MANILA, December 17, 2003  (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - As you must have noticed, today’s Funfare is devoted to family, spotlighting Ronnie Ricketts and his wife Mariz, Cherry Pie Picache and her son Jose Anton, and Ruffa Gutierrez and her daughter Lorin Gabriella Bektas.

One of the very few really ideal showbiz couples, Ronnie and Mariz are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary on Dec. 18. The couple is blessed with two beautiful daughters, Marella, 9, and Marie, 5.

"Our life together has been a bed of roses," Mariz told Funfare in a recent interview. "Only one word can describe our marriage – great!"

Does that mean that they seldom, if ever, fight?

"Oh, yes, we do," admitted Ronnie, "just like any couple. But we never had any big fight. We make it a point never to sleep without ironing things out. What do we usually fight about? Oh, little things... like time. I’m a workaholic and when I’m line-producing a movie, I also write it, direct it and star in it, and help in the post-production, too. I get so engrossed in my work that I lose track of time. That’s when Mariz gets angry."

Ronnie knows that Mariz is "angry" when she’s quiet.

"He usually tries to ‘baby’ me. ‘I love you’ siya nang ‘I love you.’ If that doesn’t work," Mariz added with a laugh, "he would say, ‘Honey, come here and sit on my lap.’ Hay naku, may magic effect ang lap ng asawa ko!"

But never has there ever been any "third party" in their life. In short, they have never gone through the so-called "seven-yeat itch."

"Our married friends were teasing us," laughed Mariz. "Careful daw kami when we reached our seventh year. We’re into our 11th year and, knock on wood, hindi namin nadaanan ang sinasabi nilang ‘seven-year itch’."

"Mariz and I synchronize very well," said Ronnie. "She’s a homebody and so am I. We’d rather play with our daughters than go out. Mariz always has a weekend plan for the family, so we never run out of activities. We go malling, visit her folks in Pampanga, go to the National Library or the Enchanted Kingdom. It’s just like a reward for the kids because they’re busy with school the whole week."

Ronnie is the "speaker" of the house but Mariz is the "finance manager."

"I entrust my earnings to her," said Ronnie (the couple co-owns and co-manages The Barn, a restaurant along Katipunan Road, right across the Ateneo). "I get my allowance from her. You see, it’s not nice to have much money with you all the time. That can be very tempting."

It helps that both of them come from closely-knit families. They are determined to bring up their kids in the same atmosphere of loving closeness.

Said Ronnie, "I was brought up by my parents (Edith and Max Ricketts, based in San Diego, California) in a very religious way and that’s how we are bringing up our kids, too."

Mariz added, "We pray with our kids. When we go out of town, for example to Baguio or Subic, the first thing we do is go to church."

To Ronnie and Mariz, happy 10th anniversary and, as the Chinese would say, may you have 100 more years of blissful togetherness! Cherry Pie’s Son Is Her Barkada Like his father, Cherry Pie Picache’s son Jose Anton (one year and seven months old) loves badminton and photography. This early, Cherry Pie considers the boy more of a barkada.

"We played badminton before he sat down with me for a pictorial," said Cherry Pie who’s in the cast of Seiko Films’ Bridal Shower, showing starting on Jan. 1 next year. "He got his love for sports from his father, Gary Trias (who also loves badminton and tennis), a UP film graduate who also dabbles in photography. Gary has out up some modest post-production facitlities for digital film and video."

It was badminton and tennis that brought Cherry Pie and Gary together.

"We were playmates," recalled Cherry Pie who has yet to swap "I do’s" with Gary.

Anton has been Cherry Pie’s lucky charm. Since he was born, things have been coming up roses for Cherry Pie. She has won as Best Supporting Actress (from the Film Academy of the Philippines, for American Adobo) and a Best Single Performance by an Actress trophy (for Tanging Ina, The Series) from the PMPC Star Awards for TV.

Bridal Shower is Cherry Pie’s first comedie role. She plays a loveless advertising executive, rather heavy physically, until she meets her match in a macho dancer at a bridal shower.

Does she identify with the character?

"Only as a nurturer and as a supporter, as an initiator rather than a follower, as one who pampers and not the pampered one. In preparing for the role, I did not concentrate on the character’s physical shortcomings or limitations but on the psychology of a go-getter, a mover."

In real life, Cherry Pie takes charge at home even if she’s saddled with TV and movie work.

"I’m a hands-on homemaker. I personally take care of Anton. I see to every need in the house. I cook. I can even find time to watch Gary in his (badminton/tennis) tournaments, along with Anton." Lorin Gabriella’s Dedication Set One sunny summer day, a little princess was born on August 3 in the year two thousand and three at 7:04 a.m. at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 7 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 18 inches. – quotation from the invitation.

That "little princess," Lorin Gabriella Gutierrez Bektas, first-born of Yilmaz Bektas and Ruffa Gutierrez, will have her "dedication" on Sunday, 3:30 p.m. at The Loft, Rockwell Center. The invitations have been sent out. It comes like a thin pink book, with angels and flowers adorning what looks like a display window. Cute! Cibo of Margarita Fores is the event’s caterer.

Here (again) is the complete list of ninongs and ninangs: • Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III and Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos • Gov. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Honorable Nikki Coseteng • Congressman Julio A. Ledesma IV and Quezon City Councilor Aiko Melendez • Vice Mayor Ernie Mercado and Ms. Rose Marie J. Arenas • Mr. Jimmy Duavit and Ms. Charo Santos Concio • Mr. Jinggoy Estrada and Ms. Lorna Tolentino Fernandez • Mr. Ogie Alcasid and Ms. Gretchen Barretto • Mr. Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres Gomez • Mr. Antonio Tuviera and Ms. Charlene G. Muhlach • Mr. William T. Gatchalian and Ms. Marichu Maceda • Mr. Gary Valenciano and Ms. Carmina Villarroel • Mr. Christopher de Leon and Ms. Donita Rose Cavett Villarama • Mr. Eric Quizon and Ms. Tessa Prieto Valdes • Mr. Tonton Gutierrez and Ms. Laarni Enriquez • Mr. Albert Martinez and Ms. Mariquita Yeung • Mr. Ricky Lo and Ms. Ethel Ramos • Mr. Alfie Lorenzo and Ms. Aster Amoyo • Mr. Cecilio Pedro and Ms. Cher Calvin • Mr. Rafael Ortañez and Ms. Nadia Montenegro • Engr. Mario Badillo and Ms. Madel Bitanga • Dr. Jose F. Oreta, Jr. and Ms. Geena Llamanzares • Mr. Joel del Prado and Ms. Barbara M. Dimatulac • Mr. Bong Prada Lim and Ms. Yolanda Quiambao

Now, the big guessing game: Will Yilmaz fly from Istanbul for the event?

Said Lorin’s Lola Annabelle Rama: "Suspense – just like during his and Ruffa’s wedding (last March 25)."

(Reminder: Guests are requested to come in semi-formal attire.)

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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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