“Life is normal” in the Lapid household—almost a year after Sen. Lito Lapid’s wife Marissa was arrested and charged with dollar smuggling in the United States, according to actress Tanya Garcia.
Tanya is the wife of Mark, the senator’s son and former governor of Pampanga.
“We get to speak to her every day,” Tanya said of Marissa, whom a US court has ordered to remain in her Las Vegas home pending the resolution of her case. “She is not in hiding. She seemed OK when we visited her recently.”
Family members are adjusting well to the situation, Tanya pointed out. “We don’t listen much to news reports, which we think are all exaggerated.”
She added: “The family has always been close. We still see each other and have lunch every Sunday. If there are things that are being discussed about my mother-in-law’s case, these are just between Mark, his siblings and his dad.”
Tanya said that through the years, she has learned to cope well with controversies. The worst one was in 2007 when a Korean national, Yuri Park, came out with documents proving she was married to Mark in 2004 and has a daughter with him.
“I kept quiet,” said Tanya. “I didn’t grant interviews because the people involved were not part of show business. The issue had nothing to do with what I was doing as an actress either. The controversy died a natural death.”
Mark’s request for the annulment of his marriage to Park was formally granted by the Las Vegas court on Sept. 8, 2009.
Tanya and Mark have two daughters—Mischa Amidala, 5, and Matilda Anika, 2.
The actress is back at work via the TV fantasy-drama series, “Paroa: Ang Kwento ni Mariposa,” on GMA 7.
But she refuses to work full-time because her priority is to take care of her daughters. “I work only twice a week,” she said, “although my work still requires a lot of special effects and I’m always asked to use the harness.”
However, she hopes to go into acting full-blast when Mattie turns 4. “Right now, she’s in her terrible twos,” said Tanya. “She’s starting to do things on her own and she needs my guidance … I want to be by her side all the time.”
Tanya added that her eldest, Mischa, loves performing but is still too shy in front of the camera. “Whenever we ask her, ‘Mag-aartista ka na?’ she’d say, ‘No!’ I started young in this business, so I was hoping to do at least some TV commercials with her, when she’s ready.”
Tanya first appeared in youth-oriented shows like “Gimik” and “Esperanza” (1997), but she rose to fame when she played the role of Cecilia in the GMA 7 drama series “Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga” (2002), alongside Dingdong Dantes, Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon.
She has also done numerous TV shows and films. She was last seen in the Gabriel Fernandez indie movie “Nasaan si Francis?” which was released in 2006.
“Paroa: Ang Kwento ni Mariposa” chronicles the story of Mariposa (played by Barbie Forteza), a girl born with half-human and half-butterfly features, and her struggles and search for true love. It airs weeknights on GMA 7.