- About Donna
July 27, 1999. Plantation Bay, Mactan, Cebu 5:00 P.M.
Written by: Jillian Fortuna
This date will forever be etched in my treasure chest of wonderful memories. As our hired car crept its way towards downtown Cebu, I was quite jittery. I felt that my excitement was perfectly justifiable, as my mom and I were on Our way to visit Donna Cruz, my longtime favorite singer and actress for all time. The fact that I was in Cebu for the first time to enjoy a nice, quiet vacation was totally eclipsed in the anticipated moment of meeting with Donna.
5:45 P.M. Ate Beth, a self-confessed fan who opted to share her services with the family, met us at the lobby. As my mom and I were ushered into the living room, I could hardly take in my surroundings as my excitement soared to its greatest heights. My fears were unfounded as a smiling, expectant Donna greeted us warmly.
She was exquisitely adorned in a red flowered maternity dress. Her pregnancy agrees with her, as her cheeks bloomed with health and her long hair with wisps of golden brown suited her beautifully. She immediately set out to make us comfortable and as we eagerly scanned her wedding pictures, she promised to give us a special tour of their house.
Donna exudes a happy glow that is amazingly obvious. She assures us that she is pleasantly satisfied with the quiet life she leads in Cebu. For someone who grew up in the eyes of the public, she seems to thrive in the unassuming life she leads with her husband Yong whose absence was missed during our visit. She smilingly relates that the place has done wonders for her asthma, which seems to have disappeared since she stepped foot in Cebu. She keeps busy by helping out in the administration office of her parents-in-laws’ building, while she eagerly awaits the arrival of her first-born child. Donna is currently enrolled in a home-study program and she hopes to experience proper school life probably after she gives birth to her baby or when she’s on her third year. Our timely visit coincided as she didn’t have classes that night.
Donna describes her quiet life in Cebu as idyllic, as she is cared for by all those around her, especially her husband. She lauds the beauty of Plantation Bay, where we were lodged for the duration of our stay, and claims that she and Yong likes to visit there as well.
Donna escorted us for a tour of their house, and she proudly declares that the stylish yet unpretentious decoration may be credited to her and Yong’s efforts at making their home liveable. Their humble abode boasts of three rooms: a guestroom, an exercise room where magazine pictures of Donna are on display, and plastered on the other side are Yong’s certificates of glory. Equally impressive in its elegance is their bedroom, where an antique four-poster bed takes up a portion of the room. A vanity table, a gift given by her husband , and Yong’s study table are neatly arranged at facing corners. Donna gamely faced the cameras again for a souvenir photo, unfortunately the film seems to have evaporated into thin air, much to the consternation of my mom.
Donna swears that she has no plans of going back to making movies in the immediate future, as she plans to give her family her undivided attention. All is not lost, as she happily tells me, because she has just wrapped up an album for those who have missed her. She describes that she even does a Demi Moore pose for the album cover with a chuckle.
Her sincere assurances that regrets never entered her mind with her decision to marry and leave her world of limelight has been greeted with calm acceptance. We parted ways that night with a shared hug and a lighthearted smile,. As the evening drew to a close, I was deeply touched by her openness and down-to-earth attitude, which has thoroughly impressed my mom. As we sped our way back to the resort that night, my mom and I were thankful to one Donna Cruz, for making our one and only visit to Cebu as remarkably unforgettable.
Visiting with Donna is quite an experience for me, and I have Cheryl to thank for that two wonderful episodes in my life. I am equally thankful to Donna for receiving us with gracious warmth in her home.
About the author
Jillian Fortuna or Jiji, as she is fondly called, is one of the finest contributors of articles, interviews and pictures here at DonnaCruz.com. She currently acts as the overall content editor (She writes so good that we all want her to rewrite and edit all the stuff here at the website!). Jiji is currently based in Quezon City, Philippines.