Did you know that Carmina Villarroel's departure from the ’90s sitcom Palibhasa Lalake was rooted in her relationship with her then boyfriend Rustom Padilla?
Palibhasa Lalake was a sitcom that aired on ABS-CBN from 1987 to 1998 with an ensemble cast.
The male stars were composed of Richard Gomez, Joey Marquez, Miguel Rodriguez, John Estrada, and Anjo Yllana.
Carmina played the younger sister of Richard in the show.
In 1993, however, Carmina left the show for this reason: she had a falling out with Richard, John, Anjo.
According to reports, the situation on the set of the show became problematic when the male stars started ribbing Carmina about her relationship with Rustom.
At the same time, it was reported that Anjo had a rift with the Padillas.
The Palibhasa Lalake stars' jokes did not sit well with Carmina as she said in a 2014 interview on Jeepney TV’s Biyaheng Retro, “That time, medyo serious na iyong tampuhan.
"Actually, kung ako lang talaga ang masusunod, tampo, but mapapatawad ko.
“But since may ibang taong involved, I had to choose between them [and my boyfriend].”
The conflict between the male stars and Carmina came to a head when it became the talk of the town to the point it affected the show.
The solution of the producers of Palibhasa Lalake was to write off her character and let go of Carmina.
She said in the interview, “They also made a choice to let me go because lumaki na, e.
"Lumaki na hindi na siya yung parang internal problem. Oo, national issue na, e!
“It was just so sad that I had to leave, and, obviously, I chose the other one kaysa doon sa show."
Leaving Palibhasa Lalake was doubly hard for Carmina because it was her first regular TV show in ABS-CBN, but she must leave.
She recalled, “Siyempre, parang sad lang. It was my first TV show in ABS ‘tapos family pa, sitcom pa, ‘tapos I had to leave.
"Iyak ako ng iyak, hindi ako makapag-move on. Na-hurt pero iyong hurt bilang pamilya, ha.
"Hindi bilang kaibigan because… basta nararamdaman ko iyong pagmamahal nila, e.
"May magulang na kailangan to be firm with your kid kahit nasasaktan, tough love.
"Parang ganun iyong sa kanila.”
And she was right about that. Carmina related further that she was asked to return as a guest star in few episodes of Palibhasa Lalake before the show ended its run in 1998.
She looked back, “When Palibhasa Lalake ended, ginuest nila ako. I think… I don’t know if it was the last episode or basta malapit na mag-end iyong Palibhasa.
"They decided na, ‘Uy, I guest naman natin si Mina, for old times’ sake, parang reunion.’
“And before I guested, we were okay na, pero hindi pa kami nagkakakitaan personally.
“Pero siyempre namatay na iyong issue ang tagal na noon, ganyan.”
By that time, Carmina was already with GMA-7 and VIVA.
A postscript: Rustom had a guest appearance in one of the early episode of Palibhasa Lalake, way back before Carmina left the show.
More tidbits: In 2019, Carmina and John reunited in the GMA-7 teleserye Kara Mia, where they played the parents of Barbie Forteza and Mika dela Cruz.
Carmina and John are also set to top-bill GMA-7's new afternoon drama series, Babawiin Ang Lahat, which will also feature Pauline Mendoza.
CARMINA's LAST DINNER DATE WITH RUSTOM PADILLA
In 1994, a year after Carmina left Palibhasa Lalake, she and Rustom got married.
In 1996, Carmina and Rustom separated. Their marriage was annulled in 2002.
In 2006, Rustom publicly came out of the closet in the reality TV show, Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition
Rustom later changed his name and identity from he to she, and is now known as the transgender BB Gandanghari.
In the latest episode on June 21 of her YouTube vlog titled BB Uncut, BB revealed that Carmina knew about her decision to come out on Pinoy Big Brother.
BB said her two friends, Gelli de Belen and Candy Pangilinan, helped set up her dinner date with Carmina.
She recalled, "Nandoon kami ni Carmina sa isang side, at doon nag-out si Rustom kay Carmina.
"Kaya bago pa ang Pinoy Big Brother, bago pa ang lahat, nag-out si Rustom kay Carmina.
"Bakit ginawa ni Rustom iyon? Bilang respeto.
"Gusto niyang iparating kay Carmina na hindi nagbabago yung pagmamahal na ibinigay sa kanya ni Rustom, kung naramdaman man niya iyon.
"Gusto rin niyang makita iyong acceptance ni Carmina, siguro, at the back of his head.”
BB said Carmina told Rustom she would give her all-out support for his decision to come out.