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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ruffa wants to raise kids in Philippines

RUFFA Gutierrez looked ravishing at the launching of the 14 finalists in “Philippines’ Next Top Model (PNTM)” at the Intercon you wouldn’t suspect she’s a mom with two kids. Her husband, Yilmaz Bektas has returned to Turkey. “He really enjoyed spending his first Christmas here,” she says. “Two weeks siya rito at ang saya kasi kumpleto lahat kami sa family ko.”

Will she raise her kids here? “One reason I’d like to raise my kids here is because conservative pa rin ang culture natin, lalo na when it comes to respecting one’s elders. But it’s hard kasi they’ll be in the public eye here. I’ve just finished doing a commercial with them and Yilmaz was against it. He said our daughters need not work. Sabi ko, they’re just playing lang naman sa set. So hindi sila puwede mag-showbiz. Kapag tapos na lang daw sila ng studies.”

Will she be as strict as her mom, Annabelle Rama, in guarding them? “You know, I hated my mom then but now I realize she did a good job in raising us. At least, we turned out na matino ng mga kapatid ko.”

Ruffa herself screened the 3,000 applicants from all over the country, along with fashion director Robie Carmona and Wilma Doesnt. How did she make sure that the finalists in “PNTM” were not threatened by her gorgeous presence? “The first time I met them, they’re really shaking sa nerbi-yos so I told them to relax. I’m their sister and we should just have fun. Our goal is to look for models who’d not only look good sa ramp but also sa print and TV ads and also showbiz. ‘Yung balanse. We want someone fresh and fit to represent the Filipina all over the world, someone raw so we can still train them, an ugly duckling we can transform into a beautiful swan.”

The show will start airing on RPN-9 on March 6 yet, 8:30 p.m., but they’ve already started taping it. “Each week, one model will be eliminated. They now all live in an undisclosed place in Que-zon City where they’ll be trained and also face challenges. The last five finalists will then be sent to Hong Kong for a go-se. When they return, only two will remain.”

What if those eleminated tattle about their being ousted? “All of them and all those connected with the show signed contracts to make sure their lips are sealed. If they leak out any information before the show is aired, they’re fired and they won’t receive any compensation,” says Solar production exec Susan Trinidad.

The 14 finalists are Janya Reyes, Raine Larrazabal, Elvira Stehr, Sheena Sy, Marjori Cornillez, Jenilyn Olivar, Sara Custodio, Rina Lorilla, Jean Santos, Camille del Rosario, Mirabel Baino, Gemma Gatdula, Dorothy Pagurayan, and the most promising for us, Grendel Alvarado from Bacolod. LINK is here.

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