At a time when beauty could be had by just a quick
visit to a cosmetic surgeon, and at a period when almost everything aesthetic
could be faked, it is refreshing to hear from an individual who is not only
well-regarded for her genuine good looks but is also esteemed for giving honor to
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was lucky enough to
get in touch with former beauty queen and actress, Gloria "Bong" Dimayacyac who
is now based in Los Angeles, California, USA.
The 1983 Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia and Miss Asia Pacific Quest
beauty was gracious enough to entertain PEP despite being away from the
limelight for quite awhile.
It would be remembered that Bong was one of the beautiful
faces that graced the boob tube and the big screen during the ‘80s.
She was one of the sexy model-housemates that made the wacky
TV comedy Chicks to Chicks so
popular, together with still-very-active Carmi Martin, Lorraine Schuck, and the
late Maria Theresa Carlson.
Ms. Bong was also cast in movies opposite big stars like
Fernando Poe, Jr. (1987's No Retreat, No
Surrender...Si Kumander), Ramon Revilla, Sr. (1987's Hitman), Dolphy and Panchito (1985's Kalabog en Bosyo Strike Again), and Lito Lapid (1986's Kamagong).
"I was barely 18 when I won both Mutya [May 1983] and Miss
Asia [July 1983]," related Bong. "In 1984, I was asked to join Chanel 13's
Chicks to Chicks, which
eventually became Chicka Chicka Chicks
when we moved to ABS-CBN, and I stayed until I left in September 1988."
"Chicks to Chicks was the number 1 show
at that time," she stressed, adding that it also raked in a lot of money. But
more than that, it was the cast and crew that made the experience
"The late Ading Fernando was the director then," she
informed. "He was such a wonderful, funny and warm person. Of
course, Direk [Johnny] Manahan was just as awesome. The casts were wonderful,
too. We all got very close and it was more like a weekly family
reunion than it was a job. It was a lot of fun. I loved every minute of
it. We all shared laughter and tears. If there is anything I miss
to this day...it is the filming/taping of Chicka Chicka Chicks."
"I have been in
touch with them [Chicks to Chicks
cast] since I left the show. [In fact] Carmi, Nova [Villa], Lorraine, and myself had a reunion when [my family] came to visit the
Philippines last June ," she shared, adding that she also kept in
touch with other colleagues. "I was able to get ahold of some beauty queens and
models and kept in touch with them since June, including Joyce Ann Burton
and Jane Brummitt."
It is smart to note that
some of her contemporaries are still, in one way or the other, involved in the
industry which she decided to leave in 1988. And this prompted PEP to ask if she
harbored regrets for her decision to leave.
"None at all!" she denied. "Sure I miss showbiz, but would I
like to return? Perhaps... especially if I would have the opportunity to
work with the people I worked with in the past."
But there is no question
that Bong had made the right decision when she left the limelight in 1988. "I
left because I knew I was ready to move on to a more stable life, something
The former actress recalled, "The last movie I did was the
Italian production film, Indio," she
informed. "[It starred] Francesco Quinn, Marvin Hagler, and Brian Dennehy,
and Leopoldo Salcedo, I think. They did a sequel to this film in 1990 and
they called me here in LA to do it, but I had to decline as I was already
pregnant with my second child that time. They asked Tetchie Agbayani
instead [I think]."
At that point, there were more pressing roles for Bong to
From beauty queen to
queen of the house. "I did not work full-time until about six years ago,"
Bong confessed, relating that she concentrated on being mom and wife previous
to said six years. Of course it could be pointed out that being mom and wife
are full-time jobs as well—if more demanding but gratifying nonetheless.