Maria Teresa Gerodias Carlson was born on October 15, 1963 and died on November 23, 2001. She was a Filipino-American actress and beauty queen. Ma. Teresa was born in Manila, but grew up and was raised in San Francisco, California. When she turned 16, she decided to stay in the Philippines when her family came on a visit. In 1979, she joined and won Miss Young Philippines. She then represented the country in the Miss Young International Pageant in Tokyo, Japan.
It was in 1982 when Ma. Teresa married Rodolfo Farinas, the former governor of Ilocos Norte, Philippines and they were blessed with six children, namely Ria, Ry, Rudys II, Rudys I and Junior. She had appeared in several movies, mostly comedies with actors Chiquito and comedians Tito, Vic and Joey. She was one of the mainstays of the TV comedy show entitled “Chicks to Chicks” in which she had popularized the line “Si Ako, Si Ikaw.”
She was interviewed by the Probe team in 1996 where she was accusing her husband of domestic violence. Maria Teresa recalled there was occasional slapping on the face, physical abuse and beatings. She said she also experienced a water torture, gun in her mouth, a wet towel was on her face, poured with 7up or continuous water. Ma. Teresa said she was not out to get money, but wanted her freedom and her annulment and be given her rights as a Filipino.
The next week, she appeared in ABS-CBN “Magandang Gabi, Bayan” with Ilocos Governor right beside her, and retracted everything she had stated in “The Probe.” She was quoted as saying that “maybe it was because she was pregnant, and she was just feeling insecure, she doesn’t look beautiful for him anymore.”
On that fateful day on November 23, 2001, Ma. Teresa jumped from the 23rd floor of the Platinum 2000 condominium in Greenhills, San Juan City and died instantaneously. Her maid was saying that earlier that day, they went to Malacanang Palace and tried to meet with President Gloria Arroyo to show her a particular video tape, showing Rudy Farinas hurting one of her children. The maid heard Ma. Teresa shouting at her to hurry because somebody is after them. She and Farinas were not staying together at the time of her death. She was living only with the maid at the condominium. Farinas was accusing Ma. Teresa as mentally unstable.
The suicide ended her life of abuse, humiliation and torture, being emotionally and physically battered, from the man he had loved, trusted and married since she was only 19 years old. The Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act which was signed by Pres, Arroyo in 2004 would have saved Ma. Teresa. She had married at a young age, to a politician, leaving everything behind her, to be a wife and a mother.
Ma. Teresa Carlson could have put a good fight, but instead she gave up and chose to end her miseries herself, taking her own life but became one of the eye openers for women who are suffering the same fate as hers.