Ex-drug queen’s home now a rehabilitation center in Bulacan

The house of former actress Evita Ebora, now called “Bahay Pagbabago,” offers hope to drug dependents. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan—For the new generation, the screen name “Evita Ebora” may not ring a bell.

Now a retired starlet, Ebora (Angelica Gallaron-Crespo in real life) was featured in underrated movies in the 1980s and was linked to illegal drugs in the 1990s.

But the town government wants a new generation to remember Ebora as a benefactor, after it converted one of her houses here into a drug treatment center.

Early this month, Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr. opened Bahay Pagbabago Rehabilitation Center at a subdivision in Barangay Sta. Cruz here, and welcomed its first set of clients composed of 30 drug dependents.

They were among the nearly 700 people who surrendered to the Bulacan police after admitting using or selling illegal drugs.

The three-story house was foreclosed after it transferred ownership several times. It was was eventually acquired by the government.

“We selected the house for a drug rehabilitation center because the story behind it is very inspiring. Its former owner was a drug queen and we know Evita’s life improved when she abandoned drugs,” Cruz said.

Ebora was linked to large-scale drug trafficking. The charges were eventually dismissed.

Dario Mendoza, 71, Ebora’s stepfather, said the retired actress left the illegal drug trade for good and is now living a quiet life overseas with her family.

“She was implicated in the sale of illegal drugs. But after her cases were dismissed, we counseled her and encouraged her to leave that life. She heeded our advice and she now lives a drug-free life,” Mendoza said.

Ebora had acquired several properties in Guiguinto and Bulakan towns.

Bahay Pagbabago shares the building with the town government’s food production, nutrition and science center as well as a disaster evacuation facility.