Not even the rains could deter the friends and family of Ruffa Gutierrez from gathering at Manila Hotel’s elegant Pink Champagne Room to celebrate the beauty queen’s birthday.
The intimate dinner hosted by Manila Bulletin was enough to make the beauty queen declare, “I am loved!” smiling as she looked at the guests enjoying the sumptuous spread prepared by the hotel.
Ruffa shares that there will be about four or more celebrations to mark her 44th birthday, flashing a grin as she sat down for an exclusive interview with MB Entertainment.
“This is my journey and I’m always looking back at the memories… I was a very confident young girl. I matured very fast. I think it’s because of my US upbringing,” recalls Ruffa. “So when I look back, I can die tomorrow—knock on wood—and just say that I’ve lived a full life.”
As many of her followers know, Ruffa’s colorful journey started almost 30 years ago when she joined the entertainment industry. In 1993, she won the Bb. Pilipinas World crown. Later that year, she finished second runner up at Miss World, which was held in South Africa.
There have been as many ups as downs in her career and personal life, but Ruffa says she took everything in stride, staying strong for her daughters Lorin and Venice. “My only birthday wish is for my children. I want them to finish college. I want them to be happy, successful, young ladies who know what they want in life and to take my lead. Ang dami ko nang pinagdaanan sa buhay ko and yet na-overcome ko lahat yun, na-surpass ko lahat yun and I’m still standing today. This is the calm after the storm. So I tell them, girls, be strong.”
Her marriage to Yilmaz Bektas, a Turkish national, ended years ago. Unsurprisingly, the experience has made her wary about getting married again. “I’m very careful about going that road again. As of now, we’re happy as we are,” shares Ruffa, referring to her current boyfriend Jordan Mouyal.
She is happy, indeed. Ruffa surrounded by family and her closest friends, enjoys her life today. “I’ve done crazy things. I’ve been through so much. But you can see naman,eh. When your star’s shining the brightest, you have so many people around you and when the light dims, I’m happy to say, people are still there. They haven’t left my side,” she remarks, concluding that when all is said and done, one truth remains: That in good times and in bad, through thick and thin, only true friends will stick like glue.