Actress, TV host, and former beauty queen Ruffa Gutierrez wears her heart on her sleeve in the July 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping, giving readers insight into her painful relationship with ex-husband Yilmaz Bektas. If you will recall, the star revealed in a June 2007 interview with Startalk’s Butch Francisco that Bektas had physically abused her during their marriage—causing her to flee their conjugal home in Turkey and return to Manila.
Since then, the country has witnessed a resurgence in Ruffa’s career—as well as an endless barrage of tabloids featuring her famous face (most recently involving her romantic ties to actor John Lloyd Cruz). But last April, rumors that Bektas was seeking reconciliation with his estranged wife riveted showbiz spectators, making us wonder: should Ruffa take him back or not?
Whatever may have happened in the past, Ruffa stands firm in her decision to be happy this year and in the years to come. On the cover of Good Housekeeping, the Paparazzi host looks radiant in a bright magenta jumpsuit and gleaming silver jewelry—a resplendent match to her optimistic attitude. “This year, my mantra is to be single, fabulous, sexy, healthy, and fit,” she tells the magazine.
For someone who’s undergone perhaps the most traumatic experience in any woman’s life, Ruffa seems to have emerged stronger than ever. But don’t think that this emotional strength developed overnight. On the contrary, Ruffa shares, “Letting go is a process. It takes time. You need to go through that process before you fully recover. Others manage better than others. It’s your own personal journey.”
As personal as it may be, this hasn’t stopped Ruffa from reaching out to others who have gone through a similar situation. After being tapped as Avon’s Philippine spokeswoman for the global campaign “Speak Out Against Domestic Violence,” Ruffa continues to dedicate herself to helping out survivors of abuse and equipping them the necessary tools to heal. Last May, she even spent her birthday in the Ayala Museum listening to the experiences of battered women.
“Every time I hear survivor stories, I can’t help but remember my own painful experience and everything I’ve gone through,” says the star. “’Enough is enough’ when you can’t take it anymore… Everyone can give advice but at the end of the day it’s up to you to make the final decision whether to stay or not.”
To read more about Ruffa, grab the July 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping, out now.
(Photos by Sara Black)