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In Tacloban, Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez says her fashion style can only be described as simple: "Glamor? Hindi naman. Kasi ako naman pag nandito ako, naka T-shirt lang ako. Pag nasa barangay lang ako naka rubber shoes lang ako, maong, T-shirt. Gano'n lang ako. Hindi naman ako nagbibihis na [magarbo] unless may party or ano."

Photo: Noel Orsal

"I do love fashion. I'm a girl, you know," Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a recent interview in her hometown in Tacloban, Leyte.

She may no longer be visible onscreen and in showbiz circles but just like every other girl, she has always kept her style in check.

"Siguro kasi [dahil] galing akong showbiz, parang ganon, [kaya] mahilig ako sa clothes, shoes. I like to dress up. At saka may salon ako so may make-up artist din ako."

Now a second-term councilor and proprietor of the Cristina Salon and Spa in Tacloban, Cristina says accessories remains one of her passions.

"I love bags. I love shoes. But of course sa Tacloban, hindi ko naman magamit masyado because ang lifestyle namin dito simple lang. I can't naman be going around in expensive bags."

She admitted to indulging in luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

"Marami-rami ang LV ko at Chanel. Pero sa Manila, kasi nga dito [Tacloban], 'di naman masyadong nagagamit.

"Dito naka-Longchamp lang ako. All colors of Longchamp [meron ako]. Kasi dito, iba yung weather."

Cristina said she finds the lightweight Longchamp bags more handy when she's in Tacloban as she usually goes around the barangays to check on the progress of her projects.

She is actively advancing livelihood projects for women in Tacloban and has even put up a women's shelter to comfort and rehabilitate battered women and children.

"One of my main passions is helping women kaya nga naglagay ako ng women's shelter. Kasi napansin k,. medyo napapabayaan yung mga kababaihan, maraming mga naaapi na parang kulang pa rin ang atensiyon na nabibigay sa kanila."

These projects eat up a lot of Cristina's time, who regularly goes in and out of town to meet people. They're also influential factors when it comes to her choice of outfits.

"Basta 'pag sa Tacloban simple yung outfits ko," she said. "I just wear rubber shoes, T-shirts, simple lang dito."

But she still enjoys dressing up once in a while, just as she did when she was still in showbiz.