Who is Caridad Sanchez?
The unfamiliar name is linked to a very familiar face; which, if you are a 90’s kid, would identify her as everybody’s grandmother. I know her by the face of ABS-CBN’s Bayani (1995), an old TV show about the unsung heroes of the Philippines. She portrayed the role of a Lola who told classic Filipino stories to her grandchildren.
But her works of art goes beyond Bayani because before the TV show landed on her lap, she has made several movies already. Based on my research, she started making movies in 1958. One of her memorable movies was The Untouchable Family in 1988, followed by Takot Ako, Eh in 1989. Since then, Caridad made appearances on several movies and TV shows up until in 2014 where she was cast in GMA’s Magpakailanman: Dalawang Kasarian and The Borrowed Wife.
If you still have no idea who she is, keep on reading.
The youngest among 15 siblings, Caridad started her showbiz career in Cebu, where she was born and raised. At a young age, she decided to step foot on the Capital of the Philippines, where everybody wishes to find a greener pasture– Manila.
She followed her dreams and the love of her life– who was then starting a career in Manila from Cebu as well. When she got there, Caridad’s boyfriend seemed to have been avoiding her calls and when they finally met, he shooed her away by telling her that she won’t be able to make it and that Caridad does not belong in the industry.
Brokenhearted, she asked why. He told her that she does not qualify because of her morena skin. Only mestizas are given the opportunity to be shown on television and make movies. He then asked her to leave and go home to Cebu.
She walked away and planned on going to the bridge. But instead of heading to her destination, she found herself kneeling inside the Quiapo Church where an image of the Black Nazarene was displayed.
When she looked up, she realized that the Nazarene was dark in color, too. This encounter gave her the confidence that skin color is not an issue and that being morena is not wrong at all.
After crying for a long time, she decided to head out and pack her things. She was supposed to go back to Cebu because she was disheartened. Before she did, she asked her cousin to tag her along as they toured the Big Three studios in Manila, not knowing that this would change her life.
The LVN studio was about to close when they arrived. Lucky for her, her cousin’s photographer friend knew the guard so they got in. She met the owner’s relative, who then asked if she wanted to be an actress. Of course, she said yes right away.
Days after that, she got scheduled for a screen test for a movie. Fortunately, the original cast was no longer available so the staff needed someone to take over the role. She aced the test because of her self-confidence. She got the role and started her showbiz career in Manila. This was for a movie called Malvarosa.
After a few movies, she happened to meet a young man who looked quite unhealthy. The director approached her and asked if it was okay to include him in the movie. She was puzzled as to why the director would ask her that, so he told her that the man was her ex-boyfriend and that he’s afraid that she may not want him to be part of the film.
Out of pity, she said yes. His career went down and became an alcoholic.
Caridad’s life was full of ups and downs but her beautiful smile reminds us that pursuing a dream is a life-long journey and that you should never give up. Also, releasing forgiveness and never holding grudges are important steps in reaching a life of success. She also puts importance on having faith in God and lifting the pains up to Him.