The wedding everybody thought would end happily ever after
THEN & NOW - Norma Japitana () - May 22, 2010 - 12:00am

THEN: Flashback on the wedding of Sharon and Gabby. Written Oct. 10, 1984 — 26 years ago.

Just like a scene from their last movie together, young movie idols Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion were finally married for real at the Manila Cathedral last Sunday, Sept. 23.

The ceremony started at 5:45 p.m. and ended 30 minutes later. It was real but there were just so many cameras if not more, to record the event. There were nine cameras set up by Viva Films that shot the wedding as an added attraction to The Best of Sharon and Gabby, a film incorporating their best films together.

The presence of President Marcos, who was one of the sponsors, made the security extra tight. In fact, when we got through a side door, some of the sponsors, with their jewels sparkling under the sun, were first refused entry and were momentarily in danger of being crushed by the crowd outside. Mrs. Elaine Cuneta herself had a hard time getting through the main entrance and she had to tell them emphatically that she is the mother of the bride before she was allowed to get in.

Vic del Rosario of Viva complained at some point that the security was so strict and some empty spaces would not look good on camera. Some of the young couple’s friends with invitation were left to cool their heels outside with the screaming fans.

Sharon finally came through the door under the onrushing heat of the crowd. When she finally recovered and her makeup fresh again she walked down the aisle to dazzle the crowd with her beautiful gown. Her bridal finery, made of yards and yards of hand-embroidered jusi, was set off by a diamond-studded tiara holding her long veil. Gabby did not wait at the altar. Instead, for cinematic effect, as someone whispered, he marched with the rest of the entourage with his mother in his arms.

Baby Arellano Concepcion was radiant in her ecru gown as she walked with Gabby to the altar. Sharon chose ecru, peach and silver as the motif of her wedding and these colors were carried by the bridesmaids, wedding sponsors, flower girls and of course the bride herself. Helen Gamboa, aunt of the bride and one of the principal sponsors looked stunning in antique lace, beads of jade, coral and pearls which she got in Barcelona during her last trip.

Elaine Cuneta walked the aisle with Rolly Concepcion while Helen Gamboa was escorted by President Marcos. Elaine wore a Noli Hans gown of embroidered jusi in ecru. She looked lovely in her antique comb and diamonds. A diamond ring she wore in her left hand had all 25 carats. She hardly smiled at this stage. Then, Sharon walked in her father’s arms. Now, she’s wearing her movie smile although the Mayor looked serious and a bit sad. In contrast, Sharon was utterly happy, her previous discomfort obviously gone.

Other sponsors who marched with the couple were Vice Gov. Mel Mathay, Mina del Rosario, US Consul Vernon Mc Aninch, Lily Monteverde, Rosalind Bernabe, Ramon Lauchengco, Antonio Arellano, Candida Cuazon, Vienna Ochoa and Oscar Arellano.

Thousands of fans waited outside. During the part where Sharon and Gabby said their “I do’s,” thousands cheered their approval with joyous screams.

Fans also lined up the Philippine Plaza up to the main entrance. But again, the tight security for the President fouled their entrance. General Fabian Ver, Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was at the entrance of the Philippine Plaza waiting for the President as our coaster brought us to that point. Luckily it was arranged that we pass another door.

Cabinet members and their wives were in attendance and some of them were visible. In the front tables near the presidential table, Gen. Ver and his wife Aida, Mel Mathay and Sonya Mathay, Aber Canlas and his wife, Greggy Araneta, Edith Rabat, Manuel Collantes and Chito Madrigal Collantes, Armida Siguion Reyna, Mita Rufino, Jolly Benitez and his wife Joan, Jolly’s son, Albee, was one of the ushers. Being a close friend of Gabby.

Friends of the couple like Zsa Zsa Padilla, Jam Morales, Raymond Lauchengco and Gary Valenciano sang for the newly-weds and their guests. But what turned out to be the most dramatic climax, was Sharon herself who sang upon the request of the President. Elaine Cuneta was teary-eyed as she looked at Sharon, who sang the first notes of her song gazing into Gabby’s eyes... “Night after night, we sleep together...” breaking into laughter in the middle of the song.

For Sharon and Gabby, it was a magical night and a fairytale wedding.

NOW: May 1, 2010

Sharon and Gabby did not live happily ever after. The marriage was annulled after a few years. But it produced KC Concepcion, an exceptional young woman who is now one of the hottest talents.

Sharon has become a megastar and one of the most beloved in the business. One of my special Christmas treats is her yearly gift with her handwritten notes and recent family pictures. This gift I show off to my neighbors as “galing kay Sharon.”

Sharon is one of the top product endorsers and a popular TV host. Her movies are still hot at the box office.

A few years after her marriage to Gabby was annulled, she married Francis Pangilinan, a respected politician who is now senator. His political fortunes can easily go higher with Sharon beside him.

The Kiko-Sharon marriage is a happy one and it produced Frankie and Miel as the delightful addition to the family.

Gabby has married twice after Sharon. After a long hiatus in the US he is back in town and successful in reinventing himself as a dashing leading man in a popular TV series.

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