Life is beautiful

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Life is beautiful
Magandang Buhay hosts Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada light up our mornings with their sunshiny disposition
STAR / File

Happiness comes in three faces mid-mornings on the Kapamilya Channel and A2Z. There they are, starting at 11 a.m. Monday thru Friday chatting, bantering, teasing, arguing, sometimes tearing up a bit when the topic turns sour and sad and immediately recovering back to their jolly selves acting as if there’s nothing to worry about in this uncertain time when actually there are many things to worry about.

As the title of their show suggests, life is indeed beautiful and Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada blithely show it, leaving whatever domestic issues they may be grappling with at home and not letting them (the issues) darken the show.

Funfare pinned down the Magandang Buhay (MB) hosts separately and here’s what was squeezed from them.

Melai (Mrs. Jason Francisco)

What is your idea of magandang buhay (a beautiful life)?

“Magandang buhay for me is a simple life and contented life.”

Ano ang preparasyon n’yo bago mag-tape/shoot ng show (dapat ba maganda ang mood para maganda ang aura sa show)?

“Yes. Before the show, we eat and eat para laban na laban, hahahaha!!! Seriously, before we go on air, we bond and talk light about what’s happening in our respective homes, and then we study the script and the questions for the day’s guests.”

Melai and husband Jason Francisco with their daughters Amelia Lucille and Stela Rosalind.

What if you have problems at home; paano iniiwasan para hindi ma-distract sa work?

“Focus. One at a time. When at work, tutok sa work. There’s another time for problems at home. Try to keep a balance so ‘pag kasi di naman deserve ng mga katrabaho mo na dalhin mo ang stress sa work. At the end of the day, what matters is your being professional. Everybody naman has a problem and you are not an exception.”

Who between you and Jason is the seloso/selosa? What are the differences between the two of you and how do you compromise?

“Pareho kaming seloso, may mga particular na bagay na pinag-seselosan namin. But now, eight years into our marriage, we have learned how to adjust at iwasan kung ano ang ipinagseselos ng bawat isa.”

You did break up once. How did you resolve the issue?

“Masasabi ko si Lord ang nagbalik ulit sa aming mag-asawa kaya hanggang ngayon strong kami together. I give the credit to the Lord. Kung ako lang, baka bumitaw na ako. Thanks to my love and respect for the Lord, we survived the crisis at tumibay uli ang pagsasama namin. The wounds were healed and we emerged triumphant.”

Jolina Magdangal (Mrs. Mark Escueta)

What have you and Mark learned during the lockdown?

“We have learned how to be extra careful, especially about our health. Our son Pele is homeschooled due to the pandemic at kami mismo ang teacher. Ibang bonding experience din pala ang pagtuturo sa anak. Mas nakilala pa namin siya ng ibang level.

“We have also learned to adjust to a more simple lifestyle and to the routine at home; mas nagkaroon ng time mag-experiment sa mga bagay na pagiging mommy tulad ng pagluluto, pag-organize at pag-ayos ng bahay.”

Jolina and husband Mark Escueta with their children Pele and Vika.

What about Mark; wala siyang shows?

“Since bawal pa ang mass gatherings, wala talaga silang shows kaya 100 percent ng oras ay naka-devote sa family. At biking para mas mapangalagaan ang kalusugan.”

And bonding, too?

“Yes, we talk about anything, as in anything na pwede naming mapag-usapan na mga interests namin at malaking bagay dun ang family at pagiging mommy.”

Since Karla is the most senior and the most experienced among the three of you hosts, what advice do you get from her as far as parenting is concerned?

“Huwag daw masyadong nakadikit sa mga anak, especially when they are medyo grown-up na. Give them daw time sa sarili nila.”

How are you as a mom?

“I am enjoying every bit of it. Kahit may mga bagay na minsan nahihirapan ako sa pagiging mommy kasi every day for me is a learning experience. Even if it’s hard, I enjoy it.”

And as a wife?

“Mark and I haven’t experienced any major challenge sa relationship namin kaya very thankful ako. At talagang ginagawa namin lahat para mag-intindihan kami.”

Who is the disciplinarian and who is the “spoiler”?

“Mark and I are the same. Even before we decided to have a child, we already talked about it, na pareho kami ng gagawin na pagdisiplina sa anak. Kaya ‘pag nag didisiplina ang isa sa amin, tahimik lang ang isa. At ‘pag may nakita kaming regalo or reward para sa anak namin, pareho kami nag-a-agree na ibigay ‘yon sa kanila.”

Karla and boyfriend Jam Ignacio

Karla Estrada (who begged off from talking about her boyfriend Jam Ignacio who is said to be a businessman and accountant who studied at the Jesus is Lord College Foundation, FEU and at St. Joseph’s College in Quezon City)

What is your idea of magandang buhay (beautiful life)?

“It means harmony in the family. As long as masaya at solid ang pamilya, magandang buhay na.”

Karla with her children Daniel, Jose Carlito, Carmela and Margaret.

How do you prepare for your show; dapat ba maganda ang mood para maganda ang aura sa show?

“There is no perfect day talaga. Even if your mood is not good, the show must go on. That’s why we practice professionalism. Laban lang nang laban ang mga Momshie.”

Paano kung may problemang kinakaharap, paano iniiwasan para hindi ma-distract sa work?

“Set aside whatever problem you have, isantabi muna ‘yan at mamaya asikasuhin. Finish the work first. I have already mastered the ‘dedma’ attitude kasi kailangan ko muna unahin ang obligasyon. That’s because I care for our viewers. I have an obligation to them.”

(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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