LOS ANGELES – - Djhoanna Garcia became popular as a singer and television host in the Philippines in the 70s before she settled down with a Filipino politician.
Garcia shared details about the hardships she endured during her previous involvement with former Caloocan City Mayor, Boy Asistio.
Garcia now lives in Los Angeles and frequently performs at Filipino events.
In the 70s, she was a Tawag ng Tanghalan contestant and became well known for her singing and hosting talents and later on her name was also remembered because of her controversial romantic relationship with Asistio.
At 17, Garcia sacrificed her budding career, giving it all up to be with Asistio whom she had two children.
"Siguro it was meant to be. I don't know, I mean you fall in love, you fall in love. Maraming challenges. I had to go through the ire of the many women running after him because you know, he was the mayor, he had bucks. Syempre you have to deal with that. There's always a private pain of a public woman. But you know what? Kahit sabihin mo yun, dahil tao ka, nasasaktan ka din," Garcia said.
She stayed with the politician for 17 years until she found out about two other women in Asistio's life: actresses Nadia Montenegro and Veronica Jones.
"Sometimes, a person can only take as much, di ba? Tao ka, nasasaktan ka. What happened was that there was already somebody but another one came in. So I said parang this is too much already," she said.
Later on, when their relationship imploded due to his infidelities, Garcia was devastated. For the first, she admitted publicly that at that time she turned to drugs.
"After my relationship with Boy I was really down and you know I got into a lot of things that were not really very good. I got into drugs and hit rock bottom. I must admit that at that time my life became unmanageable," she said.
But even though she decided to leave him for good, it was also Asistio who helped Garcia recover and got her into rehab.
"Kahit matagal na din kaming magkahiwalay, we have become best friends. Wala kaming bad blood. Wala," she said.
She also became close friends with Asistio's girlfriends.
"Eventually, lahat naman na-settle. Lahat naman naging magkakaibigan. Kasi ako I don't bear grudges," said Garcia.
Garcia eventually immigrated to the US where she found peace and her true love.
Thanks to the support of the Filipino community in Los Angeles, she found her voice again on stage.
Away from the spotlight, Garcia goes by her legal name Gigi Kocher and she now owns Helping Hands in Beverly Hills, a successful home care business where she found some Hollywood moguls as clients.