'Greatest Love' breaks hearts with harrowing portrayal of Alzheimer's


Posted at Jan 11 2017 06:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2017 09:09 PM

MANILA == If Wednesday's episode of "The Greatest Love" were summed up in a single frame, it would have to be that shot of Z (Joshua Garcia), hand over his mouth, trying to stop his tears from falling after learning that his grandmother Gloria (Sylvia Sanchez) is losing her mind to Alzheimer's. 

He already knew it beforehand but personally seeing his beloved grandmother decline into early-onset of the terrible disease, he begins to grapple with a plethora of emotions. 

Gloria's dementia started before this afternoon's episode, shown through a sequence where she forgot that she had sent a text message telling her children that she is dying. But her disease made a significant a leap on Wednesday after seeing her family break out into a heated argument in front of her. 

Amanda (Dimples Romana), Gloria's eldest, threw a fit after seeing her mother happily celebrating her birthday when she had been panicking over her alarming text message. She had long resented Gloria, thinking that she, for the longest time, had been unfaithful to their father. She refused to believe that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, downplaying it as just another one of her lies. 

But as the realization arrived, Amanda could only look in horror as Gloria asks her and her siblings who they were. The heart-wrenching scene gave great insight into what it is like to lose a loved one to Alzheimer's, as many netizens pointed out. 

Sanchez was superb as Gloria, only needing a few lines, timely eye-twitches, and confused glances to capture the struggle of her character. 

Likewise, Garcia, fresh off his acclaimed performance in "Vince & Kath & James," gave a moving portrayal of a teen finding it difficult to accept that one of their mother-figures is dying. 

However, Romana trumped everyone as she was unafraid to show viewers a hot-headed, difficult, and stubborn daughter that refused to accept that her mother was losing her mind to a fault. Her emotionally wringing scene where she watches Gloria break down over her disease is a definite highlight. 

Directed by Mervyn Brondial and Paco Sta. Maria, "The Greatest Love also stars Matt Evans, Arron Villaflor, and Andi Eigenmann. It airs weekdays after "Doble Kara" as part of ABS-CBN's "Kapamilya Gold."

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