ABS-CBN actress Dimples Romana had a lot of realizations while doing her Amanda character in the afternoon series The Greatest Love (TGL).
Amanda is a polarizing character in the show, especially because of her confrontation scenes with her mother Gloria, played by Sylvia Sanchez.
During the April 2 finale press conference of the show, Dimples said that since the first time the character was presented to her, she already knew that she could not pass up the opportunity to portray this role.
She candidly explained, “Kasi noong pinitch sa akin ito, noon pa lang, alam ko nang hindi ko talaga ito papakawalan, gusto ko talaga itong gawin, kahit na anong mangyari, gusto kong magawa itong si Amanda.
“Even at the pitching, I already knew what I was getting myself into, alam ko na.
“Ngayon ko nga lang narealize, ano. Sobrang totoo kasi ng The Greatest Love na mas hated ang mga Filipino families ang isang batang sumasagot at grabe makapagsalita sa magulang kaysa sa kontrabida na pumapatay. Mas grabe.
“Talagang they despise, they don't really want to see that because I feel we are all guilty of that, iba-iba lang ang mga levels.”
However, the 32-year-old actress admitted that at first, she could not really relate to Amanda and the character’s attitude.
She continued, “Hindi lang ako makarelate kay Amanda dahil kahit anong galit namin ng nanay ko, mag away kami, never ko siyang nasagot.
“So ang laking struggle noon para sa akin, hindi rin kasi ako ganon magalit katulad ng kay Amanda. In fact, I'm super chill. I don't get upset.
“So para yun ma-reach, pagka galit ako, sinasabi ng mga make-up artist namin, Miss Dimps yun na po yun, tapos na po yun? Kasi iba si Amanda, but that’s the beauty of it, you push yourself to a different kind of persona.
“Kumbaga, marami akong na-discover about myself. Siguro yung mga anger ko na di ko nailalabas in real life, nailabas ko kay Amanda, dun ko na ibinaling.”
Dimples also expected bashers since the Amanda character can really get so annoying, most especially with the way she treats her mother and siblings.
However, there was one point when the ABS-CBN actress got shocked and hurt when bashers already involved her two children.
“Pero you know, at some point, kahit na ang isang artista ay ready sa mga mangyayaring ganun, at some point, it also caught me off guard, and I was so afraid because mayroong mga followers ako na nagsabi, sana mamatay na ang mga anak ko. Ganun sila kagalit sa akin.
“I was so hurt because sobrang na-involve sila sa TGL, nakalimutan nilang artista lang ako.
“So they would hit me to the lowest, even my family and at the end of the day, I come to the people I trust and I know that sila Nanay Ginny, they won’t put me into a position na alanganin.”
Nanay Ginny is Ginny Monteagudo-Ocampo, the business unit head of TGL.
How did Dimples deal with these bashers?
She answered, “Ay, pinagdasal ko silang madami. Kasi hindi ko ugaling magretaliate at saka trabaho ko yun, e. For anything, it only made me stronger and hopefully, a better actor.
“Well, medyo nahurt ako sa ‘mamatay na yung mga anak mo.’
“Alam ko naman na yung sinasabi nila, yung mga totoong anak ko kasi isa lang naman ang anak ko sa TGL, si Joshua [Garcia] lang.
“Meron pang, ‘Ano ba naman yan si Amanda, ang sama-sama niya sa nanay niya, meron ba talagang mga anak na ganyan?’
“Tuloy, tinatanong ko sila Direk Mervyn [Brondial], remember Direk, we had a talk? Direk, meron ba talagang mga ganyan kasi baka mamaya nako-compromise yung trabaho ko bilang artista dahil parang feeling naman nila, walang ganong anak.”
However, Dimples cited that the comments of the viewers can also be their way of showing how greatly they were affected by the show, especially with the mother-daughter relationship of Gloria and Amanda.
The actress then recalled the iconic scene where Amanda told Gloria, “Akala ko ba, mamamatay ka na?”
She explained, “I was convinced na iniisip ko, baka siguro that's how strongly they feel because sometimes, its easier for us people na makita ang mali ng iba kapag hindi ikaw ang nakakakita.
“Inisip ko, baka siguro minsan, naguguilty rin silang, ‘Oh my God, baka nasagot ko yung nanay ko ng ganito.’ Kasi di ka naman aware niyan, e, pagka nasasabi mo yun. “
“Baka sometimes, may mga tao talagang sa rurok na ng galit nila, nasasabi nilang akala ko ba mamamatay ka na. And in fact, ang ano naman talaga is because she was texted ‘Mamamatay na ako.’
“Pero pagka ikaw kasi, pinapanuod mo, how can you say that to your mother? So yun.
“Lahat kaya yun, na-receive ko na pati yung, ‘Ano ba naman yang pilik mata mo? Gusto ko nang hilahin yung pilik mata mo Amanda!’
“Noong una, iniiyakan ko pa 'yan, siguro mga one week kong iniyakan, kasi yung iconic scene na mamamatay ka na at saka yung nagco-conclude siya na si papa ko lang may gusto sa akin, siyempre ang mga tao kasi alam nila, e.
“Lahat ng pambabash kay Amanda, naintindihan ko naman. Natakot lang ako dun sa parang mga threats about my children pero hindi naman siguro nila gagawin.”
AMANDA’S REDEMPTION. Dimples is also proud to say that the negative tweets and bashing finally disappeared when Amanda’s character was already redeemed.
She shared, “Chill na siya, wala na siyang beastmode. Nawala naman, kasi yung nega comments went with Amanda beastmode, e.
“Nung nawala naman yun, as soon as the revelation, wala na. All I got was love.
“Ang nakakatuwa dun is naride nila, naride nila yung journey ni Amanda. Nagalit sila sa akin, minahal nila yung character kasabay ng paggalit ko sa character at pagmamahal ko sa character.
“Yun ang kagandahan noon na nakuha nila yung arc ng character, kasi ang ayoko naman sa lahat, e, supposedly, dapat hine-hate na nila ako pero di pa nila ako hine-hate. Supposedly minamahal na nila ako pero hindi pa nila ako minamahal.”
She also admitted that she had doubts about Amanda’s redemption, most especially with how the TGL loyal viewers would take it.
“Now that Amanda's character has already been redeemed, wow, thank you to all the creative people, everybody, because even I had doubts, kaya ko pa ba 'tong ibaling?
“Kasi yun yung arc ni Amanda, e, kailangan maawa sila ulit sa akin pagkatapos ng galit nila, and ang hirap gawin nun, di ba?
“Sa totoong buhay nga, pag nagalit ka na dun sa tao, ang hirap baliin. So it was the challenge and thankfully, with all their help, Amanda is now fully redeemed. So that was the journey.”
Now that The Greatest Love is set to air its final episode on April 21, which is tagged as #TGLTheUnforgettableFinale, Dimples can’t help but feel the separation anxiety from Amanda, and how thankful she is that the role landed on her lap.
She tearfully recalled, “The whole point of the show is to teach and touch people to change for the better and that also did that for me.
“I think I remember messaging Nanay Ginny and I said, ‘Nanay, I hope you don’t get tired of me saying thank you for giving… ano ba 'yan, oh my goodness… for Amanda.
“I know Amanda is just one of the children, but Amanda is mine, Amanda is me. I'm so honored. Thank you for giving me the greatest role that has been given to me.”