Former Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. in a very rare Christmas family reunion led by former Sen. Ramon Sr., with Bong’s wife, Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado, and their children and in-laws

Christmas is where the heart is
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - December 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

I’m going home to Christmas and to family

Where the heart resides forevermore

I’m going home to Christmas and to family

Where the love light hangs by the door —from Going Home to Christmas, Jose Mari Chan’s second best-selling Christmas album

Whether you are home or miles away, you know that Christmas is where your heart is — that is, home.

“This is my happiest Christmas,” former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. described his being home on Dec. 24 even if he was allowed only 10 hours out of the Crame Detention Center which has been his (temporary) “home” for almost four years, now by his lonesome after his buddy, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, was released on bail a few months ago. “Ngayon ko lang naramdaman ang matinding pangungulila (intense longing) sa mga nakalipas na taon,” he added in his Facebook post.

At home in Bacoor, Cavite, Bong was surrounded by the Revillas led by the Revilla patriarch former Sen. Ramon Sr. The very rare family reunion was duly recorded for posterity. Besides Bong’s wife, Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado, and their children, also present were the couple’s in-laws and grandchildren.

Bong was warmly welcomed also by his provincemates.





In deep Filipino, Bong wrote, “Hindi ko mailagay sa salita ang paguumapaw ng galak at pasasalamat sa sidhi at init ng inyong pagyapos at pagtanggap sa akin…” Roughly translated, it simply means that Bong is so overjoyed, his heart so over-flowing with happiness and gratitude for the warm embrace, that he is at a loss for words.

“God is very good,” were Bong’s parting words, greeting one and all a very Merry Christmas. “Let’s continue trusting in His greatness and goodness. I love you all so much.” 

Bong is back at Crame, keeping his fingers crossed that he will be granted the same blessing on New Year’s Eve.

The other Revillas — Johnny and wife Janet Basco with their family — opted to spend Christmas at their home in Fairview, Quezon City, as they have been doing year after year after year. No place like home where the most memorable Christmases are spent with loved ones.

Busybodies hied off to foreign shores for a much-needed break from a punishing work schedule, hoping to come back fully recharged.

Alden Richards and eight members of his family basked in the wintry coolness of Japan from Dec. 19 to 27 (first thing he did yesterday was host a thanksgiving lunch for his media friends at the family-owned Concha’s restaurant off Tomas Morato in Quezon City, right across from Il Terrazo).

Carmina Villarroel and husband Zoren Legaspi with their twins were also in Japan.

Sweethearts Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo were in the States. Other sweethearts, others places: Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano (accompanied by her brother) in London; Xian Lim and Kim Chiu in Denmark; Sunshine Dizon and kids, along with estranged husband Timothy Tan in the States (no, they didn’t reconcile; Sunshine said that she and Timothy were simply “cordial” to each other for the sake of the children). Photos from the Stars’ Instagrams

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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