Sylvia Sanchez: I got pregnant at 16
Actress Sylvia Sanchez got pregnant at age 16.
Because of this, Sylvia has become a protective mom to son Arjo and daughter Ria—who have both entered show biz.
“I don’t want them to be worrying about how to raise a family at an early age. I know how difficult that is,” said Sylvia, the lead star of “The Greatest Love.” “That’s why I always tell them to be careful.”
“I explained to Ria that if an actress gets pregnant, she would most likely quit show biz,” she pointed out. “If an actor like Arjo gets anyone pregnant, his market value also diminishes.”
Sylvia has two other kids with husband Arturo Atayde—Gela and Xavi. Her eldest child, Pia, is from a previous relationship.
What love advice has she given Arjo, who recently admitted dating a fellow ABS-CBN contract artist?
“I reminded him not to take romantic relationships too seriously and to focus on work first (He appears regularly in “Ang Probinsyano”). Things are going so well for him now,” she said.
“I just told him that if the girl he is dating disrespects him or any member of our family, she would be answerable to me.”
On career, Sylvia advised Arjo to “always be professional at work and to treat every person he meets—from the bosses to the utility men—with respect. ’Wag siyang pasaway.”
Sylvia then recalled the time Arjo and his father had a major disagreement while the former was just starting out as an actor “His dad’s side of the family didn’t want Arjo to be part of this industry. I understand them because they are all involved in business, but I supported my son’s decision,” said Sylvia, adding that she even enrolled Arjo in an acting workshop at ABS-CBN.
“I brought Arjo’s dad with me to watch him at his recital. It was then that his dad told me, ‘You’re right. This is really the right field for Arjo.’ It’s important to me that Arjo has his father’s blessings.”
When Ria joined the biz, relatives had been more accepting, according to Sylvia, “except, believe it or not, Arjo.”
She explained that Arjo wanted his sister to be a newscaster because Ria is smart and articulate. “I told him that he of all people should understand his sister. The two agreed on a compromise; Arjo made Ria promise not to fall in love with an actor.”
She added: “Arjo is a strict and protective brother. You can trash talk him for all you want—he will just ignore you. He would only react if you mess with his family. As a son, he is mischievous and sometimes annoying, but very respectful.”
Sylvia said Arjo is also very competitive. “He would jokingly tell me, ‘I’ve been in the business for five years and have already won three awards. How long have you been acting again, 27 years? I’ll definitely get more awards than you.”
Arjo has a unique way of showing his affection to his mom. “When he has friends visiting him at the house, he would text me to say, ‘Ibyang (Sylvia’s nickname), I have visitors. Cook pasta and make tacos. Make sure they taste good. Don’t embarrass me in front of my friends,’” she recalled. “We’re like buddies that way, but he also knows his limitations. He knows that when I call him by his real name, Juan Carlos, I’m already serious or angry.”
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