Rufa Mae Quinto and I fondly call each other “Alta Sister.” Beneath her sexy image is a lola’s girl who relishes simple joys like eating her fave pichi-pichi (which is why her nickname is P-chi). In her relaunching movie, “Ang Huling Henya,” (where she portrays a brainy kick-ass agent), she’s out to show that there’s more to her than just cleavage and curves.
What makes a woman a “henya?”
One who is brave and kind and is physically fit, tough, strong and wise. One who has good intentions, and sticks to her principles. One who knows what she wants in life and how to get it.
How did you shed your Booba image for “Henya?”
I underwent workshops with Melvin Lee to tone down my Booba gestures. I had to work out, learn action routines—boxing [and] Muay Thai—and shooting. I had to speak English properly and a bit of French; it was tough. I dressed down, had no makeup and wore contact lenses.
Will you leave show biz when you settle down?
I’m not leaving show biz. I believe there’s a reason that I’m still in the business after 19 years and I have to embrace my destiny—to entertain Filipinos.
What are some things you learned from ex-boyfriends?
From Erik Santos, I learned that ex-lovers can end up being the best of friends.
From Fil-Am—I’m not mentioning his name because I respect him and his family, and it was my longest relationship (seven years)—I learned that if you’re meant to be together, you will stick it out no matter what. Unfortunately, culture clash can get in the way.
From my actor/politician, I learned to trust more, be patient and understanding and curb jealousy attacks.
What has been the worst intrigue about you to date, and how did you handle it?
There have been too many to mention. But I don’t get affected by intrigues. I love the media and I owe them a lot.
How tough is it to be the breadwinner?
It isn’t easy. I was super young and was still struggling with my career and didn’t have enough money when I became the breadwinner. But through perseverance, I made it. I also give my family moral support.
What’s the advantage/disadvantage of being sexy?
Being sexy is a totality [that involves] not just the body but also the heart, mind and soul. Having self-confidence is very sexy. As a Filipina, I’m so proud to be sexy. It gave me more work, not just here but also abroad, as a model and cover girl.
Disadvantage? Sometimes you don’t know if the guy really loves you or is just lusting after your sexy body. So you have to make sure of his intentions.
In what ways would you consider yourself a “henya?”
I always give my 100 percent in every movie I make. I love myself and my career. I always try to do good. I strive to always win and shine.