MANILA, Philippines - She was one of the sexy stars who made a name for themselves in Pinoy movies in the 80s. Blessed with a well-proportioned body, graceful moves, witty humor, and um, an ample bosom, Janice Jurado never ran out of movies, TV shows, and out-of-town guestings to do.
These days, one can find Jurado cooking and selling barbeque on one of Manila's busy streets.
And not only has she fallen off the showbiz bandwagon; she is also battling breast cancer.
Drugs and booze
Jurado admitted in an interview Monday with TV Patrol's Korina Sanchez that she was a former drug addict and alcoholic. Even before she entered showbiz, she was already into drugs and booze while dancing in skimpy clothes in a girlie nightclub.
"Hindi ko kasi tanggap 'yung trabaho ko sa club. Hindi gano'n kakapal ang mukha ko para maghubad. Kaya nilalakasan ko 'yung loob ko pagdodroga dahil sa hirap ng buhay ko noon, dahil ako lang ang kumikita," Jurado revealed.
Jurado then became an actress and although she succeeded and became popular, her success became the reason why her relationship with her 2 children, Gigi and Ging, bogged down.
According to the once famous actress, up to today, her children seem embarrassed to be identified with her. They also do not believe that she has changed.
But Jurado said she is now clean. She is no longer using drugs and drinking alcohol. "Pangako sa Panginoon. Isinusumpa ko, ma'm," she told Sanchez.
From a life of plenty to no food for 3 days
Her day job today--selling barbeque--is a far cry from her former way of life when she would earn a lot per movie or TV show.
Asked by Sanchez if, in the middle of her peddling barbeque during the day, she sometimes reminisces about those days.
"Hindi naman," Jurado said. "Dumanas ma'm kasi ako ng hindi kumain ng tatlong araw. Kaya ngayon, konting kita, masaya na ako. Parang naa-appreciate ko dahil naranasan ko ang wala."
Jurado is also facing a different battle, that against the Big C. She has breast cancer and is scheduled for another operation next month.
"'Di ba, katwiran ng Panginoon, 'Kapag binigay ko sa 'yo, 'wag mong ipagyabang at ipagmalaki? Pihadong babawiin Ko sa 'yo,'" she said.
Referring to her chest, Jurado said, "Laging nakabuyangyang. Ito ang puhunan. O, tinanggal Niya."
Appeal to children
But all these pale in comparison to an even bigger heartache: having her children far from her.
"Sana naman, bago naman ako mawala sa mundo, lalo na ngayon, mapapasok na naman ako sa isang operasyon, pakinggan naman nila ako," Jurado said.
With Christmas approaching, Jurado has a different attitude. "Sana wala ng Pasko. Ayoko ng dumating ang Pasko. Ayoko nang magkaroon ng Pasko. Lalong sumasama ang loob ko eh," she said.
Jurado made an appeal to her children:
"Unang una po, kay Gigi: 'Wag mong pagbasehan na ipinamigay kita, hindi na kita mahal. Kaya kita pinamigay o pinahiram muna for the meantime, ayaw kitang mabuhay at mamulat sa buhay club. 'Wag mo naman akong pagsasalitaan ng mga masasakit. Nanay mo pa rin ako.
"Sa anak ko namang lalaki: Ging, ikaw ang makakapagpatunay ngayon kung nagda-drugs pa ako. Hindi ko na nararamdaman anak na anak kita eh. Mabuti pa noon eh. Ngayon, hindi ko nararamdaman na may anak ako, para akong walang asawa, walang anak eh."
Never mind the showbiz trappings. All Jurado wants is for her children to give her a chance and to show a little understanding.
"Bigyan niyo naman ako ng pagkakataong bumangon. Bigyan niyo naman ako ng pagkakataong ipakita sa inyo kung papaano ulit magagawa ni Janice Juradong bumangon. 'Wag niyo naman akong ikondena," she said. -- With report from Korina Sanchez, ABS-CBN News