GELLI De Belen is leaving for Canada with hubby Ariel Rivera this Saturday to spend the Christmas holidays with their sons Joaqui, 19, and Julio, 18, who are studying there and staying with Ariel’s folks. Joaqui is taking up aviation while Julio is into kinetics. Isn’t she worried that her sons might grow up imbibing western culture and forget their Pinoy roots?
“Well, 17 and 16 na sila when they moved to Canada so hopefully, Ariel and I have already raised them well with the right Pinoy values,” she says. “Thanks to technology, we always see them and communicate with them sa phone at lagi kong sinasabi, Filipino kayo. And also, they’re with my in laws, may titos and titas sila roon who help them in everything they need. I’m not even worried na maaga silang magka-girlfriend kasi mababait talaga sila. Idol nila ang tatay nila kasi mabait talaga si Ariel, and idol rin ni Ariel ang father niya na isang ulirang ama. On December 22, 21st anniversary na ng marriage namin and I can’t complain kasi we both work to make our marriage work and last.”
Before they leave for Canada, she is advancing some episodes for her current afternoon soap, the hit “Ika-5 Utos”. “Halos araw-araw ang taping namin ngayon. Kasi I will be back on January 4 pa. May time na kauuwi lang namin, ang next call time namin is 1 AM so we start grinding at 2 AM. Ganun kalupit ang schedules namin ngayon.”
Is she happy that “Ika-5 Utos” served as her comeback soap for GMA-7? “Oh yes. I’m very grateful kasi masaya kami ng mga kasama ko, lalo na sina Jean Garcia at Valerie Concepcion. On screen, lagi kaming nag-aaway, but on the set, ang ganda ng bonding. I also like my role as Kelly. Actually, ako 'yung comic relief dito. When they made my role more dramatic, ayaw ng tao, kaya binalik nila ko 'yung comedy scenes at sina Jean at Valerie ang laging nagbabangayan dito. So abangan nyo ang susunod na episodes dahil mas marami pang nakakaintrigang mga mangyayari sa ‘Ika-5 Utos’.”