Why Maricel Laxa tried to discourage son Donny Pangilinan from joining show biz | Inquirer Entertainment

Why Maricel Laxa tried to discourage son Donny Pangilinan from joining show biz

/ 12:25 AM August 21, 2023

The Pangilinans with son Donny (right)

The Pangilinans with son Donny (right)

He entered show biz with both eyes open,” said actress Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, who admitted that she initially discouraged matinee idol son Donny from pursuing a career as an actor.

“This means he wasn’t unaware of what he was getting into. We told him everything that he might experience to the point of discouraging him from actually going into it. When he eventually made the decision, he was already an adult. This is also why whatever is happening to him right now no longer surprises him,” Maricel told reporters during the recent launch of her new book with husband Anthony Pangilinan, titled “Marriage Is a Marathon: Run it One Step at a Time.”


Donny has a unique way of dealing with fame and popularity, the mom revealed. “He told us that when he is at home, we are not allowed to talk about work-related topics with him, that he is just our son,” she said.


“He has to do chores like everybody else,” Anthony interjected. “He would sometimes wash the dishes.”

“He is not here at the launch now because he is with our youngest, Solana, who is having her first day in school. He’s supposed to fetch her.”

Anthony said he would often make Donny his “guide” when it comes to establishing good relationships with people. “I’ve seen in Donny the best of Maricel—her spontaneity, her being chill about everything. Also, when he arrives home, he would jump on to the bed asking for cuddles—that’s Maricel, too,” he observed. “How he would first try to assess everything before getting into something, that’s from me. I think that the combination is good. It’s the reason I look up to the way he treats women and his friends.”

Donny has three other siblings—Ella, Hannah and Benjamin.

Supportive family

Meanwhile, Maricel said she is having a great time now that she has decided to resurrect her acting career. She said it was actually her children who encouraged her. “They said they wanted to see me back. In the beginning, I found this unusual because I left show biz to take care of my family. But now, it’s my family that said, ‘We’re here to support you. Go fly! It’s your time to shine, Mom!’ I told them I still need to take care of our bunso. They said, ‘Don’t worry, we will all help in taking care of her.’ Today is an example of that. Someone had to go with Solana on her first day in school.”

Maricel eventually became part of Cathy Garcia-Molina’s hit drama “Hello, Love, Goodbye.” She later won two acting awards for her performance. “The kids were extremely proud. It actually jump-started my career. It’s so nice to be welcomed and to be around familiar faces,” she said.


The fact that Maricel is back to doing what she does best—aside from being a mom, of course—is actually a bonus for Donny. “When he has to shoot difficult scenes, or when he’s gone through a series of scenes that were really heavy, the person who helps him process his emotions is Maricel,” said Anthony.

Maricel Laxa (left)with husband Anthony Pangilinan

Maricel Laxa (left) with husband Anthony Pangilinan

Maricel and Donny will be seen in the movie “GG,” which Maricel described as “an esports film about one’s relationship with his friends, as well as with his mom. We’re grateful that they let us borrow Donny for this one. He is also a producer on this project,” said Maricel. Donny’s career is managed by ABS-CBN’s Star Magic.

The film is set for release in the fourth quarter of 2023, said Anthony.

Before and after marriage

Meanwhile, the couple said they decided to push through this August with the launch of their book, which took them five years to make, before they plunge into the preparation for their eldest daughter Ella’s wedding.

Maricel admitted that it took a while for her to accept that her own daughter will be starting her own family soon. “It helped a lot that I also love Enrique (Ella’s fiancé). They have been together for six years and he has respected and loved us. They made us part of their relationship from the beginning. We’ve seen how they trust each other. Together, they can do so many wonderful things.”

Maricel added: “What’s great about Ella is that she did not commit to the relationship without first asking for Anthony’s blessing. Enrique had to face Ella’s father first.”

“I didn’t require that from Ella,” added Anthony. “She said, ‘Dad, can you talk with Enrique? I told him I can only answer him after he meets you.’ So we had lunch, just the two of us. After that, I told Ella, ‘Panalo!’”

Maricel said their book, “Marriage Is a Marathon,” will also feature Ella’s testimony. The book is their second as a couple. It is a retelling of their pre- and postwedding experiences, as well as their family’s journey as the running Team Pangilinan.

“We consulted the children while making the book. They all have their entries there. There’s also a chapter on our daughter’s engagement,” said Maricel. “It took us five years because we were both busy. Also, we both thought that it’s just easy to write a book, mahirap pala.”

“But the more you write it, the more you spend time on it. Once you’ve written it, you want to refine it, make it better. Wanting to produce something special really takes time,” said Anthony.

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“Marriage Is a Marathon: Run it One Step at a Time” is available online. More details are available on Anthony and Maricel’s website. INQ


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TAGS: Anthony Pangilinan, Donny Pangilinan, Entertainment, Maricel Laxa

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