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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.

Jul 29, 2015

Gelli De Belen On Why She Remains Happily Married To Ariel Rivera After 18 Years

GELLI DE BELEN is one of the busiest Kapatid stars. She's currently hosting "Happy Truck ng Bayan" on Sundays, a judge in "KisPinoy" on Saturdays and is now doing the new sitcom "Misterless Misis" with Lorna Tolentino, Mitch Valdez, Ritz Azul, newcomer Andie Gomez and Ruffa Gutierrez. For five weeks now, she is also substituting for Mariel Rodriguez as co-host of "Happy Wife, Happy Life". Another upcoming show is "SM Little Stars" where she'll be a judge and mentor to the kiddie contestants.

She's one actress whose career and family life are really both doing well. She's been married to Ariel Rivera for 18 years now and they have two sons, Joaqui, 16 years old, and Julio, 14 years old. They never had a yaya for their sons. "Palitan kami noon sa pag-aalaga sa mga bata. But now that their teenagers, they need less supervision. When I'm working, tumatawag na lang ako sa bahay to make sure nakakain na sila when they get home from school at ginagawa ang home work nila."

What's the secret of her long-lasting marriage to Ariel? "Suwerte ako kasi he's a very good partner. Whatever I do na gawaing bahay, ginagawa rin niya. Siguro kasi he grew up in Canada at wala namang maids doon kaya sanay siya. Even sa career ko, he's always been very supportive and we've learned to adjust to each other. We also keep our communication lines open."

We tell her she's the most active in her batch of stars who started in the 90s as teenstars, which includes Ruffa Gutierrez, Carmina Villaroel, Vina Morales and Aiko Melendez. They're now in their 40s and they're the ones who followed the batch of Sharon Cuneta and Maricel Soriano who are now in their 50s.
"Nakakatuwa nga kasi lahat kami, active pa rin," she says."Heto ngayon, kami ni Ruffa, co-stars in 'Misterless Misis' at magkasama kami ng tent. Grabe ang saya-saya, hindi matapos ang kuwentuhan."

What's her role in the sitcom directed by Mark Meily and that starts airing on August 9? "Ako si Liza. Ako lang yung may asawa sa'min, kasi si Lorna T, iniwanan ng groom niya on their wedding day kaya bitter siya. Si Ruffa naman, separada. Si Mitch Valdes, biyuda, anak niya ang newcomer na si Andie Gomez, who's a single mom. Si Ritz Azul, single pa. Pero ako, yung mister ko, si Paolo Paraiso, OFW sa Kuwait at nakakausap ko lang via Skype. Tapos, ang rumor, may ibang babae na siya roon. We represent different kinds of strong-willed women at maraming makaka-relate sa mga sitwasyon namin sa show, so don't miss it."
One thing Gelli misses is doing movies. In her batch, she's the only who has an Urian best actress award for "Sarah Jane Salazar Story" in 1994. "Nami-miss ko talaga gumawa ng pelikula. Buti nga ang sister kong si Janice, dala-dalawang movies ang ginagawa ngayon. I really want to try doing an indie film na serious naman ang role ko."