Ruffa Gutierrez opens up about love and charity
Ruffa Gutierrez has one of the most beautiful faces in Philippine showbusiness; she has retained that queenly glow many years after her triumphant stint at the Miss World beauty pageant, where she narrowly missed the crown.
"It's one of my most memorable moments, and one of my biggest achievements. It was a triumph for me as a person, as a woman and as a Filipina, so it was extra special," recalled Gutierrez, who was in Dubai last Thursday to launch two new Filipino channels in the Middle East.
Wearing a black dress by noted Filipino designer Rajo Laurel, Gutierrez expressed excitement about her latest trip to Dubai.
"I've been here as a tourist before, in 2001 if I remember correctly, and transited through Dubai's fabulous airport many times when I go to Europe; or last year I think when I went to Lebanon with Vicki Belo [a celebrity cosmetic surgeon]," she said, with a big grin on her face, perhaps recalling the incident when the cosmetic surgeon-to-the-stars tweeted that Gutierrez's former boyfriend, actor John Lloyd Cruz (above, right), was still sending the former beauty queen-turned-actress sweet SMSes.
Gutierrez swears Lloyd, whom she dated in 2009, is history, and wonders why she still receives nasty messages from Shaina Magdayao, the actor's current flame. "I have the messages on my phone to prove who started it all. I am not the type to ruin a relationship as I know how painful it can be," said Gutierrez, who had a bitter separation from her Turkish husband, Ylmas Bektas in 2007.
"Besides, I have a new inspiration now; and have nothing to do or would want anything to do with their relationship or their issues," she explained, turning a bit serious when the Cruz-Magdayao issue came up during the interview.
Gutierrez says she has chosen to take the high road in the controversy by letting Cruz and Magdayao do all the talking. In time, though, Gutierrez hopes to clarify everything, promising to reveal all the messages she has wisely stored on her phone. "I have everything stored on my BlackBerry, and if I am provoked will show the trail of messages that will prove once and for all that instead of the nuisance that they project me to be, I am really the aggrieved party," she added.
Before the interview got more serious, the bubbly actress-TV host said she was excited to meet Filipinos in Dubai. She said, "We have a lot of great shows to offer our kababayans here, and hopefully more community activities that will keep us in touch with our valiant expatriate workers in the UAE."
While in Dubai, Gutierrez's itinerary included fittings with Dubai-based designers Furne One and Michael Cinco. Although she keeps a good number of foreign labels in her closet, she still prefers dresses by Filipino designers.
"I love what Furne and Michael have done with their haute couture pieces, with the detailing impressing me the most. I told them I want something really elaborate in terms of detailing, but also something that I can use on my shows."
On Saturday, Gutierrez led a fundraising drive for distressed Filipino workers, appealing to Filipinos who attended the Kapatid Fans Day in Abu Dhabi.
"I am happy this is part of our activities here, and I promise to give my own share, although it will not be as big as what OSN and TV5 will give," she said. Although it seemed like a spur of the moment commitment, it validates stories of Gutierrez's generosity to family and friends, as well as fans and those who are in need.
On one of her shopping trips, she bought Patchi chocolates for her mother, Anabelle Rama, a former actress and now talent handler and TV star. Gutierrez's Dubai trip has been a whirlwind of activities that culminated in judging Talentadong Pinoy at the Boracay Club in Asiana Hotel.
Impressed by the turnout of talented Pinoys, she said, "I take my hats off to our kababayans here — they're not just excellent workers, they're also very talented singers, dancers and comics. I would love to come back and spend some more time mingling with them, and exploring the city a little bit more. I would have loved to go to the Burj Khalifa — guess that's one good reason to come back soon."