BB Gandanghari on Caitlyn Jenner, remembering dad, being a good aunt

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'If it takes 65 years before you can even express yourself, so be it,' she says of Caitlyn

BB ON CAITLYN. BB Gandanghari says she commends Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, for her coming out. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – BB Gandanghari recently expressed her support for Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, who recently made her magazine cover debut last June and came out in April. (READ: Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of ‘Vanity Fair’)

In an interview with Pep at the Pep List Awards, BB said that Caitlyn will definitely not escape the criticism that comes with coming out about her sexuality at a late age. Caitlyn is 65 years old. (FULL LIST: Winners, PEP Awards Year 2)

Ganun talaga. Maski ako noon, sabi late daw. (It’s like that. Even with me, they said I was late to admit it.)

“But it’s always better late than never. You know, it’s just basically expressing who you really are. If it takes 65 years before you can even express yourself, so be it,” BB said.

BB, now 48, talked about being gay back in Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition in 2006, in her late 30s. BB was officially introduced in 2009. 

“Well, there was BB before Caitlyn!” she said in jest.

But BB said that Caitlyn will definitely go through a lot of challenges and she is confident Caitlyn will handle it well. 

“Darating naman ang punto na matatapos ang honeymoon stage. (There will come a time that the honeymoon stage is over)

“People will start saying what they actually feel about the whole situation,” BB said. 

BB faced her own challenges when she came out as a transgender woman, including the long journey towards acceptance. But in previous recent interviews, BB’s brother, action star Robin Padilla, said that he and his brothers Rommel and Royette have accepted the changes in BB and that their relationship is much improved.  

Robin admitted he was initially apprehensive of BB coming out, but the two reconciled in July 2013 after BB got sick and was taken to the hospital.

Lesson from dad

After the awards, Rappler was able to interview BB and asked what she has learned from her father over the years. The Padilla patriarch died in 1988. 

“My dad is a self-made man,” BB said.  “And then he eventually became a politician, he became very successful with whatever he did so I think that’s what he imparted sa aming magkakapatid (among us siblings). We are all self-made – kami nila Robin dito sa industry at least we were able to do our thing kahit papaano malagay mo yung puwesto mo dito sa industriya.” 

(We are all self-made – here in the industry, at least we were able to do our thing, make our mark here in the industry in some way.) 

According to BB, if there is one trait her brothers got from their father is how strict they are when it comes to their kids. 

Pare-pareho silang stricto.Kasi ang papa ko noon I remember sa mga kapatid kong babae he was very strict, parang mga madre. Hindi puwede mag-boyfriend, hindi pwede makakilala ng manliligaw So parang ganun sila,” she said. 

(All of them are strict. I remember papa with my sisters, he was strict, as if they were nuns. No boyfriends allowed, no suitors.)

As for her nephews and nieces, BB said she tries to be fair, and it seems BB is very much a cool aunt who cares about allowing kids to enjoy, and tries to help her nieces and nephews understand their parents. 

“It’s okay to go out, it’s okay to explore but meron punto yung mga parents. Just balance it. Why are they strict? They just wanna make sure that they handle themselves well in front of the public…na express differently in a strict manner. So the only way you can do is try to explain it and listen to what they say.

“Pwede silang mag-enjoy but at the same time at the back of their heads, kailangan din nila mag-ingat (They are allowed to enjoy themselves but at the same time at the back of their head, they need to be careful),” she said. –  With a report from Alexa Villano/



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