Christmas season brings family get-togethers to the fore.
One which was quite amusing was the annual gathering of the Lacsons from Talisay that woke me up for lunch at Nature’s Village. I was quite frightened when I saw the cars parked outside, thinking of a breach of protocol on social distancing. However, my fears were allayed when the staff brought me to another wing where a cozy restaurant was located. I breathed a sigh of relief when I was further led to a private room where our group of Lacsons was billeted with a meter and a half of space between each chair on a long table almost occupying the entire breadth of the large room.
Well accustomed to the social ticks of this particular Lacson branch, I waved instead of the usual hugs to the intimate group. There was civic leader Anna Balcells – founder and president of Kalipay Negrense Foundation, a non-profit organization working for the causes of disadvantaged children especially the homeless, abandoned, neglected, malnourished, physically and sexually abused, victims of child labor, trafficking, and foundlings.
Let’s be extra generous at this year’s end by spreading love and joy this Christmas season by sending a donation to the Kalipay pandemic aid fund. You can do this by going to Kalipay.org site and help develop empowered children with good moral values become independent, productive, and socially responsible adults. I’ve personally visited their headquarters and went home feeling happy that such an organization exists in our island. Let this be a New Year’s gift that will bring a smile to your face.
There was Pons and Lyn Balcells, who jetted in from Sydney, Australia on the same flight I took back to Manila last February but somehow got stuck during the lockdown and ended up spending three months in Clark waiting for a plane to Negros! No wonder I didn’t hear from Pons because he told me upon landing in Manila that he’s relocating his family to the Philippines for good…
In the beginning, Pons thought it’d be fun getting to know Clark, Pampanga since it has lots of beach resorts and stuff to discover. Helas, the resorts were closed and he ended up renting a villa until his family was accommodated on a flight back to Silay-Bacolod airport. I would have gone crazy if I was in his shoes.
Of course, there was Nena Rosello, who just moved into her new condominium and looking really svelte and glamorous as usual. I was wondering if Paul Lizares is her new beau since he was in the lunch and not a drop of Lacson in him, at all. But then, Paul has been a good friend of Pons since way back when and as tradition dictates, Lizares’ and Lacsons are the prominent Ls in Taliwood (that’s how I call Talisay, dahlinks) so he was more than welcome.
Completing the royal list was Larry Lacson and his long-time companion Derek Bage. Derek is so lucky to be here during this pandemic because Larry really takes good care of him. I believe Derek knows that, for a fact, when he gifted Larry with a ring…ding-a-ling!
What a treat it was when I got an invitation for a private screening of “Magikland”, a 2020 Filipino fantasy adventure film. It’s a Christmas story about four kids (Miggs Cuaderno as Boy Bakunawa, Elijah Alejo as Mara Marapara, Princess Rabara as Pat Patag, and Josh Eugenio as Kit Kanlaon) playing a popular mobile game Magikland, who end up entering a portal and transported to a fantasy world. Feel this season’s magic with a star-studded cast, headed by Jun Orbano, Bibeth Orteza, Cannes Film Festival Award winning Jacklyn Jose, Cherie Gil, Jackielou Blanco, Wilma Doesnt, Mylene Dizon, Agot Isidro, Luis Alandy, Paolo Contis, Gabbi and Ryan Eigenmann, to name a few.
With a budget of P100M, it puts out the kid in you seeing flying dragons and fabulous sets making your jaws drop. Magikland is directed by Christian Acuña and produced by Albee Benitez, Peque Gallaga, and Lore Reyes. If you knew Peque, you’ll end up teary eyed like Chart Motus when you see an animated Peque waving goodbye at the end.
My Prayer: And Mary said: “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-49, NIV*