Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Claudine insists she is not an 'unfit' mother

MANILA – Embattled actress Claudine Barretto wants to prove that she is not the kind of mother her estranged husband, actor Raymart Santiago, describes her to be. “I am not the unfit mother they try to picture me," Barretto said in an exclusive interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Dolly Ann Carvajal. "The reality is that my children are thriving under my care. Sabina, my older child, is a straight A student; Santino has an average of 94.7. They are healthy, happy and well-adjusted in spite of everything,” she said, adding that she also tries to be involved in their school work and participate in their school activities, as well as the parents’ associations. Given the many controversies she is facing, Barretto admitted she couldn’t help but feel sad about what has happened in the past months. “I still feel bad when I think about the things that happened during the past few months, but I believe I have learned to adjust and just be philosophical about things, knowing that these too shall pass and, as they say, after the rain comes sunshine,” she said. “I want to tell my future self that all of these emotional scars that I bear now tell their own stories. I want to tell myself in the future that I have gone through the worst and I survived,” she added. According to the actress, she finds it hard to keep up with the image that the media, her fans and the public in general, have of her. “While I have played many roles, the underlying character of most of my characters has been that of a headstrong, determined woman under a veneer of fragility and vulnerability who perfectly handles any situation. But in real life, of course, I am far from perfect; I have made mistakes and I cannot always be the kind of idealized person I play in my movies,” she said. Speaking on the rift between her and siblings Gretchen and Marjorie, the younger Barretto said she feels "sad" and "hurt." “Actually, I am both sad and hurt because members of my family have decided to take sides on this issue. I have always valued my family above all else in life. Not being able to be with my brothers and sisters—and, worse, having them against me—makes me sad because most of us grew up so close,” she said. Despite this, Barretto said she is trying her best to live a normal life for her parents, her kids and her fans. “First of all, my kids, I have to be strong for them, to fight for their rights and to secure their future. I also have my faith to turn to, and being a Christian who follows the Bible, I draw strength from the story of Job, who weathered the storms of life to reach better days. And there are, of course, my fans, who never believed the lies about me and who continue to stand by me,” she said. Asked what she would do differently in the past if given the chance, Barretto said: “I probably would have been more careful in my personal decisions. I would have applied the lesson that it is never wise to decide when you are hurt, confused or suffering from emotional turmoil.”

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