She was first known as Gracia, the Showdown Girl of Eat Bulaga!, before Samantha Lopez left the country in 2002 to be with her husband Warren Edwards.
After eight years, the former mainstay of the longest-running noontime show makes her showbiz comeback through GMA-7's afternoon drama Sine Serye Presents: Mars Ravelo's Basahang Ginto.
The dancer-actress was supposed to be part of the upcoming celebrity edition of Survivor Philippines. However, it would take a longer period of time and it would also be more dangerous than doing a normal TV series.
Samantha said she really intended to return to showbiz, even if only for a little while. She even contacted several TV executives, including GMA-7 Senior Vice President for Entertainment, Wilma Galvante, to help her be part of a TV show.
"Once po yata gusto mo ang work mo, hahanap-hanapin mo. So, nandito po ako, not for good, but only for the duration of my soap opera," said Samantha during a press interview for Basahang Ginto.
Since she's been away from local showbiz for quite some time, Samantha admitted that she needed to polish her skills. She willingly went through workshops prior to her taping for Basahang Ginto.
"Hanggang ngayon po kinakabahan ako," she said. "[Kahit nung] hindi pa po ako nagshoo-shoot, gusto ko araw-araw nagwo-workshop na ako. Unang workshop ko, talagang eight hours straight. Hindi ko naramdaman ang gutom or anything. I was so focused on my workshop dahil nangangalawang po ng konti [ang skills]."
Samantha is now based in Manhattan, New York, where her designer husband Warren Edwards owns a shoe store.
And while she's here, what could be her daily essentials? The former Eat Bulaga! dancer showed us the few items she had in her clutch, which was designed by her husband, during the press conference. Launch the Gallery by clicking on the button below to see them.