Even though ABS-CBN’s first fashion-serye is about to end, Gretchen Barretto admits that she is not yet ready to let go of Victoria, her character in Magkaribal.
The actress says that she learned a lot while taping her first teleserye. "Natuto akong makisama sa lahat. Natuto akong i-value ang bawat isa dito sa set, yung director namin, yung crew. Ang dami-dami namin dito, may mga fashion models, mga designers and all. Natutunan ko to enjoy talaga the moment...to hold on to it."
Through this show, Gretchen has also come to realize the importance of prayer in one’s life.
"Natutuwa kami dahil lahat ng aming paghihirap, lahat ng pagpupuyat namin, na-appreciate ng tao," she said. "I’m thankful and grateful. At nakita ko yung biyaya ng Diyos, the power of God and the power of prayer kasi talagang pinagdasal namin bago pa mag-umpisa yung Magkaribal na sana tanggapin ng tao at sana mag-enjoy ng tao."
Gretchen promised to maintain her ties with her Magkaribal co-stars even after the show ends. "Sabi ko sa kanila, pagkatapos ng taping, hindi dapat matapos ang friendship," she stressed.
What did she see in her Magkaribal co-stars that drew her to them?
"Sincerity. Pure love and respect for our craft and for each other. There is unity and harmony sa set. Importante talaga ang respeto sa isa’t isa.
"Hindi namin pinapairal kung sino kami sa totoong buhay. Or kung ano kami dito sa industriya."
Gretchen became emotional when she was asked to give her advice to Bea Alonzo, who plays her sister in ABS-CBN’s teleserye.
"Ang lagi kong sinasabi sa kanya, ang isipin mo parati, we only have one life to live. And you have to live your life to the fullest. [Gretch’s eyes began to tear up as she tried to finish her sentence]
"Sabi ko sa kanya, you have to love yourself. Kasi I see Bea as very loving and nasa-sacrifice niya ang sarili niya. And I want her to love herself more than anyone else. Sabi ko, ’save for yourself.’"
What did Gretchen learn from Bea while they worked together in this primetime series?
"Yung makisama sa tao at yung mahalin ang industriya na ito. Nakita ko kung gaano niya kamahal ang trabaho niya.
"Hindi siya nagrereklamo pero nagrereklamo pa rin ako," admitted Gretchen with a laugh.
"Pag 2 am, gusto ko na mag cut-off kasi gusto ko nang matulog. Siya kahit 5 na ng umaga hindi siya magrereklamo."
What is the feedback of Tonyboy Cojuangco and their daughter Dominique to Magkaribal?
"Tonyboy and Dominique are very, very proud. Sinasabi ni Dominique, her [friends] are watching. Si Tonyboy, sinasabi niya na before a meeting, [his colleagues] ask me about the clothes or pinapatanong ng misis raw kung ilang closets ang meron ako sa bahay. ’They interview me about your clothes or what the ending is.’
"I really see he is proud and hindi naman siya nahihiyang sabihin sa akin na proud siya talaga sa akin at sa mga achievements ko."
Gretchen then gave credit to her long-time partner for being supportive of her career. "At siyempre, parte siya...Hindi naman ako magiging ganito ka-successful pag wala rin siya."
After working hard on Magkaribal, Gretchen hopes to reconnect with her loved ones.
"Natigil ang buhay ko for the past five months. I’d like to spend time with my family," said the actress who is scheduled to go to the United States this December with Tonyboy and Dominique.