Alice on why her marriage failed
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - February 7, 2013 - 12:00am

Over lunch yesterday at Romulo’s Café (Scout Lazcano corner Scout Tuason, Quezon City), Alice Dixson finally talked about why her 13-year marriage to Ronnie Miranda failed. It was her first, and maybe the last, time she was talking extensively about it. From here on, her lips will again be sealed.

The break-up was first hinted at in blind items (including in this corner) middle of last year and early this year, Funfare identified Alice and Ronnie as the couple who filed a petition for divorce in December last year at a court in Vancouver where they lived. Understandably, Alice politely ignored calls from Funfare and requests for an interview, until yesterday when she called to say she was ready to talk.

But first, here’s an excerpt from the exclusive Conversations story I did with the now un-couple in July 2000, almost a year after they got married at a small chapel in Minoru, Vancouver, on May 28, 1999:

Their love story is straight out of Notting Hill. In fact, it happened two years before the movie, starring Julia Roberts as a superstar who falls in love with Hugh Grant as a “commoner,” was released worldwide.

“But it wasn’t love at first sight,” recalled Alice Dixson, (then) 31. “It took a while before we clicked.”

Opposites do attract each other. Alice and Ronnie Miranda, (then) 37, come from opposite extremes, she from the very public and therefore transparent world of showbiz and he, from the loneliness of his room where he spent all his time with his computer, designing websites for clients of his company (Storm Visualization & Imaging).

Like the Roberts and Grant characters, it was misery that brought Alice and Ronnie closer to each other. She had a nagging personal problem and he gladly offered his shoulder for her to cry on. In one magic moment, several months after they first met at a mutual friend’s house, they realized that they were meant for each other.

They got married in civil rites and settled down in Vancouver.

Funfare reported on Jan. 4 this year that Alice, 43, and Ronnie, 49, filed for divorce at a court in Vancouver, BC, in late December 2012 due to “irreconcilable differences.” The case is pending. Alice was granted Canadian citizenship on Dec. 12, same year. Ronnie got his earlier. They are childless.

Alice told all in our free-wheeling chat yesterday.

Was it a mutual decision?

“Yes, it was mutual. It took us a while to reach that decision because we really tried to work things out. Sadly, things didn’t work out.”

When did you feel that your marriage was beyond saving?

“Around January 2012. We realized that we had a lot of irreconcilable differences.”

Did your frequent trips to Manila for work have anything to do with it?

“No, not at all, because we have been apart earlier in our marriage when I would come home for work. First time I came back was in 2002 for a GMA soap and it lasted for three years. But I would go back to Vancouver for visits and Ronnie would come to visit me, too. We were connected; we got in touch. So the distance has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

During your coming and going, was a “third party” ever involved?

“No, no third party.”

Was not having a child a factor in the break-up?

“Uhm, that’s a sensitive issue. I’m not ready to comment on it. But, yes, if there’s chance, I would really like to have children.”

The first time you came you stayed for three years. How long did you stay in your succeeding visits?

“I came back in 2006 when my father died.”

Were things still okay between you and Ronnie at that time?

“Oh yes, we were okay, we were fine. In 2007, I went to the States to get my real-estate license and I worked there for a year, without Ronnie who stayed in Canada. Laki ako sa States so I decided to have my training and my exams there. Back in Vancouver, I worked with a residential real-estate company for a year and then I got an offer to do commercial real estate and that’s what I did for the next two years. Before that, much earlier when I was newly-arrived in Canada, I did mostly production work for a Canadian TV company.”

When did you come back (again)?

“In November 2010, TV5 called with an offer for a project which was shelved. In December of the same year, they called again and said that they had another project for me, and that was Babaing Hampaslupa with Susan (Roces). They asked me to come home in 2011. When Babaing Hampaslupa ended, they offered another one, Glamorosa. After that, hindi na ako pinauwi ng TV5. Now I’m doing Never Say Goodbye (with Cesar Montano and Nora Aunor). I’m also doing a movie for Viva, Nang Magalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi (with Gabby Concepcion, Andi Eigenmann and Cristine Reyes).

So you gave up sorting out your “irreconcilable differences” the whole of 2012 and finally filed for divorce.

“Yes. The divorce is not yet final. We are still waiting for the court decision, so I can’t really talk in detail about it; I can’t talk too much about it.”

How long does it take the Canadian court to decide a case like that?

“Not that long if it’s uncontested, depending on how much paper work is in front of the judge.”

What are the grounds for divorce in Canada? (In the Philippines, among them, as far as I know, the grounds for annulment are: psychological incapacity, attempt on the life of a spouse, homosexuality, etc.)

“I’m not really sure what the grounds are. But I know that one of them is that you have to be physically separated for at least a year. Uhm, yes, Ronnie and I haven’t been in good terms for even longer than a year.”

So you’re staying here for good and Ronnie in Vancouver?

“I might have to. From my understanding, since Ronnie is well-respected and a successful businessman in Canada where he runs several businesses, I don’t think na may plano siyang bumalik dito. Since I just got my Canadian citizenship, I have two options. One is to continue working in real estate in Vancouver; actually, I continue to run my business with my real-estate partners there even while I’m working here; and two, I can continue working here without neglecting my real-estate job in Vancouver. Besides, I’m on my third semester on my distance education and I hope to get my diploma in Urban Economics in a year and a half. (She graduated with a degree in Business Administration in San Sebastian College. — RFL) I want to have something to fall back on in case I go back to Canada and continue my work in commercial real estate.”

I’m curious (if you don’t mind). You’ll be single again. How soon will you entertain suitors?

“Honestly, I have a lot of heartaches and I don’t know if I ever start going on a date again. Let’s just put it this way: wala akong Valentine, that’s for sure. I’m giving up my marriage but not my life.”

How are you and Ronnie now?

“We are friends; we have to be friends. I like us to remain friends. I still care for Ronnie. I think that’s normal. Remember, we’ve been together for 13 years.”

The title of your new TV5 soap is prophetic, Never Ever Say Goodbye (premiering on Monday, Feb. 11), but obviously you’re not following it.

“But there’s a time when you have to say goodbye.”

Sarah G. closes; Sarah will sit as judge in new ABS-CBN show

Here’s an official statement sent to Funfare by Bong R. Osorio, head of ABS-CBN Integrated Corporate Communications:

Sarah G Live ends on top of its game with its last episode airing on Sunday, 10 February 2013. After a year of bringing world-class performances to Filipino viewers here in the country and in TFC markets around the world, Sarah Geronimo (photo) moves on to fulfill other commitments. The Popstar, who recently renewed her contract with the Kapamilya network, will sit as one of the judges of The Voice of the Philippines and will soon have her own drama anthology. Sarah is also busy filming her upcoming Star Cinema movie with John Lloyd Cruz, and is set to go on a Sarah G concert worldwide.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com.)

ALICE ALICE AND RONNIE ALICE DIXSON BABAING HAMPASLUPA FUNFARE RONNIE VANCOUVER YEAR
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