SYLVIA Sanchez wins the Sinag Maynila Filmfest actress award for her crackerjack title role performance in the heavy drama, “Jesusa”, written and directed by Ronald Carballo. Sylvia hosted a thanksgiving lunch last Tuesday, along with her kids Arjo and Ria Atayde, since their showbiz careers are all doing well right now. They even raffled off several cellphones, Ipads and cash prizes. This is rare among stars now as most of them don’t give that much importance to the press.
Sylvia plays such an offbeat role as “Jesusa”. She’s madly in love with a good-for-nothing womanizer (Allen Dizon) who regards her only as a doormat. They’re childless but Allen has kids with other women who he brings home to her for her to raise as her own. When she makes sexual advances to him, he rejects her and later flaunts to her his newest mistress, Ynez Veneracion, who also gets pregnant.
Because of her misery, Jesusa turns to drugs and becomes an addict who steals things like gas tanks, filches even the savings of her own grandchild, sells their own family’s TV set, then gets gang raped by her co-addicts while she’s totally stoned. It’s a role that can really be considered as “pang-award” and Sylvia does her job convincingly well.
The role is also physically demanding as she is shown walking endlessly in her job as an itinerant masseuse and manicurist in their God-forsaken slum area with its murky river that is filled with floating garbage. “Nakakapagod talaga,” she says. “One time, buong araw, wala akong ginawa kundi maglakad lang nang maglakad sa buong neighborhood at muntik pa akong makagat ng ahas doon sa balsa used in crossing the river. Sobrang takot ko talaga! Nung pinabuhat sa’kin yung TV na ibinenta ko, napakabigat, sumakit ang balikat ko, but it’s all worth it naman.”
As a mother, Sylvia is very proud of her children who are now making a name in showbiz on their own, specially Arjo who has won acting awards and has nonstop offers both on TV and the big screen. “Thankful ako kasi pareho silang busy, lalo na si Arjo na ganado talaga magtrabaho kaya halos hindi na namin nakikita sa bahay.”
Is she ready to have grandkids now that Arjo’s romance with Maine Mendoza is being talked about? “Naku, hindi pa. But I don’t think he’s ready to settle down and have a family kasi sobrang focused pa rin siya sa career niya. In the end, though, siya ang magde-decide tungkol diyan kasi buhay niya 'yan, he’s of the right age. Ako naman, bilang ina, susuporta lang kunsaan siya maligaya. Ganun din naman kay Ria, susuportahan ko sila dahil I’m their mother. All I can do is guide them, pero sila pa rin ang magde-decide.”
Sylvia is doing a new teleserye, tentatively titled “Project Kapalaran”, with JM de Guzman, Arci Muñoz and Joey Marquez. She’s also due to leave for Dubai to do a movie about overseas workers, “OFW, The Movie”. “Maganda ang layunin nila para ipakita na hindi lang naman puro trahedya at hinagpis ang dinaranas ng mga OFW. This time, ipapakita nila ang positive side ng OFW’s na nagtatagumpay sa buhay. Isa ako sa five stars chosen to play an OFW sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo. Ako nga yun OFW na taga-Dubai so we will shoot there for five days.”