Ruffa Gutierrez’s swimsuit billboard is now up, and her sexy figure is bound to be the envy of most women her age.
The feat, she admits, is no easy endeavor. "Talagang super sacrifice to death!" exclaims the 36-year-old star at the launch of Belo’s BodyTite yesterday, April 14, at The Peninsula Manila’s Salon de Ning.
"Let’s face it, it’s also diet, eat properly, nag-gym din ako, nag-workout din ako, I did Bikram Yoga, Plyometric...I also did Forma, bagong exercise ngayon. So parang lahat yun...I think it’s actually a change of lifestyle," the former beauty queen adds.
JINKEE PACQUIAO’S INFLUENCE. Other than the endorser, another rave topic that night was the product she was endorsing.
It’s called BodyTite, Dr. Vicki Belo’s invasive contouring procedure for "body contouring and removing unwanted loose skin on her tummy brought about by childbirth."
While exercise really helps, only a machine can address the changes on the elasticity of a person’s skin, according to the clinic’s literature.
Ruffa’s own testimony is, "Napansin ko, kahit na payat ako, yung arms ko, yung legs ko, I still have a little pouch. Alam mo, hindi naman siya yung kadiring lawlaw na pouch. [Pero] parang hindi siya puwedeng pang-bikini talaga.
"And, of course, that’s the effect of my two young little girls—sina Lorin and Venice. At siyempre, you know what I mean, it’s all worth it kasi I have my two girls. Pero kahit anong workout ko talaga, kahit anong pawis ko, ayaw niyang mawala. So there are some things talaga na kailangan talaga ng help ng doctor. So ayun, Dra. Belo helped me."
The other woman who unknowingly helped her was the wife of boxing champ Manny Pacquiao. Ruffa told the story of her mom Annabelle Rama’s visit to Jinkee.
"I remember one time, my mom visited Jinkee Pacquiao. Sabi niya, ’Ang ganda-ganda, di ko nakilala! Super sexy na niya ngayon.’ Sabi ko, ’Talaga? Maniwala ako sa ’yo?’ Sabi niya, ’No, maniwala ka. Super sexy na talaga ni Jinkee, nakita ko siya, walang photoshop yun.’ Sabi ko, ’Ano ginawa niya?’"
The Paparazzi host learned that Jinkee had subjected herself to Belo’s BodyTite.
Ruffa told her mom, "Tawagan mo nga, Ma! Tawagan mo si Dra. Belo kung ano ginawa niya?’ And they said nga, BodyTite. So sabi ko, ay, if it worked for Jinkee, I’m sure it will work for me, so pumayag na din ako, at di ako nagsisi."
DAUGHTER’S REACTION. The result of her lose-weight efforts was captured by the summer billboards and advertisements of the Belo Medical Group.
More than two decades since she walked the ramp in a two-piece as a Miss World candidate, Ruffa is very much on top form. But the decision to pose "sexy," she says, is also to encourage fellow moms to take care of their bodies.
"Dra. Belo sent fifteen bathing suits to the house, galing lahat sa America. ’Tapos sabi niya, ’Naku, ang gaganda niyan. ’Yan yung latest...’ Lahat talaga, tinanggihan ko."
Why? She says she didn’t want them too skimpy or too regular.
So she sought the help of her designer friend, Charina Sarte, and stylist Pam Quiñones.
"Gusto ko yung unique. So, I think, with the positive results and the positive feedback that I’ve been getting, it’s all worth it."
She says she had to remind herself that she was already the mother of two adorable girls—Lorin, 7, and Venice, 6.
"I explained it to them. Sabi nga ni Lorin, ’Mommy, you’re so sexy in the billboard.’ And yun, nakita niya yung mga diyaryo...
"Sabi ko, ’You know what, mommy just posed like this. Let me explain to you, Lorin, because I want other mommies to be inspired by my body."
Ruffa underscores, however, that she still nixes posing for FHM Philippines.
"I wouldn’t do it for a men’s magazine, sa dami ng men’s magazine na kumukulit sa akin since I broke up with Yilmaz, no! And sabi ko, ngayon lang, kasi it’s really for good reason.
"You know, nagpa-BodyTite ako, nag-pose ako na naka-bikini just to show that, listen, this is my body before I gave birth, nakita mo na before. Ngayon naman, yung after.
"So it’s my first time to wear bikini after giving birth. Sabi ko nga, gusto ko uli sumali ng Bb. Pilipinas o di kaya Miss World Philippines!"
And what was her mom’s reaction to the sexy pose?
"Actually, ngayon niya pa lang makikita yung mga billboards ko. Kasi wala siya sa shoot namin, e. And in terms of the shoot, talagang pinaghandaan namin yun."
STATUS OF ANNULMENT. The topic shifted to the annulment of her marriage to Yilmaz Bektas, also the father of her kids.
The Nagbabagang Bulaklak star says, "Nagmamadali na rin siya ’cause I filed 2009 and 2011 na ngayon, and hiwalay na kami since 2007. So, apat na taon na!
"Alam niya naman, kahit na madaming nanliligaw sa atin, madaming nagkaka-crush, hindi ako puwedeng mag-all out until that chapter in my life is finished."
To date, the legal proceedings are still ongoing.
"’Tapos na ’kong mag-testify, and hopefully, matapos na soon. And I think naman na sana ma-convince ang ating judge, kasi alam niyo naman na ang buong istorya, and my life is an open book. Wala naman ako maitatago.
"I’m all-out for divorce actually in the Philippines kasi I’ve been there, experienced that. But for me kasi, we should try all ways and means para magkabalikan ang isang couple.
"Pero pag talagang wala nang pag-asa, hayaan na nating mamuhay na in separate and in peace," explains the articulate host-actress.
Did she have to ask permission from anyone before donning a swimsuit?
Her straightforward answer: "Wala. I’m a single, happy, free girl, and don’t have to make paalam with anyone but myself. Hindi, hindi ko na kailangan magpaalam kahit kanino."