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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.

Jun 22, 2017

Helen Gamboa Back On TV After Suffering From Slipped Disc Hosting A Cooking Show, 'From Helen's Kitchen', On Colours On Cignal TV Starting July 1st


HELEN GAMBOA was last seen on the big screen in “Etiquette for Mistresses” two years ago in a special role as the mistress of a very powerful man, and on TV in “Walang Hanggan” in 2012 with Coco Martin. Now, she’s back hosting a cooking show, “From Helen’s Kitchen” on Colours, exclusively on Cignal TV, starting July 1, Saturday at 8 PM.

Helen was the busiest singer-actress in the late 60s and veritably the movie queen during the transition period from Susan-Amalia to Nora-Vilma in the early 70s. She had many hit singles then like “Together Again”, “I’m a Tiger” and “Two Can Have a Party”. The latter she did with Tilt Down Men, the band of her would be husband, Tito Sotto, and that’s how they met. She also had albums released internationally under the name Bunny Chanel.

She did several dance movies, like “Bang Shang a Lang”, “Operation Discotheque”, “Let’s Go”, “The Bugaloo” and became the favorite leading lady of action stars, notably the late FPJ with whom she did “Dugo sa Buhangin”, the first local movie filmed on location on the Vigan sand dunes. Then she got married at the peak of her career, had four kids, and returned to be a respected best actress winner in dramas like “Bagong Bayani” and Lino Brocka’s “Kailan Mahuhugasan ang Kasalanan”. She branched out to teleseryes doing “Tayong Dalawa” and “Walang Hanggan” then stopped due to health reasons.

“I had a slipped disc so I had to slow down,” she says. “But ngayon, okay na, I feel great through therapy and exercise. I’m back to doing a soap on GMA-7, ‘The Good Teacher’, with Marian Rivera. And I’m happy to doing ‘From Helen’s Kitchen’, which is taped right in my own kitchen at our White Plains home, as cooking is really my passion. It’s something I inherited from my mother kaya bata pa ako, I watched her how she prepares our meals. Then when I got married, I found out totoo palang cooking is the best way to a man’s heart kasi lahat ng niluluto ko, gustong-gusto ni Tito. Sa mga anak ko, my daughter Lala and my son Gian, namana yung galing namin ng mama ko sa pagluluto.”

The show is produced by IdeaFirst Company of Perci Intalan and Jun Lana. At its presscon held at the new Seda Vertis North near Trinoma, a video was shown with good friends of Helen expressing their well wishes for her new show, including her kumareng Bibeth Orteza, brother in law Vic Sotto and with Pauleen, Eat Bulaga hosts Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza, Allan K, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Ruby Rodriguez and Patricia Tumulak.

The first episode of the show was shown during the presscon and the special guest is Carmina Villaroel. All the 14 episodes of the first season have been taped and the other guests include Eric Quizon, Maricel Soriano, Raymart Santiago, Pops Fernandez, Pauleen Luna, Albert Martinez, Gladys Reyes, Donita Rose, Pauleen Luna, Danica Sotto and husband Marc Pingris, and her own kids Ciara and Gian Sotto. While cooking with them, we get to know more of Helen and her guests through their good-natured banter and candid conversations. At the end of each episode, Helen prepares a special “pabaon” or take away present for her guest and at the presscon, she gave everyone her own special recipe of pork asado wrapped so meticulously that it won’t spill and the freshness of the dish is preserved.

She and Tito have been married for 46 years and theirs is one of the most stable marriages in showbiz. What’s their secret? “Wala, We just really love each other.”

How did she feel when Sen. Tito was heavily criticized for his comment on Sec. Judy Taguiwalo during a senate hearing? “You know what, yung mga ganyan, hindi ko na lang binibigyan ng time kasi ayokong masaktan at mag-suffer. After 46 years, I know my husband better than anybody and we’ve always had peace and harmony in our home.”