Toni and Alex Gonzaga recount their most memorable Christmas: “When we had nothing..."

IMAGE Karen A. Pagsolingan

Does she have plans to run for public office? Toni Gonzaga (right) quickly replies, “Wala.” Her younger sister Alex (left) throws in, “Inaano akong senatorial…”


When we asked Toni Gonzaga how she plans to spend Christmas this year, the actress turned to her younger sister Alex and posed this question: “May plano pa ba tayo?"

Alex answered, “Parang every year naman, kami talaga yung magkasama so parang ‘di na kami nagpaplano, e.

“Bahay lang talaga…”

Toni added, “Basta Christmas, wala kaming choice whether you like it or not.”

The two ladies were so funny and candid during the interview which took place at the launch of their McDo “BFF” commercial late last month, we decided to post their unedited repartee (most of it) here:


GIFTS FOR EACH OTHER

Alex: “Well, ako wala pa akong nabibili.”

Toni: “Nagpapabili siya ng gift niya. ‘Di ba gusto mo ng ano, portalet?”

Alex: “Yun ang bibilhin mo sa ‘kin? Iba ang gift sa necessity. That’s a necessity. Ang gift is like luxury.”

Toni: “Kasi, mawiwiin siya.”

Alex: “Maliit yung pantog ko.

“Mag-uusap kami mamaya kasi hindi yun [ang] gusto ko. Ay hindi!”

How about Alex’s gift for Toni?

Alex: “Siguro ano, tissue. Bigyan niya akong portalet, bigyan ko siyang tissue.

“Hindi pa namin naiisip. Ako, hindi ko pa talaga naiisip. Titingnan ko muna kung ano yung regalo niya.

“Depende sa regalo niya saka ako maglalabaas ng pera. Kung naglabas siya ng malaki, malaki rin ilalabas ko.”

Alex did say would love a new bag.

Toni quipped, “Bag? Ano lang mga ano, banig bag sa Baguio.”

CHRISTMAS TRADITION

Alex: “Yes. Sa church namin, meron kaming mga batang…’di ba?”

Toni: “May regular na kaming ganun every year. Actually, hindi lang every Christmas, meron talaga kaming sinu-support na feeding program sa church namin.”

The Gonzaga sisters are members of Taytay United Methodist Church.

Alex: “Sa Taytay kasi, my dad is vice mayor so kung anuman yung mga programs niya ngayon diyan, sa mga charity, feeding, yun, pagbibigay ng pagkain sa mga areas.”

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CHRISTMAS WISH

Alex: “I wish for peace and contentment, and joy sa puso ng bawat isa…”

Toni: “Ako sa ‘kin, ang tunay na diwa ng Pasko is not about having everything. It’s being happy with what you have.

“Being joyful and being grateful, it’s not about having everything. It’s about being grateful for everything that’s given to you.

“Kung alam mong pahalagahan ang pagiging masaya mo sa mga bagay na meron ka, then, walang dahilan para maging malungkot ka ngayong Pasko."

MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS

Toni: “My dad lost sa campaign niya as councilor. My mom retired sa job niya. I lost my job before.”

Alex: “And I lost my dignity.”

Everyone, including Toni, laughed.

Toni: “Hindi… Siya nag-aaral pa no’n.

“Ako I lost my job noon. Tinanggal ako sa isang sitcom before sa GMA. Talagang we lost everything. And then we celebrated watching TV. We didn’t have, ano yun? parang handa. Walang gift-giving, walang noche buena, nanonood lang ng TV.

“'Tapos natulog agad ang daddy ko saka mommy.

“Hindi kami malungkot nung time na yun. Hindi kami umiyak, hindi kami malungkot.

“Ngayon naiisip namin, ang lungkot pala nung 2000 na yun ‘no. Pero nung nangyayari yun, hindi kami talaga malungkot.

“'Tapos dun ko na-realize na ang kaligayahan pag Pasko, hindi yun yung… It’s not about having everything.

“It’s about being grateful for everything that you have.”

Alex: “Being content.”

Toni: “Parang you have two choices—it’s either be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you have.

“And at that time we only had each other—sister ko, mommy’t daddy ko, buo na yung family namin.

“Sabi ko, ‘Masaya naman pala.’

“Kahit walang gift-giving, kung alam mo kung ano yung totoong diwa ng Pasko…Sinabi ng daddy ko na birthday ni Jesus, magpasalamat tayo na nabuhay Siya ganyan-ganyan, masaya na kami.

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“So yun siguro yung pinaka-memorable ko. When we had nothing, parang we felt like we had everything kasi our joy is complete, we’re whole as a family. And, ayun, buo pa rin yung diwa ng Pasko.”

Alex: “Ako favorite ko yung 2006, nung lumipat kami sa bagong bahay…

“'Tapos lahat ng family side, pina-invite namin. ‘Tapos yung lahat talaga nagsama-sama. Nagpakain ang ate, mommy‘t daddy.

“Parang lahat ng family namin, mother and father side, nag-unite.

“Friends na sila, parang family na rin sila—pinsan ko sa mother's side, sa father's side parang close na sila.”


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