19 March 2012

BB Gandanghari recounts life in New York, 'changes' in his life


 A few years have already passed since he left the country for New York but BB Gandanghari is still hounded about undergoing sex change.
Temporarily back in the country for some commitments, the former actor, who sports a medium length hair and a skinnier physique, played coy on the matter during his first live local interview in years.
"Whatever you're seeing now, is the manifestation of how I really feel deep inside. I've made decisions in my life and I guess, [they're] the best decisions I've ever made. It made me surer. It made me happier. It made me more peaceful..." he told Mariel Rodriguez—wife of her brother Robin Padilla—who was a special guest host on "Paparazzi Showbiz Exposed," March 17.

"But I hope you will forgive me if I don't talk more about it because whatever's between my legs is basically my own private thing. And hopefully, my partner’s…" he trailed off, laughing.
Mariel then prodded him if "it ever crossed your mind… to change?" BB seemingly continued the playful guessing game by responding with a smile, "You think I haven't changed?"
"I have nothing against change… I've embraced my change. I've embraced everything and happy ako," he added.
BB, however, declined to comment on how his family has taken to his new self because "I don't wanna say anything na puwedeng pagsimulan ng sama ng loob."
Life in New York
BB recalled flying to New York in 2010 to try his luck in modeling. The journey, however, was not only long but a challenging one. He had to "work on" himself in order to fulfill his aspirations.
"I walked six miles in the morning and six miles at night. I do yoga, everything. Tapos there was a time na nag-ahensya ako. Tapos sabi lang sa'kin, 'You can't just fit in the dress. So if you think you can fit in the dress, come back to us.' Ang lola, 'day, kailangan na 'yung cleansing, for 24 days. I did that. I was 140 when they said that to me. I went down to 115. Konting disiplina lang po!" he proudly related.
He apparently couldn't afford to give up and back down from the competitive world in the Big Apple given that "aapak-apakan ka sa New York 'pag hindi ka buo!"
BB leads a normal life in the States, walking on the subway, doing his laundry, going to the market, and cooking his meals. This kind of life made him realize, "'Pag hindi ka gagalaw, walang gagalaw for you."
"At bawal magkasakit… I was with my dogs... I'm taking care of [them]. So kahit blizzard siya, 'day, every morning, nandyan ako sa kalye't nilalakad ko ang aso ko," he added.
Although he had to fend for himself, BB realized that, indeed, no man is an island.
"Noon akala ko I can do it myself, I can be independent. So 'yun 'yung mga pagbabago na, I tried to relate to people more, and then pagdating sa trabaho, kailangan mo talagang seryosohin. And you can't be too conscious of yourself," he said.
Another aspect of his life in New York that he has to grapple with is the discrimination against androgynous models, whom he said are considered "the new Black in the fashion industry."
"I was considered an androgynous model. Basically it is gearing towards genderless fashion. Ang dami ngayong modelo sa New York na lalake pero kinukuha sila to model female clothes… Kung ang ordinaryong babae will prove herself 100 percent, we have to prove ourselves 200 percent or even more," shared BB.
Ready for Carmina
Another burning question that BB had to address during the "Paparazzi" interview was about facing his ex-wife (when he was still Rustom Padilla), Carmina Villaroel. The reunion of sorts is apparently more likely than ever, as the former "Pinoy Big Brother" celebrity housemate expressed his openness and readiness to "face anyone."
"Sabi ni Carmina peg mo raw siya," Mariel told BB.
In response, the latter joked, "Parang gusto kong sabihin kay Carmina, 'Don't flatter yourself!' Charing!"
By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ 
MB.COM.PH

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