Ruby Rodriguez: I didn't get VIP treatment for US consulate job
MANILA, Philippines — Apart from finally breaking her silence on her leaving noontime show “Eat Bulaga,” veteran actress and TV host Ruby Rodriguez also answered allegations that she got VIP treatment as a celebrity that’s why she got employment at the Philippine consulate in Los Angeles, California.
In a virtual press conference early this week, the comeback Viva artist assured the press that she was not appointed and that she applied for the job and went through the mandatory screening process.
“Papano naman tayo mabubuhay kung ‘di tayo magwowork? Kasi mahirap ang buhay dito, alam naman nating lahat ‘yan. And we don’t want to be spoon-fed by my siblings who are here. Ano, forever na lang kaming dole-out? ‘Di naman pwede. So I went to the proper channels just for everyone to know. I was not appointed. Hindi po ako appointed,” Ruby explained.
“I went to the proper channels, I applied, I submitted my curriculum vitae, my CV. I did all the requirements that were asked, all their hand tests and all, and when I passed, it was sent to the consulate and it just so happened na may vacancy sila for local hire ang tawag nila.”
She stressed that she is qualified for the job because she finished college and actually served in the corporate world before becoming an actress.
“Gusto kong ipakita sa mga tao na ‘di lahat ng artista, walang alam. Kasi meron silang gan’ung notion, ganu’ng stereotype. Gusto kong ipakita sa kanila na hindi po, normal din kaming tao at mayroon din kaming ibang mundo na maari pa kaming mabuhay.”
She worked for Mead Johnson, an eight-to-five job, and became a teacher before entering showbiz. She also studied special education to understand her son better, and was helping her elder sister Dr. Sally Gatchalian, with office work, before Dr. Sally died last year due to COVID-19.
Ruby, who was discovered by now ABS-CBN executive Malou Santos while Ruby was waiting for friend Maricel Soriano in a taping, said that even in “Eat Bulaga,” her co-hosts like Vic Sotto made her go on errands that humbled her. Until today, Ruby said she still lines up when needed and does not ask for VIP treatment.
“You’re treated normal and ‘yung utasan ka, ang sarap ng pakiramdam. Hindi ‘yung porket artist aka ‘di ka pwedeng utusan.”
The skills she learned, and not the status she earned, from her three-decade work with “Eat Bulaga” helps her in her new job at the consulate.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng live show kasi you deal with different people there. Iba-ibang sektor ng buhay ang nakakasalimuha mo. And here now, it’s the same. Iba-iba pa rin sila… Different kinds of people and dealing with them is easy.”
The different roles she played help her understand different people’s emotions and problems, too.
“And it really feels so good to help. Sarap ng pakiramdam na ‘pag may tinanong sila, nasasagot mo ng tama tapos nag-thank you sila. Parang ang feeling ko nagtuturo ako ulit.”
Although the nature of her consulate work is confidential as it involves government papers and policies, she described it as focused on helping fellow Filipinos.
“Now that I’m a working girl, this is a reinvention. Nakilala ako na artista, TV host, teacher... tapos ngayon, aba, iba na naman ginagawa (ko)… You know, I’m always open to challenges. I try to push myself to do something different all the time.”
On her first day at work and every day since, she has been warmly welcomed by her “kababayans.”
“Alam mo, ang cute kasi alam na nila that I’m coming in,” she said, recalling that at first, her workmates were prim and proper during her orientation but during the break, they all broke out to have selfies with her.
With her new job, she hopes to inspire others who also lost work due to the pandemic to also not lose hope. She also wishes to prove that not all celebrities have deep pockets.
“Sobrang daming naghirap, sobrang daming nawalan ng trabaho na akala nila porket artisa ang tao, andami-dami nilang laman sa kaban, alam mo ‘yun? Hindi nila alam na marami ring responsibilidad ang mga ‘to at mga bayarin, ika nga, na nagkaka-problema rin sila.”
Similarly, she advised her fellow artists to also finish their studies to have a fallback just like her.
“Please, kahit mag-artista kayo, ‘wag na ‘wag n’yong pababayaan ang inyong pag-aaral kasi nga ‘di n’yo alam kung anong mangyayari. Para pagdating ng panahon, mawala man kayo sa showbiz, alam n’yo na mayroon pa rin kayong maitutulong sa society.”
She advised the youth that while there is nothing wrong about dreaming to become a star, they should not forget their studies as well.
“Sa mga nawalan po ng trabaho, meron at merong kapalit ‘yan, kaya nga and advice ko, lalong-lalo na sa mga kabataan, please, please, ‘wag na ‘wag n’yong babalewalain ang pag-aaral ninyo. Importante na tayong lahat ay may natutunan, may pinag-aralan kasi katulad namin, paano ako nakapasok dito, may requirement ‘yan. Hindi ko ikinahihiya kasi nakapagtapos ako ng kolehiyo. Meron akong sasandalan pagdating ng panahon. Mayroon akong masasandalan.”