Don’t call her Tita Cherie

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  • CHERIE Gil was presented as one of the judges in the seventh season of “Starstruck,” along with Heart Evangelista and Jose Manalo. The hosts on primetime are Dingdong Dantes and Jennylyn Mercado, and the show will start airing this Saturday and Sunday. Kyline Alcantara is the host on the online version on YouTube, “Inside Starstruck.”

    It’s Cherie’s first time to be a “Starstruck” judge.

    “I was a judge before in ‘Protege’ but sa ‘Starstruck,’ ngayon pa lang,” she said. “I wasn’t that familiar with it at now ko lang nga nalaman na Jennylyn came from ‘Starstruck’.”

    She’s known to be mataray. Will she projecting that as a judge?

    “Actually, mahirap ang work namin as judge kasi as much as possible, you want to encourage these hopefuls. But then, it’s a contest at matira ang matibay, so we can’t help but make a choice. I guess we’ll just have to be very, very careful in telling them how we feel, so we won’t sound very discouraging to those who will be eliminated.”

    In the plugs for “Starstruck,” she’s seen giving a stern warning to the contestants: “Don’t call me Tita!” Does she mean it?

    “Oh yes. Actually, wala sa script ‘yun, dinagdag ko lang. Kasi ang daming tumatawag sa’kin ng ‘Tita,’ not only young stars but even sa staff, ‘yung mga assistant director. So sinasabi ko, bakit, pamangkin ba kita? I wrote about it in social media and many women were able to relate to it kaya it went viral.

    ‘Yun lang mga nephews and nieces ko, family friends, at talagang mga nakakakilala sa’kin ang puedeng tumawag sa’kin ng Tita.”

    Her two kids with Roni Rogoff, Bianca and Rafael, are both very good looking. Would she encourage them to join an artista search like “Starstruck”?

    “Well, it’s up to them. Right now, Bianca has just graduated from NYU in theater arts while Rafael is taking up liberal arts in ethics and law. I think he wants to be a lawyer.”

    Cherie just won the best supporting actress trophy at the Star Awards for her role as a high-class pimp in “Citizen Jake,” but she was not there to personally accept her award.

    “I didn’t expect I’d win. Nakakatuwa nga, kasi may movies akong ang haba ng role ko at pinaghirapan ko talaga, pero hindi naman ako napansin. Doon, one long scene lang ako. I wasn’t able to go sa awards night kasi I had to go sa last night ng play ni Floy Quintos na ‘Kundiman Party.’ I love Floy’s work, especially his play on Atang de la Rama. I told him to write for me a similar material about Miss Rita Gomez. Alam mo naman, I also love doing theater.”(M. Bautista, Malaya)

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