Donita finds solace in other ‘passion’
MANILA, Philippines - Not much has been heard about Donita Rose since news came out regarding her failed marriage. It was last year when she revealed about her separation from her US-based husband. But unlike those in the same predicament who find it difficult to recover, the actress has chosen not to wallow in sadness.
The hurting period, perhaps, is over as Donita recently appeared with a sweet smile for everyone at The STAR offices in connection to her being the brand ambassador of Jolly Canola Oil. This is her second year with the cooking oil brand that promotes heart health with its tagline Heart Mate.
She’s loveless, Donita announced and gamely wondered aloud if there is someone we can recommend. “I hope to find someone who is a chef or who is into fitness so he can help me to stay fit (laughs),” she quipped, adding that she’s not ready for a new love. Still, it made everyone curious about her “ideal” guy.
“If you look at my history, looks are not really that important, hahahaha,” she said. There were some who remembered her past romance during her younger years in showbiz and Donita admitted, “Meron naman pero hindi marami.”
Kidding aside, Donita said the guy has to be faithful “and somebody who can parang take the lead and you know, financially stable, who can take care of us (she has a son) because I wanna like (to) enjoy life and I feel like parang I would like someone to embrace that part of me that truly loves… maybe somebody who is a chef also and then someday we’ll set up a restaurant and we’ll make sweet music in the restaurant. Or somebody who’s also into fitness para matulungan din n’ya ko (to slim down).”
Does she feel “heavy”? “I’m working on it. I think I’m on the road to recovery, wow! I think this year is gonna be my year,” she said with certainty.
No doubt about it since Donita has been devoting most of her time attending to her other passion which is cooking. As the brand ambassador of Jolly Canola Oil, she is tasked to prepare recipes which she can share to people as she goes around the country in line with the promotion of the cooking oil brand.
“My love for food started at the very young age,” she shared. “I’m the eldest of four siblings and when we’re growing up, every time I would order, kakaiba ako sa mga kapatid ko kasi sila gusto nila chicken and burger, ako may escargot kaya my mom said sasakit ang ulo nila sa akin. I’ve always wanted to truly experiment with food and when I tasted something, I really have a strong opinion about it. So when I was growing up, dahil eldest ako, iniipon ko yung allowance ko and then when there’s special occasion like birthday of my siblings, I would cook as my gift for them. Nung una nasusunog pa until I got better and better.”
Donita’s love for cooking grew stronger when she moved to Singapore to work as MTV VJ. She would always buy recipe books, experiment on other types of cuisine and watch cooking shows on a food channel. She even applied in 2003 on Asian Food Network to realize her dream of making a name associated with food. “They checked my credentials and (found out) I don’t have a background in culinary so they turned me down. I was really heart broken,” she related.
Donita continued, “I came back to the Philippines and I did Mobile Kusina with Christine Jacob. Sabi ko mag-aaral talaga ako.”
She was already married then and knew that going to a culinary school requires time, and of course, money. Good thing, Donita was able to get a scholarship at the Academy for International Culinary Arts (AICA) in 2012 and succeeded in her goal of finishing a culinary course a year after.
Fast-forward to the present, Donita has done a variety of recipes which she shared to people through blogs on her website. Some her recipes that she has also presented during promo tours around the country are Tilmok, Pork Belly, Seafood Kare-Kare, Durian and Coconut Chicken Curry, Crab Curry Wrapped in Banana Leaves and Chicken Inasal.
“When I came back here, I did a show with Ai-Ai (delas Alas) on GMA and then after that, Basta, Every Day Happy with Chef Boy Logro. I think that was three years ago and I was already having some family problems then that I was trying to work out and in the end, I ended up staying here so it’s been about three years that I’ve been back here in the Philippines.”
According to Donita, it was Jolly which gave her an opportunity to purely try her hand at cooking. It completely departed her from hosting and acting. Initially, she was in complete shock but the idea of whipping up dishes in front of people excites her no end.
“They gave me eight recipes to work (on) and they said I have the freedom to do whatever I want (to cook). So I told myself, paninindigan ko ito. Jolly is one of the biggest highlights of my career.” – Photos by VER PAULINO