Kapuso actress Bea Binene turned 17 last November 4 and part of her month-long birthday celebration was last Thursday’s (November 13) visit to the Haven For The Elderly (formerly Golden Acres) in Tanay, Rizal.  Some of you might not know this, but Haven For The Elderly is the original shooting location of ‘Bahay Bagong Pangarap’ introduced in the GMA TV series ‘Strawberry Lane’ where Bea plays the role of Clarissa together with fellow Kapuso actors Kim Rodriguez (Jack), Jhoana Marie Tan (Lupe) and Joyce Ching (Dorina).

rainCHECK was Here!
rainCHECK was Here!

It was a two-hour long drive from Quezon City to Tanay, Rizal.  The route that our van took going to Tanay was the same route that I took going to the Regina Rica Pilgrimage Site.  Though I am a bit familiar with the place, this is the first time that I’ll be going inside the new Golden Acres.

I must say that the facility was well-maintained even for a government-run institution.  While the place smelled like, “soap and old people..” (quoting Willy Wonka from the film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’) the whole place was really neat and very relaxing.  All the individual houses and offices are well ventilated plus the vegetation and landscaping was really awesome.

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Haven For The Elderly (Golden Acres)
Also saw this very pretty cat
Also saw this very pretty cat

I could live there… but not just yet. HeHeHe

All the while, I was wondering why Bea Binene chose this place for her outreach birthday celebration.  It’s a bit far from the Metro and we were told that night-time trips are discouraged for safety precautions.  The most obvious reason for choosing Haven would be due to the fact that Bea already knows the place from her ‘Strawberry Lane’ taping but there are a lot of similar institutions in Metro Manila, so why is this so special?  Bea explained the reasons why during her opening remarks and cried as she was doing that.

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Bea with event host Tess Bomb

Two reasons why she chose to celebrate at Haven:

  • Since Haven For The Elderly is really far from the Metro, the old folks here rarely get visits from relatives and all the other people that they know.  So, Bea’s presence is like a double treat for them and they treated her like a long lost granddaughter.
  • Bea promised herself to go back to Haven and she’s making good on that promise!  In fact, she promised the residents again to come back and celebrate her birthday with them for as many years as she possibly can.

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Although Bea didn’t mention during the interview why she cried after seeing her birthday guests, my spider sense tells me that it’s probably because of a healthy mixture of sadness and the realization of how truly blessed a lot of people are compared to these folks.

Here’s a video of Bea’s opening remarks and Interview:

 

It was indeed an overpowering sight, seeing all these old people, whom you have never met before in your life and probably never will again, smiling and singing you a happy birthday.  All jolly and full of hope, hiding all their aches and pains and sacrificing an afternoon just to be with you on your special day instead of resting their tired mind and bodies on their cozy beds.

Who wouldn’t cry at a sight like that?

But the lolos and lolas tells us that they would not not miss this for the world, the sight of their favorite ‘Strawberry Lane’ child coming back home and spending a whole afternoon with all of them.  Both Bea and her very energetic guests enjoyed an afternoon of games and laughter together with event host Tess Bomb, her GMA artist family, fans, friends and sponsors.

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Bea being greeted by the lolos and lolas of Haven For The Elderly
Bea's cakes
Bea’s cakes

Bea sang “Dito Sa Puso Ko”, in return the Haven For The Elderly residents performed a medley of Christmas songs as a birthday gift to their granddaughter that afternoon.  A couple of them even serenaded her with some very, very, very… very old tunes.

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Bea watching the lolos and lolas perform
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Bea cries while the lolos and lolas serenades her with vintage love songs

The coolest of them was this lola who is already near blind but can still play the drums very well.  You ROCK Lola!

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The awesome talents of Haven For The Elderly

Before ending the program and right after having snacks, Bea Binene gave all her guests some gifts and donated some items to the Haven For The Elderly courtesy of the GMA Artist Center and supporters Unisilver Time, Poshnails, Tony & Jackey, Monreo Biscuits, Active White, Magnolia and Kambal Pandesal.  Joining Bea Binene in distributing the gifts are her fans who came all the way from Manila.

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Bea distributing gifts
Bea with he fans
Bea with he fans
Bea with Ms. Ybeth of Unisilver Time
Bea with Ms. Ybeth of Unisilver Time
Bea with Ms. Vikki of Unisilver Time
Bea with Ms. Vikki of Unisilver Time
with Bea :)
with Bea 🙂

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A memorable day indeed for the residents of Haven For The Elderly and of course the birthday girl – BEA BINENE.

Aside from Strawberry Lane, Sunday all Stars and Vampire Ang Daddy Ko, Bea is also part of the upcoming film Liwanag Sa Dilim together with real life partner Jake Vargas.

Here is Bea Binene once again inviting everyone to watch Strawberry Lane on its new timeslot:

Bea Binene Celebrates 17th Birthday with the Real Residents of Strawberry Lane

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