Is Teresa coming back for good?
Is Teresa coming back for good?
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2014 - 12:00am

In 2000, Teresa Loyzaga left the Philippines for Australia. She turned her back on her showbiz career and embraced an ordinary life, taking a job in a call center, then a bank, and finally, an airline where she has been working as a flight attendant for more than 10 years.

Then recently, Teresa — mom to teen actor Diego Loyzaga — returned unexpectedly to Manila. In an interview, she clarified that it wasn’t the annulment of her marriage or dissatisfaction over her career that encouraged her to go and seek a new life in Australia; rather, it was because her immigration papers had finally come through. There was a first petition filed in 1978 and approved in 1987 but it included only her parents and her sister Bing. Teresa, who had reached the age of 18, had to file another set of papers and when those were approved she and her two sons Joseph and Diego, packed their bags and moved to Australia.

Getting used to life in Australia was a bit difficult, especially in the beginning. “It was all of a sudden, ‘Pack your bags children, let’s go.’ The career had to stop because the paperwork was just all there; we had to go. I went there with nothing — no money, no place to stay. The first few years were hard. I didn’t know who I was, where I was, what to do, what I could do and what I could not do. I was a lost soul,” she said.

In Australia, Teresa took odd jobs. At that point, she told herself that she would take anything because, as a single mother, she needed to put her children through school. There was even a time when she worked as a “gofer” or office assistant — photocopying and delivering papers. It wasn’t the most glamorous job and it didn’t pay well as acting did, but she didn’t have much choice. Some of her friends were surprised that she was actually willing to do it when she could have it so much easier by going back to showbiz. “I had friends who were telling me, ‘You’re crazy. What the hell are you doing there? You’d better come home.’ I don’t know why I didn’t but I remained focused. I said, ‘This is a job I need to do, I think, for my children.’ The first eight years, I didn’t even think about showbiz. Talagang trabaho lang ako.”

She resisted the idea of coming back even after her mom had TFC installed. Although she would look at the TV set and wonder who the new faces were, she turned a deaf ear to the voices in her head that were urging her to go home. “I missed it but I didn’t want to admit,” she said. Teresa even avoided watching programs on TFC. “I wasn’t even interested. I didn’t want to know only because bumabalik ‘yung ‘Kumusta na kaya doon? Okey pa kaya kung bumalik ako?’”

For the sake of her children, Teresa couldn’t even entertain those thoughts. She had to make sure that they finished school first. “I had to finish what I started in Australia,” enthused Teresa. “That was for my children, not for me.”

Then all of a sudden, Diego decided that he wanted to try his luck in the Philippines. Almost instantaneously, as if it were meant to happen, the communication lines between Diego and his father, Cesar Montano, opened up. The opportunity to come home presented itself — and even Teresa found it pointless to resist. “I found myself talking to the father and Diego flying here, eh ang tagal ko nang hindi umuuwi. So ayun na, seeing my friends again, seeing the studio, feeling everything again, naku, ayan na, nabuhay na naman. Sabi ko, ‘Parang na-miss ko ito.’”

This homecoming was not a comeback, explained Teresa, who was home for a week’s vacation. She was preparing to leave the country and go back to Australia to put her affairs in order prior to settling back in the Philippines for good.

She sees things settling in about three and a half years. “Maybe I might sneak through the back door again. I hope my job will still be there when I come back,” she said. Offers have come in but Teresa is biding her time, “We’ll take it from there.”


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