LIFE is full of surprises, they say, and Ruffa Gutierrez's life is a testament to this.

Beauty queen, actress and host Ruffa Gutierrez and Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektas tied the knot on March 25, 2003 at the NBC Tent at the Bonifacio Global City attended by more than 500 guests after having a chance encounter in Cannes, France. The fairytale wedding would only last four years and Ruffa flew back to Manila with her two very young daughters in tow, sharing that she suffered abuse from Yilmaz. They were separated in 2007. Annulment followed in 2012.

Their eldest daughter Lorin Bektas was born on August 3, 2003, and younger sister Venice Bektas was born on September 11, 2004. Ruffa was able to raise her daughters as a single mother throughout all these years. Ruffa has always prioritized her two daughters. She worked hard to give them the best possible lives in her own terms. She sent them to the best schools. Lorin is even studying at a British school in Manila -- one of the most expensive private schools in the country.

Throughout the years, there would be attempts to reconcile as Yilmaz wanted to be reunited with his daughters whom he has not seen for 15 years. As they say though, "time heals all wounds," but time was not enough for resentment, fear to melt away the last 15 years, so a reunion never happened.

Thanks to Yilmaz's sister Kesra reaching out, a more open-minded Venice who told her mom Ruffa to give her number to her dad so they can communicate directly, and Ruffa's blessing, this trip of a lifetime happened for the girls. Lorin and Venice flew to Istanbul, Turkey to meet their dad, relatives on Yilmaz's side, and half-sister Ilknas for a much-awaited reunion.

May this trip be the start of a beautiful relationship between Yilmaz and the girls. We are tearing up on the sidelines and cheering for this trip to be worthy of a long 15-year wait.


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