Donna as Mama

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo -
Plain housewife.

That very simply is how Donna Cruz describes her life since she (semi?)-retired from showbiz seven years ago after she got married to (dentist) Yong Larrazabal and settled down in Cebu.

"This is the kind of life that I’ve always dreamed," Donna told Funfare. "A quiet family life."

Donna and their two children, Isabella "Belle" Adriana, five years old, and Potenciano "Cian" IV, two, were in Manila for one week purposely to shoot a Jollibee commercial. It’s their first commercial together after the Progress commercial Donna and Belle did four years ago. While here, Donna also attended the recent 23rd Film Academy/Luna Awards with Yong who followed his family.

"After the two-day shoot," said Donna, "Yong and I took the kids to Enchanted Kingdom. Promise namin ‘yon sa kanila."

How has her life been in Cebu as plain wife to Yong and mother to their children?

"Very relaxed. Puro pamilya. I’m also busy with the computer because I’m the one maintaining Yong’s website. I’m a stay-home person. Every now and then when we get bored, the kids and I go for a stroll at the mall. Somebody does the household chores for us."

The Larrazabals (Yong’s family own a hospital in Cebu) are still staying at a condo lent to them by Yong’s parents. Soon, however, they are moving to their own house, now nearing completion, at the Maria Luisa district.

"Hindi naman kami pinaaalis sa condo," Donna clarified. "Sa totoo lang, Yong’s parents would like us to stay at the condo for as long as we like."

How is Yong as a husband (they’re celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary on Sept. 19; they were married at the San Sebastian Church in Manila)?

"He’s super supportive. Malambing kami sa isa’t-isa, although I think I’m more malambing. He’s very loving."

Cebu is basically like Manila (the frenzy, the traffic, the social life, etc.), so Donna didn’t find it hard to adjust to life in the South’s Queen City.

"The only difference is that there’s more to do in Manila," added Donna who is virtually a lady of leisure.

No, she said, Yong doesn’t stop her from accepting showbiz offers every now and then as long as they don’t interfere with her domestic life.

"When I turn down an offer, it means kaming dalawa ni Yong ang tumanggi n’un."

Since her marriage, Donna has done only one album which she recorded while heavy with Belle. Occasionally, she agrees to guest on TV and do a commercial.

"I’ve always been a homebody," confirmed Donna who got married at 21. "Even when I was active in showbiz, home was my sanctuary. I always looked forward to going home; I seldom, if ever, socialize."

Still and all, Donna admitted missing showbiz.

"‘Yung pagkanta-kanta especially. Sometimes, I get invited to social gatherings in Cebu and I usually sing. But it’s different when you’re singing for a crowd at a concert."

Don’t her vocal folds (not "cords" as we’ve been used to saying) get, uh, "rusty"?

"I practise all the time with my Magic Sing. I sing to Belle and Cian or we sing together. My kids are just like my playmates; parang kalaro ko lang sila."

Up to now, though, Donna hasn’t learned to speak Cebuano fluently.

"I speak and understand the dialect enough na hindi na ako puede ibenta," she joked. In reverse, her home companions now speak Tagalog easily. "They learned from me, not the other way around."

What you see in the new Jollibee commercial is what you get.

"Kaming-kami" is how Donna described it. "Doing the commercial shoot was the first time Yong and I were separated that long –three days. Big deal na sa amin ‘yon. Ang usapan namin, we should always be together. When he has to attend a convention in Manila, we have to be with him. This time, we flew to Manila ahead of him and he missed us after only three days, kaya sumunod siya kaagad."

Asked how many more kids do they want to have, Donna smiled.

"Two more."

(E-mail reactions at [email protected])

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