Bessie Badilla recalls fond memories of Tia Pusit: “She was kind and nurturing.”

Bessie Badilla says behind Tia Pusit’s wacky countenance and comic antics was a kind and generous heart: “She was friendly and sweet to everyone on the set. The camera crew and food servers were all her buddies. She always carried candy in her duster pockets and handed them to everyone she met on the set. She took care of everyone.”


Isa sa mga sobrang nalungkot sa pagpanaw ng komedyante na si Tia Pusit (Myrna Villanueva in real life) noong nakaraang October 2 ay ang former Pinay supermodel na co-star ni Tiya Pusit sa ‘80s hit sitcom na Eh Kasi Babae na si Bessie Badilla.

Nakapanayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa pamamagitan ng Facebook si Bessie na naka-base ngayon sa U.S. kasama ang kanyang pamilya.

Sa aming panayam sa kanya, nagulat nga siya nang mabalitaan niya ang biglang pagpanaw ng kanyang tinuturing na matalik na kaibigan.

RECONNECTED THROUGH FACEBOOK. Ayon pa kay Bessie, sa Facebook sila ulit nagkaroon ng connection ni Tia Pusit (na kung tawagin niya ay Tita Squid) after more than 27 years.

“Napakalungkot ko kasi nawalan ako ng isang mabuting kaibigan.

“After so many years na hindi kami nagkita at nag-usap ni Tita Squid, we just recently found each other again on Facebook.

“Marami kaming private messages parati. We were constantly exchanging messages as if parang kahapon lang kami nagkita sa taping ng Eh Kasi Babae.

“All I can say is, napakabait niyang tao and I miss her terribly.

“At least, through Facebook, nagkaroon ulit kami ng connection.

“Tita Squid always shared my posts and she would write the sweetest things about me. I love her and I will keep on praying for her.”

Sina Bessie at Tia Pusit ang parating nagbibigay-buhay sa 1987 hit sitcom ng IBC-13 na Eh Kasi Babae. Mga co-stars pa nila ay sina Gloria Diaz, Janice Jurado, Debbie Miller, Buboy Garovillo, Charlon Davao, and the late Johnny Wilson.

HILARIOUSLY WITTY. Mabentang-mabenta ang palitan nila ng adlibs at nagpapatalbugan silang dalawa sa pananamit. Kung sosyal ang mga suot ni Tita Bessie, pang-costume party naman daw ang mga suot ni Tia Pusit.

“Tita Squid was one of the reasons I enjoyed taping Eh Kasi Babae.

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“Actually, kami nila Tita Squid at Janice Jurado ang mahilig mag-adlib. Our director that time na si Mr. M [Johnny Manahan], would not edit out any of our improvised chatter.

“Tita Squid was so funny and witty. Noong si Jose Javier Reyes na ang nag-take over as director, wala siyang naging problema with Tita Squid’s character kasi all-out siya magpatawa.

“She would come up with outfits and props that would be perfect for her scenes.

“In character siya parati. Magku-commute ‘yan sa studio sa Broadcast City dala-dala ang mga props niya.

“One time, she brought a hollow block and everyone in the jeepney wondered what it was for. Her fans asked and she explained, ‘Meron akong bathroom scene, kailangan ko ng panghilod!’

“Hindi ba kakaiba siya? Nag-iisa lang si Tita Squid!” pagmamalaki niya.

CARING FRIEND. Sa likod naman daw ng kamera, isang mapag-alagang kaibigan si Tia Pusit.

Natandaan nga ni Bessie na noong buntis siya ay dinalhan pa siya ng hilaw na mangga at bagoong ni Tia Pusit sa studio.

Kuwento niya, “She was kind and nurturing. She did thoughtful gestures that I still remember to this day.

“She was friendly and sweet to everyone on the set. The camera crew and food servers were all her buddies.

“She always carried candy in her duster pockets and handed them to everyone she met on the set. She took care of everyone.

Eh Kasi Babae became the number one show on primetime TV and we were extended to an hour-and-a-half. We spent more time together during tapings and became really close.

“During a location shoot, Tita Squid opened up to me and told me we had met years ago when I was just a struggling model.

“I was embarrassed kasi I couldn’t remember her.

“She said it was all right and explained that I would not recognize her because she was the sexy waitress wearing knee-high boots, hot pants and a Nik-Nik Shirt.

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“She was the one who always gave me free freshly squeezed orange juice from the bar and loads of chips because she knew I came from school and was very hungry.

“Doon ko lang siya naalala at nagyakapan kami at nag-iyakan pa.

“Tinanong ko siya kung bakit ngayon lang niya nasabi ‘yon sa akin? Sinagot niya ako in her Tiya Pusit character complete with accent and that crazy helium-infused voice, ‘Eh Kasi Babae ako noon. E ngayon, Pusit na ako, malay ko baka hindi mo na ako pansinin!’”

ALWAYS IN LOVE.” Alam rin ni Bessie ang mga naging problema ni Tia Pusit sa kanyang lovelife. Hindi naman daw tinago ni Tia Pusit na ilang beses na siyang nadapa dahil umibig siya sa maling lalaki.

“Mahilig kasi sa pogi si Tita Squid. Nung waitress pa lang siya, napaka-sexy at iba hitsura niya.

“Sabi niya, marami siyang sama ng loob when she was a waitress, she had a broken heart because of a man.

“Nasira daw buhay niya. But she was never jaded in spite of all her mishaps with men—the wrong men. She was always ‘in love.’”

THE “PASAWAY” SISTER. Saksi rin si Bessie sa naging alitan ni Tia Pusit at ng kapatid nito, ang aktres na si Nova Villa.

Ilang beses na raw kasing pinangangaralan ni Nova si Tia Pusit, pero likas nga raw ang pagiging pasaway ni Tia Pusit.

Patuloy pang kuwento ni Bessie, “Tita Nova would always tell her daw to grow up and be a mature woman.

“Pero Tita Squid refused to follow her ate’s footsteps and remained the happy-go-lucky person that she was.

“One time, Tita Nova was our guest star. Ang role niya, ex-girlfriend siya ni Tito Johnny Wilson. Off-cam, pinagsasabihan si Tita Squid ni Tita Nova.

“I could sense Tita Squid had so much respect for her ate. She was quiet when they were having a talk in a corner of the dressing room.

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“Pero ganun pa man, she did not follow whatever her Ate was asking her to do.

“Bungisngis lang si Tita Squid after Tita Nova left the set after taping her scenes. Pilya siya, ‘di ba?”

REGRETS. Ang panghihinayang lang ni Bessie ay wala siyang maipakitang picture nila ni Tia Pusit noong ginagawa nila noon ang Eh Kasi Babae.

“Wala akong pictures with Tita Squid. Nakakaasar nga.

“I know we had a few but I sent everything to Manila. Nasa containers ang mga gamit ko, on their way to the Philippines.

“Kaya wala akong mai-share sa Facebook na photos namin together.

“But I love her so much and in a way, masaya na ako for her because wala na siyang mararanasan na pain, only peace and eternal happiness in heaven,” pagtatapos ni Bessie.


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