THERE is so much happening in the colorful lives of the children of actress Sylvia Sanchez these days and the proud mom couldn’t find the right words to describe her emotions.
“It’s definitely a good mix of feelings, but I don’t think there is a specific word that would perfectly match how I feel as a mom right now. I am certainly in full support of the paths my children have chosen to take, and as parents, my husband Art and I are just there for them, like we always have been ever since. If they are happy, then we are certainly happier,” Sanchez intoned.
Sanchez’s youngest daughter Gela is the latest Atayde to join show business. She is part of the cast of Senior High, a modern-day drama series produced by Dreamscape Entertainment that delves into the lives of the younger generation and the intricacies of the modern Filipino family.
The 21-year-old dancer-turned-actress admitted that she had jitters when she realized that the cameras were starting to roll. “The fact remains that I am, and will always be, in the shadow of those that came ahead of me—mom, my brother Arjo and my sister Ria, all of whom have proven their worth in terms of the work they have done all these years.”
She added, “It will take years of output for me to even come near their achievements. But I am not pressured, especially not by my family, because I have been advised time and again to just enjoy the ride, absorb as much as I can, and allow myself to grow at the pace that is comfortable to me—and that’s what I am doing.”
Gela shared that someday, she wants to be part of a movie or a series that has dance as a main thread in the narrative. “As a dancer, that’s my ultimate dream.”
Actor-turned-politician Arjo Atayde got married recently and his mom was prepared. “As a mother, I know that soon all of my children will have their own families—that is inevitable, and that is also why you have to make the most of your time when they are still with you and you are all living in one house. Kids grow up very fast these days and before you know it, they are adults already, and they will spread their wings and fly.”
Lately, Sanchez gets to travel with Arjo and his wife Maine because the movie their company Nathan Studios produced, titled Topakk, is going around the festival circuit. “I am fascinated being a movie producer. It’s a totally different world and I am learning the ins and outs of it.”
Sanchez’s eldest daughter Ria is also making bold strides in drama. She is one of four lead actors in the ongoing TV series, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin.
“I am constantly on my toes every time I report for work. I take my role very seriously, because I am cast alongside some of the most competent actors we have today. I continue to keep the learning door wide open because this is the career I have chosen for myself, a decision I made many years ago, setting aside any pressure from my family members who are also actors,” Ria shared.
Her romantic relationship with actor Zanjoe Marudo is an open book in showbiz circles and she has always been proud of her boyfriend. “He’s a wonderful guy, and he takes his job seriously, too. Right now, we are okay to be working on our own projects. If some great material comes up in the future that will put us together, that will be nice, too.”
Ria lives on her own now, away from the Atayde residence where she grew up in. “I’m enjoying being on my own. I am transforming into a responsible, independent woman and I’m loving it. Of course, I get to be with my family regularly because we have a lot of activities together pa rin.”
She has also joined forces with her mom Sylvia and their family friend Lorna Tolentino in exploring film distribution. As the CEO of Nathan Studios, Ria calls the shots and vows to push the boundaries with every new acquisition they make. When the three took part in the Film Market section of the Cannes Film Festival a few months ago, they saw the Korean film Monster and thought it will be best to bring the movie for the Filipino audience to see.
Sylvia Sanchez has always advised her children to follow their hearts, and use their hearts in every performance they do and every task they will be assigned to. We had a recent chat with her and when we asked her about her children, she replied quickly: “I guess the kids are alright.”