Good-bye, Viveka!

Sixteen years ago, Gabby Concepcion was the most sought-after leading man in Philippine showbiz. Ruffa Gutierrez’ acting was considered inferior to that of Aiko Melendez’ acting prowess. Edu was a good actor but lacked that matinee idol status. Aiko had better acting skills than Ruffa but Ruffa had better showbiz connections. If Ruffa would win, nobody would question that. Likewise with Gabby; he had Lolit Solis while Edu had June Rufino. Not that June Rufino was an inferior manager but Lolit had wider showbiz connections than her.

Viveka Babajee was involved in this high profile showbiz case when she asked Rocky Gutierrez to take (Take it! Take it!) the envelopes containing the real winners’ name, Edu and Aiko. Viveka was Ms. Mauritius 1994 and represented her country in the 1994 Ms. Universe beauty pageant held in Manila, Philippines. She could have been another Michelle Van Eimeren who turned out to be a good host or Dayanara Torres who was a well-loved dancing host/foreign actress. But after becoming involved in the Filmfest contoversy, she left the Philippines and the people remembered her as the one who connived with Lolit to swap the envelopes.

Time had been good to her. In India, she became a famous supermodel and product endorser. Her looks even improved. She found her second home next to Mauritius.

Friends claimed that she was a strong and helpful woman. They could not imagine Viveka taking that extreme step; that of taking her own life. She had 2,000 friends from her Facebook account yet not one of them really knew what was inside her mind days before she took her own life.

Beauty, success, connections, power, money—she had them all. What could be lacking in her life?

We’ll never know.

Good-bye, Viveka. Take my prayers with you wherever you’ll go in the afterlife. Take it, Viveka. Take it.