GLORIA Diaz remains to be every inch a beauty queen at the presscon of her new GMA soap, “Pamilya Roces”, where she plays the legal wife of Roi Vinzon, with Elizabeth Oropesa and Anna Roces as the two other wives. She was only 18 years old when she became the first Pinay Miss Universe in 1969 and she has not lost her elegance and regal bearing.
“That was almost 50 years ago,” she says. “That was also the year that man first landed on the moon. I’m 67 now, a grandmother, and loving it. I visit my grandson every day in my daughter Isabelle’s home. It’s good magkalapit lang ang villages where we live in Makati.”
Is her daughter returning to showbiz? “Yes, pumayat na siya and she just got an offer to do a new show with ABS-CBN.”
She remains very active in both movies and TV. Recently, she gained acclaim for playing the role of an aging lesbian in “Si Chedeng at si Apple” that was even shown in film festivals abroad. “A lot of people were shocked that I did that role, but I was even more shocked at myself. Do you know that it’s so difficult to do the film kasi magkahalo ang comedy and drama? But the feedback sa amin ni Elizabeth Oropesa was so great, so we’re told we’ll be doing a sequel soon, with the some young directors. Sa movie kasi, we were jailed after we killed Beth’s abusive husband, so ngayon, makakalaya kami and have another misadventure.”
She’s glad to be reunited with both Beth O and Direk Joel Lamangan in “Pamilya Roces”. “Ang tagal na naming magkasama ni Oro, since ‘Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa’ pa in 1974, my very first movie. Okay ang tandem namin and it’s fun to work with her kasi she’s so professional and she knows what she’s doing kaya masarap katrabaho. Si Direk Joel naman, nakasama ko na siya on TV in ‘Kung Mawawala Ka’ and in several films like ‘Sagrada Familia’ and ‘Lihis’ and I really enjoy working with him.”
We tell her Joel says she’s now one of the finest actresses in local showbiz compared to when she just started. “Siyempre naman. Kasi when I started, ni hindi ako marunong masyadong mag-Tagalog.
Baluktot ang dila ko. Now, I can deliver my lines with more feelings.”
Her ex-husband, Bong Daza, passed away sometime ago. Did she still grieve? “Of course naman, mabait na tao si Bong. It’s just that our biorhythms are not compatible kaya we didn’t get along well. He’s a night person, e ako, day person. Ayokong napupuyat, kaya nga sa taping, may cut off ako, kasi alas otso pa lang, gusto ko nang umuwi. E, I wake up naman kasi early in the morning to play tennis, do gym work. Buti na lang, si Direk Joel, ayaw ring napupuyat kaya magkasundo kami.”
When will she retire, if ever? “Ay, I have no intentions of retiring. Even if I have a million dollars, I’d still want to work. Ayoko nung nakatunganga lang sa bahay. As long as I have offers to do new projects, I’ll do it.”