Rufa Mae Quinto on ‘ghosters’: ‘Mga duwag’

Rufa Mae Quinto on ‘ghosters’: ‘Mga duwag’

By: - Reporter
/ 12:10 AM December 14, 2023

Rufa Mae Quinto

Image: Instagram/@rufamaequinto

Cooped up at home with her family in the United States during the pandemic, Rufa Mae Quinto thought her show biz career was as good as over.

“When I was in America, I was like, ‘After everything I have done in show biz … eto na ba ‘yun?’ I had yet to secure my Green Card and all that … I didn’t have any work or projects back then,” she told the Inquirer in a recent virtual conference for “#Ghosted,” the ongoing second installment of the teen-oriented anthology series “Sparkle U.”


While she led a happy and fulfilling life as mother, a part of her still yearned for acting. “I don’t usually watch show biz shows and chismis, but there I found myself watching those things online and on social media,” said the actress-comedienne, who has a 6-year-old daughter, Athena, with her husband, Trevor Magallanes.


Everything is back

Last year, Rufa Mae flew back to the Philippines to mourn the death of her brother. Work wasn’t on her agenda. But after catching up with her friends at Sparkle GMA Artist Center, one thing led to another.

“I met up with friends and had lunch. Before I knew it, they were managing me. I had an endorsement. Some of my videos online went viral. Tapos tuluy-tuloy na. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t the end for me; that there are still blessings coming my way,” she said, adding that she later on realized that it wasn’t just her, but the whole industry that struggled.

“So now, there are offers for acting projects, offers from brands. ” she added. “I’m so happy. If something’s meant for you—and if you’re kind and you do your job well—everything will come back to you and more. I feel like everything is back. I’m back!”

Now, she shuttles between the Philippines for work and the United States for her family. That’s why she makes sure that each trip back to the Philippines is worth her while.

“I have spent most of the past year here. There are a lot of endorsements and shows slated for next year. But of course, I can’t just keep working nonstop. I recently took a monthlong break and went to the US. Of course, dapat meron ding pause at personal time,” Rufa Mae said. “If I go home, it should be for a project I really like something fun at may dating.”

“Sparkle U: #Ghosted” revolves around five teenage students going through a rough patch in their school and personal lives. Rufa Mae plays Ms Gaspar, a teacher who suffered a tragic death. As her ghost seeks justice for her past, she helps steer students toward the right path by preventing them from making the same mistakes she did.


“It’s fun working with young actors like Sofia Pablo and Allen Ansay. It’s fun trying to adapt to the new generation. They’re all so beautiful, handsome and talented. They’re very professional, too,” she said. “And I think some of their freshness rubbed off on me!”

“#Ghosted,” which airs on Sunday afternoons, also touches on “ghosting,” the practice of cutting off communication with a person with no indications or apparent reasons. While the term had yet to become popular during her younger days, ghosting, she said, was something she has definitely experienced.

“I realized that a lot of people ghost their partners or other people in their lives. We didn’t have that term back then, but yes, there are a lot of them — mga duwag (cowards). They just disappear and don’t say goodbye properly. Not even a text,” Rufa Mae said. “They may have their reasons why they do it. I try to understand. But in the end, it’s their life and I just let them be.”

Fresh air

The 45-year-old actress found the role a breath of fresh air. It’s still a comedy, but with elements of horror and heavy drama. “It will make you laugh. It will scare you. But it also has a heart. Tinodo ko na lahat! Now you may look at me and still find me funny, but I really felt my role, my lines,” she said.

“The tears were real—walang Vicks!” she said, drawing laughter. “But now, when I cry, grabe na. Kaya ko na gawin kasi kailangan na. Kapit na!”

In a way, being a mother, Rufa Mae surmised, has given her acting another layer. “A lot has changed in my life since [I had Athena] I have become simpler in the way I dress or wear my hair. I have become more serious. Now, I have no qualms about how I look, kahit ang laput-lapot at maputla na, I will act,” she said. “Ang hirap purihin ng sarili, but sige, pang-best actress!”

Reflecting on her life at the moment, Rufa Mae said she couldn’t ask for anything more. “I have my husband and child. I have my show biz career. I can travel once in a while. I’m happy that my life feels complete. My family made me feel complete because that was what I felt was lacking for the longest time,” she said.

And with everything she has been through, Rufa Mae has now learned to live life without worrying too much about every little thing.

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“At times, we get so nervous because wala tayong kikitain, you don’t have work, you’re thinking of other problems. So, I just figured that I will just start by doing something good and help others. You will be happy. And you will always look forward to doing good things. Ang sarap pala ng buhay na ganun,” she said.

TAGS: Rufa Mae Quinto

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