Our weekday mornings have gone a lot brighter as the gregarious hosts of Magandang Buhay kick off our days with their unbeatable enthusiasm and humor, inspiring and amusing anecdotes from themselves and their guests, and the mouth-watering dishes they showcase.
However, after marking their first anniversary last year, momshies Jolina Magdangal-Escueta, Karla Estrada, and Melai Cantiveros-Francisco stepped out from the comforts of their homey studio and the typical talk show set-up and took us to the different parts of the Philippines and discover picturesque places and landmarks, sumptuous food, and beautiful people. Sharing our One Love, One Pinas has never been so compelling.
Their first-ever off-site location, the lovely trio went to Pampanga to witness the 21st Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival held in February 2017. The annual event features hundreds of hot air balloons in different shapes and sizes, aerial exhibitions, informative exhibits, and food stalls.
Since they are already in the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines”, they didn’t let their journey there to end without trying the authentic sisig from one of the well-known sisig restaurants in the country. Its owner, Aling Lucing, is said to be the inventor of the world-famous Filipino dish.
After a year, they embarked on a roadtrip going back to the province to go on a thrilling and one-of-a-kind water adventure in a newly opened water theme park and tagged along teen stars AC Bonifacio, Awra Briguela, Ylona Garcia, Leila Alcasid, and Isabella Vinzon and kiddie sensations Carlo Mendoza, Xia Vigor, and Jordan.
They also took a side trip to Zoocobia wherein they bonded with different kinds of animals, such as owls, bear cats, miniature ponies, and monkeys to name a few and conquered the challenging trails of Sandbox featuring the popular loveteam Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber.
Tagaytay City is definitely one of the go-to places of people yearning to have a quick, cool escapade. Almost a two-hour drive from Metro Manila, the fresh, cold air allows us to have our well-deserved RnR (rest and relaxation) in its spacious picnic areas and cozy lodgings and diners.
Thus, the hosts sans Melai, visited the restaurant owned by the family of Momshie Jolens – Memory Lane – not only to provide us a sneak peek of its ambience, but to also share the life story of the former teen star’s family as told by her parents Popshie Jun and Momshie Paulette.
Aside from that, they also dropped by the Zoori Zoo and Residence where they, together with headwriter Darla Sauler and Karla’s adorable daughter Carmella and nephew Jordan, had a close encounter with the animals.
As a part of their nationwide first anniversary celebration, Magandang Buhay took us to one of the most favorite summer destinations of Jolina since she was a child – the underrated, yet historical and majestic Bakas River located in Barangay Matictic, Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Apart from having a picnic by the riverside and preparing tinola and pastillas, they also reminisced her fondest childhood memories through visiting her relatives there and the Sta. Maria Dairy Farm, one of the top processing plants of the singer-host’s favorite drink – carabao milk.
The team even surprised the loyal Kapamilyas by holding a get-together, sashaying in a Sagala, and partaking in the Sorpresaya Caravan of ABS-CBN.
Tacloban City, Leyte
The second leg of their anniversary tour, which coincided with the birthday celebration of the Queen Mother, landed on her hometown – in Tacloban City, Leyte.
It seemed to be Momshie Karla’s grand homecoming since a processional band welcomed them at the airport. Students, their parents and teachers of her alma mater Panalaron Elementary School warmly greeted Momshie Karla and the Magandang Buhay family. She celebrated her birthday at the Pediatric Ward of the Easter Visayas Regional Medical Center.
Afterwards, Momshie Karla took a trip down memory lane as she toured the viewers to the other memorable places of her childhood, such as the former location of the radio station where she regularly joins singing contests and in the open grounds where she used to practice.
The Magandang Buhay team’s first stop was at the Yolanda Memorial Park where they paid their respects to the victims of the catastrophic Typhoon Yolanda. They also interviewed one of the survivors, Popshie Arnel Erandio, who lost his whole family.
Among the tourist spots they visited were the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, San Juanico Bridge, Sohoton Cave, and Kalanggaman Island. Karla’s friends Nolet, Leandro, and Rowena, her siblings Grace and Anna, her cousin Via Veloso, and DJ Jhai Ho joined them in doing various water activities and sharing a hearty lunch by the shore in Kalanggaman.
They also dropped by the manufacturing house of the famous pasalubong delicacies binagol, sagmani, and moron and in a lechon grilling station and dined in the homely and eye-candy restaurant Chew Love.
In lieu of the Easter celebration, the comic duo of Momshies Karla and Melai, together with child stars Xia Vigor, Carlo Mendoza, Jordan and Jolina’s son Pele, went all the way to Pangasinan to see the pioneer sunflower maze in the archipelago located in Tayug.
They also asked its Assistant Managing Director Gail Peralta for some tips on how to take care of sunflowers and flower arranging, and how this exceptional park – blooming with thousands of blossoms – was established.
To absolutely feel the vivacious vibe of the place, they organized a challenging Easter Egg Hunt and educational Amazing Race that all of them truly enjoyed!
Their Batangas sojourn was indeed star-studded the morning show hosts were joined by some of the brightest stars of this generation who tried the fun activities that we can do while going around the province.
Newest loveteam KissTon, comprised of Kisses Delavin and Tony Labrusca, fought the waves with their thirdwheel Melai while riding a banana boat.
The Good Son stars Joshua Garcia, Loisa Andalio, Jerome Ponce, and Alexa Ilacad unleashed the adrenaline rush junkies in them as they courageously jumped off the giant slide and human launcher inflatables at the Taal Lake Aqua Park.
Since the trip fell on Momshie Melai’s birth month, the Magandang Buhay team celebrated it by letting her do the activity close to her heart – trekking – and treated the 30 mothers of Sitio Tabla with a mini party and loot bags, with her friend K Brosas. The The Good Son actors followed to surprise her.
On the other hand, the Queen Mother was busy harvesting pineapples with their recurring kiddie travel buddies and the help of farmer Popshie Celedonia “Junior” Miranda.
Moreover, the hosts also showed us the farm life as Melai set her foot on the paddy to plant rice and the proper way of milking and feeding cows, featuring their guests Hanggang Saan headliners Sylvia Sanchez, Arjo Atayde, and Sue Ramirez.
Although the start of the summer season has not yet been declared, the momshies already made us pine to drive en route to the Summer Capital of the Philippines – Baguio City!
The trio and their regular kiddie buddies roamed around the city to show the most visited spots such as Wright Park, Mines View Park, Holy Land, Dinosaur Island, Burnham Park, and a strawberry field.
At the same time, they also featured the possible activities we can do with our family and friends, such as strawberry harvesting, horseback riding, and simply strolling. Besides, they also provided us sneak peek on how the ultimate faves strawberry taho syrup, strawberry jam, and strawberry ice cream, and Choco-late de Batirol’s champorado are prepared.
Another star-studded feat was their second anniversary celebration in Cebu, in which they were accompanied by the loud and proud Cebuana Kim Chiu. They explored the different tourist destinations, devoured on the dishes and delicacies, and hopped on every adventure they could do in the “Queen City of the South”.
They went to the Magellan’s Cross, tried the water activities in JPark Island Resort and Waterpark, and conquered their fear of heights through the Sky Experience Adventure’s Edge Coaster and Skywalk Extreme.
Furthermore, they roamed around the public market to have some danggit and filled their tummies with the sumptuous food from Manna Sutukil and Matteo Guidicelli’s restaurant Trattoria de Gianni. They also loved the Dried Mango Pizza with chorizo and learned how to make boneless danggit.
At the same time, they also took a trip down memory lane reminiscing the journey of the actress from being a simple girl to being one of the celebrated artists in the industry right now and even surprised her with the presence of the people who have played important roles in her life.
From Cebu, Magandang Buhay traversed to its neighboring province Bohol where they were able to tick off more of their travel goals.
Of course, they didn’t miss going to the famous landmark Chocolate Hills and had a close encounter with the tarsiers in the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary. They also entered the Hinagdanan Cave and wandered around the Bohol Bee Farm where Xia Vigor had the chance to hold a screen swarmed with bees and an organic herb garden could be found.
Momshie Melai also toured Karla to the church where she used to pray prior to joining Pinoy Big Brother and brought her to their ancestral house where their relatives on the maternal side resides.
Through their explorations, Magandang Buhay has enkindled our wanderlust in us and love for country as they encourage the audiences to discover the beauty of our country through travelling and promoting the values, cultures, and cuisines that are truly Filipino. Just like what the cliché catchphrase says, “Huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bansa.”