Mother Lily marks 77th birthday cancer-free

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“We were never worried that we’d lose her to cancer,” said Roselle Monteverde about her mom, Regal Films matriarch Lily Monteverde, who battled and survived lung cancer in 2013.

Roselle said her mom took the news about the illness “in a positive way. As soon as she found out, she had it treated, then went back to her usual routine. We never thought we’d lose her, because there was constant communication between us and her doctors. We knew what it was, how to deal with it and that it would be cured eventually. Of course, we also believed that prayers helped a lot.”

The Regal matriarch celebrated her 77th birthday with a party last Aug. 19 at 38 Valencia Events Place in Quezon City. As a way of giving thanks, she donated P1 million to the Movie Worker’s Welfare Foundation (Mowelfund), as well as P100,000 to both the Philippine Movie Press Club and the Entertainment Press Society Inc.

Asked about her birthday wish, Mother Lily said: “I hope my kids will all work in Regal, because I’m already semi-retired.”

Roselle, meanwhile, said she has long assumed responsibility of “almost 80 percent” of her mom’s work load. “All mom does is sign checks,” she quipped. “The family likes it that way. As for me, I’m learning a lot.”

Sen. Grace Poe was that night’s guest of honor. The Regal producer was one of the lawmaker’s godparents when she married businessman Neil Llamanzares in 1991.

“I wish that she’d find more blockbuster films to produce,” the senator said. “It’s important that she earns, so she could continue to give jobs to industry people.”

Comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas is convinced that “the local entertainment scene would not be as colorful as it is now without Mother.” Ai-Ai, who hosted the birthday bash along with writers Jun Nardo and Dondon Sermino, was in five of the 15 “Shake, Rattle and Roll” films produced by Regal.

Ai-Ai is working with director Joey Reyes on the comedy flick, “Mighty Yaya.”

Roselle said several more projects are currently in production: “Never Been Kissed, Never Been Touched,” featuring Angeline Quinto and Jake Cuenca; “My Rebound Girl,” starring Alex Gonzaga and Joseph Marco; “Die Beautiful,” with Paolo Ballesteros; “Mano Po 7,” with Richard Yap and Jean Garcia; “The Escort,” with Derek Ramsay and Lovi Poe; and “Recipe for Love,” with Billy Crawford and Megan Young.

Among those spotted at the party were directors Elwood Perez, Joel Lamangan, Jun Robles Lana, Perci Intalan, Chito Roño, Joyce Bernal, Rico Ilarde, Ian Loreños and Mac Alejandre; actors Susan Roces, Lorna Tolentino, Albert Martinez, Janella Salvador, Martin del Rosario, Sam Milby, Ken Anderson, Derrick Monasterio, Eddie Gutierrez, Annabelle Rama, Lance Raymundo and Billy Crawford.

Also present were network executives Carlo Katigbak, Cory Vidanes, Linggit Tan, Redgie Magno, Marivin Arayata, Gigi Lara and Lilybeth Rasonable; Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair Toto Villareal, former MTRCB chair Marissa Laguardia, board members Jackie Aquino and Mario Hernando. Inquirer.net

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