Christmas is just around the corner. So, we asked Tinseltown’s biggest and brightest stars how their Yuletide season is shaping up for them.
For Vilma Santos, the Christmas season caps off a satisfyingly productive year, not only because of the box-office success of “The Healing,” her first horror movie in almost 40 years, but also because she’s celebrating her 50th anniversary in show biz!
In 1963, the Star for All Seasons began her legendary career as a child star in films like “King & Queen for a Day” (with Dolphy) and her star turn in “Trudis Liit,” with Lolita Rodriguez. These days, her stellar glow is brighter than ever—as a well-loved actress and accomplished politician.
What does she wish for this Christmas? She replies, “At this point, I want nothing for myself. My only wish is for the victims of Typhoon “Pablo” to recover from the tragedy. May they have enough strength and abundance of material help to start anew!”
Ogie Alcasid shares dear Ate Vi’s thoughts: “I pray that the love of Jesus Christ will bring comfort to our brothers and sisters in Compostela Valley who have lost loved ones. Let’s continue to help them recover.”
What’s so special about Ogie’s Christmas this year? The versatile singer-actor beams, “Mine will be unforgettable, because it’s the first time that all my children (with Regine Velasquez and Michelle van Eimeren) will be together to celebrate the holidays!”
The anticipated reunion inspires Ogie to sing his favorite carol, “Silent Night,” because “it captures the peace and serenity that the season offers, and brings back memories of my younger years!”
Like Ogie, Angel Locsin also loves listening to “Silent Night,” because “I grew up listening to it—and it’s what my dad used to sing to me when I was a child. Now that I’m all grown up, he still does!”
Any wish for Christmas? Angel discloses, “I hope that people here and around the world would give peace a chance, because violence doesn’t make sense! On a personal note, I wish that my MMFF entry, ‘One More Try,” with Dingdong Dantes and Angelica Panganiban, would do well at the tills—I’m proud of it!”
For Sef Cadayona, the breakout star of the Cinema One movie, “Slumber Party,” and the MMFF indie, “Gayak,” Christmas is a time for bonding with his loved ones: “Since I’m an only child, I love being surrounded by my nephews, nieces and godchildren! Last Christmas was doubly memorable for me, because all the members of my family were reunited. I will always remember it—because it was my lolo’s last Christmas with us!”
Sophie Albert and Vin Abrenica, the big winners of TV5’s “Artista Academy” talent search, have a lot to be thankful for. Sophie muses, “It’s hard to wish for anything more this Christmas. It’s my turn to pay it forward. My favorite Christmas memory? It’s of me as a little girl—when my parents gave me a life-sized McDonald’s kitchen. I felt so spoiled (laughs)!”
This year has also been a turning point for Vin: “It’s been a year of blessings—I finished school, then won ‘Artista Academy’s’ top plum! I want to prove my supporters right and make my family prouder when my new TV series, ‘Never Say Goodbye” (with Nora Aunor), and first album come out!’
For Alden Richards, the Yuletide season is a bittersweet time to reminisce about his mother, who passed away four years ago—before he was given his big break in show biz: “Christmas isn’t the same without her. I always think of Mom and miss the dishes that she used to cook for our family. She was a great cook, because she was Kapampangan. She was very affectionate. I always wonder, ‘What if she were here? Would she be a stage mother (laughs)? Would she be proud of me?’”
The holiday season is a happy excuse for the family of Janine Gutierrez to get together. She explains, “My parents (Lotlot de Leon and Ramon Christopher) are separated—but, they’re good friends. My dad goes to my mom’s house to celebrate special occasions with us. So, during Christmas, New Year and birthdays, magkakasama kaming lahat—and I couldn’t be happier!”