There is no doubt that Gretchen Barretto, one of the most beautiful faces in showbiz, is back in the game.
She is gracing the covers of magazines, endorsing products, and starring in her first movie in 12 years—OctoArts Films' Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry Matakot Ka sa Karma. Of course, she also headlines tabloids, talk shows, and PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) with the much-talked about spat with Dawn Zulueta, also one of the most beautiful faces in showbiz.
The story that PEP broke. On the third week of November this year, PEP broke the story that Gretchen was eyeing Dawn as the source of media leaks that she had acted like a "prima donna" at a magazine cover shoot and at a television commercial shoot. Both shoots had one thing in common—they had gathered four stunning celebrities under one roof: Dawn and Gretchen, Ruffa Gutierrez, and Angel Aquino.
During the shoot, Dawn was allegedly peeved by Gretchen’s "coterie of bodyguards and yayas," numerous designer clothes, bags, shoes, and her plastic cases for her special diet—all of whom and which Gretchen had brought to the shoots.
For the commercial shoot, Gretchen had also brought her now-famous microwave oven, and so was accused of bringing her "whole house" to "show off."
“Noong umpisa, naguluhan ako dahil hindi ko maintindihan kung ano ba talaga ‘yong galit,” said the gorgeous Gretchen in a taped interview with Boy Abunda (The Buzz host and Gretchen’s manager) that aired on December 10.
She continued: “When I heard it from Dawn’s mouth—kung ano ‘yong mga naging kasalanan ko sa kanya—I really see hindi valid ‘yong galit dahil I was just having fun. I was so excited to work with her. I wanted to go back to ‘yong mga araw namin noong GMA Supershow [former GMA-7 Sunday noontime variety show] na naghihiraman kami ng sapatos pag walang ka-matching ‘yong damit namin. We eat together."
She added, "Hindi naman ako nagyayabang sa mga gamit ko. So, ‘yon ‘yong issue niya—sinabi niya sa amin ni Ruffa. I can’t get over it hanggang ngayon. Gusto kong tawanan pero ang hirap pag naiisip ko.”
Gretchen also reiterates that she brings her own things to her shoots, not to show off, but to cover all her own needs. "I'm just being professional," she said more than once.
Gretchen-Dawn face off. Weeks earlier, Gretchen gave an exclusive interview to Jo-Ann Maglipon (PEP editor-in-chief) about the conversation that she and Dawn had in Gretchen's Dasmariñas home on November 16.
“Nag-usap-usap kami kasama si Bettina, nandun si Ana [Abiera, a former actress and Gretchen's friend], si Ruffa [Gutierrez], and si Dawn,” recounted Gretchen. “Sabi ko ‘Dawn, from now on, if you hear anything, pag-usapan natin like mature people.’ She said ‘Yes.’ ‘Yong nirereklamo niya ako sa agency at sa mga tao nag-leak, pati ‘yong sa mga blog—para kasing feeling ko na-violate ako. Pati ‘yong Tupperware ko, mahal daw. Nung lumabas ‘yon sa press na prima donna ako, doon ako nasaktan e. ‘Yong nag-leak na late ako. That’s not true na late ako! That’s not true na nagmamadali ako umalis.”
Message for Dawn. “Dawn, I really want to understand you. I miss the old Dawn that I knew before. And whatever you’re going through, Dawn, I will try so hard to understand you. I want to love you.”
She added: “I texted her bago lumabas ‘yong commercial namin. I said ‘Dawn, our ad is coming out tomorrow. And let’s just put all the hurt aside, but right now, I’m being true to you and to my public. I cannot really say that I love you. I just want to say I want to love you.’”
Happily Unmarried. After yet another storm in her life, Gretchen says now she is “a more sensitive Gretchen, a stronger Gretchen, a Gretchen who loves herself more now.”
The comebacking actress says she is grateful for her life. “I’m just full of gratitude right now kasi natutunan ko to count what I have. I have my daughter. I’m very happy with Tony. I received a lot of text messages, ‘Yeah, you’re rich, but you’re not married.’”
She exclaims, “But I’m happily unmarried. And I’m not perfect. And I’m happy to be flawed…”
She ends with a laugh: “And I have a movie!”