“Hindi naman sa kinabahan. Kasi ako, I’ve always had this mindset that everything happens for a reason. Sabi ko lang nun, di ba there’s always a time and a season for everything. So, I was thinking na maybe that was the season na iba na yung landas na tatahakin ng show or magtatapos na yung show.”
Life goes on for Toni Gonzaga as Julie Matahimik-Valentino, the wife of John Lloyd Cruz’s character Romeo Valentino in the sitcom Home Sweetie Home that is running for four years now. The show and her character seek to continue even after her husband have gone abroad (at least that’s how the story is presented).
There is no denying that Cruz’s Romeo is already set as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) after the actor’s sudden departure from the show since September of last year.
Gonzaga was asked if she felt worried about the show’s future, she was quick to reply, “There was never a doubt in my heart or parang fear na…it’s the end. Kasi I don’t believe in endings in showbusiness di ba?
“One day, you say ‘goodbye’ then the next day, kayo-kayo uli ang magkakasama. You don’t say ‘goodbye’—you just say ‘see you again’.”
Even if the management may have chosen to end the show, Gonzaga was never shaken, “Actually, hindi ako kinabahan. Siguro dahil four years na yung samahan ng group namin, alam mo yung meron na kaming camaraderie na nabuo and rapport… na samahan namin na feeling namin, may show o wala, solid na yung friendship, yung family.
She also shared that she has a lot of milestones in this show. She has grown as a woman, got engaged to her filmmaker-producer Paul Soriano and eventually tied the knot with him; she gave birth to her first-born son Severiano Elliott, and transformed as a mature Julie in the show.
Because of what transpired and what her character has to go through, she has realized, “I have so much respect, love and admiration toward women, who are wives and mothers. They have so much strength to hold their families together.
“Nasa babae ang strength ng paghu-hold on ng marriage and to the family. Kumakapit, lumalaban. When all else fails, it’s always the woman who stands up and take up the role. Laging babae ang nagsi-step up to the plate. Doon ko nare-realize na napaka-pivotal ng role ng isang babae, ng isang asawa, ng isang nanay sa isang pamilya… especial the single moms.
“As a mother, going through what I’ve been through being pregnant, giving birth and having a baby–it is emotionally and physically, mentally draining but in the end, it’s all worth it. And it helps so much that you have a partner in life.
“We always want to picture Julie as a loyal wife. But as the story progresses, whether she will fall in love or not…come what may.”
What she has to say about Piolo Pascual’s inclusion in the show? “Si PJ nag-guest siya noong una. Of course, we are all very thankful and grateful that he’s given us his time and schedule,” she replied. “We don’t want to say he replaced Romeo. Romeo will always be irreplaceable, but we wanna say that PJ is a great addition to the family. Whatever Romeo has contributed to the show will always remain part of the show.”
According to Toni, the last time she worked with Lloydie was in September. She can vividly remember that time because her son was going to celebrate his birthday.
“That was the last time, and we didn’t hear about him anymore,” she recalled. “I personally didn’t get to talk to him or text him because I know there was so much going on with the media, you know they were feasting on the issue on what’s going on… so I don’t want to add anything into it pa.”
Choosing not to talk about it or meddle with the issue was her way of respecting Cruz’s space, and she doesn’t want to make “chismis” or to eavesdrop about his former co-actor’s life.
Today, as the show continues to air even with the absence of Lloydie, she maintains that attitude of someone always embracing change. If there’s one thing that is constant in this business, she believes that it is change.
She shared her thought about what she sees about the show in the coming days, “Hindi ko masasabing hopeful, but I am very open to whatever is going to happen. I’m not hoping anymore, kasi kung maghu-hope ka baka ma-heartbroken ka lang, ma-frustrate ka lang. Wala nang hope but very open to whatever is going to happen in the future.”