Edu Manzano can relate to GMA’s new teleserye “Someone to Watch Over Me,” about a man who has early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Apparently, Edu’s mother also has it.
“My mother, who is in her early ’80s, medyo nagsimula na. So, nakikita ko na din ’yung degenerative effect doon sa tao. And I would not wish it on anybody,” he said at a press conference.
According to Alz.org, Alzheimer’s is “a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.”
It’s hard for the actor to see the effects of the disease on his mother. Alzheimer’s currently still has no cure.
“Lahat kaming magkakapatid pinag-usapan iyan. It didn’t take long para lamunin talaga siya ng kanyang Alzheimer’s. Eventually, nakalimutan niya kung sino ako, kung sino ’yung kambal na kapatid ko. ’Yung pamangkin ko na siyang nag-aalaga sa kanya sa bahay sa Parañaque, iyon ang kinikilala niya bilang anak niya. So, kahit kaharap ko na ’yung nanay ko kapag kumakain kami, hindi niya ako ina-acknowledge,” he said.
“Someone To Watch Over Me” can be an instrument for audiences to know more about the disease and how to deal with it.
“The simplistic thinking is that it is just forgetfulness, be it dementia or Alzheimer’s, (pero) hindi, it’s a core complex ailment,” Edu explained.
The Kapuso teleserye marks Edu’s return to acting after a very long time. His last teleserye was with another network in 2015. He believes “Someone To Watch Over Me” is a very good opportunity for him.
The series also stars Tom Rodriguez, Lovi Poe and Max Collins. Edu praised his co-stars for their work ethics.
“Ang tindi ng kanilang professionalism, kung paano sila naghanda (dito). I’ve never seen harder working actors and that includes ’yung mga veterans. And so I said to myself, ‘These are three individuals who take their craft very seriously,” he said.
Heart never forgets
Director Maryo J. de los Reyes admits they encountered some challenges in presenting the story.
“It is a romantic story that fades slowly but along the way struggles to maintain a theme that the heart always remembers, whether tumanda ka, whether mawalan ka na ng isip or kaya mag-fade ka na sa mundo.
“Pangalawa, how do you make a very well-researched story about a disease like Alzheimer’s? Kasi ang alam namin sa Alzheimer’s, ito ay nagkakaroon ng effect kapag ikaw ay tumanda dahil namamatay ang brain. So tulad ng ibang sakit, tulad sa puso, pero ito naman ay utak. So mawawala ang function ng utak at ang memory na naka-bank doon ay unti-unting mawawala.
“Pangatlo is to make it entertaining para sa audience, kung paano ito malalahad. And how do you justify with the stars that you have na bigyan mo sila ng something to bite on, at the same time para mabigay nila ng lubusan ang hinihiling mo sa kanila,” he said.
While competition is inevitable, what’s important for them is to be able to present the story well and inspire audiences.
“Dahil sa tanda ko na at tagal ko na din sa industriya, ang importante sa akin ay maglahad ng isang kwento in the best way I can. So competition will always be there, we must have to do our best sa paglalahad ng kwento,” Maryo said.
“Someone To Watch Over Me” starts airing Sept. 5. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)