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  • Gelli de Belen shares how she strives to be a good mom, wife and actress

    Despite her busy schedule, host-actress Gelli de Belen makes sure she has more than enough time for her family.

    “I really make time, I have to make time,” she said.

    “Especially now that my kids are here for the summer, mas buhos ako sa oras sa kanila,” she added, relating her two boys, Joaquin and Julio, are set to go back to Canada for their studies this week.

    How does she bond with them? Well, unlike other celeb families, Gelli does away with traveling preferring to just stay at home.

    “Nasa bahay lang kami, I cook for them or we watch movies,” she said. “Pero minsan we eat out din or almost every weekend basta walang work, eh we go to Tagaytay.”

    Gelli doesn’t have a problem juggling family responsibilities with work, noting it’s all about proper time management.

    However, Gelli stressed, “The most important thing is not the amount of time you spend together, it’s the quality.”

    “Kasi kahit buong araw kayong magkasama at ’di naman kayo nag-uusap eh, wala rin naman, ’di din nila ’yun matatandaan.”

    Gelli admitted it is hard for her to be away from her sons.

    “Nu’ng una akala ko mahihirapan ako pero hindi pala kasi hirap na hirap ako,” she divulged. “It’s hard lalo na ’pag ’yung maghihiwalay na, ’yung hahatid mo na sa airport o ihahatid ka sa airport.”

    She recalled the first time she accompanied her children abroad.

    “Nu’ng pauwi na ako ng Pilipinas umiiyak ako mag-isa sa lounge sa airport, nakakahiya pinagtitinginan ako. Then hanggang sa eroplano iyak ako ng iyak hanggang pagdating mugtong-mugto ang mata ko,” she shared.

    Good thing there’s technology.

    Gelli catches up on her kids through video call to the point “na nauubusan na nga kami minsan ng pag-uusapan.”
    They don’t do it everyday, too, as “mas nami-miss ko sila lalo.”

    Recently, Gelli and husband, singer-actor Ariel Rivera, visited Canada in time for Joaquin’s high school graduation.

    Although they initially planned to migrate as a family, the couple decided to stay in the Philippines for work while their sons live with Ariel’s family.

    As partner

    Being married for 20 years now, Gelli believes their success as couple boils down to respect.

    “Siguro malaking bagay talagang you respect each other, kilala mo sarili mo, kilala mo siya, and accept mo kung ano ’yun. When you’re in a relationship you’ll always have to compromise, we cannot count on how much you love him or how much he loves you. I guess if you’re meant to stay together it will happen talaga eh,” she said.

    “And siyempre never mo bibilangin kung ano ’yung ginagawa mo para sa kanya,” she added.

    They never had a major fight but Gelli admitted she still gets jealous at times.

    “Selosa ako eh,” she said. “Pero ’di ko na siya kailangang sabihin kasi alam na niya ’yun”

    The two worked together recently in an advocacy film.

    When asked how it was working with her husband, Gelli described it simply as “weird.”

    “Iba ’yung level nu’ng intimacy at communication namin duon kaya sobrang weird,” she explained.

    Given a choice, Gelli would rather not work with Ariel.

    “Para hiwalay din ang mundo namin. Tsaka iba ’yung focus ko ’pag nandiyan siya siyempre iniisip ko kung kumain na ba siya? Eh ’pag ako lang mag-isa ’yung trabaho ko ang focus ko.”

    Passionate

    As actress, she make sure to act as naturally and sincerely as she can.

    In the horror-fantasy drama TV series “La Luna Sangre,” she plays Bettina “Betty” Toralba, aunt of Tristan (Daniel Padilla).

    Gelli finds it easy, relating, “Nandu’n sa age range nina Tristan ’yung mga anak ko so mas madali for me to act like a mom or a tita. Kaya ’yung mga ad-lib ko kung ano ’yung mga sinasabi ko sa mga anak ko ’yun ang ina-ad-lib ko kay Tristan.”

    She is grateful to be part of the show as it gives her the opportunity to meet new, younger actors, directors and staff.

    “It’s all fun, it’s all interesting to me. I’m just grateful to be doing a job that I really love to do and I get to earn from it pa,” she said.

    Gelli hopes to do more hosting gigs in the future.

    “Para pa ako ganito kadaldal kung ’di naman ako makapag-host, siyempre I love hosting kasi ang dami-dami kong natutunan, nakikilala at na e-enlightenment talaga ako when I’m hosting and hopefully I get to do that soon.”

    (S. M. Bernardino, mb.com)

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