“I am who I am now because of these [negative] experiences; I’m grateful for them,” said controversial actress Gretchen Barretto in an interview at the recent Star Magic Ball 2013 in Makati City.
Gretchen said those experiences taught her a lot and made her a stronger person. She pointed out, “I’ve been called a lot of things. I’ve heard the harshest words. What else can be said [that would affect me]? Nothing more!”
In fact, she insisted, she has learned to live with bashers. “I’ve accepted the fact that they are part of my life [as a show biz celebrity]. If you don’t have bashers, you’re not considered important.”
The actress said she was willing to forgive those who have hurt her but sought her forgiveness. “Kung ang Diyos nga nagpapatawad…”
Gretchen added that she was determined to maintain a positive outlook in spite of the controversies hounding her family.
“Right now, I’m okay; I feel vindicated… set free,” she elaborated. “I’m just really grateful for the love I see around me right now and for the people who make me feel it.”
On Saturday, Gretchen left for London to accompany her daughter Dominique Cojuangco, who will study fashion design there. The doting mother admitted that she found it difficult to allow the 18-year-old Dominique to be on her own.
But, she said, “I know my daughter is a smart and strong person. I’ll just help her settle in there. I told her, ‘You’re [better educated] than I am. I know you can handle your own problems.’”
As for Dominique’s admirers, Gretchen said, “I don’t object to her entertaining suitors. I am even willing to receive them in my home. It’s better for me to be acquainted with my daughter’s friends. If they want, they can even visit her in London.”
Gretchen has refrained from giving comments to the media about the lawsuits that divide her estranged sister Claudine and the latter’s husband, Raymart Santiago.
However, Gretchen posted on her Instagram account on August 4 that she was hoping for a swift resolution of the child custody case that Raymart, in turn, filed recently. The ex-couple has two children—Sabina, 9, and Santino, 6.
“Let us pray that the kids will end up with the parent who is most fit to take care of them,” said Gretchen.