As if to prove that all is well between them, Helen Gamboa revealed that she and her niece Sharon Cuneta finally had the chance to catch up in person. They weren’t on speaking terms due to the different political alliances of their respective families. The gap widened when Tito Sotto refused to support Kiko Pangilinan’s bid for Senate President in 2010. It was only last May that Sharon finally reached out to Helen via text, but they hadn’t seen each other until last Saturday. “Oh yes, nasa bahay siya (Sharon) nung isang araw. I’m so happy,” said Helen in an interview with ABS-CBN reporters at the victory party of Walang Hanggan last Monday, July 16.
Although their rift lasted for two years, Helen maintained that her love for Sharon stayed the same, even when the latter made a hurtful remark about the “division of their families” a few months back. “Hindi mo maaalis yung misunderstanding [sa mga magkakapamilya]. But it was just a mere misunderstanding back then. Pero alam mo, si Sharon, no matter what happens, hindi maaaring hindi ko talaga patawarin kasi mahal na mahal ko ‘yan. Maski anong mangyari, hindi magbabago yun. Alam niya yun, na siya ang panganay kong anak.”
On a lighter note, Helen was ecstatic about the consistent high ratings of the primetime teleserye Walang Hanggan where she plays the devious Doña Margaret. Even her loved ones are really proud of her impressive performance as a villainess in the story. “Si Tito Sen naman natatawa siya, ‘Ano ba yan naaawa na ako sa Ate Henya mo!’ Sabi ko naman, ‘Ano ka ba? Yun ang dapat kong gawin. Kailangan sa eksena.’ Yung mga anak ko sinasabi sa akin na, ‘Natatawa kami ‘pag nakikita ka namin kasi you’re not like that at home. [But] we’re very proud of you that you’re doing your role really well.”
She expressed her gratitude to ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio for convincing her to accept the challenge of doing a teleserye again. “Ay, tuwang-tuwa kami na yung president ng ABS-CBN [nag-attend ng victory party namin]. Charo is very supportive. At talagang kasama siya sa brains behind this successful teleserye. Siya ang unang nag-encourage sa akin. Nung ginawa ko yung Tayong Dalawa, medyo maldita na ako dun, pero eto mas malala. Sabi ko nga, ‘Charo, I will always be grateful to you.’ Sabi kasi niya tanggapin mo [yung role], and she's right, it’s really worth it. I’m happy to play Margaret.”
At the same time, Helen also paid tribute to Dolphy whom she had worked with in a number of movies including Sarhento Fofonggay: A Ewan! (1974). “Isa ako diyan [sa mga nagluksa para sa kanya]. Ang dami naming pelikulang nagawa ni Dolphy. So nung pumunta ako sa wake, napaiyak ako kasi nagflashback sa akin yung pinagsamahan namin. I learned a lot from him. Bata pa ako nung ipinareha ako sa kanya. Naalala ko yung humility niya, yung generosity niya. ‘Di ko malilimutan yun. Siya lang ang Dolphy sa buong mundo. Nobody can replace him.”
As for the long-overdue bid for the King of Comedy to be hailed as a National Artist, Helen said that he’s undeniably deserving to receive such recognition. “In due respect of those artists na nabigyan na, talagang karapat dapat si Dolphy at si FPJ (the late Fernando Poe Jr.). Na-mention nga ni Tito na kung ayaw nila, maski kami na movie industry na lang [ang magbigay ng recognition]. Alam naman ng buong Pilipinas yun na he's the only King of Comedy.”
Helen Gamboa speaks up about her happy reunion with Sharon Cuneta
Helen Gamboa catches up with Sharon Cuneta after a two-year tiff.