|Superstar, Nora Aunor, is escorted by her colleagues in the entertainment industry upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila after being away in the United States for the past five years.
MANILA, Philippines - Superstar Nora Aunor finally had her triumphant homecoming early Tuesday morning after 8 years of residing in the United States.
The 58-year-old iconic actress was welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) amid tears and laughter by an adoring group of fans who had waited for her return to Philippine showbiz after her controversial residency in the US, where she is now a green card holder.
Fans were both ecstatic and tearful at the sight of the singer actress, who rose to fame with her Cinderella rags-to-fame story in the late 60s.
"Sulit na sulit ang pagod namin, kahit gutom kami, akala ko di na niya ako makikilala pero ginanun niya kamay, hinalikan nya 'to kaya ako'y tuwang tuwa," said one veteran fan.
"Sabi ko, 'I love you Nora!' Umiyak siya, sabi ko, bakit ngayon ka lang dumating?" said another loyalist .
The emotional scenario was repeated at EDSA Shangrila Hotel, where veteran scribes gathered for a noon time media conference.
Among those she hugged were columnists Ronald Constantino, Alfie Lorenzo, and Mercy Lejarde.
No controversial questions
Nora and her mentor, German Moreno, literally begged the press to refrain from asking controversial issues, including her gambling habit and an alleged botched facelift in Japan which ruined her vocal chords.
What's important, Nora said, is her comeback and her willingness to turn a new leaf in her controversial career.
"This time, gagawin ko ang lahat para di sila magkaron ng problema sa akin. Wag niyo na akong haluan ng nega isyu, kararating ko lang. Wag nyo pong isa-isahin, alam nating lahat yon. Ang importante mapatunayan ko sarili ko sa pagtatrabaho ngayon."
Moreno also flatly denied that Nora is a casino addict.
Nora vs. Vilma
Aside from a yet untitled TV series with business mogul Manny Pangilinan's TV5 station, Nora is set to play Maria Agoncillo, Emilio Aguinaldo's second wife in a bio-pic to be produced and headlined by Laguna Governor ER Ejercito.
Nora, also known as "Guy," dismissed reports that she was second fiddle to former screen rival Vilma Santos who was first offered the role.
"Ano naman kung second choice, historical movie ito at maganda atsaka di naman sa pagyayabang, wala na naman ata akong papatunayan."
She, however, expressed her desire to work with Vilma again - with the right story and project.
She is exclusively tied up with TV5 for 20 working days, after which she will be available to do other projects.
Regal Films producer Lily Monteverde also announced that Guy will play lead in her Metro Manila film fest entry, "Hototai, Mano Po 7."
Nora's road to a trimphant return to showbiz was also cleared by the forgiveness of former President Joseph Estrada, also her erstwhile lover and leading man, whom she abandoned at the height of the jueteng scandal that led to his ouster from office in January 2001.
Said Guy, seemingly contrite, "Marami din akong pagkukulang kay Erap at sa inyong lahat. Mahal din naman natin siya."