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Night of Helen, night of songs

by Ronald Constantino

HELEN OF – The night of Helen Gamboa, who recently celebrated her birthday was, as expected, a night of songs. After all, early in her showbiz career, Helen was billed Helen of Song…and a very fine actress.

Daughter Ciara sang what she laughingly remembered as a Bunny Channel number, referring to Helen’s “other name” as recording artist. Ciara asked, “Any request?” This columnist asked for “La Vie en Rose,” but Ciara’s forgotten the song, even if she recorded a long time ago the Edith Piaf classic.

Helen came to the “rescue” and sang, yes, “La Vie en Rose,” with much emotion. “See, I sang it for you,” Helen smiled, throwing a look at this columnist. Thanks Helen dear. You are, indeed, still Helen of Song.

DEDICATED TO – Husband Tito Sen (Vicente Sotto III) took the microphone and sang “Moon River,” dedicated to his one and only love. Tito Sen said that “Moon River,” from the Audrey Hepburn starrer “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is one of their many theme songs. Another one is “Two for the Road,” also an Audrey movie, written by Henry Mancini, just like “Moon River.”

Vic Sotto obliged with a very popular VST song, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko,” with the other guests “infected” by the bouncy tune, singing and dancing. Spotted were Joey de Leon and wife Eileen Macapagal, the Sotto children (Apples, Lala, Ciara, and Gian), Mrs. Vic Sotto (Pauleen Luna), and even Tito and Helen.

FAMILIES AND FRIENDS – Helen’s guests were mostly families and friends. The other two Sotto brothers, Val and Maru, and their wives and children. Helen’s siblings. And the “Dabarkads” led by Susan Roces.

By the way, Lala and Gian are Quezon City councilors. In next year’s elections, Gian is running for vice mayor in tandem with incumbent Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte – said to be unbeatable. Tito is rumored to be the next Senate President, which he refused to confirm or deny.

Next year, Tito and Helen will celebrate their 50th anniversary as husband and wife.

Of course, the food served by Florabel in Estancia, Capitol Commons, Pasig City was sumptuous. Helen herself selected the menu. Don’t have to tell you that Helen’s a cook par excellence, truly a daughter of Pampanga, the country’s culinary capital.