Travel junkie Tessa Prieto-Valdez fulfills religious duties even when on the road

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Some people choose to travel in comfy clothes, but for Tessa Prieto-Valdez, it’s always a different story. She says, “There’s no such thing as downtime in clothing for me—only when you’re underwater scuba diving.”


This Holy Week, Tessa Prieto-Valdez will be hitting the Gold Coast in Australia for some family bonding time with her husband and four children.

“They have so many amusement parks and there’s a beach so we can go surfing, play golf.”

Every year, Tessa usually spends Holy Week with her friends.

“I was supposed to go with sina Rajo [Laurel] and Divine [Lee] to Japan.

“Rajo, Divine, and my other friends, we always go on like a trip abroad together, we’re like traveling buddies every Holy Week.

“But this year my husband said, ‘You better mind us and stay with us,’ so I’m just gonna go to Australia with them.

“Maybe I’ll go na lang on another trip with sina Rajo maybe to somewhere in the Middle East, visit Petra and Morocco. So that’s like later, end of summer maybe.”

But even as a well-rounded traveler, the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Philippines co-host says she never forgets her duties as a Catholic even when abroad.

“I do the nine-day [novena] thing, and then we visit churches.

“And every Friday we go and not like eat meat and stuff like that. We do fasting and abstinence.

“The family, also on Easter Sunday, you know, we go to mass and we also do the non-traditional, like Easter egg hunt.

“Before when we were much younger, I remember we used to go to talagang seven churches and pray seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys, stuff like that.

“I guess you can call us modern Catholics wherein we really sort of enjoy the holidays with the family but we still also do the religious stuff.”

TRAVELING IN STYLE. Even in the simple red one-shoulder dress that she wore to the Olay Regenerist luncheon at Atelier 317 in Makati last March 27, the fabulous mom was still all-out with her style.

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For accessories, she wore a black horsehair hat with red silk ribbon trimmings, red hair extensions, and layers of red and gold bangles and cocktail rings.

It made us wonder, what does she look like when she travels? Does she look the same?

“Yes, I look the same when I travel,” she answered.

“Unless, maybe, I’m in the golf course or doing yoga class or in some amusement park.

“Because for me, I feel traveling and being in another place, you may not be back there again and you want all your pictures to be perfect.

“For example, I came from like two years ago from Machu Picchu, which is like a [mountain] trek, I don’t think we’ll ever go back there.

“So, of course, I brought costume change so I had like hats, fur, and stuff like that in my backpack para lang every angle, may picture taking, di ba?

“So, you know, if everyone else thinks it is okay to be in rags when they travel, I’m the total opposite. I’m like forever loaded with accessories.

“My husband hates it nga because I always take forever in the security taking out everything.

“He’d say, ‘There’s a line already,” and I’m like “Sorry, sorry, puro ganyan” [habang nagtatanggal] and I don’t mind because that’s me and I just love dressing up and stuff.

“There’s no such thing as downtime in clothing for me—only when you’re underwater scuba diving.”


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