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Year of living independently

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CLOCKWISE from left: For the first time this year, Gee celebrates the holidays at a place she calls her own; Christmas tree with silver trimmings; old pieces from the Canlas home in Antipolo; dining set from a store in Sta. Cruz, Manila

TV HOST-ACTRESS Gee Canlas  has declared 2013 her “year of independence.”

Gee recently moved to her own condominium unit in Quezon City where she spent last Christmas.

For the holidays, Gee decorated  her new dwelling with many Christmas lights. “I want it to look very sweet and romantic,” she said. “I feel proud of myself.”

Past Christmases, she said, were usually “an intimate, special” celebration at her parents’ home in Antipolo.

“It’s actually the New Year’s celebration that’s more chaotic, because the whole Canlas clan is present,” Gee told Living Stars. “My dad would serve bulalo while my mom would make sure we have 12 different kinds of fruits.”

HER UNIT has a modern Asian look

Gee has hosted shows like “Pilipinas Win na Win,” “Music Uplate Live” and “MU Live” for ABS-CBN, and has appeared on series like “Lokomoko High” (TV5) and “I Laugh Sabado” (QTV11).

Gee has also acted in indie films, most recently in Mark Shandii Bacolod’s “Ang Pakiramdam ng Puso Ko Kapag Iniiwan,” where she played the lead role.

She was last seen as a contestant on the reality show “The Amazing Race Philippines” on TV5.

Modern Asian

Gee sought the help of her friend, interior designer Eloisa Gomez, to achieve the modern Asian look that she wanted for her new home.

“The deep brown and earth tones make everything feel cozy,” observed Eloisa. “The design of the curtains also gives the room a neo-baroque look. It’s also practical because we used materials that are cost-effective.”

“When I asked her what color she wanted, Gee chose red. She said it stands out. It’s bold and represents her character,” Eloisa recalled. “To decorate the whole place with a very limited budget, we went to Divisoria and to Sta. Cruz in Manila to buy materials.”

Eloisa made curtains from fabrics that she bought from the market. She and Gee made the headboard for the latter’s low-platform bed, using plywood, cloth and foam. The lamps were purchased from Landmark and the ottoman from SM Department Store.

“Some of the pieces here are from Gee’s (Antipolo) house, like the bed and the square shelves. We chose other furniture that would go well with what she already has,” Eloisa said. “The (beige) easy chair came from my own room. I bought it from a deal website. Its color may look plain but its character is in its texture.”

Condo living for Gee has many advantages. “The amenities here are really good. I can go out of my unit and just chill out at the penthouse. I plan to maximize the gym. It’s so high-tech. It’s like I’m enrolled in  Fitness First,” she pointed out. “Security here is also tight. You have to ask permission to be let in and out of the lobby door.”

Own space

The TV host-actress added: “I like the fact that I have my own space. I have my own world here. If I want to have friends over, I don’t have to worry about my parents and siblings being disturbed by the noise we would make.”

“I want to do more cooking here,” said Gee, who served chili Cajun chicken pasta and pastillas pudding topped with Oreo cookies during this interview. Eloisa brought home-made ginger beer.

“I have a lot of plans for this place. This is only the beginning,” said Gee. “First on my list is to install a  quality sound system. I also want to put up a giant frame where I can hang all my accessories—turn it into a huge artwork.”

(mcruz@inquirer.com.ph)


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