Ready to Cha-Cha with Ryzza?

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Ask Ryzza Mae Dizon how old (or young) she is and, without batting an  eyelash while flashing a cute missing-tooth smile, she will tell you, “I’m 78 years old.” Really now!?! “I was born on June 12, 1935.” A Gemini. She weighs 40 lbs. And how tall is she? “Six feet po,” she flashed another smile.

If you believe that, Ryzza will laugh out loud and command you to be on your feet and — are you ready? — do the Cha-Cha, whether you are at home or at the Broadway Centrum Studio watching the to-rated noontime show Eat, Bulaga!

At a private room in Annabel’s Restaurant (on Tomas Morato St., Quezon City) where Funfare had a free-wheeling interview with her last Monday, Ryzza was perhaps too shy to make us cha-cha. Or maybe she was starving, having just come from Eat, Bulaga!. It was 3 p.m. and in an hour, she was rushing to the nearby Dulcinea for the presscon of Vampire ang Daddy Ko, the GMA comedy-fantasy which premieres tomorrow, March 9, with Vic “Bossing” Sotto in the title role and Vic’s son Oyo Boy and Jimmy Santos, among the other stars. It’s the sitcom debut of Ryzza who plays Jimmy’s daughter. The day before, she shot a Lenten Special (playing a sampaguita vendor) with Susan Roces for Tony Tuviera’s APT Productions, airing on Black Saturday, March 30, on GMA. On Friday, March 15, she will be a guest performer in Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola’s repeat show at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We are trying to keep Ryzza’s age confidential,” said Malou Choa-Fagar, Ryzza’s manager who, together with Ryzza’s mom Rizza and her PA (Personal Assistant) Pappy Jack, accompanied Ryzza to her first exclusive broadsheet interview. (Also present was Dolor Guevarra, an avid Ryzza fan who bought her several dresses, and her daughter Anes.) “Hayaan na nating manghula ang mga tao,” added Malou.

Seated on a high chair, Ryzza ordered Fried Chicken with Rice. She wore two huge ribbons on her hair and a multi-colored bling-bling around her right hand.

Asked if Fried Chicken was her favorite food, Ryzza nodded. “At saka Paksiw na Bangus.”

Philippine Television’s newest Child Wonder (the first to emerge after the likes of Tessie Agana, Snooky Serna and Niño Muhlach) is unaffected by her overnight-sensation status after she won Eat, Bulaga!’s Little Miss Philippines search, the same contest from which many of today’s actresses have graduated, among them Pauleen Luna (now a Bulaga! co-host), Gladys Reyes, Jessa Zaragoza, Aiza Seguerra, Camille Prats, Lady Lee (now a nurse and married with kids) and Kapuso Julie Anne San Jose.

Even her daily schedule is the same, except that she now has to report to Bulaga! every day. Ryzza is the middle among three children, between Princess Nicole (10) and Nathaniel (three years old).

“She wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and by 6:30, she’s in school (at St. John Academy in Tondo, Manila),” said mom Rizza whose mother (Ryzza’s grandmother) is barely four-feet tall. (Ryzza must have inherited her lola’s genes). “By 11:30, nasa Eat, Bulaga! na kami.”

Rizza is not a smoker but when she was heavy with Ryzza, she was fascinated with cigaret butts.

“I didn’t smoke them,” she laughed. “I ate them. Si Ryzza pinaglihi ko sa upos ng sigarilyo. Giving birth to her was so easy. I labored for only 30 minutes. Lumabas kaagad siya; hindi na umabot ‘yung komadrona. She weighed 7.5 lbs.; she was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. She was a silent baby, hindi iyakin.”

Now in Grade 2, Ryzza said she wants to be a chef when she grows up — a star-chef. She also plans to put up a band, with her as vocalist (in the footsteps of Aiza).

“Pero gusto ko talaga maging artista noon pa,” she clarified. “I will cook Babyback Rib for Bossing Vic, medium rare, his favorite.”

Not long ago, Ryzza competed in a kiddie contest in Willie Revillame’s defunct show Wil Time Bigtime and Willie even made her his co-host for the day. But Ryzza lost as she did during the Little Miss Philippines semi-finals where only 10 out of the more than 400 applicants remained.

“She was the wild card,” said Malou, “so she was made to return. And she won.”

Her winning streak continues. A Mister Donut endorser, Ryzza might soon star in another commercial (product’s name still confidential).

While before mom Rizza would take Ryzza and her siblings in a jeepney to and from school, she now drives them around in a second-hand car bought recently. Soon, they’re moving from a rented apartment in Caloocan City to their own house. While before she would celebrate her birthday with only pancit canton, she spent her first birthday after her Little Miss Philippines win in style, on Eat, Bulaga! no less.

“Pito ang birthday cake ko,” she boasted. Why seven? “Kasi nga 78 years old na ako, eh!”

In the car, Ryzza usually sleeps with the aircon turned off.

“Para po makatipid sa kuryente,” she explained.

Asked if she wanted to grow taller, Ryzza frowned and said she’d rather not grow up. Why not?

“Kasi baka mawala ang career!”

Okay, ready to Cha-Cha with Ryzza?


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with