Ruffa on her biggest lesson on love: “You should be healed first.”

If there’s one common trait that Ruffa Gutierrez shares with her onscreen persona Love Thy Womann’s Amanda Del Mundo, it would have to be their unbreakable female strength. As a single mother raising two teenage daughters, Ruffa feels she’s at the most difficult phase of motherhood. She said teenagers mature too fast, so she makes sure to always give Lorin and Venice pieces of advice.

Sometimes she’d find herself acting like her own mom–strict and ‘loud.’ Although she makes jokes about it, Ruffa knows she needs to be as involved as her mother. She makes sure to protect her kids from the public eye. The beautiful girls can do endorsements and online content but they are not yet allowed to take full-on acting projects. Ruffa’s biggest dream for them is they finish their studies first. She also tells Lorin and Venice not to entertain suitors for now.

Ruffa revealed that she cried when Lorin first talked about crushes. She misses cuddling with them and treating them like her babies. But the best thing she could do now is to enjoy the fleeting moments, to make the most of their teenage days.

Raising the girls singlehandedly is a continuous challenge for Ruffa. It’s not easy to act as both the good and the bad cop. Nonetheless, she’s fine with the setup.

Ruffa doesn’t rush into marriage despite her friends’ persuasion. She simply listens to what her heart dictates, adding that it will happen if it’s supposed to happen. The strong view about love is somewhat sharpened by her ‘tragic’ love stories in the past.

Not that she’s scared to fall deeply in love again, Ruffa just learned that relationships do not have timelines. She has a story of her own and she is not afraid to bare even its ugly parts. The Kapmilya actress realized that relationships must be anchored on self-love.

“Love yourself first and be complete before you love someone else,” she expressed. Ruffa also underscored the importance of healing from traumatic relationship experiences. She said bringing

the emotional baggage onto the next relationship will only double the harm. There’s a tendency to project the pain to the present partner even if it isn’t his/her fault.

Ruffa has admittedly become more picky and wiser in love. She learned that she has the power to create her own happiness even without a partner. She needs a man who would grow with her and not someone who would try to complete her. She would rather be alone than settle with the wrong man in a destructive relationship.

At the moment, Ruffa’s heart is inspired and “stable.” She’s happy with her relationship with her non-showbiz boyfriend. It helps that her partner is non-showbiz. There’s no need to overshare or publicize their relationship. Likewise, there’s no need to rush. Ruffa said she could marry at 70 if she wants to, and if that’s her own timetable.

For Ruffa, women are the core of any relationship. As the saying goes, “Behind a successful man is a woman.” The former beauty queen believes the way a woman takes care of her man determines the course of the relationship.

In the latter part of the interview, Ruffa answered questions from her eldest Lorin. While studies remain the top priority, Ruffa believes Lorin can become an actress or a beauty queen if she would put her mind and heart into it. Ruffa does not want Lorin to enter showbiz half-baked. She added that the acting profession requires hard work.

The Love Thy Woman star believes the pandemic is changing mankind - from the way of thinking to economic patterns. People have grown more concerned about their health and hygiene. More importantly, we learned to live in the simplest ways. For instance, Ruffa only brought a few clothes and necessities to their locked-in taping. The pandemic is helping us weigh what’s truly important–like family and friends.

Ruffa appreciates the time spent with her parents who are also growing old. She’s known to react to her mother’s strict parenting style but deep inside, she’s grateful for her guidance. On top of that, she’s thankful for her work, knowing that a lot are currently suffering from unemployment. For a single mom like her, having a job is a true blessing. Not only she’s able to provide for the kids but she can also help others. Ruffa feels proud to be part of Love Thy Woman. She has nothing but praises for the whole team and the ABS-CBN as well. To mount a whole teleserye is already a challenge but to do it amidst the pandemic and the franchise denial is something more. It’s been a test of passion, and she’s glad that they managed to pull off the remaining taping days.

More importantly, she is thankful to the loyal viewers who continue to support them until the end. Ruffa is happy to share that Love Thy Woman remains the top viewed and streamed teleserye in the Philippines and worldwide.