Friday the 13th might be considered unlucky for some, but it proved to be a really lucky day for Gretchen Barretto and Nadia Montenegro.
The two showbiz personalities, childhood friends who had become estranged, were both at the Heritage Memorial Park and Crematorium for the third night of comedian Dolphy’s wake.
In full view of those present—mourners, media, stars—Gretchen and Nadia hugged each other, ending a rift that began in 2008.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) caught up with Gretchen at the opening ceremony of Cinemalaya 2012 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last July 20.
“Peace at all costs. That’s what’s important naman. I guess we’ve all moved on,” said the ABS-CBN actress who attended the event with her partner, Tonyboy Cojuangco.
Businessman Tonyboy Cojuangco has been funding the Cinemalaya event since it began eight years ago.
He provides P500,000 as seed money for filmmakers whose projects are approved.
He offers an additional P200,000 as prize money for the Best Full-Length Film in the New Breed category. This category includes only directors who have made three films or less before the Cinemalaya entry.
He also offers an additional P100,000 for the Best Short Film, and P300,000 for the Best Film in the Directors Showcase. The latter is a category that includes only established directors.
Tonyboy and Gretchen have one daughter, Dominique.
PEP asked Gretchen: Was the July 13 reconciliation with Nadia a surprise to her?
Gretchen, who is known to answer media questions frankly or not at all, said: “No, it’s not. It’s been a long time.
“We all heal. We all learn to move on.”
For her part, Nadia, after reconciling with Gretchen last July 13, tweeted that same night: "Even in death u manage to bring unity and love. Thank u Tito Dolphy. It was nice seeing and hugging u again after 3 yrs. #LaGreta"
In a previous interview with PEP, Nadia recalled how she and the woman showbiz calls La Greta patched things up with a hug.
“Nagkatinginan kami ni Gretch, and we both smiled.
“Tapos nung nakapasok na sila sa hallway, saka naman kami naglakad going to the same direction, when biglang nakita ko si Gretch walking back to where I was.
“Then she hugged me, and ako din.
“Matagal, warm yung embrace namin.”
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Gretchen Barretto and Nadia Montenegro had a falling out in 2008, when Gretchen thought that Nadia was spreading rumors about her.
The rift became showbiz news particularly because the two girls have known each other since their grade-school days at the Collegio de San Agustin in Dasmariñas Village in Makati.
In 1984, the two were introduced to the movie-going public at the same time, through Regal Films’ 14 Going Steady.
Nadia no longer appears in movies, where she once had female lead roles.
Today she is the partner of former politician Boy Asistio and a full-time mother to their eight children: Alyssa, Alynna (Ina), Alyana, Anykka, Alexander, Sam, Arysha, and Sophia.
Gretchen stayed away from showbiz for a time, when she became the partner of businessman Tonyboy, who is a cousin of President Noynoy Cojuangco Aquino and Kris Aquino.
She has since returned to the entertainment scene, and is considered a strong celebrity endorser, teleserye star, and fashionista.