yon.” Sylvia recalls telling Ria.
Ria told Sylvia that her fellow auditionee was the breadwinner of her family and needed the prize money to help her family members in their needs. She also said she had many job opportunities waiting for her outside show business.
Sylvia, still unsatisfied with her reasoning, still questioned Ria’s backing out of the audition, not until the moment that made her proud that she raised a good daughter in her.
“Nakita ko kasi ikaw sa kanya,” Ria told Sylvia. “Nakita ko ikaw na breadwinner din ng pamilya mo.”
“Gusto ko mang magalit pero nawala ’yong galit ko,” Sylvia describes the moment. “Pangarap niya ’yon, eh. Ginive up niya doon sa kalaban niya dahil anong rason? Dahil nakita niya ako sa kanya. Nakita niya ako na nagtaguyod sa pamilya, ako ’yong breadwinner so she had to let go sa pangarap na ’yon.”
That’s the moment Sylvia realized that she raised a great kid in Ria, seeing how she became so selfless for someone else’s need.
“Meron akong mabuting anak. Napaka-selfless na bata. Speechless ako nung sinabihan niya ko kasi binalikan niya ako na ‘Ikaw ’yong nakita ko.’ doon sa naging kalaban niya. Ginive niya ’yon para sa ibang tao,” she says.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise after three months. Ria was studying and traveling around Spain when Ms. Ginny Monteagudo-Ocampo, one of the Business Unit Heads of ABS-CBN, offered her first television role in the form of the drama series Ningning.
“Nasaraduhan man siya noon ng PBB, nagbukas ’yong Ningning para sa kanya and then sunod-sunod na,” Sylvia says. “Doon pa lang sa moment na ’yon, doon ko na-realize na may anak akong ganito.”
FOR SYLVIA, FOR RIA
Sylvia and Ria shared affectionate messages for one another towards the end of their interviews. This perfectly shows a true example of a mother and daughter’s love for one another.
For Ria, she lovingly tells her mom: “I love you and thank you for the gift of you. I know it hasn’t been easy mothering all of us. Minsan, sakit kami sa ulo but thank you for your patience, your understanding, and thank you for growing with us, because my mom now tries to adapt with the times, eh. Diba dati ’yong parenting was a little bit of I said so, because I told you so? Now, she comes to the terms with the fact na this day and age, that doesn’t really get you far anymore. You have to kind of explain where you’re coming from, you have to make sense to me so that I follow you and I’m so grateful that she has hit that point.”
On the other hand, Sylvia adoringly tells her daughter,
“Ayaw kitang pakawalan, Ria, pero kailangan na kitang pakawalan. Kahit alam kong masama pa rin loob ko, kahit alam kong hindi pa rin ako ready, pero para din ’to sa’yo at para sa’kin. Kailangan kitang i-let go. Kailangan kong tanggapin ’yon.
“Minsan kasi, akala mo hindi ako proud sa kanya pero grade school ka pa lang, Ria. High school ka pa lang hanggang naging college ka, sobra sobra sobra kaming proud sa daddy mo, sa pinakita mo sa amin. Nag-aral ka talagang mabuti, nag-aral kang mabuti kahit gusto mo talagang mag-artista noong bata ka, kinalimutan mo ’yon at nag-aral kang mabuti kasi sabi mo nga na gusto mo maging proud kami ng daddy mo sa’yo.”
The actress then continued on how proud she is of her own child for a lot of things. She even reminisced on moments when she thought of her daughter as strong, brave, and full of heart.
“Doon pa lang na ginawa mo na nag-aral talaga kang mabuti, sobra na kaming proud sa’yo. There was a time na nangangampanya ka kasi student council ka ng La Salle – Taft. Habang nagsasalita ka sa stage, anak, hindi mo lang alam.
“Nangangampanya ka sa stage, nandoon lahat ng mga taga-La Salle, nandoon kami lahat, nakikinig sa’yo lahat. Hindi mo lang alam kung gaano ako ka-proud na nanay mo sa mga oras na iyon at mas naging proud ako ngayon sa’yo, sobrang sobra kung ano ka at kung naging sino ka. Higit sa lahat, ’nak, sobra akong naging proud sa’yo kasi naging mabuti kang bata. At pasalamat ako sa Diyos dahil naging anak kita. Sobra kitang mahal.”
Indeed, what a way to celebrate our mothers with the loving insights and personal stories of Sylvia and Ria. Truly, a touching moment not just for the mother-daughter tandem but an inspiration and a beautiful story to ponder on for mothers and their children.
Art Direction | Jobo Nacpil
Photographer | Stephen Capuchino
Hair for Sylvia and Ria | Nancy Soriano Flores
Makeup for Sylvia | Albert Kurniawan
Makeup for Ria | Carissa Cielo Medved
Stylist | Jilla Sara
Special Thanks to iWantTFC
Kobe Adam Joshua Laurena is a writer who loves to tell stories from the perspectives of different people and everyday life. Apart from the pen, he loves to pick up the lipstick to transform into his frustrated drag persona: Anita Good Lovin’. He aspires to combine his love for writing and drag by creating a novel, short story, or screenplay about local drag queens in the future. He also has an obsession with sitcoms, women’s pro-wrestling, and Funko Pops.