For the first time, Janice de Belen sat down for a live, face-to-face interview with Charlene Gonzales on The Buzz yesterday, September 18.
Alam ng lahat, na bago pa man ikasal si Charlene kay Aga Muhlach, may "Angelo Luigi Miguel or Igi Boy" na anak na sina Aga at Janice.
Kaya ang paghaharap nila nang live kahapon sa The Buzz—at para rin sa promo ng comeback project ni Janice sa ABS-CBN na seryeng Budoy—is a rare moment in local television.
MESSAGE FOR MOMMY JANICE. Pero bago ang naturang interview, isang VTR message muna ang ipinalabas galing sa anak nina Aga at Janice na si Igi Boy para sa kanyang ina.
Ayon kay Igi, who is a father now, "Mabuti talaga ang nanay ko.
"Sobrang dami niyang pinagdaanan. Alam mo yun?
"Lahat ng pinagdaanan niya for us, never niya yun isinumbat sa amin."
Bukod kay Igi, may apat pa siyang mga nakababatang kapatid sa ina, na mga anak naman ni Janice sa dati nitong asawa na si John Estrada.
Ayon kay Igi, "Being a parent is hard. So, ano pa kaya kung single parent ka?
"Yung [pagka-]single parent niya at saka, yung pag-aalaga niya sa amin, sobrang sakripisyo na yun, e, di ba?
"Wala siyang kasama. Siya lang mag-isa ang nag-aalaga sa amin.
"Itinuro rin niya sa akin ang pagiging example sa mga anak ko.
"Mas naiintindihan ko ngayon ang mga pinagdaraanan niya dahil may sarili na rin akong pamilya.
"Parang naging example sa akin, e."
WELCOME JANICE. Nang ipakilala na ni Charlene si Janice sa kanyang segment na "Straight From The Heart," hindi maikakailang totoo sa loob ni Janice nang sabihin niyang kinakabahan siya.
"I’m nervous. Alam mo, I’m really nervous," sambit niya.
Ayon naman kay Charlene, first time lang daw nilang mag-uusap ni Janice nang ganoon kaya kahit siya, she doesn’t know what to expect.
Sabi naman ni Janice, "Yeah, we see each other lang, [like] the last time."
Pero, ayon kay Charlene, "Oo, pero we never talked like this before. Ngayon lang."
When Charlene welcomed Janice bilang Kapamilya, sinabi naman ng huli na: "Hindi ko akalain na magiging ganito.
"Feeling ko kapag maglilipat ka, lilipat ka lang. Wala lang, aarte ka lang.
"As the days go by, slowly, [I’m] starting to [realize], ’Oh my gosh! Oo nga, ’no? Totoo pala ito.’"
Charlene told Janice that undeniably, isa siya sa magagaling na artista sa industriya. Magaling siyang umarte.
Magaling na artista and even a good host. Kaya ano ba ang pakiramdam na may bago siyang teleserye—ang Budoy?
"You know, I’ve been telling this for the past weeks. Na, when you start a job, parang wala lang.
"You start a new job. I have never felt as excited as I am for a project.
"I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s for the story. I don’t know if it’s the hype.
"I don’t know, it’s really a good project."
Ano ba ang papel niya sa buhay ni Budoy, na ginagampanan ni Gerald Anderson?
"Well, I play Budoy’s adoptive parent. Of course, how things will unfold is what you should watch for.
"And I play a mom, need I say more? And I think, yun ang dapat ninyong abangan: my relationship with Budoy because he’s a different child.
"So, the struggles are there... the struggles to make things.
"And as parents, we always want to paint a pretty picture of the world for them.
"At ganoon din ang gusto kong gawin sa kanya.
"Inspite of the problems that he has, you want to create that pretty picture of the world."
Ang mga makakasama ni Janice sa Budoy, bukod kay Gerald, ay sina Zsa Zsa Padilla, Tirso Cruz III, Mylene Dizon, Jessy Mendiola, and Enrique Gil.
STILL WAITING FOR MR. RIGHT? On a personal level, obserbasyon daw ni Charlene na ibang klase si Janice kapag nagmahal.
Nangiti si Janice sabay sabing, "Hay naku, name it, I’ve done it."
Pero lately, quiet ang lovelife niya at walang naririnig tungkol dito.
"No, I’m really quiet because there’s none. Nothing to talk about."
Umaasa pa rin ba si Janice that one day, mahahanap niya ang kanyang Prince Charming that she can share the rest of her life with. Or nag-give up na siya sa konsepto ng pag-ibig?
"Of course, I don’t want to grow old alone. Of course, I still have the dream of meeting... kahit huwag nang si Prince Charming.
"Hindi na darating ’yan. Wala namang Prince Charming talaga.
"Hindi totoo yun. Yung konsepto ng Prince Charming, is not true," ayon pa kay Janice.
Nagtawanan ang audience na nasa studio when Charlene smilingly disagreed with what Janice said. Sabi ni Charlene, "I beg to disagree."
Kaya naman natatawang sagot din ni Janice, "Okay fine. Sige, alam na nating charming si Papa Aga. Okay na."
At dahil nabanggit na rin lang si Aga, tinanong ni Charlene si Janice kung ano raw ang naramdaman nito noong magpakasal sila ni Aga?
Ayon naman kay Janice who was married then with John Estrada, "You know, seriously, it was okay.
"Ako kasi, kapag tapos na, tapos na. Di ba, move on na? Wala nang ganyan.
"Wala nang nagda-drama kapag may kinasal. Kasi, yun nga, kapag naghiwalay kayo, naghiwalay na kayo.
"Dapat maisip mo na ito ang mga posibleng mangyari. It was really fine."
Tila kinumpirma naman ni Charlene kay Janice na wala namang isyu sa kanilang dalawa.
"Wala, there was never an issue between the both of us.
"Siguro, nagkakaroon lang ng isyu whenever there are things to be talked about that way, di ba? Pero, wala namang talaga."
ON AGA AND JOHN. Ang sumunod na tanong ni Charlene, though alam naman daw niya ang sagot, pero itatanong pa rin niya for the sake of the public’s interest: Kumusta ang relationship ni Janice sa ama ng mga anak niya?
"Well, Aga and I have no problem. Aga and I have no problem.
"And whatever differences we had in the past, tapos na yun.
"I guess, we’re mature na rin. Diyos ko, matanda na kami.
"May mga apo na nga kaming dalawa, di ba? OA na, ang corny na no’n.
"So, everything is okay. You know, we see each other. Once there’s an occasion na magkikita tayo, we’re all fine."
And with John Estrada?
"Well, the other one, we’re civil and I think, it’s better that way," matipid na sagot ni Janice.
Ang ibig bang sabihin ni Janice sa "civil" ay wala silang communication at hindi sila nag-uusap ni John?
"We will talk if there’s a need to talk. But you see, our kids are big na rin.
"They’re grown up already. And whenever there is that something they need from their father, I always tell them that, ’You’re grown up now. You can deal with it. You need to be able to tell him what you want, or need.’"
Noong trade show raw ng ABS-CBN ang huling beses na nagkita sina Janice at John.
When asked kung ano ang last word nila sa isa’t isa, senyasan lang daw sa kamay ang namagitan sa kanila.
MY REGRETS. Sa dinami-rami na ng pinagdaanan ni Janice sa buhay, ano naman ang masasabi nitong biggest regret niya in life?
Ayon kay Janice, "Alam mo, I realized now that everytime we are asked of our regrets in life, you always say, ’Of course not, wala akong regret kasi I’ve learned from it.’
"Yes, that’s true. You learned from them. But we all have regrets.
"It’s always painful to say you have regrets, kasi ikaw ang may kasalanan sa lahat ng yun.
"You’re the one who failed. That’s why we choose to say, ’No, we don’t [have regrets].’
"We all have regrets. Whatever they may be, ako na lang ang nakakaalam no’n.
"Siguro, you regret not listening more. You regret not being able to speak up.
"It’s okay. Of course, I do have regrets."
Nakikita raw ni Charlene na may strong bond si Charlene sa mga anak niya, lalo na kay Luigi na ginawa siyang "lola" agad.
But then, Charlene asked kung anong klaseng relasyon ang mero’n si Janice sa mga anak nito?
"I became a mom when I was 18 years old. Sabi nila, when you become a mom early, mas okay raw yun.
"Kasi, kahit papaano, you get to bond with your kids. Parang you feel young.
"You grow up with them. Siguro it works for me.
"It works for me because my kids and I, kapag nagkukuwentuhan kami, para kaming magkakabarkada.
"We’re just so cool. I’m very democratic at home.
"You’re able to say things that you shouldn’t be able to talk about.
"Anything, boys. Lahat ng mga things na sa ibang tao, could be taboo, pero sa akin, hindi.
"You have to deal with it. Kasi, kesa sa labas ninyo pa malaman.
"Hindi mae-explain sa inyo nang tama, deal with it at home."
MY SUPERMAN. Straight from the heart naman of Luigi, sinorpresa si Janice ng eldest son niya ng isang letter.
Kuwento ni Charlene, kausap niya raw si Igi last Saturday. Sabi raw ni Igi, he’s not used to doing letters, pero para raw sa mama nito, gagawin niya.
Hindi pa man nababasa ni Janice ang letter na isinulat ng anak, teary-eyed na siya:
"Dear Mama, first of all, I want to thank you for always being here for me when I need someone to put some sense to me when I do crazy things.
"When I need someone whom I can talk to. When I have really weird questions going on in my head.
"And especially when I need a mother, you never left me.
"I know, you have troubles looking for the right guy for you. They broke your heart..."
Sa puntong ito, hindi na napigilan ni Janice ang mapaluha. Saka sinabing parang hindi na raw niya maitutuloy basahin ang letter ng anak.
Pero, sa pagpapatuloy niya ng pagbabasa, "...they broke your heart so many times that it also hurts me and breaks my heart.
"That’s why I thought of giving you this figurine. To remind you that you don’t have to look for a guy, or Superman because you already have me.
"The only guy who will understand you when no one seems to.
"And the only guy who will never get tired of loving you. Who will protect you and take care of you till the end.
"I’ll be your Superman. I love you, Luigi."
Habang binabasa ni Janice ang sulat ng anak, hindi rin napigilan ni Charlene na maging emosyonal at mapaluha.
Ayon kay Janice, "It’s nice to hear this from Luigi.
"Because Luigi probably was the hardest, mahirap ang sitwasyon niya.
"And then, I got separated from John. He lost another father figure in his life.
"And it came at a time na, alam mo yun, [nasa] awkward stage [siya] which was really very hard, I guess, for him.
"We wouldn’t know. We went through so many hardships and you know about that.
"Sobrang dami ng pinagdaanan which was really... hindi ko akalain how Luigi is right now.
"Sobrang laking change and I don’t say this very often.
"I believe, we keep on telling them, baka mamaya, maging complacent sila. And masyado nilang paniwalaan na okay na sila [pag puro papuri].
"I don’t tell this to Luigi very often, but I’m really, really very proud of how he turned out.
"Those long periods of time, I questioned how am I as a parent to him? If what I did was right or wrong.
"Pero now that I see him with his kids, it just affirms [my belief] that in spite of all the things that happened in my life, I managed to bring him up well."
MY STEPMOM. Charlene, being the stepmother of Luigi shared the same sentiments of Janice.
Ayon kay Charlene, witness din siya ng mga nangyari sa anak nina Janice at Aga.
"Janice, I’m sorry but I feel with you kasi witness din talaga ’ko ng lahat ng nangyari kay Luigi.
"And through the years, kahit he’s not my flesh and blood, I feel that he is. At alam mo ’yan.
"Kasi, it’s really an open secret na alam ng lahat na may pinagdaanan din kami ni Luigi.
"But I just would like to say that at this point, I’m just so proud of what he has become.
"And you have all the reasons to have your head held up high."
Ang naging tugon naman ni Janice sa naging pahayag ni Charlene ay pasasalamat.
"I never had the chance to thank you because Luigi lives near you and Aga.
"That’s why now, whenever, you know, I have no problems with that, you know, I tell Luigi, ’You know you can go to your dad. You can go to your Tita Charlene... Always be there, because... lost time. It’s also lost time.
"You know, we’ve been together for a long time. And I think, it’s time you start rebuilding your relationship with your dad and your Tita Charlene. And with your brother and your sister. And that’s okay.’"
Sabi pa ni Janice kay Charlene, "I’m really thankful also na okay tayo.
"Everytime we see each other, after that, magte-text kami ni Aga. At least, okay tayong lahat.
"And I know, na kung may problema man ako kay Luigi or may problem, I know I can always talk to both of you.
"And I’m really very thankful na, okay tayo."
WARM WELCOME! Hawak naman ni Charlene ang regalo ni Luigi sa kanyang ina na Superman figurine, which means, ayon kay Luigi, siya ang Superman ng mommy niya.
At ayon kay Charlene, may malalim daw na kahulugan si Superman sa buhay ni Janice.
"Wow! I like Superman.
"When I was young, siya ang pinakasikat na superhero. So, si Superman ang gusto ko.
"There’s another reason why I like Superman... it’s etched on my back.
"Mero’n din akong... the things that I like, Superman has always something to do with strength. Something that I want.
"Feeling ko, ako si Superman. Kasi, for my children, kahit na ano, kahit na ano pa ’yan.
"Kahit hindi ko kayanin, hinding-hindi ako aatras.
"I always have the courage to face it and more than the strength, it’s really the courage to be able to face anything."
At sa huli, ang naging mensahe ni Janice: "First, I would like to thank ABS-CBN for welcoming me with open arms.
"Like I’ve said, the welcome is overwhelming. It’s nice to see old friends.
"I didn’t expect this should be this way. Because when I left ABS... because of a very difficult situation.
"Now that I’m back, everything is water under the bridge and it’s nice to be back.
"I’m thankful sa lahat ng naniniwala at nagtitiwala that I do have something to give.
"I may not be sexy. I may have those extra things that you don’t have, di ba?
"But the one thing I know that I can give is good work. And yun lang. Thank you."