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Sanya so blessed under the pandemic

Sanya Lopez
Sanya Lopez

SANYA Lopez is very pleased with the positive comments she’s getting for her performance in the Metro filmfest entry, “Isa Pang Bahaghari”, as the bitter daughter of Phillip Salvador who finds it hard to forgive her negligent dad for abandoning their family.

Those who’ve seen the film in its press preview all agree that Sanya is able to hold her own not only against Kuya Ipe but also veteran stars Nora Aunor as her mom and Michael de Mesa as their close family friend who knows all their problems.

“Nakakatuwa naman dahil very encouraging ang comments sa akin,” she says. “Noong una, I was really so nervous kasi nga alam ko ang kalibre ng senior co-stars na makakatrabaho ko. Ginawa ko na lang na challenge for me ang makaeksena ang mga batikang artistang gaya nila. It’s so inspiring to work with them.”

Her confrontation scene with Phillip is particularly memorable. “Yung scene na nag-breakdown ako kay Kuya Ipe, feel na feel ko lahat ng emotions ko hanggang sa niyakap niya ako habang umiiyak ako. Learning experience para sa isang baguhang aktres na gaya ko ang makatrabaho sila at ang batikang director naming si Joel Lamangan.”

Now that their movie is about to be shown as an official entry in the Metro-Manila filmfest that will be shown streaming on Upstream.ph starting Christmas Day, Sanya is feeling so blessed as she is also taping for two major GMA shows. First, she’s the leading lady of Sen. Bong Revilla in “Agimat ng Agila” and she also plays the title role in “First Yaya” with Gabby Concepcion.

“Lagari ako sa lock in taping ng dalawang shows pero okay lang kahit nakakapagod,” she says. “Yung iba nga, walang trabaho, magrereklamo pa ba ako sa mga biyayang dumarating sa akin? Sanay na sanay na ako sa lock in taping. And it’s really a great blessing to be given the chance to work with our respected stars like Ate Guy, Kuya Ipe, Kuya Michael de Mesa, and now, Kuya Bong and Kuya Gabby. At lahat sila, ang babait kasama. Blessing talaga.”

She also wants to thank GMA-7 for making sure all its stars and crew are safe and comfortable while they’re doing lock in taping.

“Very careful sila in maintaining all the safety guidelines while we’re working on location. May nagbabantay na health officer to monitor all the safety procedures we’re doing on the set kaya hindi ka kakabahan na baka ma-infect ka ng virus while working. Talagang tanggap na ng lahat ang ganitong mga kalakaran sa new normal.”

Her team up with Gabby Concepcion in “First Yaya” got very

positive reception from netizens who saw their pictures together and say there is so much “kilig” in their fresh tandem.

“It’s so easy to work with Kuya Gabby,” says Sanya. “Magaling siyang makisama kaya nakapag-adjust ako agad sa company niya. Siempre, nauna siya sa’kin sa industry at akala ko, hindi niya ako agad mapapansin but it turned out sobrang bait niya. Walang ka-ere-ere at all. Sa March 2021 pa ang airing ng ‘First Yaya’ but so many people are already telling me na inaabangan na nila ito.”

Direk Lino’s journey from showbiz to politics

TAGUIG Mayor Lino Cayetano was the director of the very first Starstruck in 2003, still the most successful batch which produced Jennylyn Mercado (now one of the top stars of GMA-7), Cristine Reyes, Yasmien Kurdi and Katrina Halili who are still very much active up to now. We remember he was then a long-haired and gangly young man who press people think should be working in front and not behind the camera.

Makati City Pabakuna
Lino Cayetano
Lino Cayetano

In a recent lunch with him and his brother, Rep. Allan Cayetano, we’re surprised to see Mayor Lino, now 42 years old, looking much heftier and now sporting a closely cropped haircut. “You’re much bigger!” we tell him.

“Yes po, nahiyang sa married life!” he admits. He’s obviously happy with his wife of 7 years now, the former volleyball player Fille Cainglet, and their three kids: Ino, Neinei and Lily.

As Taguig mayor, he’s proud to announce that his city has one of the lowest number of COVID 19 cases. He now wants Taguig to be also an entertainment capital and he has big plans for it next year. He hopes to put up his own filmfest, like Quezon City’s QCinema, by 2022.

Does he miss showbiz? “I do, but right now, I also find so much joy serving the people of Taguig, which is the fastest growing city in the country. We’re opening a high school for the arts where we can teach young people how to appreciate films, write, direct. We’re having an arts fair in SM Aura and also a cinema sa bangka where there are restaurants available and they can watch while on gondolas. Basta ipapatupad natin lahat ng needed safety protocols.”

He realized there’s a similarity between showbiz and politics. “What I’ve proven kasi is that hindi naman nagkakalayo ang goals ng showbiz and politics, which is to improve the lives of our people. I learned from Direk Maryo de los Reyes when we did ‘Anghel na Walang Langit’ that we can help the poor by showing their plight, yung mga paghihirap na nararanasan nila dahil sa kawalan ng oportunidad for the poor. Tayo sa showbiz yung puso.”

Although he no longer directs, he continues to help worthwhile projects, like “Bagman” which won for Arjo Atayde the recent best actor Asian Academy Award. He co-produced it and he’s so glad when Arjo won. “We’re so happy and proud of him. We hope this would open more opportunities for local actors to do projects all over the world.”

We tell him we’ve been waiting for him to direct his first full length film and not just the teleseryes he did. “Well, that was part of my plan then, but I now got busy with public service. But who knows, maybe, someday…”

As for Rep. Allan Cayetano, he hopes to help the local entertainment industry to achieve the success that the Koreans accomplished worldwide. “Sobrang talented ng Pilipino sa culture and arts,” he says. “I’m a fan of Filipino films and I saw most of Sharon Cuneta’s movies. I also watched the movies of Dolphy and FPJ.

“But now, our local entertainment industry is facing a lot of problems so we should try our best to help, like what the Koreans are doing and also India with Bollywood. So how do we get there? Sa Korea, it didn’t just happen. It was planned. The government really helped them. So I’m pushing for the creation of a department to help our creative industry and performing arts. Long term yan as we need more worldwide exposure.”

What can he say about the news that ABS-CBN might continue their operations in 2021? “Puwede naman talagang i-appeal ‘yan. We’re open-minded about it, as long as we do it legally and morally.”

What is his plan for 2022? “It’s still too early to talk about it. Nothing’s definite at this moment and marami namang options. We’ll just talk about it by the middle of next year.”