Christmas for actor Mon Confiado is the best time to share the blessings he has received throughout the year.
“I grew up in a poor family in Sampaloc. It was rare for my siblings and myself to receive Christmas gifts. We didn’t even get to spend the holiday season with our father,” Mon tells Living Stars on this visit to his three-story home in Antipolo City. “As the second family, we were used to him being with the other one during the holidays.”
Mon recalls how he would save money all year so he could buy presents for his loved ones. “It was a big deal for me. I was glad to receive gifts, but happier when I was the one giving them. That way, mas malaki ang Pasko sa akin.”
Now that he’s financially independent, Mon carries on with the tradition of gift-giving. “We do it on Christmas Eve, when my sister Kai, who lives just across the street, hosts a poolside party.”
He plays Santa Claus not only to his nephews and nieces but also to the employees of two comedy bars that he operates with Kai. “We consider them family. Some even tag along when the family goes abroad for a vacation,” he says of the staff and crew of 22nd Street, located at Antipolo and Las Piñas City.
“I spend Christmas Day at home, waiting for my godchildren,” the actor says. “New Year’s Eve is equally special. The kids in our village look forward to our fireworks display.”
Mon says Christmas of 2005 was a most memorable one. “It was my first in this house,” he explains. “I used to live in a condominium unit (in Mandaluyong City). That year was my first time to decorate the house for the holidays. It has become grander with every passing year.”
It is awesome to see the house covered with LED lights. A 15-feet-tall Christmas tree stands proudly in a corner, adorned with ribbons and balls in green, gold, red, blue and white. The door and windows are decked with ornaments in matching colors.
“My sister and I bought this tree six years ago in a factory in Parañaque,” Mon says. “I mix and match old and new decorations.”
Mon is the eldest of three children of the late character actor Angel Confiado with Aurora, also deceased. Mon relates: “He was 57 and my mother was 15 when they met. I was born three years later. For a time, he kept us a secret. I guess that’s why he could never be with us at Christmas. My mother never complained.”
This is probably the reason, he says, that the family has always had extended yearend holidays. “We set up the Christmas lights as early as
October 15, and don’t remove them until mid-January. But ‘Amaya’ kept me busy this year, so we were a little late. I’m happiest at Christmas; I see it as the perfect time to pay it forward.”