Showbiz WOOT Moment: Bebe Gandanghari

By in

Let’s digress from all of this politics and brouhaha about blogging and talk about showbiz.  After all, I am a showbiz blogger.

(Is that lightning I see and thunder I hear?  Oh fishsticks.), which is a fine, fine source of objective information about the entertainment industry, has news that Rustom Padilla – who starred in such films as “Gagay: Prinsesa ng Brownout,” “Mistah: Mga Mandirigma,” “Marami Ka Pang Kakaining Bigas,” and “Yamashita: The Tiger’s Treasure,” former hubby of Carmina Villaroel – is now Binibining “Bibi” Gandanghari.

Woman, model, character, human being, actress, gay… but note: anything BUT Rustom Padilla.  Forget whatever idea you have of Rustom right now – yes, down to that “Wheel of Fortune” schtick – and say hello to Bebe Gandanghari.

Yes, Bebe Gandanghari.  Not Rustom Padilla.

For all intents and purposes of translation: “Lady Beautiful King.”  Sounds anime.

Here’s what the former (?) Rustom Padilla – now Bebe Gandanghari – had to say in that fine example of entertainment broadcast journalism, “Startalk:”

I’d really appreciate if you call me Bebe.  Rustom’s not here.  Bebe’s here, she’s alive and kicking!  Bebe’s a character that people are gonna watch and I’m gonna portray… so, Bebe’s here to stay.

“Bebe…” that’s pronounced “Bi-Bi.”

OK, we all know that Rustom Padilla is gay, is out of the closet, and is happy with where and who he is.  No question there.  The problem is that there’s a bit of confusion – at least to me – whether it is proper to treat Rustom – or Bebe – as a woman or as a man.  I know that Rustom – or Bebe – should be treated as a lovable and capable human being, but it makes things all the more confusing, at least for me.

I don’t know whether this qualifies for “facepalm” or “headscratch;” I have nothing against gay people, but I’m not sure whether Bebe Gandanghari is:

  • Gay.
  • An actual woman.
  • Actually Rustom.
  • A character played by Rustom.
  • Not Rustom, that Rustom is in fact “dead,” and that Bebe Gandanghari is a “transformation” of the former Rustom Padilla.
  • The aliens have invaded, dismembered and discombobulated the guy who starred opposite Alice Dixon in “The Jessica Alfaro Story,” sent him to some alien genetic engineering laboratory, and sent us the secret to universal peace: Bebe Gandanghari.

This is getting quite confusing, really.

If I remember my music history correctly, Prince became “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” (read: TAFKAP) was because the recording company Prince was associated with kind of “robbed” the dude of his identity.  For quite a while, Prince was “dead;” instead, we had the ever-so-confusing “Love Symbol No. 2:”

That was a time of grief for people who were actually fans of Prince, and a time of confusion to people like us who didn’t listen to Prince (except for a couple of songs).  How exactly to pronounce “Love Symbol No. 2,” I do not know; to be honest, I never cared.  There was just too much debate on whether or not the guy should still be called “Prince,” or he should be called “the Artist,” or referring to him as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” does constitute copyright infringement because you’re still talking about a guy whose name was technically owned by Warner Bros.

Besides, there was a time that Prince/TAFKAP/Love Symbol No. 2 was called “AlexanderNeverMind.”  Says Prince about Love Symbol No. 2: “It is who I am.  It is my name.”

All this proves to be rather confusing, because we all know his name is Prince.

Okay… now that we’ve gotten all of that into order, let’s get back to the source of our (and by the collective pronoun I mean just me) confusion with Bebe Gandanghari.

As much as I’d like to call this a triumph for gay rights, I don’t understand.  My 23-year-old mind, clouded by cigarette smoke and none in the way of sex, still cannot comprehend this whole biznitch and boil it down to shiznit.  All this about Bebe Gandanghari proves to be rather confusing, because we all know his name is Rustom.  To say that “Bebe Gandanghari” is nothing more than Rustom Padilla in drag is to oversimplify things.  To say that Bebe Gandanghari is a mere role is to oversimplify things.  Bebe says it best.  From the same source:

“That’s my name,”  Bebe said.  “She is a God-fearing, loving lady.  I am a woman.  I am a woman.  Bebe’s a woman…  Emotionally, physically, biologically, spiritually, psychologically, socially…” at this point, Bebe’s seriousness faded and he quipped, “Ano pa ang gusto mo, financially?”

So I sorta convinced myself that these are some of the things I don’t necessarily have to understand…

Although fuck, I still don’t get it.  Somebody explain this to me.

17 comments on “Showbiz WOOT Moment: Bebe Gandanghari”

    • me!
    • January 18, 2009

    I think it’s just like Abby Viduya becomes Priscilla Almeda…

    • solon
    • January 18, 2009

    disappointed ako.. kase kala ko.. di sya magpapakababae.. tinitignan ko pics nya nun at ngayon.. kala ko sabi nya.. di lahat ng bading nagsusuot ng pambabae.. pero sya.. nagsusuot…

    when i was looking to his old pics… ang gwapo gwapo nya! walang angulong hindi macho at pangit… nakita ko yung toes nya.. ang ganda ganda… parang hearthrob sya sa pics nya nuon…

    naiinis ako kay bebe.. gusto ko yung dating rustom.. yung hindi nagdadamit babae…

    im so upset!

    • josephine
    • January 18, 2009

    may titi pa ba si Rustom? hehehehhe

    • sha
    • January 18, 2009

    well siguro kelangan lang palawakin ang mga kaisipan ninyo at wag ikulong sa iisang stereotype na bading. sa tingin ko nga hindi siya bading, sya ay transgender at may malaking pagkakaiba iyon. kung hindi niyo alam yon, eh mag-aral kayo sa unibersidad na nag-oofer ng sexuality courses na hindi hetero-cultural ang approach.

    ang galing niya, siya na ata ang pinakamatapang na taong nakilala ko ngayon. hindi takot na magpakatotoo. mas mabuti ng magpakatotoo kesa ang maging hipokrita.

  1. Reply


    Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa baluktot kong Tagalog. Wag ka sanang ma-“offend” sa komento ko.

    Hanga ako kay Rustom sa kanyang ginawa, at hinahayaan ko na lamang na, bilang isang “public figure,” husgahan siya ng mga tao. Oo nga’t bading/transgender si Rustom/Bebe. Dahil dito mo ba isusukat ang katapangan at pagpapakatotoo ng isang Rustom Padilla?

    Hindi ako naniniwalang nakukulong ang “pagkakatotoo” sa iisang basehan. Hindi lamang ang sekswalidad ni Rustom o ni Bebe ang basehan ng kanyang pagkatao, bading man siya o transgender. *Maaari* ding maging basehan ng pagkakatotoo ang pagtanggap mo sa sarili mo kung sino ka; ito ang gustong ipahiwatig ng aking simpleng blog entry.

    Sa akin lamang, nasa praktika – hindi sa teorya – ang tunay na pag-unawa sa iba’t ibang klase ng sekswalidad. Kaya naniniwala din ako na hindi batayan ang isang kurso sa sekswalidad – at hindi ito sapat – upang lubusang maunawaan ang maraming dimensyon ng sekswalidad. Totoo na di nakukulong ang sekswalidad sa pagitan ng “babae” at “lalaki,” ngunit sa perspektibong ito tinitignan ng karamihan sa atin ang sekswalidad.

    Ito ang dahilan kaya para sa iba, “bading si Rustom Padilla.” Sa palagay ko, hindi uubra ang argumentong “mag-aral kayo sa unibersidad na nag-oofer ng sexuality courses na hindi hetero-cultural ang approach;” mismong ang inyong lingkod ay nanggaling doon. Naniniwala ako na ang “grassroots” na pagtuturo sa mga komunidad ukol sa isyu ng sekswalidad at mga dimensyon nito ang solusyon tungo sa pag-unawa ng iba’t ibang usaping sekswal.

    Naniniwala ako na kung ano man ang sekswalidad ni Rustom o ni Bebe, ang kanyang pagkatao ang dapat na ating silipin; hindi ang kanyang sekswalidad. Kung sinusukat natin ang katapangan at kagalingan ni Rustom dahil lamang sa kanyang paglalantad ng kanyang sekswalidad, ikinalulungkot ko pong ipaalam sa inyo na hindi po natin kilala si Rustom Padilla.

    Yun lamang po, pagpasensyahan na po ninyo ang baluktot kong Tagalog, at salamat po sa inyong pagbasa at pag-komento.

  2. Reply

    hey marck, pano maglagay ng picture sa comments? lol 🙂

    pag may picture na ako, saka ako magco-comment kay Bebe formerly known as Rustom (BFKAR)

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    • ana
    • January 19, 2009

    to each his own! let us learn to respect other people’s prerogative in life. life is short.

    • mhvmhv
    • January 19, 2009

    i think he just wants to be treated like a full woman so he has to get away from the concept of knowing rustom as a man or a gay person. Although biologically he is a guy, psychologically he perceives himself as a woman – Binibining Gandanghari. He has not undergone a sex change yet cause i think he is struggling with his conscience or traditional religious beliefs (that’s why I think he is not rready to talk about it yet in Staralk) still. The best way for him to deal with this for now is by creating this new persona. Parang alter ego.

    • Coco
    • January 19, 2009

    Reminds me of SASHA FIERCE. And Sean Comb’s and Prince’s countless name changes. Wahahaha.

    • dansce
    • January 20, 2009

    to sha and marocharim:

    masyado nyo namang pinalalim ang topic..haha..ang kailangan lang ni “bebe” ngayon ay ang pagtanggap ng lipunan sa kanya bilang isang “transgender”..

    • Itik
    • January 22, 2009

    Bebe Gandangari will be the coverpage of FHM mags next issue!!!!!!………………………ka suka…

    • dhebz
    • January 28, 2009

    ang ganda talaga niya. nakakagulat nga lang kasi girl na siya. honestly, when i looked back at his pix before, when he is hot and hunky pa, nanghinayang me pero okz lang. basta dun siya masaya and maging masaya din tau sa kanya. bebe gandanghari.

    • aubrey
    • January 31, 2009

    actually.. wala ako care if ‘Rustom’ calls himself ‘Bebe’ nowadays… it’s just a name. magpatawag man siya sa kanyang birthname na ‘Rustom’ or chosen name na ‘Bebe’, 1 tao pa rin siya. respect lang naman ata hinahanap niya.

    hindi ko lang talaga maintindihan is how and why he became gay/transexual/whatever… gwapo naman ni kuya, mayaman, may career at sigurado namang habulin siya… i ask you this Rustom/Bebe…. WHY?!?! nagkulang ba si Ate Carmi at nagkaganyan ka?! andami namin dito ghels kung ayaw mo na sa kanya… BAKIT?!?!

  4. Reply

    nako kailangan paban maki alam sa mga anung yayari,ust mind with your own,most of your comment are n ot so god kailangan pa bayang i tanung kung may titti pa siya haler meron pakaya anung sa tiningin niyo nag paputol kaayo wala ng ma isip na maganda kuyng hind halos lahat mga bastos kahit ganyan ang lahi niya hes just a human being hindi niyo kasi n iss\ip ang tama ang lakas sa tin ang pagin mag judge lagi kahit hindi paalam?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    hi nako rustom wag mo nalang silang pasinin

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    • Shandy
    • March 15, 2009

    He’s just so effin’ weird. Borderline KSP.

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