ACTRESS Glaiza de Castro, one of the lead stars in the GMA 7 drama series “Temptation of Wife,” had to cancel her family’s trip to Laoag in Ilocos Norte this holiday season because of work.
Glaiza said taping for the program would resume tomorrow and run smack into her Laoag vacation. She may drive to a nearer place like Tagaytay or Baguio City instead.
“Each year, we spend Christmas Day with my side of the family, the Castro clan, in Parañaque City. New Year’s Day has always been spent here at home,” Glaiza’s mom Cristy told Living Stars.
The 24-year-old actress is named Glaiza Castro Galura in real life. Her parents, Alfredo and Cristy, are retired singers, once called The Alcris Duet in the early 1980s. Glaiza’s uncle Dan Alvaro and brother Alchris Galura are also actors.
Home to Glaiza is the 120-sq m, two-story house in Quezon City that she purchased in 2010. The actress said her first Christmas in this house had been the most memorable.
“My two sisters, one living in Zamboanga City and the other in Valenzuela, brought their whole family here. We shared food, played games and exchanged gifts. We all got so emotional,” she recalled.
Glaiza had fever and headache at the time of our visit. While she was napping, her parents led us to a nipa hut at the garage to show us their newly assembled Christmas Belen, or Nativity Scene.
“I bought the figurines of the Holy Family from SM, and the other characters from a bargain shop in Dapitan,” Cristy said.
Glaiza’s dad then showed us a huge aquarium where he breeds species like golden arowana, knife fish, dragon fin, Japanese koi and tiger oscar. “It’s relaxing to just sit in front of it and stare,” Alfredo said.
He later led us to a pocket garden that has more aquariums containing flower horns, red jewels and tilapia.
Because it’s Christmas, the living area now has a red-and-white color scheme. Glaiza’s mom said the curtains and pillow covers were usually in light brown, chocolate and black to match the wall decor. The seven-foot Christmas tree was assembled only on the day of our visit, Cristy said. It’s adorned with artificial flowers, bells and butterflies, as well as moving LED lights.
In between the living area and the dining nook is the pocket garden with bamboo plants, pea gravels, polished stones, a sun roof and a water fountain.
“This completes the Zen-like look of the house,” Cristy explained.
She then served us bibingka and puto bumbong, popular Filipino delicacies during Yuletide, on the six-seat wooden dining table, which was brought here
from the Galuras’ old home in Bulacan.
Hanging on the wall by the staircase landing is a huge framed photograph of Glaiza dressed as Grazilda, the character she portrayed in the 2010 GMA 7 fantasy series.
Access to the attic is through Glaiza’s bedroom. With walls painted in black and red, the attic serves as a TV room and storage space for Glaiza’s drum set, guitar and book collections.
“It’s also where she and Alchris hang out. The two are really close,” said Cristy. “Glaiza plans to turn this into a soundproof music room.”
Alchris’ bedroom is directly across his sister’s. A quick peek inside showed us a low-platform bed and a white wall with alibata characters painted in black. The actor later said the characters spelled kalayaan (freedom).
The balcony is Cristy’s prayer area. “Every morning I would kneel in one corner while facing the sky. On days when the other family members aren’t busy, they join me,” said Cristy, who is a devout Baptist.
While still scouting for the perfect house, Glaiza specifically said she wanted it inside a secured village near her home network GMA 7. “She was also specific about it having many bedrooms and an attic,” Cristy recalled.
Glaiza said: “I’ve always wanted to have my own bedroom and walk-in closet. I prayed for this for a long time. It inspired me to work harder. I’m thankful that, finally, I now have a place I can call my own.”
Photos by Jim Guiao Punzalan