I Feel U: Toni celebrates life, love with family and friends in a special birthday episode

In this episode of I Feel U, Melai Cantiveros took over the host’s chair and made Toni Gonzaga’s birthday bash extra fun! 

The birthday celebrator expressed gratitude for the gift of life, saying not all families survived the past year complete and healthy. It can be recalled that her sister Alex Gonzaga and their parents Mommy Pinty and Daddy Bonoy contracted COVID-19 last year. Toni described it as an anxiety-inducing time for all of them. Looking back, she’s just thankful for her family’s healing.

Noong Pasko, New Year, at ngayong birthday, ang ipinagpapasalamat ko ay ang buhay talaga. Magandang buhay! Bukod sa magandang buhay ay ‘yung buhay na buhay, talagang humihinga, nakakakilos tayo ng maayos, hindi tayo nanghihina, ‘yan ang number one,” she said. 

Toni together with husband Paul Soriano and their unico hijo Seve spent the holidays in an island. They just enjoyed nature and took it as a break from all the worries. Another blessing on her plate is the successful launch of Pinoy Big Brother Connect which she takes as proof of God’s goodness. 

Parang hindi natin in-expect na mag-PBB last year, so nakaka-overwhelm, nakaka-blessed. Talagang ipagpapasalamat mo kasi doon mo makikita talaga na si Lord na lang ang bahala sa’yo. May mga biglaang blessing na darating sa buhay mo na hindi naman natin pinagdasal,” she added.

In the second gap, Daddy Bonoy and Mommy Pinty made a surprise appearance. The proud parents shared that Toni showed superstar potential at an early age. The first sign was winning as an overall champion in a singing competition when she was three. Then, the young Toni loved to perform for her mom’s officemates during her visits. She also told her playmates she’s going to be a superstar someday. 

Mommy Pinty and Daddy Bonoy had smooth parenting until Toni’s adult years. They said Toni was a homebody, unlike Alex who loved going out with friends. Toni would even ask for permission when going out on a date with Paul. 

According to Daddy Bonoy, her eldest daughter has always been smart and strong-willed. She’s the type to always go after what she wants. He saw the potential trouble in her intense determination, thinking it may lead to stubbornness once she enters showbiz. Daddy Bonoy is admittedly a disciplinarian. He believes children must be trained beginning the early years. 

One proof of Daddy Bonoy and Mommy Pinty’s parenting done right is their daughters’ unbreakable bond. This sisterhood is one of the many things Toni is grateful for to her parents. 

Lagi kong ipinagpapasalamat sa kanila, about sa relationship namin ni Alex. Laging sinasabi sa akin ng Daddy na never mong magiging kaaway ang kapatid mo. Kung meron kang isang kakampi sa mundo, ‘yang ang kapatid mo kaya huwag mo siyang ituturing na kaaway,” shared Toni, adding that her parents instilled the value of “hating-kapatid.”

In the eyes of her parents, Toni is a submissive wife. They see how she compromises with Paul despite her strong personality. Of course, they guide Toni and Paul in their married life but it’s Mommy Pinty who does the talking. Daddy Bonoy just relays his observations to his wife to give Mommy Pinty and Toni a chance for mother-daughter conversations. 

They also see the same parenting dynamics in Toni’s little family. Based on their observations, Paul is the disciplinarian while Toni is the softer one. Raising only two daughters, they feel like having a son in Seve that’s why they’re always excited to bond with the little boy. They call him the sweetest ‘bonus’ in their lives.

They know disciplining their daughters is their responsibility as parents. But as lolo and lola, all they could give Seve is love. They pamper Seve while leaving Toni and Paul the parental responsibilities. 

Asked for their message, Daddy Bonoy and Mommy Pinty reminded Toni to never stop growing her faith and being a blessing to others. They also wished for another grandchild! 

Toni credits her parents for the parenting knowledge and for the wisdom she’s also able to share with others. Prior to entering showbiz, she was always told by her dad to be mindful of what comes out of her lips especially if she becomes a public figure. She wondered why then, but now she realized it was a premonition of her career as a host. 

Special people also sent their birthday greetings. ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc. Managing Director Olivia Lamasan thanked Toni for sharing her talent to the network and every Kapamilya, and for accepting I Feel U despite the circumstances. She also vouched for Toni’s generosity, saying the lovely host shared her talent fee to Kapamilyas affected by the ABS-CBN shutdown. She also looks forward to doing another film with her.

In response, Toni revealed that hosting I Feel U is a dream come true. She remembered jotting down her wish of hosting her own talk show in 2020. But the ABS-CBN franchise denial happened, so she simply let go of that vision. Then again, she received a call from Olivia Lamasan, telling her the exact words she wrote on her planner.

“Naiyak ako kasi sabi ko, ‘Iba pa rin kapag binigay mo kay God ‘yung dreams mo.’ ‘Yung mga bagay na binibitawan mo, hindi pala ‘yun binibitawan ng Diyos para sa’yo,” she mused on. 

Through listening to other people’s stories in I Feel U, Toni learned to be more appreciative of her blessings, however small it seems. “Hindi importante kung gaano kaliit ang nasa sa’yo, ang importante kung paano mo gagamitin ‘yun kasi ang isang maliit na bagay kayang palakihin ng Diyos.”

The next message came from Alex, who wished her happiness and prayed they get to see each other  more often in the coming days. Toni replied, “Mahal ko ‘yan si Alex. Parang karugtong na rin ‘yan ng pusod ko kasi dalawa lang kami, eh. So, parang bago siya masaktan, ako muna ang unang masasaktan para sa kanya.

The special guys in Toni’s life, husband Paul and son Seve, expressed how much they love and appreciate her. They also wish she stays healthy, happy, and blessed. Toni reacts, “Sila ang source ng strength, sila ang peace of mind at happiness ng heart nating mga Ina – ang ating pamilya.” 

Check out this video and celebrate with Toni!