The Gonzaga sisters Toni and Alex are famous in showbiz for their conservative upbringing and strong Christian values.
It’s no surprise that despite being of age, they’re still living with their parents, Carlito “Bonoy” Gonzaga and Crisanta “Pinty” Gonzaga.
Though it will not be long before Toni moves out of their family home in Taytay, Rizal.
Her long-time boyfriend, the film director Paul Soriano, has just proposed to her and they will wed this year.
The home Toni will leave behind was featured in the May 2011 issue of YES! Celebrity Homes.
In the article, Toni and Alex walked the readers into their two-storey home filled with memorabilia and family memories.
In 2005, the Gonzagas bought the 600-square-meter lot in a subdivision in Taytay, Rizal. A year later, pooling their savings together, the family was able to build their four-bedroom home.
Toni recalled their way of living before they were able to buy the property, "We never owned a house, laging sa apartment.
“So, bata pa lang kami, pag magchi-church kami, pag ando’n kami sa altar, lagi kaming bubulungan ng daddy’t mommy namin, ‘Ipag-pray ninyo, bahay at lupa.’
"Hindi ko pa naiintindihan ’yon. Ano ba ’yong bahay at lupa na ’yon? ‘Lord, bahay at lupa.’ Iniiisip ko, ‘may bahay tayo.’
"Na-gets ko na lang no’ng high school ako. Aaah, nangungupahan lang kami!”
FIRST HOME. The Gonzaga girls wanted to give their first home a “modern Zen” design, inspired by Japanese minimalism, using neutral colors and straight lines. But their parents were against it, especially Mommy Pinty who had ideas of her own.
Toni recalled her mom telling them, “Pag lumipas ang maraming panahon, alam na alam na ang bahay n’yo, ’tinayo ng millennium.
"Whereas, pag ginawa mo siyang Victorian, kahit ilang taon na ’yong nakakalipas, maganda pa rin…”
Daddy Bonoy, who used to run a construction business, was hands-on in the building of the house. “Lahat ng design na uso ngayon, hindi ko ’pinalagay,” he said in a separate interview.
“It has to be classic, para maski matagal na, okey pa siya. Hindi siya nawawala sa uso.
"Iyong Zen kasi, after ten years or twenty years, mawawala na sa uso ’yan. May bago na naman. Hindi kamukha niyan, hindi nawawala sa uso.”
NO DIVA AT HOME. What are the sisters like at home?
“Normal,” Toni answered. “Walang artista dito sa bahay namin. Normal kaming lahat.
"Konting advantage lang, may mga helpers na kami. But other than that, kung may mga bagay kami na gustong gawin, kami pa rin.
"Kaya nga daw, sabi ng mommy ko, ‘Kaya nga helper sila, kasi tutulungan ka lang nila.'”
Alex interjected that her friends are hesitant to accept her invitation to come over. The reason: alcohol and cigarettes are forbidden in the house.
“Bawal magpasok ng alcohol dito,” she explained. “Iyong mga wine na ’binibigay 'pag Pasko, wala ’yan! Tanggal ’yan!
“Bawal talaga. One time, andito ’yong mga kaibigan ko, wala daddy ko, nag-chill ako ng wine.
"E, biglang umuwi daddy ko. Nakita niya, kinuha niya… ‘Ano’ng chini-chill n’yo dito?’
"Bawal ’yon. Ayaw ng daddy ko talaga ng alcohol.”
MORE HOUSE RULES. Alex also disclosed that the second floor is off limits to other people, especially the male visitors.
“Bawal kaming nagpapapanhik ng lalaki sa ’taas, kahit si Direk Paul, bawal.
"Ayaw ng daddy ko, as much as possible, na magpapanhik kami sa kuwarto ng mga kaibigan.
"Kasi nga gusto niya Zen namin ’yon.
"Lalo na no’ng hindi pa nag-aartista ate ko. Parang privacy mo na lang.”
(Based on the original article of Jerome Gomez. Photos courtesy of Rene Mejia. Read the original article in YES! Celebrity Homes Special May 2011 issue. Download a digital copy of YES!, at http://summitnewsstand.com.ph/yes- magazine.)