Sanya Lopez eagerly steps into the shoes of Yaya Melody

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    GABBY CONCEPCION and SANYA LOPEZ

    Sanya Lopez gets her biggest break in the primetime series “First Yaya,” which premieres this Monday.

    Yaya Melody is the actress’ major role after making waves as Danaya in the revival of “Encantadia” some years ago. She stars opposite Gabby Concepcion, who plays President Glenn Acosta, a widower who hires Melody to be the nanny of his kids.

    Sanya, who got the role after first choice Marian Rivera backed out, says she was given freehand on how she should portray her role. “Bago kasi sa akin ang rom-com, si Direk LA [Madridejos] ang nag-introduce sa akin kung paano siya atakihin at may movies na pinapanood siya para makatulong sa akin. Pero sinabi nga sa akin ni Direk LA, maging ikaw lang, kahit wala ka ng ibang gagayahin, ‘wag kang umarte at ikaw na si Yaya Melody.”

    “First Yaya,” under director LA Madridejos and associate director Rechie del Carmen, had to go lock-in to tape the series. Gabby reveals how everyone on set has formed a genuine camaraderie, “First time ko makakasama ang lahat ng cast, kaya maganda itong First Yaya kasi maraming ‘firsts’ na nangyari dito. Akala ko mahihirapan ako makipag-usap sa mga tao, but it turns out na lahat nag-blend at nag-jive. Maganda ang chemistry namin.”

    Pancho Magalona is the PSG who also falls for Melody. After a series of training sessions and seminars for his role as PSG Conrad Enriquez, he has gained a deeper level of respect for PSG members. “Iba rin talaga ‘yung respect ko, syempre sa mga yaya natin na kasama sa house, pati na rin sa mga miyembro ng PSG na may sarili ring pinagdadaanan in their lives. Pinipili nilang magsakripisyo not only for our leaders pero para sa country din talaga.”

    Seasoned actress Pilar Pilapil, who plays Blesilda Acosta, gets to share screen time with newcomers Cassy Legaspi, who plays Nina Acosta, the rebellious daughter of the President and Joaquin Domagoso, who plays Jonas, a student activist and critic of President Glenn who unintentionally falls for Nina.

    Also part of the cast are Gardo Versoza as Luis Prado, the incumbent Speaker of the House and President Glenn’s foe disguised as an ally; Maxine Medina as Lorraine Prado, Glenn’s feisty coworker who is determined to be the First Lady at all costs; Kakai Bautista as Pepita, the dining manager at the Presidential Reception house who makes life difficult for Yaya Melody; Cai Cortez as Norma, President Glenn’s trusted maid who becomes Yaya Melody’s confidante; Thou Reyes as Yessey, President Glenn’s overbearing but loveable millennial chief-of-staff; Hailey Mendes as Charlie, best friend of Jonas who secretly fancies him; Patricia Coma as Nicole Acosta, President Glenn’s second daughter who instantly likes Yaya Melody; Clarence Delgado as Nathan, President Glenn’s middle child who is often the mediator between Nina and Nicole; Thia Thomalla as PSG Val Canete, boyish security detail primarily assigned to President Glenn’s children who is not aware of her beauty; Jon Lucas as Titus de Villa, Speaker Luis’ most trusted right-hand man; Glenda Garcia as Marni Tupaz, a veteran political reporter who is often critical of President Glenn.

    Joining them are the members of the Sanya’s family, the Reyes family: Sandy Andolong as Edna Reyes, Melody’s mother who is an emotional wreck and believes in all things practical; Buboy Garovillo as Florencio Reyes, Melody’s father with whom she shares the strongest filial bond; Analyn Barro as Gemrose Reyes, Melody’s sister who is often at odds with her; Anjo Damiles as Jasper, Melody’s first serious boyfriend who eventually breaks her heart; and Jerrick Dolormente as Lloyd Reyes, Melody’s youngest sibling who is very supportive of her.

    “First Yaya” also features the special participation of Boots Anson-Roa and Jean Garcia.

    Completing the all-star cast with special guest roles are: Andre Paras, Allen Dizon, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Tommy Abuel, Kiel Rodriguez, Mikoy Morales, Issa Litton, Lovely Rivero, Jenzel Angeles, Murielle Lomadilla, Wilma Doesnt, Atak, Cecile Paz, Michael Roy, Dennis Marasigan, Rollie Inocencio, Nicki Morena, Julius Miguel, Isabel Frial, Chinggay Datu, Lourdes Conde Serrano.

    This original series, created by the GMA Entertainment Group, is headed by SVP for Entertainment Group Lilybeth G. Rasonable, VP for Drama Redgie A. Magno, AVP for Drama Cheryl Ching-Sy, Senior Program Manager Ali Marie Nokom-Dedicatoria, and Executive Producer Joy Lumboy-Pili.

    The series also showcases the famous and historic Manila Hotel as one of its taping locations.