The Butcher | Lessons from a scandal

Alex Gonzaga probably considers her 35th as her worst birthday ever. Years from now, however, she may just look back and realize that it was the most significant chapter of her life. That is, if she sincerely learned her lesson.

Alex Gonzaga probably considers her 35th as her worst birthday ever. Years from now, however, she may just look back and realize that it was the most significant chapter of her life. That is, if she sincerely learned her lesson.

Alex Gonzaga and Dina Bonnevie must have karmic ties between them. What could they have been to each other in their past lives?     

In the waning months of 2022, Alex shared on the internet how she was once traumatized after “an old actress” (“matandang artista” was what she said) told her off during her early years in showbiz. She didn’t mention any name.    

But some active social media users, if only they focus their attention away from the superficial, could win the Nobel Prize for research. They managed to unearth a Dina Bonnevie interview that the actress gave to media way before the pandemic.     

When asked about the behavior of today’s generation of actresses, she told the press about how she once scolded a then newbie for being unprofessional. To be fair to Dina, she didn’t give the name of the then newcomer either. But trust netizens to make their own conclusions.    

Alex was savagely attacked on Facebook. Dina, meanwhile, kept her mouth shut. She didn’t have to speak anymore because the netizens rallied behind her. That was truly her shining moment.     

The issue between Dina and Alex quieted down as 2023 rolled in. But Alex made the mistake of smearing a server with cake icing during her birthday celebration and that put her back on the netizens’ chopping board once again.     

But just when the Alex Gonzaga cake icing smearing scandal was about to die down, Dina celebrated her birthday. In videos that circulated online, she assured the waiter that she wasn’t going to smear his face with icing – and that she would even thank him for holding the cake up for her.     

And now, Alex and Dina are being pitted against each other again. Alex is being crucified once more, while there are also some netizens unfairly attacking Dina Bonnevie.

Alex probably considers her 35th as her worst birthday ever. Years from now, however, she may just look back and realize that it was the most significant chapter of her life. That is, if she sincerely learned her lesson.     

The literal cake icing mess she created also brought out lessons in life for all of us. It was like we were all invited to her party and were given lesson kit giveaways to take home. And so, what lessons did we learn and should learn from Alex Gonzaga’s 35th birthday? Read on below:

* That rudeness has no place in this life. That much – most everyone had already pointed out.    

* That there is no room for panic when doing damage control. Whoever was given the task of cleaning up the mess Alex created didn’t handle the situation well.     

* That we should learn to laugh at ourselves. A joke about the cake icing incident was made during the recent concert of Toni Gonzaga. That was a brilliant move, especially since Alex was made to deliver a spiel that showed some repentance from her end. After that, some netizens started going easy on her.

* That we shouldn’t be wasteful. Aside from the rudeness Alex displayed, she was also faulted for wasting food. President Bongbong Marcos stood as principal sponsor at the wedding of Toni Gonzaga and Paul Soriano. Did you know that BBM’s father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., called for austerity measures during the early 1970s? When martial law was imposed, there was a ban on rice throwing at weddings. Of course, the elder Marcos’ call to be more frugal was negated by his wife Imelda’s lifestyle. But that’s another story altogether.     

* For all of us to stop that cake icing smearing that had been a practice during birthdays. And no to that new tradition of cake smashing when a child turns one year old. What a way to teach the young how to be wasteful.        

* That it’s always best to stay humble and acknowledge one’s fault. It was Dani Barretto who uploaded the video of Alex smearing cake icing on a waiter. Yes, that was a miscalculation on her part. But last week, she apologized and admitted her mistake. Now, she’s off the hook.     

* For GMA to revive its campaign about how you should “think before you click.”

* That we don’t always have to feed our cameras with photos. We should also remember to feed our souls with memories. Just don’t record the moment. Live it.     

There are also lessons to be learned from the time Alex went on social media to share her traumatic experience with the “matandang artista” who scolded her when she was still a beginner. Never call anyone old.      

This should be a lesson not just for Alex, but for media people, as well, who describe celebrities who had been around for quite some time as “veteran” or “senior.” Senior? Don’t state the obvious. Veteran? That’s like describing movie stars as survivors of the last war.     

Maybe it’s best to call celebrities who had been in the business for a long time as “seasoned.” That sounds more flattering. Never mind if seasoning reminds us of Ajinomoto.    

But going back to Alex. She can learn a lot by assessing Dina Bonnevie’s life and career. Dina also had a rough start. The press was initially turned off with her ways – at how she spoke English most of the time. There really was nothing wrong with that, especially since her grammar was always correct. But you know how it is in this country.    

In time she became a fine actress and a woman of substance. Who doesn’t respect Dina Bonnevie today?    

Alex can take the Dina Bonnevie route. Someday, I believe that Alex Gonzaga will also be a respected and admired person in this industry.     

The Gonzagas may not be well-liked now, but this much I can share with you: Toni and Mommy Pinty are very nice and friendly people. At least, that’s my experience with them. I can only hope they didn’t change through the years.     

I can’t speak for Alex though since I’ve never had any encounter with her.  But it’s not too late for her to redeem herself.     

A lot of today’s most admired actresses had their share of mischief, too, in their youth. The late great Nida Blanca had her nasty episodes, including one involving a jeepney driver she slapped over a traffic altercation. Oh, how she was denounced for that.     

Nida mellowed though and in no time at all, proved herself to be a good and kind person. Until her brutal end, all her co-workers loved her. The public also regarded her as one of the greatest talents in local show business.    

Incidentally, Nida acquitted herself from the slapping incident by facilitating the surrender of some rebels – Huks, as they were called then.

Alex doesn’t have to go to that extent. Just following in the steps of Dina Bonnevie should do the trick.     

Now, there really is reason to believe that Alex and Dina have a deep connection to each other.



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