AS FAR as her close friends are concerned, Tates Gana is an unofficial extension of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, her partner of many years. Thus she is addressed “Mayora.”
Not one to throw her weight around though, Tates simply chooses to stay in the background unless she gets invited to official functions, which require her presence.
Vignettes was privileged to engage in a tete-a-tete with Tates at Cristy Fermin’s Mga Obra ni Nanay art gallery one Wednesday afternoon. Over an odd combination of coffee and fish crackers, Tates—a deadringer for former beauty queen Gemma Cruz-Araneta—monopolized the conversation on human topics beginning with the letter “K.” There’s Karla Estrada, her kids and, yes, even Kris Aquino.
For the most part of their friendship, Tates can vouch for Karla’s modest living despite her son Daniel Padilla’s rise to phenomenal stardom.
“I’ve seen Karla take care of her family. Pati mga pamangkin niya, kinukupkop niya and she hardly complains. No wonder, masuwerte siya sa buhay.”
Long separated from Daniel’s father, Karla has found a Fil-American for a current boyfriend.
“She’s happy although at the start of their relationship, Karla was worried if they would last. Ang yabang nga niya, eh, ‘O, three years na kami, ha?’ In fairness, the guy is OK. Tagabitbit nga ‘yun ng mga gamit ni Karla, eh.”
Tates also has nice words for Daniel whom she describes as “jologs” (street-smart), respectful and a real gentleman.
“Would you believe that DJ (Daniel’s pet name) is strict with Kathryn (Bernardo, his girlfriend)? Ayaw niyang nakikitang nagsusuot ng shorts si Kathryn, ‘Huwag kang lalabas nang nakaganyan. Magpalit ka ng damit!’ And Kathryn would do just that.”
Meanwhile, Tates—for all her time spent on attending to her own business (she has set up a school for caregivers for deployment in Japan)—is a hands-on mom to Athena (who’s graduating from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Political Science) and Harvey (an eighth grade student who’s part of the new batch of Star Magic artists launched over “ASAP” on Sunday).
“Para lang kaming magkabarkada ng mga anak ko. I would join their out-of-town school activities, even share with them my favorite Koreanovelas and Korean heartthrobs. When they say, ‘Mommy naman….’ Sasabihin ko, ‘Basher’?”
For the juiciest part of the chat, what is Tates’ take on Kris Aquino’s persistence in winning her partner Bistek (Herbert’s pet name)?
“To be honest, she (Kris) would have probably succeeded had she been quiet about the whole thing, that much I can say,” an obviously evasive Tates grinned.
* * *
GUESS WHO? In dire financial straits, an artista search alumna (ASA) recently pleaded with a former sexy star (FSS) on the phone. This is how their conversation more or less went:
ASA: Ate, do you have bookings lately? You might want to schedule one for me…
FSS: Sorry but I’m no longer into it anymore.
ASA: Let this be your last, Ate. Please, I beg of you. I just need one to pay up my mounting bills.
FSS: Sorry. I’ll just lend you money. Matagal ko nang iniwan ang trabahong ‘yan. I hope you understand, I have a daughter. Takot ako sa karma.
Clue: ASA is part of a top-rating daily soap.
* * *
Here’s another one: A popular showbiz mom (PSM), who also appears in a regular TV show, cannot figure out why a controversial female personality (CFP) seems to have totally forgotten her promise to gift her with a baby grand piano.
But to console herself, the PSM would rather think that the CFP begrudges her for taking over the latter’s time slot along with two other female hosts. “That’s OK,” the PSM told our source, “had she given me one, it would just sit idly in our house. My son would rather learn how to sing better the next time he’d serenade beautiful ladies.”