Sylvia Sanchez Recalls Reason Why She Was Pulled Out Of Doing Film “Anak”

Sylvia remembers being rejected by the director for her hair

Veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez has reminisced about her early days as an artist—including that one time when she was held from starring in the now-classic Filipino film “Anak.” 

The 2000 film of Star Cinema is one of Sylvia’s heartbreaks—as revealed in her heart-to-heart talk with daughter Gela Atayde for Jeepney TV’s “Stars on Stars.” 

The mother and daughter duo had a lengthy talk—spiced by some of the questions that they never dared ask personally. One question from Gela goes: “Anong role yung in-audition mo na hindi ka nakuha at sobrang nalungkot ka?”  

Sylvia recalls, “Meron akong hanggang ngayon, hindi ko talaga pinapanood na movie. Alam mo yun ‘di ba? Di mo pa alam? Ikukwento ko sa ’yo—’Anak’ ni Ms. Vilma Santos.”

Sylvia Sanchez
Sylvia Sanchez
Screengrab from Jeepney TV on YouTube

According to Sylvia, she was first given a heads-up about the project by the late talent manager Cornelia Lee, more popularly known in the industry as Tita Angge. 

In the words of Sylvia, she was informed that the shooting date of the “magandang pelikula” was slated immediately next week—and that they are Hong Kong-bound already. 

At that time, Sylvia was not getting any acting gigs for over a year already, and “Anak” would be her first role in a while. Neck-deep in frustration, Sylvia had decided to cut her hair out of loathing. 

Sylvia shares, “Matagal na pala niyang alam, hindi niya sinasabi sa akin. One year na akong walang show. One year na akong walang trabaho, so, nasa point ako na, ‘Hindi ba ako marunong umarte? Bakit walang kumukuha sa akin? Bakit ganito?’

“So nagse-self-pity na ako. Mahaba ang buhok ko, ang ginawa ko, pinutulan ko yung buhok ko—as in maiksi talaga sa frustration, sa depression.” 

What seemed like a harmless move turned out to be a huge mistake when Tita Angge paid her a visit. 

Sylvia recalls, “Tapos ang nangyari, pumunta siya dun sa bahay tapos tiningnan niya ang buhok ko, sabi niya,’ Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God! Sylvia bakit mo ginawa? Hindi ka nagpaalam sa akin.” 

Without any reason to do so, Sylvia says that her reply went: “Bakit ako magpapaalam sa ’yo isang taon na akong walang show. Walang ganito, e, pikon na pikon na ako. Nagse-self-pity na ako kaya cinut ko yung hair ko.”

Bothered by Sylvia’s surprising haircut, Tita Angge has phoned the director Rory Quintos—who prompted the actress to visit Star Cinema the same day, only for her to reject Sylvia right there and then. 

Nung araw na yun, pinatakbo ako sa Star Cinema tapos pagpasok ko, sa pintuan pa lang, sabi ni Rory, ‘Sylvia, I love you, you know how much I love you, but I’m sorry, you’re out.’”

 It was later found out that Sylvia’s termination from the role was mainly because she shared the same hairstyle that Vilma had for the lead role. And in that case, they could never be on one screen anymore. 

Sylvia also recalls having to bargain for the role, pleading that they could do some wigs just to hide the haircut. But the director’s decision was final and Sylvia went on to accept it as, “Hindi talaga para sa akin.” 

Sylvia Sanchez reveals the actresses she admires 

 Before stepping into the limelight, Sylvia already knew the path she would follow—mainly drawing inspiration from Janice De Belen and hoping one day she would get to work with her. 

Sylvia says, “Sa TV, si Janice De Belen. So, pinapanood ko siya noon sa ‘Flor De Luna,’ sabi ko, habang pinapanood ko siya, sabi ko, ‘Ikaw, makaka-eksena ko isang araw.’ Tama! Kasi yung wish ko na yun, nagkatotoo!” 

It is still fresh in Sylvia’s mind the moment she first met Janice in the flesh. It was during a look test for her first-ever Regal film. She was sitting and heard an eager “Hi!” 

When she looked back, Janice was standing—who struck her for a bit. She also recalls having been asked by Janice to come with her and eat inside Janice’s station.  

Sylvia reaffirms, “Kaya ang TV talaga, ang superstar sa akin pagdating sa TV nung nasa probinsya pa lang is Janice De Belen.” 

As for the film figures, Sylvia admired Maricel Soriano so much, even skipping classes whenever Maricel had a movie showing. The same can be held true for Sharon Cuneta whom she also idolizes.

She says, “Yun yung mga nakikita ko na sabi ko, ‘Isang araw, makaka-eksena ko kayo. Isang araw magiging kaibigan ko kayo. Makikilala ko kayo.’ And lahat yun nangyari, and lahat sila mabait sa akin.”

Were there times when Sylvia Sanchez wanted to quit showbiz?    

Celebrities—glorious may they appear on-screen—are still humans, and thus, they are still susceptible to humane feelings and burnout. 

This is very much true for Sylvia who recalls having a particular time when she took a time away from the limelight due to exhaustion. 

She says, “Hindi iiwanan, magpapahinga. Di ba, nakapag-pahinga ako? Kailan lang ako bumalik, ‘Senior High.’ Two years akong nawala. Ang bilis ng two years. 

“So, yun. Napapagod. ‘Pag napapagod. But again, hindi pagod na nagrereklamo. Grateful, forever grateful pero siyempre, tao tayo, napapagod tayo.” 

Sylvia went on hiatus after filming her series “Misis Piggy” in 2022. She was able to cap off “Huwag Kang Mangamba” in 2021 before expressing her desire to go under the radar for quite some time. 

Sylvia’s decision was mainly brought about by her kids’ request, especially Ria Atayde. Sylvia has two other kids, Arjo Atayde and Gela Atayde. 

READ ALSO: Why Did Sylvia Sanchez Say Yes To “Senior High” Role

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