At 70, columnist-manager Alfie Lorenzo simply couldn't ask for more.
"Pasalamat na lang ako inabot ko ang edad na 'to. I'm healthy and wealthy," Alfie proudly enthused last night, January 26, to the entertainment reporters at the birthday party prepared for him by Regal Films matriarch Lily Monteverde. The celebration was held at the penthouse poolside of the Imperial Palace Suites in Quezon City.
The outspoken talent manager is particularly proud of his stable health—something that he greatly attributes to his long-standing faith in the highly-revered Black Nazarene.
"Patron ako ng Nazareno sa Quiapo, noon pa," Alfie said. "When I was 12 years old, inari ko Siyang ama and then as I grow older, nalalaman ko na ‘yang mga operasyon na ‘yan, sabi ko, ‘Sana po, takot ako sa injection, sana po kung puwede, no knife shall touch my body.' So sa awa naman ng Nazareno... Akala nila miracle man ako. At 70, naninigarilyo pa ako, kumakain ng chicharon, balat ng chicharon, balat ng lechon—lahat ng bawal sa mga 50-year-old lang na nagpapa-doktor. The first and last time I've seen a doctor was when I was in high school in 1952. Pagkatapos nun, wala."
LUCKY YEAR. Alfie would rather celebrate his birthday quietly, which was his usual practice anyway for the past 13 years.
"Nung last birthday ko na may big, big celebration, may pa-raffle sa mga bading [entertainment press], ganun, may sharing, that was 1996. [After that] Punta ako ng Pampanga, tapos sabi ko ‘Hay, gusto ko nang manahimik.'"
It was Mother Lily who convinced Alfie to reconsider his yearly routine. The Regal matriarch even offered to host the party in time for the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Alfie animatedly shared the details: "Ito na nga, biglang-bigla si Mother, sabi niya, ‘Ano, join tayo ng celebration ng Chinese New Year? Sabi ko, ‘Ayoko! Hindi ba 'kako nagpa-party kayo ‘pag Wednesday?' Sabi niya, ‘Hindi, hindi puwede.'
"Kasi sabi niya, first time in the history ng Chinese New Year, ngayon lang naging January 26, hindi ba lucky ‘yon? Ako naman, naisip ko, ‘Ay, baka nga!' Kasi unang-una, itong Chinese New Year, nag-fall on my birthday, eksaktong January 26. And then, ang mga Tiger daw, suwerte ngayong year na ‘to and I'm a Tiger. And ang masuwerteng number daw ngayon is number eight. Nung in-add ko naman ‘yong 26, di ba, 2 plus 6 equals 8? 'Ay, triple ang suwerte, o sige join na!' sabi ko."
Among those spotted by PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at last night's party were ABS-CBN bigwigs led by Charo Santos-Concio; GMA-7 senior program manager Redgie Magno; Annabelle Rama with husband Eddie Gutierrez; Richard Gomez; Lani Mercado; Joem Bascon; Ronnie Liang; TAPE Inc. lady boss Malou Choa-Fagar; managers Douglas Quijano, Alfred Vegafria, and Manny Valera; Bobby Andrews; directors Joel Lamangan and Joey Seneneng; veteran character actor Amay Bisaya; and of course, Alfie's prized talent Judy Ann Santos, who came with fiancé Ryan Agoncillo.
Judy Ann endearingly addressed the birthday celebrant, "Tito A, thank you so much sa lahat. May mga tampuhan man tayo, pero hanggang ganyan lang naman tayo. Alam naman ng lahat ng tao 'yan. Kung hindi ako aawayin ni Tito A, ibig sabihin hindi niya ko mahal."