If it were up to Solenn Heussaff, one of the country’s busiest actresses today, she would spend all her Christmases in the Philippines.
A true fan of Paskong Pinoy and Noche Buena, nothing beats a real-holiday experience.
Born to a French father and a Filipino mother, Solenn had spent many Christmases abroad.
She cited the differences, "May snow pero wala masyadong lights.
"Yun ang gusto ko rito sa Philippines. Mahilig tayong mag-decorate. kahit hindi pa Christmas.
"Three months before, Christmas na agad. You hear Christmas songs on the radio. Sa bawat kanto, may Christmas lights na. You really feel the joy and spirit."
CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS. Most of all, the essence of it is being able to spend quality time with family, especially during Noche Buena.
In the Heussaff household, they have a dinner and exchange gifts.
Solenn's mom Cynthia and her brother Erwan are usually tasked to do the cooking.
And what are their usual handa?
"Pinaka-favorite ko ito every Christmas," she said, adding that becoming the endorser of Holiday Ham CDO Premium makes her very happy because it means more ham this Christmas.
Believe it or not, she loves bacon and tocino, too.
"But I am very picky...I want something that’s real and authentic. I hate extenders," Solenn told this writer.
When asked for a tip on how to choose a perfect Christmas ham, there are three things to remember.
1. "Look for the net marks in actual hams, not just in packaging and ads. Only whole-meat hams can be smoked in ham nets, and we know that whole-meat ham is the best choice."
2. "It should be the whole boneless meat from the hind leg, the best cut of pork for hams."
3. "You can slice it with a knife smoothly."
This is a food staple in her home.
Did you know there are about 400 distinct types of cheese?
In a previous interview, Solenn said, “I grew up with so many cheese. I can live with just cheese. It’s the French in me."
This salt-cure fish eggs is expensive.
The Belugia caviar are sold from $100 to $500 for every 50 grams.
But Noche Buena happens only once every year, so Solenn said plan all the handa well.
"Do not settle for anything less for your family and friends."
THE REAL SOLENN. If you're following Solenn on Instagram, you would know that aside from singing, exercising a lot, and painting, she loves cooking.
On Instagram, the Kapuso actress usually posts the food she cooks and prepares using the hashtag #SolennCooking.
Here's a sampler.
"Mahilig akong magluto at ako talaga ang namimili ng mga groceries ko. Never akong nagpabili sa iba. Mas maganda ang preparation kapag ikaw ang personally na pumili ng pagkain mo."
Asked which among the many things she does she enjoys the most, she replied, "When I’m not working, mas gusto kong magpahinga, nasa bahay lang, nagpi-paint or nagluluto.
"Those are the things that I enjoy doing."
Of late, she has been busy preparing for her second exhibit, not to mention her four shows.
"Tuloy pa rin ang Encantadia, A1 Ko Sa ’Yo, ‘tapos Trip Pinas every Saturday, and Taste Buddies na nasa fourth year na.”
How much has changed since she became a celebrity?
Her quick reply, "Never akong nag-change.
"From day one sa showbiz, how I am or how I am sa TV, it’s the same."