Ruffa Gutierrez became slightly emotional when she recalled how she bid farewell to ABS-CBN, her home for the past three years. The TV host-actress signed a three-year, non-exclusive contract with TV5 last Wednesday, March 3.
"I'm honored to be chosen as a contract artist of TV5," said Ruffa during a presscon held earlier today at Annabel's restaurant on Tomas Morato, Quezon City. "In the beginning, I was quite emotional about it because, of course, it's been three years that I have been working with ABS-CBN. Nagpaalam si Mommy [Annabelle Rama] nang maayos sa kanila. She wrote a letter to Charo Santos-Concio [ABS-CBN President] and Cory Vidanes [Channel Head]. For those who follow me on Twitter, you now know that the emotional letter was not because of a guy but because of my mom's letter for me to resign as an artist of ABS-CBN.
"I would like to thank my Kapamilya network for giving me the break...a really well-managed comeback after I left my home in Istanbul in February 2007. Maraming-maraming salamat sa kanila at sa lahat ng kasamahan ko dun na naging kaibigan ko na rin. Nung nalaman nila na aalis na ako, nalungkot sila at nalungkot rin ako. Nag-iyakan kami ng konti," said Ruffa.
At this point, Ruffa's voice breaks and tears well up in her eyes but she continued by saying, "As you know, I have to grow as an artist and I also have to secure my children's future because I am a single, working mom. This is a very big decision for me especially since they said, 'Bakit ka pa lilipat, okay ka na sa Dos?' That's true, mami-miss ko sina Tito Boy [Abunda], Kris [Aquino]... But I know that the industry is small and alam ko, magkikita-kita pa rin naman kami."
In Paparazzi, Ruffa will be joined by Cristy Fermin and DJ Mo Twister. "Who would think na after alisin si Tita Cristy sa The Buzz, dito pa kami magkikita ulit?" Ruffa said.
She also clarified that her mother, Annabelle Rama, did not have issues about Ruffa working on the same show with Cristy, whom the Gutierrezes sued in the past for libel.
Wearing an all-white Avel Bacudio creation, Ruffa said that this is her lucky color. It was also revealed that she followed the advice of her feng shui advisor to sign her contract after 5 p.m. for good luck. Ruffa says that she is already set to do three TV shows with TV5.
TALENT FEE. When asked regarding the talent fee of Ruffa, Perci Intalan, TV5's head of creatives and entertainment, answered, "We don't want to talk about the amount. Suffice it to say that nagkasundo kami ni Ruffa and more importantly, kami ni Tita Annabelle. It's a good offer."
Ruffa stressed, "I'm very, very happy about my talent fee but at the end of the day, it's not all about money. If the new boss was not Manny Pangilinan, I probably [would have] thought a million times before switching networks. Because how many times nang ni-launch ang TV5 pero hindi pa rin umaangat. But because now we have a new boss who has the golden Midas touch, alam ko it's going to go places."
According to Intalan, they got the idea of getting Ruffa for TV5 when she guested in Talentadong Pinoy. "The production team was very excited so the first thing that we talked to her about was to be a regular talent scout of Talentadong Pinoy. That will be starting tomorrow [March 6] at the Talentadong Pinoy Battle of the Champions to be held at the Cuneta Astrodome at 7:30 p.m.
"We're planning a showbiz talk show for Ruffa called Paparazzi. We're also planning a showcase for Ruffa's range of acting—from drama, comedy, horror. We're still developing other shows."
YILMAZ BEKTAS PROMISES TO RETURN. During the presscon, Ruffa also confirmed reports that Yilmaz Bektas will be arriving in the Philippines soon.
"After nine long months, finally nagkausap kami ni Yilmaz. It's been a while since nag-usap kami although he sometimes calls the children. Tingnan natin kung totoo, but he said he will be coming on the third week of March," she said.
What was the reaction of their kids, Lorin and Venice, when they learned that their father will be coming to the Philippines?
"The kids were very excited na darating siya. It's been more than a year since he's been here. It's actually a good thing that he's coming kasi nami-miss na rin nila ang daddy nila at hinahanap nila. Medyo na-stress lang ako sa sinabi ni Yilmaz na, 'I know everything,'" said Ruffa with a laugh.
Does she consider Yilmaz and herself to be friends by this time?
"Yeah," she replied. "I have to send a DVD of our wedding to him. Di ba, our wedding was aired as a TV special on GMA-7? I think he wants me to send a copy to Istanbul."
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked Ruffa about her statement that she is a "single, working mother." Does this mean that she has not been receiving any financial support from Yilmaz in the past?
"Wala, wala [akong nakukuha]," Ruffa said. "But since we spoke last night, sabi ni Yilmaz, that he will take care of me and the kids and for the three years na nagkulang siya, na wala siyang binigay ni singko. Sabi niya magbibigay siya.
"Sabi niya it's time that he realizes his mistakes. They are his children, and he didn't want to abandon them forever, so let's see. I hope he fulfills his promise."
The TV host-actress added: "I just wish him all the best. I just wanna have good, clean, relationship with him, so that we can take care of our kids, so we could bring them up as a God-fearing individuals and full of love. Ang importante sa amin, talagang yung pagpapalaki sa dalawang bata.
"He is my greatest love and my greatest fear, but hindi na ako in love sa kanya. Considering what I've been through, I can say that he is my greatest love so far. I don't know kung magbabago yun. Hopefully, I'll get live until I'm 80 years old, so we'll see. But I can say that I still have a lot of respect for Yilmaz," said Ruffa about her ex-husband.
She also told PEP that Yilmaz plans to stay for about a week in the country.