Divina Valencia: I was never a bomba star

By on 4:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Divina Valencia is back.

After doing the GMA soaps Little Star (with Jennylyn Mercado, Lovi Poe, Mark Anthony Fernandez and Paolo Contis) and Broken Vow (with Dennis Trillo and Bianca King), she’s now appearing in the ABS-CBN light drama Be Careful with My Heart (also starring Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Yap, Aiza Seguerra, Gloria Romero and Sylvia Sanchez and directed by Jeffrey Jeturian and Mervyn Brondial).

“I may sound mayabang but I consider myself an actress,” said Divina who was one of local movies’ hot sex sirens. “I was never a bomba star. In the first two years of my career, wearing a bikini (she did in the 1968 film Bikini Beach Party) was already taboo. I did not undress in the movies. Iba ‘yung sex symbol sa mga bomba noong 1970s.”

She was also the favorite of action stars like Fernando Poe Jr., Jess Lapid, Tony Ferrer and would-be husband Bernard Belleza (who appeared with her in the films The Karate Champions, Sa Manlulupig Di Ka Pasisiil, Zoom-Zoom Apollo, The Incomparable and Pambihirang Tatlo) who died of bullet wounds in March 1970 and by whom she has five children, including, former matinee idol Dranreb).

Born to and raised in a humble home by Patrocinia Valencia (of Abucay, Bataan) and German-American Waldo Fuller, Divina is the youngest among the brood of five (all four siblings are dead).
... and now with her husband Delfin Quesada

“I was a G.I. baby. We were poor then but we really worked hard until the time we could sleep on a soft bed and buy a refrigerator. So, I became a dreamer. I studied. I was, and still is, God-fearing. I often pray to Him for He is the life, way and light of all.”

In 1989, she migrated to the US where she lived a peaceful life away from showbiz.

“Quiet. No intrigue. All my children are settled now, except for my youngest son, Picholo, who lives in the US). One of the best things that happened in my life was when I had a personal relationship with Our Lord Jesus. He changed me, and we made Him the center of our life.”

In the course of her activities as a Christian, she met her future husband, businessman Delfin Quesada who is a Born-again Christian and a pastor.

“One day, Delfin brought singers Mitch Valdez and Leo Valdez and comedians Ponga and Prospero Luna to the senior citizens hall to entertain them, and he brought ice cream products to make the old ones happy. I later invited them to go to my house in San Diego. Delfin and I later became friends. He told me that the Lord might use him and me as an instrument to spread the Lord’s good news. The rest is history. We’re now married. He has been in the Philippines for almost five years now, and I am in the country for almost two years now.”

During weekends, the homebody Divina visits her grandchildren, goes to church and eats out with them. At times, she attends to her two puppies which occupy the sala of their home. 

“Mae, the daughter of my eldest daughter Maricris who lives in San Diego, wants to enter showbiz; and also Anaia, the eight-year-old daughter of my daughter Betchay, who loves to play the violin, sing, dance hip-hop and perform karate. My grandchild Lana, only two years old, prays earnestly by closing her eyes and says, ‘Jesus, thank you. Amen’. While my another grandchild, Calista, also two years old, never forgets to also say, ‘Praise, the Lord, Alleluia!’ They’re so cute.”