The Garcias—showbiz siblings Patrick, 22, and Cheska, 24; their brother Pichon, 28; and their mother Celeste—used to live in a two-story house in Del Monte Avenue, Quezon City.
"Bahay talaga naming ýon," says Celeste, fondly called Mommy Bing in showbiz. "Okay sana doon, kasi malapit lang sa ABS-CBN [where Patrick is a contract star]. Kaso, noong medyo dumarami na mga bisita, wala nang maparkingan. So, naghanap kami nang rerentahan."
Mommy Bing then rented out the Del Monte house. Her tenants fell in love with the house and later offered to buy it.
As for Mommy Bing and her kids, they found this three-story, five-bedroom condominium unit at Ortigas Center, in Pasig City - and here they have benn living for three years now, with three helpers and a driver.
"We're just renting here," says Patrick "Kaibigan ni Cheska ang may-ari."
They all like it here.
"Maganda ýong area, saka hindi ka mabo-bore kasi marami kang nakikita," says Mommy Bing, referring to the busy streets of Ortigas Center.
Adds the homebody Patrick: "Actually, everything is downstairs, pero minsan, nakakatamad, e. Gusto ko sa bahay lang. There were times before na bumababa ako, kumakain or [punta sa] Starbucks, ganoon"
For her part, Cheska - a former interior-design student at the Philippine School of Interior Design - likes practicing her decorating skills in this house. "I like rearranging and fixing things," she tells us. "I like mixing old and new. I even have a feng shui book, ‘cause we also studied it in school.
And Pinchon? "He's my athletic child," says Mommy Bing. "He's often out playing."
Pinchon did TV and print modeling in the past, but unlike his younger siblings he got hooked on sports rather than shobiz.
When time permits, the Garcia siblings hie off to Ayala, Alabang, to visit their father, Francisco Garcia, a Spanish national who is legally separated from Mommy Bing and has a new family of his own.
"Dati, umuuwi ako doon," says Patrick. "Ngayon, once in a while na lang ako dumadalaw. Lalo na pag sunod-sunod ang trabaho, tapos usually around this area pa or Quezon City, ganoon. Si Pinchon ang madalas pa rin donn."
The Ortigas Center condominium unit is the convergence zone for the three siblings'respective barkadas.
"Halos lahat sila, ditto nagpupunta," says the cool mom. "Ýong iba, ditto na gusto makitira. Malapit sila sa amin. Kasi ako naman, open sa mga anak ko. Mas gusto ko pa ngang nandito sila. Saka nakakatuwa, kahit magkakaiba ng edad, ýong kaibigan ng isa, kaibigan ng lahat."
At this point, there is no telling if any of the Garcia kids is willing to leave and go solo. Her smile turning into a grin, Mommy Bing says: "E, tatlo-tatlo silang parang ugaling bunso, e. Kasi lahat naman sila, parang spoiled. Kasi si Pichon, almost five years bago nasundan, so matagal siyang solong anak. Si Cheska naman, only girl. Si Patrick, siyempre bunso talaga."
Patrick, who once tried living with friends, adds: "Mas masaya naman and ganito, e. Saka, parang solo na rin ako, kasi palagi akong nasa kuwarto, e. Dito, me gigising sa akin palagi."
Cheska sums it all up: "Saka close kami na famly, e."
We believe it.