Julius & Tintin: Just Married... Again!
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2014 - 12:00am

Some day, when I’m awfully low

When the world is cold

I will feel the glow just thinking of you

And the way you look tonight

With that song, The Way You Look Tonight, Julius Babao ended his single-blessedness 10 years ago when he proposed to Christine “Tintin” Bersola while they were dancing cheek-to-cheek at the dim-lit, cozy sala of Julius’ bachelor’s house (now their love nest). They were teary-eyed. Julius had just formally asked for Tintin’s hand in marriage even if she had already said “Yes!” months earlier.

Lovely…Never, never change

Keep that breathless charm

Won’t you please arrange it? ‘Cause I love you

Just the way you look tonight

To paraphrase a line from the song Twilight Time, “heavenly shades of night were falling” when, on Dec. 8, 2003, Feast of Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception, Julius and Tintin exchanged vows at the San Antonio de Padua Sub-Parish Church in Barangay Inarawan, Antipolo City. Only 700 guests were invited to the event.

In Dec. 2008, the couple renewed their vows at the Pinto Art Museum (in Antipolo City) owned by their good friend Dr. Joven Cuanang coinciding with their fifth wedding anniversary. On Dec. 14 last year, they again did the same on their 10th wedding anniversary, applauded by their children Antonia Sofia, 8, named after Saint Anthony, Tintin’s favorite saint; and Antonio Francesco, 3, after St. Pio, to whom the couple did a novena/petition to grant them another child (and then, their wish granted, they made a pilgrimage to then Padre Pio’s shrine in Italy).

The garden of Dr. Joven’s museum was lit up with flowers by Epitome Flowershop. Guests took their dinner (catered by Josiah’s, also the caterer of the 2003 wedding and 2008 renewal) leisurely to the soundtrack provided by String Quartet & Music by Johnny Santos (the same group which provided the entertainment at the 2003 wedding), while Director’s Cut video-recorded the event for posterity. Deniels provided the cupcake souvenirs and Le Mich Caricature the giant tarps where the guests signed.

“The next renewal of vows will be in Dec. 2018,” said Tintin.

Tintin

Describe what happened during the Dec. 14, 2013 renewal.

“Prior to our 10th Wedding Anniversary Renewal Mass held at The Chapel of Silangan Gardens, we had our ‘honeymoon’ in London and Scotland. On Dec. 8, 2013, the day of our anniversary itself, we spent it with our kids at Hong Kong Disneyland. The Dec. 14 Mass at 5 p.m. was a simple one, officiated by Bishop Raul Martirez who also officiated our wedding Mass on Dec. 8, 2003. During the Mass, a rainbow appeared in the sky. It was an intimate gathering of only family members. And friends Julius and I have known since we were still single. No mushy stuff during the Mass. I cried in 2003 during our exchange of vows (that we personally wrote) but last year, no more crying, hehehehe!” 

Sum up your 10 years together, which is a rarity in showbiz where marriages are believed not to last. What keeps the family together?

“We are perfectly flawed. Yet, despite all our weaknesses...We love each other madly. Deeply.”

Do you ever fight (like any other couple) and how do you make up?  

“We do argue. But we are able to resolve things quickly. In the end we always kiss and make up. You know what they say, ‘Make love, not war,’ hehehehe! Si Julius, isang kiliti (literally!) lang nya sa ‘kin nawawala na ang init ng ulo ko.” 

Describe Julius as a husband and as a father.

“Very thoughtful. Very affectionate. A hopeless romantic. Likes to surprise me with simple small things I like or collect (like Audrey Hepburn stuff). Or lavish things like surprising me with our trip to London. He is heaven sent. And I love him so much. He is my soulmate.”

Are you bringing up the kids the same way that your own parents have brought you up?

“My mom has a big influence on me. She taught me to be prayerful, to have faith, to never give up, to always hope and dream. As a mom to my two kids, I teach them prayers from the heart, prayers I thought of. My mom loves to write beautiful notes and letters. I learned that from her, that’s why now, even in the age of technology and social networking, I go out of my way to do handwritten notes. And I taught this to my daughter Anya, too.” 

How do you keep a balance between career and family?

“To whom much is given, much is expected. So true. It’s not easy to keep a balance. Julius and I juggle many balls. But we try to say NO when we have to, and not spread ourselves too thin by accepting all the invites and going to all the social parties when we know that we will only be robbed of our precious time with our kids. In fact, we only go to mostly kiddie parties. We make the most of it, while our kids are still young.” 

How do you envision life 10 years from now when your kids shall have grown up?

“Traveling. Traveling and more traveling. Julius and I really got close as a couple because of all the exciting traveling and ‘escape’ that we do. In fact, we have so many places in our bucket list to still cross out. Next in line are Greece and Eastern Europe. And perhaps, run other profitable businesses that have something to do with the careers we have established, and to be able to give back some more, much more to our society charity work.” 

Julius

Was the feeling during your renewal of vows the same as what you felt during your 2003 wedding?

“It’s different. During our wedding in 2003, I was nervous, I didn’t know what to expect. I was anxious because I was seeing the end of my bachelorhood. At the same time I was also very excited and extremely happy that I was marrying Tintin. When I saw her walking down the aisle I knew that I made the right decision. 

“The feeling was different because we were renewing our vows for the second time. We also had a renewal of vows in 2008. The fear and anxiety were no longer there. 

“But it’s really wonderful that we can do this every five years while we can still enjoy seeing Antonia as our flower girl and Nio as our ring bearer. How cute is that? 

“But most of all, it’s fun to do it when you’re still young and you still look good in photos and videos. Hahahaha!” 

What keeps the family together, considering that it’s a rarity to stay married that long in showbiz (sum up your 10 years as married couple)?

“Most important for me are trust in and respect for each other. You lose both and you will surely lose a marriage. We make sure that that does not happen.” 

Do you ever fight (like any other couple) and how do you make up?

“There is no perfect marriage. Couples out there put us on a pedestal thinking that our relationship is perfect. We have had our shares of ups and downs. Tao lang naman kami. We are able to weather these storms because we widen our understanding of each other’s faults and weaknesses. It entails a lot of sacrifice but that’s what marriage is all about.” 

Describe Tintin as a wife and as a mother. 

“She is the love of my life. My travel buddy. My best friend. My confidante. My soulmate. Most important of all, she is the mother of my two beautiful kids. What else can I say?” 

Didn’t you go through the so-called “seven-year itch”? (And if so, how did you deal with it?)

“All I can say is that we are just like any other human being. We are not immune to temptation. What’s important is to never give in to it. Trust and respect must not be sacrificed.” 

Are you bringing up your kids the same way you were brought up by your parents?

“Yes, I try to emulate my parents’ style of raising us. My mother was hands-on when we were growing up. She took care of us without any nanny or maid. Now that I am a parent, I am thankful and appreciative of the sacrifices that my mother and father have done for us. While my dad worked, my mom was at home taking care of us. As working parents, we may not be able to provide that kind of attention to our kids because of our busy schedule. We make sure that we spend time with our kids every day even for just a few minutes.” 

How do you keep a balance between family and career? 

“We make sure that we have time for family bonding as much as possible. Weekends are sacred. It should really be devoted to family.” 

How do you envision life 10 years from now when the kids shall have grown up?

“Old and grumpy, hahahahaha! I would like to see my children grow up to be what I expect them to be. I want them to pursue their dreams and be successful in their fields. I see myself growing old with Tintin. I cannot imagine a life without her.” 

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

ANTIPOLO CITY COM DEC JULIUS JULIUS AND I KIDS TINTIN
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