Controversial celebrity Gretchen Barretto is in the news again. She is being mentioned in show biz talk shows and news reports over an alleged incident said to have happened in early June in which her credit card was declined in a posh restaurant located in a Makati five-star hotel. As she presented her credit card to pay the bill for her dinner with Ruffa Gutierrez, Pops Fernandez and a non-showbiz friend named Josie, Gretchen was informed that the bank had declined the card. According to the reports, Gretchen had answered back to the waiter, “That cannot be, we own the bank.” The cashier then tried several times to get the bank's approval but failed. Ruffa instead paid the P4,000++ bill in cash. Reports also said that Gretchen’s long-time partner, businessman Tony Boy Cojuangco had rushed to the scene and tried to settle the problem. But, the reports added, the couple ended up quarreling over the incident. As a result of the controversy, Gretchen told entertainment columnist Ricky Lo that she was seriously considering leaving the country for good. In an exclusive interview with Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) on Thursday, Gretchen’s manager Boy Abunda confirmed that the incident did happen but clarified that the card was not declined because the transaction exceeded the credit limit or it was due to deactivation. Abunda said the whole brouhaha was a result of a hardware malfunction of the restaurant’s card reader. The machine's magnetic stripe reader was not able to read Gretchen's card, he said. Boy also clarified that Gretchen was not leaving the country because of the incident. He clarified it was the couple’s plan even before to accompany their daughter Dominique in her studies abroad. Gretchen and Tony Boy's relationship remained strong, Boy said. Boy did not confirm or deny Gretchen’s "we own the bank" remarks to the waiter and the argument between Gretchen and Tony Boy. He also could not determine why Gretchen did not attend Ruffa’s recent birthday party or confirm that her no-show was a result of the incident. But, he said Gretchen and Ruffa were already on speaking terms. He also said he was “not privy” to an alleged incident wherein Gretchen had fumed at PEP and YES! Magazine Editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon for breaking the story on the online portal. Boy was also asked if it was indeed Ruffa's personal assistant who leaked the incident to the press. Boy said it was "immaterial". He revealed Gretchen is using the credit card again,
June 2008 Archives
Movie actor Rudy Fernandez succumbed to periampullary cancer in his home in White Plains, Quezon City at 6:15 a.m. Saturday. He was 55. Fernandez had been battling the disease for more than two years. The action star passed away five days after he was brought home from the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City, where he had been confined for a month. He and wife Lorna Tolentino celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Sunday. He suffered a seizure on Wednesday but refused to be taken back to the Cardinal Santos Memorial Center. His close friends, Sens. Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, broke the news to media minutes after his death. His wife and other friends were with him as he passed away, Estrada said. Fernandez’s remains lie in state at the Heritage Park in Taguig City. Interment plans will be announced later. He is survived by his wife Lorna, and their two sons, Rap and Renz, and a third son with actress-politician Alma Moreno, actor Mark Anthony Fernandez. Revilla told the Inquirer that Fernandez had suffered from internal bleeding for several days. He also said Fernandez was glassy-eyed most of the time and had difficulty recognizing people. Revilla said that while he was on his way to the Fernandez home at 9 p.m. Friday, the veteran actor’s blood pressure had plummeted. Fernandez’s manager, Lolit Solis, also told the Inquirer that he was reduced to murmuring instructions to his wife. The actor would wince at the lightest touch. Fernandez, born March 3, 1953 in Manila, started appearing in movies at age three in a film directed by his father Gregorio “Yoyong” Fernandez, LVN Pictures’ “Luksang Tagumpay” in 1956, according to the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art. Delia Razon, star of “Luksang Tagumpay” remembers the young Rudy as a “shy, but obedient kid.” “Rudy was always hanging out, playing on the set. He was Yoyong’s pet,” Razon recounts. But his actual movie career started in 1970 under a Sampaguita Pictures contract for the film entitled “For Your Mama.” Fernandez’s entry in the action genre came in 1976 in the biopic of a notorious criminal, “Bitayin si Baby Ama,” a box-office hit that established him as a big name in Philippine movies for the next three decades. His words were etched in local cinema parlance with the line, “Trabaho lang ito, walang personalan,” in the 1992 movie “Markang Bungo,” which is another biopic, this time of a Baguio City cop, Bobby Ortega. He also played Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Gen. Victor Corpus, former actor Eddie Fernandez and politician Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo in blockbuster films. Fernandez was an affectionate colleague, Razon recalls. “He was always respectful. Every time he would see me in show biz gatherings, he’d stand up and greet me,” says Razon. Ara Mina, Fernandez’s leading lady in two films, “Palaban” and “Diskarte”, said they called each other “best friends.” “Every time we see each other, he tells me, ‘Ang ganda ng best friend ko ngayon. Pumayat ka. (My best friend is so beautiful today. You’ve lost weight.)’ That was how he used to tease me,” Mina said. Fernandez starred in 65 films throughout his career, the last being the 2002 film “Huli Mo, Huli Ko.” He had since appeared in the television docudrama “Kasangga,” the sitcom “Da Boy and Da Girl,” and the soap “Twin Hearts.” His last project, “Atlantika” was aired in 2006. He is a winner of two FAMAS best actor trophies for the 1984 film “Batuigas...Pasukuin si Waway” and the 1988 “Victor Corpus” biopic and one Film Academy of the Philippines best actor plum for “Batuigas.” The Philippine Movie Press Club recently gave Fernandez the 2008 Ulirang Artista Lifetime Achievement Award. Marinel Cruz, Gerry Plaza, Bayani San Diego, Jr.