Vi marks B-day in Taipei

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Vi marks B-day in Taipei
Batangas Rep. Vilma ‘Ate Vi’ Santos about to blow the single candle on her birthday cake
Photos Courtesy of Ate Vi's Entourage.

It has become some kind of a tradition for Batangas Rep. Vilma “Ate Vi” Santos to spend her birthday abroad with husband Sen. Ralph Recto, their sons Luis and Ryan Christian, other family members and close friends.

For her 66th birthday last Nov. 3, Ate Vi chose Taipei for the celebration. Her entourage also included Ralph’s sister Plinky Recto, Vi’s brother Joel (with girlfriend Yvonne Ferias), sister Emelyn (with children Carla and Aldwin), family friend Maricar Martinez, Lipa staff Bryan and Ken, Vi’s PA (Production Assistant) Cindy and Ralph’s PA Anna Manila.  

And, of course, Luis’ girlfriend Jessy Mendiola who is welcomed as a member of the family. It was Jessy who broke the story about the trip in mid-October during her launch as endorser of SkinCell. “Yes,” she told The STAR, “I am going with them to Taipei.”

The entourage left on Oct. 29. Luis and Jessy followed on Oct. 30. On the third day, celebrity photographer Raymund Isaac and his friend Jason happened to be there, too, and sprang a surprise on the group. 

Incidentally, Jessy (27) has revealed that she and Luis (38) have been discussing about their wedding without saying when and where.

“At first,” Jessy had confirmed, “we planned to have a beach wedding but we changed our minds because that would be too hot, masyadong mainit. Siempre, I also want to dress up. The place? Somewhere scenic around Asia. Or maybe in Paris or Switzerland, why not?”

Ate Vi is fond of Jessy. It’s obvious in the pictures on this page, isn’t it? Ate Vi has been vocal about her wish to have her first apo. If Luis and Jessy don’t, watch out, Ryan Christian (and his girlfriend) might beat them to the altar and be the first to make their mom’s wish come true.

It is during her birthday celebration abroad when Ate Vi feels stress-free. She can still attract attention (selfie, please!) especially from kababayan vacationing in that city but it’s very minimal.

“My birthday was memorable because my family and close friends were with me,” Ate Vi told Funfare. “My family was complete.”

Like an ordinary tourist, Ate Vi wondered at 101 (Taipei’s tallest structure) which is right beside Grand Hyatt where the entourage was billeted, shopped at the night market and gorged on a Chinese dinner at Luke’s Lobster…all the while Luis was “live video-ing” his mom, prompting people from different parts of the world to greet her happy birthday.

“As of today (press time last Monday),” noted Ate Vi, “more than 2.3 million views. Through social media, I was able to thank those who greeted me.”    

Any birthday wish?

“At 66,” Ate Vi laughed, “uso pa ba ‘yon?”




(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)


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