Seasoned actress Helen Gamboa has always believed that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
That, she said, is one of the secrets of her lasting marriage to Senator Tito Sotto. Tito Sen, as her husband of over 40 years is fondly referred to by the public, is a big fan of her cooking, Helen revealed during the recent press launch of “From Helen’s Kitchen,” her upcoming cooking show for Cignal TV’s exclusive Colours channel.
“Cooking is really my passion. It’s something I inherited from my mother. Even when I was still a child, I would watch how she prepares our meals,” she said in mostly Filipino. “When Tito and I got married, I continued that passion and he loved everything I cooked for him.”
But so do the rest of her friends from in and out of the industry. “I love cooking for my family and friends,” declared Helen during the event. This was attested to in video testimonials by Tito Sen’s “Eat Bulaga” circle of Dabarkads that included Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Ruby Rodriguez, Allan K, Joey de Leon, Pauleen Luna and Helen’s brother-in-law, Vic Sotto.
Helen admits that her marriage to Tito Sen has had its fair share of challenges, most notably the controversies that have hounded her husband as a longtime actor and politician. But she insists that since she knows her husband better than anybody, she has gotten used to the intriguing world of showbiz and just ignores all the criticism hurled against him.
“I don’t pay any attention to those things because I’m the one who will suffer, who will get hurt. That’s why I’m so thankful to God that our marriage has lasted this long and we always have peace and harmony in our house,” she pointed out.
“I’m not saying he is a saint but I don’t see anything that should worry me. All I see is that he loves and adores me. He gives me flowers even when there is no occasion. He is very romantic.”
Although she has remained an active actress in recent years and even won a Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in the teleserye “Walang Hanggan” in 2013, Helen admits that she had to slow down following her last movie, “Etiquette for Mistresses,” in 2015 due to a slipped disc.
But thanks to therapy and exercise, the actress is happy to be back in the limelight and will soon be a doing “The Good Teacher,” a new soap for GMA Network that will be topbilled by Marian Rivera.
Headlining her own cooking show, produced by The IdeaFirst Company of Perci Intalan and Jun Lana, is a dream come true for Helen who admits that this is something she and her kumare, Bibeth Orteza (the show’s director), has been cooking up for quite a while.
Taped in Helen’s own kitchen in the Sottos’ household in White Plains, Quezon City, the show’s first season features a slew of celebrity guests that include Carmina Villaroel, Maricel Soriano, Eric Quizon, Raymart Santiago, Pops Fernandez, Pauleen Luna, Albert Martinez, Gladys Reyes, Donita Rose, Danica Sotto and husband Marc Pingris.
An accomplished singer when she started her career, Helen added that she also did a little singing as well in “From Helen’s Kitchen.” This was during the episode she was asked by Diamond Star Maricel Soriano to sing a few bars of “La Vie en Rose,” the signature song of legendary French singer, Edith Piaf which also happens to be Maricel’s favorite.
“That is just one of the many surprises you will see in my show,” Helen quipped.
“From Helen’s Kitchen” premieres Saturday, July 1, at 8PM on CignalTV’s Colours channel.