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Ruffa tired of being fashionista

When Ruffa Gutierrez accepted the role as Daniella in the ABS-CBN soap I Love Betty La Fea, she was a bit apprehensive that, because Daniella is mataray (reminiscent of Meryl Streep’s bossy/pushy fashion-mag editor role in The Devil Wears Prada), she might scare the children out of their wits.

“Luckily,” said Ruffa with relief, “that’s not what happened. When I went around, I was somewhat worried that the kids might stay away from me baka sigawan ko sila ng ‘Go!!!’ but what happened was the opposite. The kids would smile at me and call me Daniella.”

Her initial fear of losing endorsements in the wake of Daniella’s katarayan also didn’t happen. In fact, Ruffa got a thumbs-up from advertisers who continue to believe in her. So far, she’s endorsing six products — Pantene, Nido 45, Avon Fashion, The Belo Medical Clinic, MET Whitening Cream and Xando Tummy Tablets — and more are coming.

The lucky streak stretches to her TV/movie career. In this a roller-coaster year not only for her but all the Gutierrezes, Ruffa has been busy with three TV shows (Kokey, which ended a few months ago with a high rating; Betty La Fea; and The Buzz in which she blends very beautifully with the warmly-welcome comebacking co-host Kris Aquino) and three movies (Desperadas 1, shown early this year in the tailend of the 2007 Metro Filmfest; Monster Mom, with mom Annabelle Rama; and Desperadas 2, again by Regal Films, an entry in the 2008 Metro Filmfest).

Ruffa talked to a handful of movie writers Sunday night (after she was done with The Buzz) at the Secret Café owned by Fanny Serrano.

She described 2008 as a “roller-coaster year” for her family because so many things happened during the period, including the successful operation of her dad Eddie Gutierrez (for angioplasty) and her mom (for hysterectomy to remove two myomas).

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Ruffa has matured by leaps and bounds as an actress. While before she was self-conscious and seemingly “guarded” in her acting, she has loosened up considerably.

“I’m aware of it,” said Ruffa. “After I took up an acting workshop with direk Laurice Guillen, I became more comfortable in my acting. I simply let go of my apprehension. Okay ang result. Natural na natural na ang acting ko.”

But, although she said that she enjoys playing “mataray”roles in designer clothes, Ruffa wants to do the opposite.

“It must be nice to play a character na mahirap at hindi nakabihis ng mamahaling damit, ‘yung hindi na fashionista. You see, playing a fashionista is very expensive because I have to spend for my own clothes. Sana next year, maiba naman.”

Like all actresses, Ruffa also dreams of winning a Best Actress award.

Come to think of it, since indie films are the current rage (not expensive to produce and most of which are winning awards in filmfests not only here but in other countries), Ruffa said that she just might star in one and produce it herself.

“I’m thinking of a role that will show the other side of me,” she said, “isang naiibang Ruffa Gutierrez.”

Pacquiao still aspires to be a congressman

Even if he was, well, “TKO’d” by Darlene Antonino when he ran for congressman in GenSan during the 2007 elections, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao isn’t about to hang up his “political glove,” insisting that he’s running for the same position (presumably) in 2010.

He revealed this in an interview with editor-in-chief Jim Plouffe in the latest (December) issue of the Reader’s Digest which features Pacquiao on the cover, the second Filipino to be accorded that honor in barely three months, following Michael V. who graced the RD cover in its special issue on Asian comedy.

Question (by Plouffe): It seems the only time you’ve taken a real beating is when you went for public office.

Pacquiao: It was not the right time to run for office because I was in my prime in boxing. (The Filipino people) are looking at me as a role model in boxing. The time has come now. I think they will want me because I have a big heart.

Big words, those. If Pacquiao can translate words into action, well and good. But he’s right that his fans (including this one) prefer him to stay inside the ring and not somewhere else, not in the political arena or in the movies (his “starrers” were flops, including films supposedly “inspired” by his success story).

But he’s undaunted in his quest for a space in politics.

Question: So politics is still in the cards?

Pacquiao: Absolutely. I want to be a congressman. (The Filipino people) idolize me in boxing. I want them to idolize me in terms of public service. (I believe in) social accountability. I can change the system. I’m not like some politicians who can be corrupt. I have money and I am satisfied with what I have earned from bloody work like boxing. What I want to do is bring government money back to the poor people.” (Adding that what the Philippines needs the most are “politicians with big hearts to help the people who are suffering.”)

Bigger words, those. I read the RD story with mounting excitement, waiting for Pacquiao to name the “politicians who can be corrupt” but he disappointed me (and you, too, I guess) by not naming one at all.

Anyway, the Reader’s Digest (with Pacquiao looking invincible on the cover, as if taunting Oscar dela Hoya with whom he’s matched in a non-title bout in Las Vegas on Dec. 6) is a collector’s item. Buy a copy before it gets out of stock.

Where did Rihanna and Chris Brown go after The Fort concert?

Now it can be told: Rihanna and Chris Brown decided to chill out at Alchemy’s Vapor Club (at Silver City, Frontera Verde Drive corner Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig City) after their concert last Nov. 16 at The Bonifacio Global City Open Field, whisked off in black limousines and escorted by big bouncers as they entered through the back entrance.

It wasn’t a secret, though. The night before, Brown’s manager visited Alchemy to negotiate for a post-concert party and Brown kept mentioning it during the concert.

According to the Funfare DPA, Brown and Rihanna enjoyed the drinks and the hors d‘ oeuvres, plus the music, for more than two hours.

“There was a mild showdown between Brown’s dancers and Rihanna’s performer,” added the DPA. “Could it have been caused by an attractive woman who came from neither of the two groups?”

Also at Alchemy that same night was American Idol Season 7 finalist Michael Johns.

Incidentally, on Nov. 26, Alchemy will be the venue of the DKNY launch of Delicious Nights, its latest night-fragrance line. Manila’s glitterati is expected at the affair. Also slated at Alchemy are corporate parties such as those of Sykes, Convergys, UNILAB, Emerson, Abott, Philippine Electric, Digital, Mapua, One Global, Ventus and others.

(Note: For inquiries about Alchemy, call 0917-8861049.)

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com)

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