Gladys Reyes gets Judy Ann Santos as "guest of honor" at restaurant opening

IMAGE Rose Garcia

Gladys Reyes (L) and Judy Ann Santos have remained friends since their Mara Clara days in the '90s.


The grand opening of Christopher Roxas and Gladys Reyes's new restaurant, Estela, turned out to be a mini-reunion of batch '90s celebs.

The resto, situated in Brickroad, Cainta, Rizal, has been operational for some time, but it was only last July 31 when it had its formal launch.

Leading the list of celebrity guests were the couple's closest friends including Judy Ann Santos, Angelu de Leon, Donita Rose, Jason Abalos and girlfriend Vicki Rushton, Carlo Aquino and talent manager/comedian Ogie Diaz.

Victor Neri is the restaurant's chef/consultant.

Judy Ann, Gladys, and Christopher are proud of their long-standing friendship, which dates back to their Mara Clara days—a top-rating ABS-CBN teleserye which aired from 1992 to 1997.

Hanging out with Gladys and Judy Ann was pretty much like sharing a good meal with your BFF—with food and drinks galore, punctuated with lots of giggles, shrieks, and laugh-out-loud moments.

This was what PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) captured during our brief interview after the resto's formal opening festivities.

Judy Ann asked, "Bakit Estela?"

Gladys answered, "Estela, derived from the word estrella which means, star. Huwag mo nang i-e-elaborate kung saan galing, basta Estela. Yun ang napagkasunduan nilang magpa-partner.

"Gusto ko nga sana Gladys. Ha Ha Ha!" she said before adding, "Kaya lang parang hindi masyadong nag-iisip. Parang hindi pinag-isipan."

GUEST OF HONOR

Based on the resto's timetable, Estela had been on soft-opening mode for a few months already.

Why did it take so long to finalize the grand opening date? Was it because they were waiting for Judy Ann to free up her schedule?

Juday quipped, "Hoy, hindi!"

Gladys interjected, "Oo! Totoo iyan! Ang tagal ko talagang ini-invite siya dito. Ang tagal nang open nito, ngayon lang nag-grand opening."

The Kapamilya actress admitted that she had been missing a lot of Gladys's events, but she made sure she'd find time for the opening of Estela.

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"Sa totoo lang, ang daming invitation sa akin ni Chic-Chic [Gladys]. Mga birthdays ng bagets, birthday niya, as in ang dami kong hindi napupuntahan dahil nagkakataon naman talaga na may mga ganap na trabaho.

"Kaya sabi ko, 'Shucks, hindi puwedeng wala ako sa grand opening.'"

Judy Ann among the celebrity guests who cut the resto's ceremonial opening ribbon.

Gladys continued, "Oo, siyempre! Talagang isa siya sa unang pumasok sa isip ko.

"Unang-una, chef siya. Di ba, sabi ko nga sa kanya, ang message ko sa kanya, tingnan mo naman kung papasa sa ‘yo ang food namin bilang ang kaibigan ko talagang ito ang authorize sa mga food."

Juday threw in, "Maryosep… napi-pressure naman ako."

Apart from Juday, Gladys also invited Donita, who is a good cook, and Angelu De Leon.

Gladys added, 'Tapos siyempre, nag-guest din sa akin sa Moments (ang lifestyle show ni Gladys sa Net 25) si Governor Imee Marcos. Nakakatuwa naman na nagpaunlak din sila."

The next target of the Inday Will Always Love You actress is to guest on her friend's online show Judy Ann's Kitchen, which holds its regular shoots at their Batangas resort.

"Parang may relate, may connect pa rin sa resto. Ako nga, gustung-gusto kong mag-guest sa show niya, kaya lang wala akong K," she said laughing.

Juday added, "Wala siyang time. Ang layo, e! Parang kapag nag-shoot siya dun, kasama na niya ang buong pamilya, overnight sila."

Gladys agreed, "Matagal na rin niyang sinasabi sa akin na, 'Sis, punta kayo rito, sama mo family.'

"Biglang ang konti ng anak ko, di ba? Apat lang naman sila."

Here's the rest of PEP.ph's funny interview with the two BFFs.

RISK-TAKER

Between the two of them, who is more daring?

Juday: Oo naman! Sa mga ganito ha… pero pasakayin mo ng mga rides iyan, walang lakas ng loob iyan. Palanguyin mo sa dagat yan, walang lakas ng loob iyan. Adventurous ako sa ganung part, mga physical activity. Siya, mas adventurous sa mga ganitong klaseng decision, kayang-kaya niya. Kaya nga siya producer.

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We asked Judy Ann if she ever thought of putting up another restaurant again.

Juday: Hindi ko siya naiisip. Well, actually, naiisip ko siya pero hindi ko pa naiisip gawin. Parang marami pang bagay na puwedeng gawin sa Judy Ann’s Kitchen apart from putting up a restaurant. Marami pang little negosyo. Kapag siguro pa-retire na ko. Kapag malalaki na yung mga anak ko. Yung wala na akong ibang gagawin kung hindi magluluto na lang ako.

Gladys: Grabe ‘to, bilib na bilib ako diyan kapag nandoon kami sa kanila. Kayang-kaya niyang magpakain ng maraming tao na siya lang ang nagluluto.

Juday: Pero hindi ko kayang magpakain sa apat na tao. Hindi ko kayang magpakain sa konti. Pang-marami lagi. Siguro kasi nasanay ako sa catering, taping. Nahihirapan akong mag-tantiya ng pagkain kapag konti.

RARE SHOWBIZ FRIENDSHIP

Gladys and Judy Ann have been friends for over 20 years now. What have they learned about each other during all those years?

Gladys: 1992 ang Mara Clara. Pero naging close na kami, mga 1994 na. Natutuwa ako kasi, pareho kami sa family, yung family-oriented. Na-e-enjoy namin ang moments na kasama ang mga anak namin. Nakikita ko rin kung gaano sila ka-hands-on na mag-asawa sa mga anak nila. And kasi, parang bottomline, ang pinaka-importante pa rin yung pamilya. Kahit siguro anong success mo sa career mo, pero kung pag-uwi mo ng bahay, medyo malungkot, napakasaklap pa rin nun. Pero ito, parang you feel complete kahit sabihin mo pang merong ibang challenge sa ibang aspeto ng buhay mo, pero yung pamilya, sobrang laking bagay talaga yun.

Juday: Oo, I second the motion. Ha Ha Ha!

Do they both agree that it's possible to have lasting friendships in showbiz?

Juday: Oo, kami ni Gladys naman, hindi kami nagkikita nang madalas. Hindi kami nag-uusap nang madalas. Pero kapag nag-usap kami, parang wala namang gap yung pagkakaibigan namin. Parang no explanation needed. Hindi na kami dapat mag-sorihan, sadyang ganun lang kami. Kung nagkaroon man daw sila ng away o tampuhan, parang noong simula lang daw yun na hindi pa sila close.

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