Stars pay tribute to Regal matriarch | Inquirer Entertainment

Stars pay tribute to Regal matriarch

/ 12:15 AM August 18, 2018

Is Mother Lily Monteverde really turning 80 tomorrow? Regal Films’ beloved matriarch does not seem to age, because she never slows down. She spreads her joie de vivre around so well. Even after many decades, Mother has not lost her Midas touch in the biz.

The grand dame of the local movie industry could very well afford to sit on her laurels. But she just loves show biz so much (and it loves her back), that’s why Mother keeps giving the industry her all.

As a teenager, I have fond memories of tagging along with my mom (Inday Badiday) to Mother’s Greenhills home and Regal Films’ parties. That priceless experience thrust me into the show biz world. My gay son’s (IC Mendoza) career as an actor officially began with Regal.


Ma loved telling the story about how IC pulled Mother’s skirt and told her pointblank that he wanted to star in a movie. Mother gamely included IC in “Shake, Rattle & Roll 4,” where he won best child actor for his performance in it.


How can I thank Mother Lily enough for that and for countless other reasons? I will forever cherish the grand birthday bash that Mother and her daughter, Roselle, threw for me at their 38 Valencia Events Place.

Kindness is in everything Mother does. Even her being a “luka-luka” is part of Mother’s charm. Now that my mom is gone, I take comfort in the thought that I can always run to Mother Lily whenever I need maternal loving. Allow me to pay a birthday tribute to the “WonderwoMom” I cannot love enough.

Here, celebs share their precious Mother Lily memories:

Aiko Melendez

AIKO MELENDEZ: Mother is a classic—she’s funny and possessive. She loves all her “Regal babies” with her whole heart. Her maternal instinct is impeccable. Wherever I am right now, I owe it to her.

She was the very first one who gambled on me and gave me a break. She plays favorites and I’m blessed to be one of them.

Even if my first movie flopped, she gave me a chance to bounce back. I am forever grateful to Mother.


Derek Ramsay

DEREK RAMSAY: Every time Mother sees me, she always says that if she could only be young again, she would … fill in the blank! (Laughs)

Gabby Concepcion

GABBY CONCEPCION: Mother Lily never fails to call me up to greet me on my birthday. It’s not only the big things she does, but also the little things that endear her to me and everyone else in show biz.

Richard Yap

RICHARD YAP: When we were doing “Mano Po 7,” I saw Mother Lily suddenly start playing the piano and singing. She’s a woman of many talents. She can be funny and crazy at times, and she admits it.

JOEY REYES: I precisely remember when I first met Lily Monteverde. It was at the defunct club, Coco Banana. I was introduced to her by Elwood Perez, who wanted to do a movie as a tribute to that legendary club.

The movie never materialized, but my first screenplay was for Regal, and so was my directorial debut.

Now, decades later, I am still writing and directing films for Regal.

We may have had rough times, gone through a roller-coaster ride, but there’s one thing I am certain: Mother Lily never gave me false promises. She never abandoned me and, to this very day, she trusts in my integrity as a filmmaker and writer.

In a business where loyalty, honesty and hard work do not really matter, and everything boils down to how much money you can bring into a studio’s pocket, Mother Lily is different. Some people may think she is insane, but it is a sincere sort of craziness because she is a human being, and she cares for those she trusts. That makes her different from others: She cares.

Paolo Ballesteros

PAOLO BALLESTEROS: While shooting a garden scene in “My 2 Mommies,” we all got surprised to hear someone playing the piano inside the house. It sounded like a recital. Direk Eric Quizon had to shout, “Cut!” because of the sound of the piano, which was interfering with our dialogue.

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Just when direk was about to reprimand the piano player, we all got shocked when we found out that it was Mother Lily!

TAGS: Mother Lily Monteverde, Regal Films

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