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Entertainment

Toni & Paul: The long wait is worth it

FUNFARE UPDATE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

Remember the ‘50s LVN movie Filipino Kustom No Touch starring Leroy Salvador and Emma Alegre?

That perfectly characterizes Toni Gonzaga and Paul Soriano’s seven-year romance which will be capped by their wedding “anytime this year” after Paul proposed to Toni last Jan. 21 when she turned 31.

“If ever he’s gonna propose,” Toni said in an exclusive interview with Nathalie Tomada in November last year during the sweethearts’ pictorial for Acer, their first-ever TV commercial together, “it’s gonna be private, not public. Me, also, given the chance, I would want it to be private. Something intimate, with the family, and if ever I’ll share it, tapos na siya.”

The proposal was true to form. Despite his being virtually a child of cinema (his father is director Jeric Soriano, son of Nestor de Villa), Paul grew up shy. With his good looks, he could be an actor but, insisted Paul, “I’d rather work behind the camera.” Among his works is the Maja Salvador starrer Thelma, with the Manny Pacquiao bioflick Kid Kulafu coming soon, chronicling the boxing champ’s childhood (with Buboy Villar in the title role).

In her article, Nathalie noted that the Toni-Paul relationship was “wholesome and ideal,” which is very rare in showbiz. Paul is Toni’s first boyfriend. “I was 24 when I asked my mom that I wanted to get into a relationship,” Toni told Nathalie, “and she reminded me that if I wanted to get into a relationship, I should make sure that I would really commit to it, that it’s not something like trial and error.”

Untainted by any scandal, their relationship has remained strong because it’s God-centered, both of them being Christian.

“We both have great relationships with God,” Paul told Nathalie, “therefore we could have a good one together. I know my parents always told me, ‘When you do have a partner, make sure she’s in love with God first.’ And I did find that in Toni. It’s great because both our families are grounded, in terms of God-fearing, it totally worked out…”

Paul did practice his proposal during the shoot for the commercial. Unlike other showbiz couples who resort to all sorts of gimmickry that invites the whole world to their declaration of love, Paul did it as Toni “predicted.”

As you must know by now, Paul secretly kept the engagement ring in his pocket and presented it to Toni at home after they came from a dinner to celebrate Toni’s birthday. As the couple described it on The Buzz last Sunday, Paul first asked the permission (to propose to Toni) from Toni’s parents before he proceeded to knock on the door of Toni’s bedroom which she shares with sister Alex. “There are only four of you in the family,” Paul (on his knees) was quoted to have said, “May I be allowed to be your new member?” Or words to that effect.

Paul’s presence startled Toni because, until then, Paul wasn’t allowed by Toni’s parents at the second floor. Even before Paul could finish asking Toni, “Will you marry me?”, Toni interrupted him and said, “Yes!”

There’s an interesting story about the two-carat engagement ring.

“I ordered it in December last year in Tel Aviv, Israel, “ revealed Paul in a phone interview with Funfare Update yesterday, “and then had it flown here. Why Israel? Because next to the Philippines, Israel is my favorite country.”

No, there’s no need for a pre-nup agreement.

“Yes,” said Paul, “money is not an issue. I have enough (savings) to provide for her, that’s why I decided that it was time to propose to her. I can give her a comfortable life even if she stops working. But of course,” he hastened to add, “I will not stop her if she still wants to work.”

But Toni might decide to slow down after the wedding.

As she had told Nathalie, “When a woman gets married, her priority should be her husband. Even my dad told me that. When you become a mother, your priorities are your child, your husband and yourself. That’s why mahirap maging babae. Sabi ko talaga sa mommy ko, kasi kakalimutan mo ‘yung sarili mo. Even my cousin sa States, when she became a mom, she said ganito pala ang maging babae, napaka-selfless. Pag nanay ka na, selfless ka na, kakalimutan mo ang sarili mo. Kung ano ang mabuti sa asawa mo, sa anak mo, pangatlo ka lang lagi. So when I get married, I have to rethink my priorities.”

The couple has yet to set a date for their wedding which is, according to Paul, “100 percent definitely this year.”

Since the proposal, the couple hasn’t had enough time to sit down and discuss details of the wedding.

“But we’ll do it next week,” he added.

Asked how soon he and Toni would start working on their first baby, Paul exclaimed, “Right away!”

But before that, added Paul, “We might travel.”

If ever, it will be their first time to travel together, just the two of them, since Toni’s parents don’t allow her to travel alone with Paul.

I suppose Paul and Toni can hardly wait for their honeymoon.

BUBOY VILLAR

BUT TONI

FILIPINO KUSTOM NO TOUCH

FUNFARE UPDATE

JERIC SORIANO

KID KULAFU

LEROY SALVADOR AND EMMA ALEGRE

NATHALIE

PAUL

TONI

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