Jolina Magdangal was surprised by a belated celebration for her 40th birthday yesterday, November 7, at Cove Manila in Paranaque City.
Jolina's husband Mark Escueta, with the help of the actress-TV host's manager Perry Lansigan, mounted a 1990s-themed party.
Jolina turned 40 last November 6.
Up to the moment she entered the venue, Jolina had no idea she was attending her own party.
She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other reporters who came to her party, "Wala akong kakutob-kutob at all!"
Apparently, Mark told Jolina that they would be having a family dinner at Okada Manila.
"Merong dinner, merong dinner yung tita niya. Ngayon ko tuloy naiisip!
"Kasi nagba-vlog kami, e. E, gusto kong i-explain bakit kami nasa Okada.
"Sabi niya, huwag mo na lang sabihin kung bakit tayo nandito. Okay, pero wala akong ano.
"Pero sabi ko noong papasok na kami dito, sabi ko, 'Bakit ang lamig ng kamay mo?'
"Sabi niya, 'Ang lamig, e.' 'Ah, okay.'
"Wala talaga akong alam! Sabi ko pa kanina, 'Parang late na, di pa ba tayo bababa? Nagugutom na ako.' May mga ganun pa akong hanash!"
This was the reason Mark apologized to Jolina when he gave his message to his wife.
He told Jolina, "For tonight, bukod sa 'Happy Birthday,' gusto ko lang mag-sorry sa lahat ng kasinungalingang sinabi ko in the past few weeks.
"Noong sinabi kong may meeting kami ng manager ng Rivermaya, ka-meeting ko si Perry. Noong sinabi kong magpapalipad ako sa Wildlife, ka-meeting ko uli si Perry at si Teena [Barretto, events planner] para sa party na ito. Sana na-surprise ka!"
When it was Jolina's turn to deliver her speech, she revealed her misgivings about mounting a huge celebration for her 40th birthday.
She said, "Hindi ko talaga naiisip na mag-party kasi natatakot ako, baka walang pumunta. Hindi ko alam paano ko iga-gather dahil yung iba hindi ko na nakakausap, hindi ko alam kung may time pa sila, and hindi ko alam paano ko sasabihin na, 'Uy, mag-party naman tayo.'
"Kasi minsan, sobrang busy ng lahat so wala talaga akong kakutob-kutob kasi hindi ko na inisip na magbi-big party."
Jolina then thought of starting to reconnect with good friends so that she can finally celebrate her 50th birthday with a huge party.
"Sabi ko nga kay Mark, siguro pag fifty na ako, mula ngayon na forty ako, talagang ire-reconnect ko na yung sarili ko doon sa mga friends, para pag fifty na, as in bongga na.
"Pero hindi na ako [yung] pagtungtong ng fifty na nandito kayo.
"Thank you sa time kasi alam ko yung time, hindi madali para sa mga ganito, and nabibigyan ng time pag mahal mo yung isang tao.
"And thank you sa pagmamahal kasi dito napapatunayan talaga kung sino yung mga totoong kaibigan at saka sino yung mga totoong nagmamahal sa iyo."
After the short program, Jolina mingled with her close friends and workmates who made time for the party.
One of Jolina's guests was her perennial on-screen partner Marvin Agustin.
Jolina hoped that their plans of doing a reunion movie will finally materialize in 2019.
Jolina's party was also attended by her past and present workmates in ABS-CBN: Magandang Buhay hosts Melai Cantiveros and Karla Estrada, Your Face Sounds Familiar contestants Nyoy Volante and Jay-R, and Jolina's Ang TV co-stars Lindsay Custodio and Nikki Valdez.
Jolina's "kapatid" from PPL Entertainment, Inc., the talent management company that manages her career, also came.
After Jolina's Daddy Jun and Mommy Paulette thanked everyone who attended the surprise party, they gave their daughter a warm hug.
What is Jolina's wish now that she's 40?
"Yung health, kasi sinasabi ko nga minsan, ang corny pakinggan yung sinasabi na, 'I wish you good health.'
"Pero pagka pala parang sumasampa ka na sa may edad ka na, important na pala talaga yun.
"'Tapos minsan parang napapaisip ka, kung kailangan mo talagang pag-igihan or pag-ingatan yung health mo, totoo e. So yun lang yung iniingatan ko talaga."