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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 23, 2013

Gary Estrada And Bernadette Allyson Reveals The Secret Of Their Lasting Marriage

GARY ESTRADA just got re-elected as a board member in the second district of Quezon Province that includes Tiaong, Dolores, Candelaria, Lucena, Sariaya and San Antonio. He lives in San Antonio where he has fruit farm. He was proclaimed topnotcher in his district on May 16, the day of his 42nd birthday.

“I’ll request na sa’kin ibigay ang tourism committee as I really want to promote the beauty of our province. We have the beautiful Balesin Island, Villa Escudero, Mt. Banahaw and the beaches of Sariaya. And our food is just great. The best crispy pata is in Candelaria.”

Doesn’t he miss acting? “I do. It’s my first love and it’s my bread and butter. As board member, we don’t even have pork barrel but ang dami kong napagawang farm-to-market roads, schoolbuildings, barangay halls, medical clinics and I’m even sending about 70 scholars to school, all from my own pocket. My last soap was in GMA-7’s ‘Kokak’, then I did a ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ episode with Rosanna Roces that was very well received even on Twitter. I asked my manager, Arnold Vegafria, not to accept any acting work for me kasi nga I got busy with the election, but now that it’s over, I’m raring to act again.”

His marriage to Bernadette Allyson is one of the most stable unions in showbiz. They’ve been together for 12 years. Their eldest, Garielle, is 11, followed by Gabbi, 6, and Gerri, 5. What’s their secret?

“I got married when I was really to settle down, after having the time of my life as a bachelor. And definitely, hindi ako mambababae kasi ang mga anak namin, puro babae. Baka singilin ako.”

We ask them what are the qualities they like the most in each other. “I like my wife’s patience,” Gary says. “We come from different families, very different upbringing, but she accepted me as I am, including my eldest son (with Cheska Diaz), Kiko, who’s now 20 years old. I thank her for being very understanding and for being a good, hands on mom to our daughters. Tutok siya talaga sa kanila.”

“Gary is a very responsible husband and dad,” says Berna. “Nakita ko na yan noon kahit di pa kami kasal. He’s already very loving to his mom and sister. He does remember birthdays and anniversaries but he’s not really that sweet. But when he chooses to be, all out siya sa sweetness niya. Hinarana pa niya ako noon. We told each other wala na kaming bigayan ng gifts pag Christmas, but last Christmas, he gave me a very expensive ring. At saka ayaw na ayaw niya ng idea na maghihiwalay kami, as he wants to avoid what happened to his own parents.”

Since they have three girls, don’t they want to have a son also? “We do,” says Berna. “Hopefully, ngayong tapos ng election, baka puede na. During the campaign kasi, I got busy rin kasi he has meetings na he can’t attend at akong pinapapunta niya roon. But I also miss acting. My last soap was ‘Pintada’ pa on ABS-CBN.”

Berna finished AB Psycho in La Salle while Gary has a degree in business management & marketing from FEU. “I want to take up law now,” says Gary. “Hopefully, I’ll find the time to pursue it. Last election, I was asked to run for congress but I felt I wasn’t ready yet, so gusto ko munang paghandaan yan.”