Eddie proposes to Annabelle
Birthday Boy Eddie Gutierrez acknowledges guests with a big smile at his 75th birthday dinner at Discovery Primea last Feb. 6. The story below reveals the secret of Eddie’s ‘forever young’ look and how wife Annabelle Rama helps sustain it.
Photos courtesy of Nice Print Photography

Eddie proposes to Annabelle

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2017 - 12:00am

But first, here’s a secret (now it can be told!) to why Eddie Gutierrez is looking young and fresh even if he’s into his mid-70s, which I found out when I spent overnight at their home in Glendale, California, years ago when the Gutierrezes lived there and Eddie sold high-end kalderos (pots and pans) for a living. (I actually carried some of the boxes on one of Eddie’s delivery trips, no kidding!)

In the morning when I bade Eddie and his wife Annabelle Rama goodbye (and thank them for their hospitality), I spied Eddie applying “something” on his face. I asked Eddie what “it” was. Smiling, just like a little boy caught with his hand inside the cookie jar, he replied almost in a whisper, “Oil of Olay.” Since then, we have been jokingly greeting each other, “Oil of Olay!” every time we meet. (Trivia: Makers of Oil of Olay should hire Eddie as endorser if and when they need an actor as image model…why not?)

Anyway, when Eddie invited friends to dinner for his 75th birthday last Feb. 6 at the Discovery Primea in Makati City, Annabelle humored Eddie by texting that Eddie was “turning 70.” Eddie’s high-school classmates were wondering, and so was Gloria Diaz, one of the invitees (with her boyfriend Mike de Jesus), who double-checked, “Is he really only 70?” In fact, Eddie looks even younger than 70…thanks to, yes, Oil of Olay!

Eddie’s junior by more than 10 years, Annabelle celebrated her birthday in October last year but she might as well having a “happy birthday” with Eddie because last year, Eddie proposed to her and, according to Annabelle, “Of course, I said yes…again!!!” The couple is renewing vows this year to mark their 45th wedding anniversary. “We were not able to celebrate our 25th and 30th anniversaries,” added Annabelle, “kaya babawi kami.”

Asked what the “formula” for their marital success (very rare in the temptation-infested showbiz) is, Annabelle said, “Give and take. Nagbibigayan kami. Huwag mag-swapangan; we share everything, money and all. At saka, we trust each other. We don’t hide anything from each other. Nagbibigayan kami kahit nagkakagalit. When one is angry, the other keeps quiet. Hindi kami nagkla-clash.”

They have survived perhaps more ups and downs than any showbiz couple has, but Eddie and Annabelle survived them beautifully, including a separation in the late ’70s when, in a huff and out of jealousy, Annabelle flew to California, only to reconcile with Eddie as soon as he recovered from a car accident and was well enough to join Annabelle in California where daughter Ruffa was born along with her brothers Rocky, Elvis and twins Richard and Raymond.

Unlike other showbiz couples, Eddie and Annabelle are enjoying their “forever.”

Except for Ritchie Paul, the Gutierrez children (with Richard’s girlfriend Sarah Lahbati) were at the party to help entertain the well-wishers that included, aside from Gloria and Mike, Regal Matriarch Lily Monteverde, Malou Choa-Fagar, former Gov. Chavit Singson, Alice Eduardo, former Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo, Annabelle’s cousin Mike Rama (former Cebu City mayor), and Sen. Tito Sotto with wife Helen Gamboa.

Zion, Richard and Sarah’s son, stole the scene when he danced while Lolo Eddie rendered songs by Elvis Presley (his all-time favorite) and the Beatles.

Aside from Oil of Olay, how else does Eddie keep that “forever young” look?

“He doesn’t take problems seriously,” revealed Annabelle. “Cool lang siya. Hindi ko siya binibigyan ng problema; ako ang humaharap sa mga problema.”

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com.)

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