These days it seems there's no man more handsome than movie star Zoren Legaspi.
Until this morning, #ZorenCarminaWedding remains a trending topic on Twitter. Their wedding special was aired on tv last night over ABS-CBN.
My generation grew up with Carmina Villaroel. She is about my age, if not only a few months older. We saw her start a career as a commercial model for Jollibee, after which she engaged in a show business career that was, okay, popular and fun but not really remarkable. She was cute and bubbly. I remember her as the 13 in that sit-com 13,14,15. She also got paired up with many young actors; it was as if her handlers were constantly on a lookout for the right guy so her star could shine brighter.
All changed when, in her late teens, she met one Rustom Padilla and secretly got married to him. So young and so married -- just like me, I thought in those times.
Imagine thus the nation's shock when all of a sudden she emerged and announced her marriage was over.
She would not disclose exactly why. "I fell out of love," I remember watching her say on tv, sobbing.
She was written off as just another youngster who gave in to folly and who was reaping the consequences of a hasty decision.
Years after, she was photographed in the airport carrying baby twins. Slowly, her cohabitation with the twins' father became an open secret, until it was a secret no more.
In the Philippine franchise of Big Brother, the former husband Rustom broke down and confessed he was gay. Over the years he had changed his name and his appearance. Now addressing herself as a she, Bebe Gandanghari is Rustom reborn.
So that's why -- people said. I secretly admired Carmina for being decent enough not to announce the reason for their marriage's failure many years ago. Even though she must have been devastated upon knowing she had been used to conceal Rustom's real orientation.The marriage was annulled in June 2002 -- a four year wait, what injustice -- but that's the Philippine system for you.
But now she has the twins and she has a steady man.
Last night's feature showed Zoren's preparation for his marriage proposal and the subsequent wedding. He worked with their twins, her family and friends and some choice people from the network to document the whole thing without blowing his cover.
And as he had hoped, everything went like a dream. She was overjoyed to be clueless -- at least that is how it looked like to ordinary audiences.
We are prepared to dismiss most men as lacking in sincerity, or at least sensitivity. That somebody would go that extra hundred miles to plan a beautiful wedding for a woman he has been with for 12 years, the mother of his children, feel responsible for setting things right as he told her father, ask her to grow old with him, blunts the sharp edges off our jadedness.