Christmas and New Year are just around the corner and Filipinos everywhere are gearing up for a festive celebration of the holiday season.
Showbiz veteran and Quezon City councilor Hero Bautista and his family are no exception and for the busy politician, director, producer, and businessman, the holidays are the perfect occasion to catch up and spend time with family.
The Baustista siblings make it a point to come together during Christmas eve to celebrate as a family. Each one takes on a specific role to create a family-focused feast.
“I am the one that runs the kitchen during Christmas eve. I take care of the meals and drinks. Meanwhile, my sister Harlene handles the games and desserts. Herbert and his children handle the venue and the exchange gifts,” Hero shared.
In the kitchen, Hero pulls out all the stops, making family favorites such as spaghetti, Max’s-style fried chicken, hearty kaldereta, and spicy chicken wings. The festivities do not stop with family celebrations.
Both Hero and Herbert also hold a Christmas party for their staff in the city hall, employees of the family-owned production house Heaven’s Best, and household staff to celebrate a fruitful year. As many as 300 people come together for this event to enjoy a day of celebration and fun. Christmas day itself is a day Hero reserves solely for himself and his children. Being a single father has never become a hindrance for him to show the true meaning of Christmas – love and time spent with loved ones.
“We would all be together. We would attend mass, eat, and open presents together,” he said.
A doting father, Hero takes into consideration the changing interests of his kids as they grow up when choosing gifts.
“For Jaguar, I enjoy spending time with him and since he’s still young, I want to give him some toys. For Issh, it’s going to be a guitar. I also want to gift them a Shih Tzu puppy so that they’d learn how to be more responsible,” he said.
Giving gifts is part and parcel of the Filipino Christmas, with godparents showering their godchildren with gifts every year. For Hero though, he is not just a godparent to a handful. In fact, he is a godparent to almost 300 children during their baptism. Furthermore, he is also a sponsor to over 500 couples due to a mass wedding held this year in Quezon City.
“I’m thinking of giving them a rice cooker for Christmas. As for my godchildren, whoever comes to our house will be given a gift,” he shared.
Hero also wished that the couples he sponsored would have a happy marriage ahead. “I want them to enjoy life to the fullest. Think of the good things so that whenever there is an argument, they wouldn’t start finding faults in one another and it’s resolved by working together. I pray that they put God first,” he shared.
The end of the year is also a time for looking forward. Hero has deployed several projects over the course of the year and he is looking to do more, both as a councilor and as a producer.
“We had many successful projects this year. We did several feeding programs, a free wedding, wheelchair and bike donations, medical assistance, and other projects. We want to expand this further next year. Meanwhile, I’m also looking into new movies and digital online independent projects for our production house. There’s also a teleserye which will be launched by Heaven’s Best soon,’ he said.
With another fulfilling year coming to a close, Hero looks back fondly on the memories of his parents which served as the siblings’ guiding pillar.
“Christmas is a special time for us. We fondly remember Mama and Papa every time the Yuletide season comes. We strive to make the lives of others better so that we can live up to their motto: Everyone is happy and blessed,” Hero ended.