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Star Magic Ball becomes a family affair

Celebrities dashed at the Star Magic Ball Saturday night with their kids or siblings in tow. Philstar.com/Efigenio Christopher Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Star Magic Ball, in the past, was notorious for its drunken stars, brawls and cat fights. But this year was different.

The ball has become more wholesome this year as more and more celebrities are walking down the red carpet with their family members as dates.

Even ABS-CBN Publishing Inc. President Ernie Lopez came with his son.

As event host Bianca Gonzalez-Intal observed, the ball that celebrated Star Magic's 25th anniversary has become “a family affair.”

 

Denise and Alejandro Laurel

 

Actress Denise Laurel celebrated her birthday at the ball last Saturday in Makati Shangri-La.

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“I’m celebrating my birthday, so I thought it would be cool to spend this day with my son,” the single mom told reporters.

According to Denise, she wants Alejandro to be part of everything she does.

Clad in a Rajo Laurel suit, Alejandro was host Tim Yap’s bet for “best dressed.”

Meanwhile, Denise donned a Michael Cinco ball gown.

“He’s so fabulous!” she said of Cinco. “He flew this in all the way from Dubai. On another day, he flew in somebody else for Maja (Salvador’s) gown. So, that’s two different flights for two different gowns, which I think is pretty awesome!”

Denise shared that Cinco was supposed to make her wedding gown in 2014, so this year, she gave the designer full freedom to dress her up anyway he wants. “Maybe because I’m not getting married anymore and I just told him it’s my birthday, I just told him, ‘Whatever you think would look good.’ Because he has impeccable taste.”

Since kids were not allowed inside the ballroom, Alejandro joined Denise’s parents after the red carpet.

Would Denise also make Alejandro join Star Magic?

“Maybe, summer workshops. He’s an honor student. I want to maintain that. He loves school. He’s so good at math and science without even trying. ‘Yung lagpak lang n’ya Filipino. So, I’m working on that!” shared the actress.

As a birthday wish, Alejandro told his mom: “I wish you could stay with me forever!”

 

Ogie and Leila Alcasid

 

“Nagulat ako! Bonggang bongga pala ‘to!” Ogie told the press when asked about his first time at the ball.

“I think it’s a great experience. Now I know why everybody’s talking about it. But I’m more excited for her (Leila) than I am for me.”

The award-winning singer-composer is proud of his daughter for taking control of her own life and making big decisions like going back to the Philippines to pursue a career in music and acting as a Star Magic talent.

“Of course, music will always be my first love. But I’ve been told from her acting workshops that there’s something in there as an actor and I have to make sure that she really has good chops and she has a story to tell in her heart.”

According to Leila, she has always known in her heart that she would return to the Philippines. “I always feel like a part of me is always here even though when I was in Australia, so it’s a very nice transition. Lucky that I have part of my family here, especially my dad…I don’t think there’s much of an adjustment at all, actually. I really blended in easily.”

She said she is taking her showbiz career slowly. “I’m making sure that I’m ready for every step that I want to take. But I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying the experience of meeting with people, discovering new things about myself as well. I’m very excited.”

As a “dadager,” she finds Ogie “protective but not strict.”

“He guides me and makes sure that I would make the right decisions. We are very alike, so we think the same way.”

As she turns 20, Leila will be having a homecoming party soon together with her mom, Michelle Van Eimeren. Her stepmom, Regine Velasquez, and stepdad, Mark, are also very supportive of her career.

“There’s a tendency for us to feel like we’re old when we’re 20 but the truth is we’re not but at the same time, I want to give her a freehand on a lot of things in her life, ‘cause that’s what my parents did to me also,” Ogie advised his daughter.

 

Aiko and Andre Melendez

 

Sixteen years after their separation, actress Aiko Melendez and estranged husband Jomari Yllana have reconciled.

“Ayun, we’re okay na. And God is just so great that after 16 years everything is just you know, okay na. Wala nang tensyon,” Aiko told the press during a red carpet interview at the Star Magic Ball Saturday evening.

Aiko and Jomari even had a “selfie” or a photo together after burying the hatchet.

According to Aiko, the key to their peace pact is proper timing.

“Everything kasi is about timing,” she enthused.

“At that time, a lot of people have been convincing us, ‘Magbati kayo, magbati kayo,’ but I think we were both not ready. But this time around, I can say with all my heart, that it was a great time. God’s time.”

Likewise, Aiko has made peace with Jomari’s current girlfriend.

“I saw her in a wake. It’s a sad way to meet. But a life might have ended but a new friendship, who knows, baka maging mas okay,” said Aiko.

Aiko and Jomari has a son together, Andre, who is now a Star Magic talent and was Aiko’s date at the ball.

According to Aiko, she enjoyed the ball as much as she does with acting. Relationships might come and go, but for Aiko, one love endures, and that is her passion for her craft.

“I still enjoy my work and until this time, I’m still enjoying what I’m doing,” Aiko said.

As a Star Magic talent, it was Andre’s second time in the ball and accompanying him for the first time was his mom, Aiko.

“I’ve been asking her since the start – Are you okay? How’s everything? She’s enjoying naman so far,” said Andre.

“He’s a good date!” she said of her son. “Considering that it’s my first time, it’s really fun to be here to be dressy and to be out of my Emilia character. I’m nice tonight!”

Aiko plays the villain, Emilia, on the ABS-CBN soap, “Wildflower.”

 

Donny and Hannah Pangilinan

 

 “It’s my first time on the red carpet so I’m so nervous,” confided Hannah, daughter of TV hosts Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and Anthony Pangilinan.

Her older brother, Donny, teased her: “Ang ganda nga n’ya ngayon eh! Tapos daring pa ‘yung suot n’ya, pak!”

Donny said that now Hannah has come of age, “She can now do a lot of things she can’t do before. It takes a lot of responsibility, but I’m really proud of her. S’yempre, she has a long way to go pa.”

Hannah said of her brother: “He’s very caring and always transparent. He loves to share about his day to his family…He’s always running!”

Donny’s advice to young people who want to be an award-winning athlete like him is to “do what excites you and keeps you motivated.”

 

Other celebrities who went with their family as dates:

Jolina Magdangal-Escueta and son Pele

 

Siblings Daniel and Vanessa Matsunaga

 

Sen. Chiz and Love Marie Escudero

 

Siblings Tom and Antoinette Taus

 

Singer-composer Yeng Constantino and husband Yan Asuncion

 

Drs. Hayden and Vicki Belo Kho

 

— Photos by Efigenio Toledo IV

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