Mars Ravelo’s Darna cast shares heartwarming Christmas tales

The Christmas season always brings about the merriest and most heartwarming stories. It may be about our favorite holiday food, childhood memories of Santa Claus, and our heart’s deepest desires. 

In these videos, the cast of Mars Ravelo’s Darna shared their joyous holiday tales. First, they talked about their favorite Christmas dishes and the memories attached to them. 

There are factors to consider in putting up the family’s holiday spread, for instance, culture. Iza Calzado said she spends Christmas with British-Filipino husband Ben Wintle’s family, hence turkey and sweet potatoes as Christmas Eve staples. Sometimes she asks Ben to include ensaymada, her childhood Christmas comfort food, on the menu. 

Because of their Spanish blood, Janella Salvador and her family celebrate with lengua. For Dawn Chang, tablea reminds her of warm childhood memories. Ham is also a staple in their festive celebrations at home. Even before corndog was popular, it has been Enchong Dee’s most requested Christmas food. Plus, his mom plates them creatively! 

Noche Buena is more special when loaded with mom’s cooking. It’s heartbreaking that Zeppi Borromeo won’t get to taste his mom’s chicken pastel again as she passed away last year. But he will always remember her recipe – and her love. 

Ham remains the ‘star’ of Noche Buena for Zaijian Jaranilla, Mutya Orquia, Young JV, and Darna herself, Jane de Leon.  

Others consider lechon an essential for every Christmas dinner table. Ask Kim Rodriguez as well as Rio Locsin, who spent six consecutive holidays in her husband’s hometown in Cebu City, wherein lechon is a specialty. Whenever she hosts, Rio keeps the spread simple as compared to her in-laws’ very festive menu.  

Paolo Gumabao mentioned lechon and fruit salad. Mac Manicad lists down lasagne, fruit salad, and mango graham as his Christmas comfort food. 

Joj Agpangan fasts before Noche Buena to make more room for chicken, lechon, and mango graham in her tummy. LA Santos is a big fan of his mom’s cooking. His mom has had this tradition of preparing surprise dishes for Noche Buena. 

Joshua Garcia shared a relatable childhood Christmas memory, saying he loved watching his family make fruit salad on the morning of December 24. “Taga-nood lang ako at saka pag may kulang na cream, ‘Bumili ka doon sa tindahan!’ Tatakbo naman ako, bibili ako.” Who else went through this ‘runner’ stage during Christmas preparations? 

The ensemble cast revealed one thing they wish to receive at Christmas. Since they have been locked in and working for most of 2022, their ultimate wish is to spend quality time with the whole family this Christmas.

It may be the most festive time of the year but let us not forget that some people are grieving this Christmas, considering the unfortunate, pandemic-spawned events in the past two years. Zeppi turned emotional remembering his mom, who passed away last year, and wished to be with her again, if only he could.

Every year, Kim wishes to celebrate Christmas with her whole family but it rarely happens since her parents are separated and living overseas. Iza prays everybody feels loved this Christmas.

Add to that, patience for Young JV, peace of mind for Joj, a USA tour with the family for Jane, and the end of the pandemic for Rio.

Janella’s wish is to have enough time for rest. Mac hopes everybody gets to achieve their goals. Dawn sincerely wants everybody to thrive and that no one should be left behind.

Mutya’s deepest desire is to spread happiness to other people. Meanwhile, Enchong asks for world peace, “Sa dami ng nangyayaring kaguluhan sa mundo, parang kahit isang araw lang ng peace na walang nangyayari, malaking bagay na ‘yun.” And hopefully, it creates a ripple effect. 

Lastly, we asked them when they stopped believing in Santa Claus or if they did. Jane admitted she never let go of St. Nick because he’s been a part of her childhood, “So, nasa heart ko pa rin si Santa Claus.”

Joshua thinks Santa Claus isn't that popular in his hometown. He said people in their province aren’t that invested in Santa Claus. Their festivities revolve more around family togetherness and Pinoy traditions like Simbang Gabi, visiting the grandparents’ house, and hanging ‘parol’ or lanterns. He was only exposed to Santa Claus when he transferred to the city.

Others shared the funny story of how they discovered their parents’ Santa tricks. Zeppi was a regular on Santa Claus’ ‘nice’ list. One time, though, he found a toy hidden in his mom’s cabinet. On Christmas Day, he received the exact toy, wrapped and said to be Santa’s gift.

Kids have this custom of offering Santa Claus cookies and milk as a welcome treat. Young JV did this until he was 14 when he saw cigarette litter on the glass, and that’s when he knew it wasn’t Santa who finished the milk and cookies.

On the other hand, Enchong and Zaijian never really believed in Santa Claus. The same with Rio, who never exposed her kids to Santa stories.

There are some, though, who wishes to keep the sense of magic and fantasy alive by believing that Santa Claus exists somehow. For Mutya, Santa Claus is part of the Christmas charm, “Hindi naman sa hindi ko na siya pinaniniwalaan, eh. Pero, for me, ang iniisip ko pag Santa, tinutulungan niya tayo maging happy or makuha yung mga wish natin pag pasko.”

Besides, Santa Claus can exist in anyone of us, as LA puts it, “Para sa akin, si Santa Claus dumadating siya sa iba’t ibang forms, pwedeng Nanay natin, mga kapatid natin, or special someone natin. Basta kung sino ang nagbibigay ng saya sa atin ‘pag pasko.”

Dawn, Kim, and Joj likewise believe that it’s okay to embrace one’s inner child and recapture the magic of Christmas by believing in the jolly man in red.