Sylvia Sanchez on her son Arjo Atayde and his girlfriend Maine Mendoza: No need for ‘any explanation’ what the real score between them is…
Sylvia finally meets son Arjo’s girlfriend Maine
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

Impressed.

That sums up the meeting between Sylvia Sanchez and Maine Mendoza, the girlfriend of Sylvia’s son Arjo Atayde, never mind if he and Maine haven’t categorically admitted that they are going steady. Interviewed on Tonight with Boy Abunda (TWBA) early last April, all that Arjo said was “I’m happy with whatever we have right now.”

Asked if she was convinced that the two are sweethearts in an exclusive interview with Funfare at last Sunday’s presscon for her latest movie, OFW The Movie, Sylvia said, “Para dalhin sa bahay at i-introduce sa pamilya namin at ipaglaban ang isa’t-isa, kailangan pa ba ng eksplanasyon niyan?”

Yes, no need for any explanation. Other actors have been linked to Maine but they recoiled after they were bashed by the AlDub Nation that wanted nobody else but Alden Richards for Maine. Only Arjo has balls enough to declare that “Maine is worth fighting for,” so bashers be damned. And, as the song goes, if a picture paints a thousand words, can you imagine how many tens of thousand of words can paint the pictures that the sweethearts have been posting on social media since news broke about their closeness?

Sylvia was the latest to see Arjo and Maine together. The meeting happened on May 23 after Sylvia and family (including relatives from Mindanao who were visiting Manila for the first time) came home from Hong Kong where she celebrated her birthday.

On May 21, after Arjo and sisters Ria and Gela came home ahead because they had a shoot, Arjo texted Sylvia, “Mom, are you free on Thursday (May 23)?” Sylvia asked why and Arjo said, “I will introduce Maine to you.”

So what was her first impression of her probable/possible daughter-in-law?

“She was respectful, pleasant na bata. Her first words were, ‘Hi po, Tita!’ She seemed shy when Arjo introduced her to me. Ang lamig-lamig ng kamay niya!”

Over a light dinner (tacos, salad, pasta, tapas and cheeses prepared by Sylvia), the free-wheeling conversation revolved around getting-to-know each other’s families, nothing about showbiz.

Maine stayed from 6 p.m. to way past 10 p.m. and, perhaps she didn’t notice that her Tita Sylvia was watching her closely, weighing her every word and observing her every move.

“The whole time, ang gaan ng feeling ko sa kanya. We were at the (dining) table for more than four hours. Hindi ko naramdaman na, ‘Hey, I am Maine Mendoza; sikat ako!’ Nothing like that. She introduced herself as Nicomaine Mendoza, her real name, so it meant that she was there not as Maine Mendoza the star but Nicomaine Mendoza the private person. She was nice even to our kasambahay when Arjo introduced her to them.”

Before Maine bade goodbye, Arjo told his mom to wrap food for Maine to take home.

Does Sylvia approve of Maine as, ehem, daughter-in-law?

“Kahit sino ang girlfriend ni Arjo, rich or poor, sikat man o hindi, I expect only one thing…that she should be respectful at mahal lahat ng pamilya namin. Ayoko ng bitch. Same with whoever is the boyfriend of Ria.”

Hmmm, is she referring to JM de Guzman, said to be courting Ria?

“I’m speaking in general. About JM, we have known him since 2014 when we had a restaurant near ABS-CBN. JM lived in the same building and he used to go to our restaurant. As far as I know, Ria and JM are friends, sobrang close sila. Nanliligaw ba siya kay Ria? I don’t know. Ayokong makialam. They are old enough; buhay nila ‘yon. Ang mga anak ko, kapag nagmahal, mahal talaga; kapag nag-alaga, alaga talaga.” (In Kapalaran, the forthcoming teleserye, Sylvia plays JM’s mother.)

…and with co-star Cacai Bautista and producer Jay-Rosales: OFW The Movie dramatizes the stories of OFWs who come home with big bonuses from their kind-hearted employers.

Oh yes, OFW The Movie. Produced by Active Media Events Production in partnership with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the movie dramatizes the “positive side” of being OFWs, a far cry from the sad plight of their colleagues being raped or killed or maltreated by their employers that we read or hear about.

“It presents the stories of OFWs who made good,” said Active Media’s Jay-Rosales. “The stories were inspired by true incidents.”

Sylvia leads the cast as a DH (Domestic Helper) in Jeddah who served her employer so well that she was given a big amount which she used to put up a resort back home. The other stars are Diane Medina as a nurse/caretaker in Canada, Cacai Bautista as a nanny in Singapore, Christian Vasquez as a skilled construction worker-turned-oil-company-manager in Qatar, and Rafael Rosell also as a skilled construction worker in Dubai. The real characters came home sufficiently rewarded with big bonuses.

Former OWWA Deputy Administrator Arnell Ignacio is cast as narrator.

Directed by Neal “Buboy” Tan, OFW The Movie is the third project of Active Media, following the PNP movie Men in Uniform and the GMA News TV series Heroes Serye.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

SYLVIA SANCHEZ
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