Sanya Lopez flattered to be considered ‘a hot Maria Clara’
For Sanya Lopez, wearing sexy clothes isn’t an invitation to disrespect her.
“Sometimes, when we wear things like that, wala lang sa amin. But some of my guy friends would tell me, ‘Sa ‘yo wala lang, pero ‘yung ibang tao nanlalaki na mata diyan.’ But even if we dress a certain way … we know what we have to do,” she said in a recent virtual conference for her debut single, “Hot Maria Clara.”
“So if ever we get disrespected by men, we know how to deal with them,” she added. “I’m just happy with what I’m wearing.”
The right way
The Kapuso star also stressed that how a woman dresses doesn’t suggest anything about her willingness to entertain random advances. “There are men who feel like kaya nila lahat ng mga babae. And women who wear sexy clothing are seen as easy to get. How we look doesn’t have anything to do with that,” she said.
Written by filmmaker Njel de Mesa, “Hot Maria Clara” (GMA Music) is an empowering electronic-pop song about self-love. For Sanya, a “Hot Maria Clara” symbolizes a woman who can stand up for herself. “We should let our voices be heard. We should push back if we’re being taken advantage of, but we should do it the right way,” she said.
It’s flattering, Sanya said, if people see her as a “hot Maria Clara,” but there are other women whom she feels are more deserving of such description, like Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz. “Kailangan mapanindigan mo ‘yun. But if that’s how some people see me, then I’m grateful,” she said.
Aside from the occasional production numbers in the defunct variety show “Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman,” Sanya doesn’t really have much experience in singing. So she couldn’t believe it when she was offered to record a single.
“I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ But I chose to see this as a blessing. Tanggap lang nang tanggap. It was given to me because they knew I could do it. I’m thankful and happy for the opportunity,” she said, adding that she found the rehearsals and recording sessions nerve-wracking.
“I was so nervous I started questioning myself at one point. ‘Kaya mo ba, girl?’ But I was excited because the lyrics were good, and I wanted to make female listeners feel the message,” she said of the single, whose music video was also directed by De Mesa.
Would she be open to headlining her own concert one day? “Given the chance to pursue this, why not? It has always been a dream of mine to have my own single. But first, let’s release more songs so I can actually perform in the concert,” she said.
Traditionally, the term Maria Clara is associated with being kind, prim and gentle. If there’s one thing about Sanya that embodies that stereotype, perhaps its her mindset when it comes to courting, she said.
Focus on work
“I don’t usually realize when someone is courting me. Because in my mind, I want to feel like I’m actually being courted—hindi text-text lang. That happens now and I respect that. But I prefer someone who visits you at home and introduces himself to your parents and siblings and gives respect. Nakakakilig ‘yun,” she related.
Sanya, who maintains that she has never had a boyfriend, said she’s still not actively looking for one. She’s busy with work, she said, and wouldn’t be able to devote the time needed in a relationship.
“Love isn’t forced. It will come at the right time. If it isn’t there yet, then enjoy being single for the meantime, because you won’t be able to do that once you’re already committed to someone. I’m busy loving myself,” said Sanya, who was last seen in the series “First Lady.” “It’s OK if someone wants to court me, but I won’t be able to give time, which will be unfair to them.”
Even her family, she related, is curious about her romantic prospects. “They ask me, ‘Kailan ka ba magbo-boyfriend?’ I’m worried I would end up neglecting my work [if I enter a relationship]. I don’t come from a well-off family. Life was hard. For now, I want to focus on work,” she said.
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