Lessons that help Rufa Mae avoid ‘getting mad or sad’
Rufa Mae Quinto once described her late Lola Lucing as her everything—a grandmother, mother, friend and mentor all rolled into one.
And in reminiscing about her younger days, she realized that many of the qualities that helped her become a successful actress and comedienne she learned from growing up under her grandmother’s care.
“Back then, she would always remind me to wake up early, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to catch the blessings God wants to shower us with. So we would already be up super early to clean the house and have breakfast. I believe that taught me how to be a professional and to always be on time,” she said in a recent Zoom conference for the fantasy anthology “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko.”
Rufa Mae remembers her Lola Lucing as a strong and hardworking woman who taught her the importance of keeping a happy or positive outlook. “She made a living buying and selling. From morning onwards, she would make the rounds in the city hall to sell jewelry, chicharon or whatever,” she recalled.
“She always reminded me that I shouldn’t let myself get mad and sad. ‘That’s how wrinkles start or health problems start. Ikakamatay mo ‘yan,’ she would joke,” the 44-year-old celebrity added. “So whenever I feel sad, I would try to snap out of it because I still want to live longer!”
It was also through her grandmother that Rufa Mae learned to stand for what she thinks is right and understand that you just can’t please everyone—lessons that came in handy when she entered show biz in the mid-1990s. “She told me that I have nothing to be afraid of if I know I’m right,” she said.
“She also told me that people throw stones at trees full of fruits, so I shouldn’t be affected by people who put you down and don’t like you. That’s how it is when good things are happening to you. You can’t please everyone and you just have to be strong and understanding,” she said.
As part of “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’s” fifth anniversary, a special four-part episode titled “Bida Kontrabida” will be shown all Sundays of July.
The story follows three popular fairy tale villains Rumpelstiltskin (Jo Berry), Sea Witch (Cai Cortez) and Evil Queen (Rufa Mae), who, one day, found themselves getting tired of being angry and mean, so they try to do good deeds for a change. The episode also stars Andre Paras as the Big Bad Wolf. Playing special roles are Glaiza de Castro, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Barbie Forteza.
“Since becoming a mom, all I ever watch are children’s shows or cartoons. So I’m happy and proud to be part of ‘Daig,’ which my daughter can watch,” said Rufa Mae, who has a 5-year-old girl, Athena, with husband Trevor Magallanes.
Because Rufa Mae has this unexplainable aura that makes people laugh just by looking at her, her costars Jo and Cai learned that it can be difficult to maintain composure when working with the comedienne. “Jo and Cai would say ‘di na nila kaya, so they don’t look at me! When they start laughing, I start laughing, too. And then everyone’s laughing already. We wouldn’t even remember why we’re laughing in the first place,” she related. “Basta tawa lang nang tawa.” “That’s why I also missed show biz so much,” added Rufa Mae, who divides her time between the Philippines and the United States, where her husband lives. Even if we have personal problems, and even if we’re feeling haggard, we immediately feel happy once we start chatting with each other,” she said. “Maybe it’s because of my personality—bubbly, jolly, happy, lighthearted.” INQ
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