Sanya Lopez was surprised to be chosen as replacement of Marian Rivera in GMA-7’s upcoming prime-time series, First Yaya.
Sanya was slated to do the action-adventure series Lolong together with Ruru Madrid, as shown in the title card presented in the network's 2020 omnibus plug.
But then she was told that the network was pulling her out of the series.
Sanya narrated, “Actually, tinanggal ako sa Lolong, so iyon iyong bad news muna.
“Sabi ko, ‘Oh, bakit po?’ Kasi ang alam ko, magte-taping na rin kami talaga.
“’Tapos sabi ko, 'Bakit po? Pero sabi ko, parang hindi masakit, parang hindi masyadong masakit.
“And then dumating iyong time na sinabi nila sa akin, ‘Kasi meron ka daw, First Yaya.’”
Sanya said she couldn't believe what she was hearing.
The actress continued, “’Tapos sabi ko, ‘Oh talaga, ako ba talaga?’
“Na-shock ako kasi, of course, Ms. Marian Rivera iyon and hindi rin naman po ako nag-audition.
“Natutuwa po ako. Sobrang saya na merong mga bagay na inaalis sa iyo pero meron talagang ipapalit na maganda.”
Sanya faced select members of the press, including PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), in a virtual media conference organized by GMA-7 today, October 13.
Marian cited the show's lock-in taping as the reason she bowed out of First Yaya.
HOW SANYA WAS CHOSEN
During the media conference, production unit manager Ali Nokom-Dedicatoria talked more about tchoosing Sanya for the coveted role of Yaya Melody in First Yaya.
According to her, it was a unanimous decision among the executives of GMA-7.
Dedicatoria said, “Well, noong nag-back out si Marian due to personal reasons dahil di siya puwede sa lock-in tapings, tsinek namin iyong roster namin ng mga artists.
“‘Tapos, unanimous actually iyong pick namin na si Sanya will be bagay for the role.
“Our gut feeling at saka iyong mga past shows niya na she did really well and unanimous ang decision ng GMA-7 na si Sanya is fit for the role.
“Wala kaming second choice for her.”
In fact, creative head Jojo Nones said that they really requested Sanya to be pulled out of Lolong so that she can do First Yaya.
Nones told Sanya during the presscon, “When we were meeting, we were deciding sino na ang bagong first yaya, your name came out and we were all excited.
“Right then and there, we texted people in management positions na i-request kung possible na i-pull out ka sa Lolong at ilipat ka kaagad sa First Yaya.
“So, right then and there, na-decide agad.”
Sanya said it was her first time to hear she was the only choice to take on the role after Marian’s departure from the project.
“Alam niyo po, sa totoo lang, first time ko pong narinig na wala silang second choice.
“Nakakakilig, pakiramdam mo, sobra iyong tiwala nila sa iyo, parang di na sila nagdalawang isip na si Sanya.
“Ganoon iyong pakiramdam na ang sarap lang, ang daming taong nagtitiwala sa iyo kaya I’m very happy.”
In the teleserye, Yaya Melody works as a nanny to the kids of the president of the Philippines as portrayed by Gabby Concepcion.
The first cycle of lock-in tapings for First Yaya will commence in November.
After a break, the cast will return to taping in January for the second cycle of lock-in tapings.
GMA-7 targets to have First Yaya as the opening salvo of its offerings for 2021.