Sanya Lopez seemed destined for stardom, considering an offer to be an artista just dropped on her lap when she didn't even set her sight on becoming one.
On the other hand, her brother, Kapuso actor Jak Roberto, had to hurdle endless auditions and rejections before he was given a break in showbiz.
But all it took for Sanya was just one studio visit to get noticed by none other than the incomparable star builder himself, the late German “Kuya Germs” Moreno (1933-2016).
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Shaira Lenn Osuna Roberto in real life, Sanya was born on August 9, 1996, in Nagcarlan, Laguna.
She is three years younger than Jak, who is turning 27 in December.
Their father Ramil Roberto passed away when Sanya was just two years old.
It fell on Jak to look after her sister and their mother, Marilyn Roberto, at an early age.
While still going to school, he took odd jobs such as inscribing epitaphs on tombs to make ends meet.
Sanya recalled in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in May 2020, “Nakapagpa-inspire sa akin kasi hindi biro yung ginawa niya, e.
"Kasi like, for example, siya mismo yung pumupunta sa sementeryo para lang magpintura ng puntod.”
“Kumbaga, kulang rin kasi yung trabaho ng mommy ko. Kasi mommy ko before, nagsi-siomai, e.”
Sanya was discovered in 2012.
For the first time, she went to watch Jak's performance in Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman, the late-night variety show on GMA-7 hosted by Kuya Germs.
It was also the show in which Jak got his start in showbusiness.
Sanya recounted, “Kasi ang tagal-tagal na ni Kuya sa Walang Tulugan… ‘tapos hindi ko siya pinupuntahan. First time ko siyang puntahan noong araw na iyon.”
She related that on her way to the studio, she was asked to have her photo taken by someone who mistook her for a Kapuso celebrity, who was also part of the late-night show.
“Napagkamalan akong si Kim Rodriguez nung pumasok ako noon, 'Uy, pwede po bang magpa-picture? Ang ganda-ganda mo talaga Kim.’"
It took her by surprise, but Sanya decided to just go along, "Hindi na lang ako nagsalita kasi nahiya ako.”
She had another surprise coming that late in the evening.
As Sanya recalled, she was in the audience area watching the show when, suddenly, Kuya Germs sat beside her.
She told PEP.ph, “Magkatabi kami sa upuan ni Kuya Germs, ‘tapos tinitingnan niya ako.
“’Tapos nung break time, pinakilala ako ni Kuya, ‘Kapatid ka pala ni Jak, hindi ka man lang nagpakilala sa akin.’ Parang nahiya ako.”
According to Sanya, Kuya Germs addressing her, went straight to the point, “’May plan ka ba na mag-artista? Gusto mo bang pumasok sa showbiz?’
“’Tapos sabi ko, ‘Yes po.’ Kasi before, honestly, parang hindi ko pa siya ganoon pinu-pursue kasi parang feeling ko, ang gaganda nila, ganoon.
"‘Tapos parang ang hirap makapasok. Nung umpisa kasi, wala talaga pa akong plano pagdating sa showbiz.
"Hindi ko pa plan talaga. Mas priority ko talaga yung pag-aaral.”
As Jak recalled about that meeting in an interview inTonight With Arnold Clavio in 2017, Kuya Germs instantly liked Sanya.
He said, “Nagustuhan siya ni Kuya Germs. Sabi ni Kuya Germs, ‘O, may kapatid ka pala. Bakit di mo pinapakilala sa akin ito? Dalhin natin sa Monday sa seventh floor.
“Kasi ganoon si Kuya Germs, e. Pinapakilala niya agad sa executives so dinala sa seventh floor kaming magkapatid.”
According to Jak, he simply repeated the words of Kuya Germs when he introduced Sanya to the GMA Network executives, “’Puwede niyo itong ipasok sa mga teleserye,’ ganyan-ganyan.
"Ganoon kasi mag-build up si Kuya Germs sa taas. Kinarir niya kami hanggang sa nagkakaroon ng guesting sa mga show ng GMA, 'tapos, nagtuluy-tuloy na.
“Pina-audition na rin kami sa Artist Center [GMA’s talent management arm]."
Sanya's first TV appearnce as a Kapuso was also on Walang Tulugan, as a co-host.
In 2013, Sanya got her first supporting role as Thea in the weekly teleserye Dormitoryo, which starred Lauren Young, Joyce Ching, Enzo Pineda, Winwyn Marquez, and Ruru Madrid.
She also played a supporting role in two more teleseryes: as Lorna in The Half Sisters (2014-2016), the afternoon series that starred Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino, and as Lovely in The Millionaire’s Wife (2016) that starred Andrea Torres.
But it was not until Sanya was chosen to play one of the four Sang’gres in the reboot of Encantadia that she really shot to fame.
The original Encantadia was the phenomental Kapuso fantaserye on prime time in 2005 top-billed by Iza Calzado, Karylle, Diana Zubiri and Sunshine Dizon.
In late 2015, GMA-7 announced the audition for the major parts in the remake of Encantadia.
In the end, the chosen ones were Kylie Padilla, Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, and Sanya, the only newbie in the group.
Her role as Danaya, the protector of the earth gem, was Sanya’s biggest break that catapulted her to the category of prime artist in her home network.
She remarked in the interview, “E, parang pinapangarap ko lang siya na maging siya. Blessing talaga itong Encantandia sa akin...
“Ito yung unang binigay sa akin na malaki yung role. Ito pa yung tumatak sa tao na fantasy. Before, fan din ako ni Danaya, na ngayon ginagampanan ko na.”
Encantadia aired from July 2016 to May 2017, a period that brought major changes in Sanya's life
She told PEP.ph, “Iba ang binago ng Encantadia sa buhay ko. Imaginine mo kung ano ang meron ako ngayon. I’m very thankful.
“Kumbaga parang malaki talaga yung impact ng Encantadia sa akin. Kasi kung hindi dahil sa kanya wala sigurong Sanya ngayon.”
Because of Encantadia, Sanya also became an in-demand celebrity for cover shoots.
In 2016 FAMAS Awards, Sanya was awarded the German Moreno Youth Achievement Award.
In 2017, Sanya made it to the 100-list of two prestigious glossy publications. She was one of YES! Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful, and also in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women.
On the heels of their pairing in the now concluded fantaserye, Sanya and Rocco Nacino top-billed the afternoon teleserye Haplos.
Rocco portrayed Aquil in Encantadia, the love interest of Danaya.
Haplos delved into the supernatural genre, in which Sanya portrayed multiple characters: Angela Marie "Anj / Angel" Alonzo-Cortez / Elang / Exotica / Alice.
She also top-billed another afternoon teleserye, Dahil sa Pag-ibig (2019), in which she portrayed Mariella "Mariel" Fajardo-Corpuz.
Sanya also became part to other teleseryes, Cain at Abel (2018-2019), and Beautiful Justice (2019).
Sanya is among the few lucky ones who've entered showbiz without sweat, but the one thing going for her now is her good sense to work harder than anyone else to stay in.
And then there's her brother Jak, the one person on earth she can't ever let down.
Sanya said, “Nakita ko kung paano yung hirap niya. Feeling ko yung life lesson talaga dito, yung pagiging matiyaga ni Kuya
“Huwag kayong mahiya kung ano yung pinanggalingan namin.
"Kumbaga yung mga pinagdaanan niyo sa buhay, kapag pinaghirapan, mas masarap makuha, hindi yung basta mo lang siya na-achieve.”
Sanya also has a YouTube channel where she creates her own video content. As of September 29, 2020, she has 885,000 subscribers.
Her Instagram account @sanyalopez has 2.8 million followers, while her Facebook fan page has 1.9 million fans.
On Twitter, her verified account @sanya_lopez has 296,000 followers.
This pandemic also encouraged the actress to return to her favorite hobby, which is designing clothes.
Sanya told PEP.ph in August, “One of my hobbies right now ay mag-design ng mga damit. Yun ang pinagkakaabalahan ko.
"I’m planning kasi na mag-business someday ng isang clothing line,"
If she didn’t enter showbiz, Sanya said she would have gone to college and taken up a culinary course.
MOVIE AND TV PROJECTS
Here are the other television shows in GMA-7 in which Sanya had guest appearances:
- Magpakailanman: The Wowowin Grand Winner” as Shayne
- Follow Your Heart as Herself
- Karelasyon in Various roles
- Imbestigador as Marina
- Wish Ko Lang as RJ
- Wowowin as Herself
- Pepito Manaloto as Suzanne
- Magpakailanman: “BFF: Best Sisters Forever" as Arianne
- Tadhana: “Prodigal Daughter Elaine"
- Wagas: “Lola Iska, 120” as teen Iska
- Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko: “Giselle, Palayain Mo si Rapunzel!” as Rapunzel
- Wish Ko Lang: “Ang Bangungot ni Rhea” as Rhea
- Wagas: “Sigaw ng Puso (The Rein Morales and RJ Zulueta Story)” as Rein Morales
- Inday Will Always Love You as Lea
- Dear Uge: “Emma Liar” as Emma
- Wish Ko Lang: “Tatlong Ama, Iisang Kapalaran” as Emily
- Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko: “Witchikels” as Willow
- Victor Magtanggol as Aya
- Studio 7 as Herself
- Wish Ko Lang: “Mga Mukha ng Pag-asa” as Herself / Emily
- Tadhana: “Titser Yaya” as Elaine
- Magpakailanman: “Tatlong Henerasyon ng Sipat at Tiyaga” as Young Lelang
- Dear Uge: “Patayin sa Sindak si Bernadett” as Bernadette
- Daddy’s Gurl as Cherry Aguinaldo
- Tadhana: “Boso” as Arianne
In the movies, she was a lead character, as Aryana Dimalinlang, in the action-adventure movie Amalanhig: The Vampire Chronicles (2017) and her first mature role, as Ellie, Wild and Free (2018), which co-starred Derrick Monasterio.
This year, Sanya was supposed to star in GMA-7’s slated primetime teleserye Alamat ng Agila, opposite Senator Bong Revilla.
But the current pandemic caused the project to be postponed.
Nonetheless, Sanya still feels fortunate that a big project awaits her, and just waiting for the management’s go-signal to begin production.