The thing about falling in & out of love

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2015 - 12:00am

Four of Perry Lansigan’s more than a dozen alaga (talents) sat with some movie writers in a free-wheeling session about…what else?...falling in and out of love. Two of them, Geoff Eigenmann and LJ Reyes, claimed to be loveless; one, Rochelle Pangilinan, is happily going steady for seven years now; and the fourth, Gabby Eigenmann, has been happily married (to a non-showbiz lady) for 17 years now.





More than a year after he broke up with Carla Abellana (rumored to be living-in with new boyfriend Tom Rodriguez), Geoff said that he had neither regrets nor bitterness.

“But I would say that things could have gone a better way,” admitted Geoff, adding, “may mga bagay na puede sanang pag-usapan, pero…I have moved on, matagal na! People who don’t know the real score think that I am harboring hard feelings but it’s not true.”

Is he happy for Carla that she has found happiness with another man?

“I can’t say that I am happy for her. Basta, wala na ako d’un.”

Claiming to be single but happy, Geoff confessed that he’s not “looking” for a new love.

“I don’t know, I’m not looking, I’m not waiting, I’m just letting things happen.”

Geoff’s two brothers (all boys were almost single-handedly raised by their mom, Gina Alajar, after she separated from husband Michael de Mesa), Ryan and EJ (based in Las Vegas) are married. Only Geoff is left with Gina who is quick to come to Geoff’s defense when he’s bugged by issues.

“My mom and I are both Pisces,” smiled Geoff, “that’s why we often clash.”

Gabby is one of Geoff’s six cousins from his late uncle, Mark Gil.

Does he welcome brotherly advice from Gabby?

“When I was younger, yes,” said Geoff (who is in the cast of the GMA afternoon soap Kailan Ba Tama Ang Mali). “But now, even if I listen to him, I make my own decisions.”



“Yes,” admitted Gabby, “I do advise my cousins but it’s up to them to take it or leave it. They have minds of their own.”

The one that seems to need it most is Andi Eigenmann (Mark’s daughter with Jaclyn Jose) who is forever entangled in issues about love, caught according to persistent rumors between Jake Ejercito (former Pres./Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s son with San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez) and newcomer Bret Jackson.

Asked who favors between the two, Gabby picked Jake.

“He’s mabait, magalang, matinong tao and well-behaved,” said Gabby, “at may breeding.”

What about Bret?

“I don’t like him,” said Gabby, “period! No explanation needed.”

Gabby has one sister (Ira, their mom is Irene Celebre) and three other half-siblings from Mark’s other two relationships.

“I have taken after my father when it comes to women,” volunteered Gabby. “Like my dad, pag nagmahal ako, todo-todo. He loved one woman at a time. I’m like that.” Married for several years now, Gabby has two children (one is 13 and the other 10) with his wife (who has two children, now 19 and 17) from a previous relationship.

Gabby is in the cast of two GMA shows, Instadad and Pari Koy (with Dingdong Dantes in the title role, playing a priest) which starts airing next Monday, March 9. He was temporarily pulled out from Once Upon a Kiss, another GMA show, for the new show. A hit as a gay foster father in Dading, Gabby has decided to stop playing gay for the meantime lest he be typecast.

“Move on muna ako from gay roles,” he said laughing.



Because the current fad among showbiz denizens is out-smarting one another in coming up with a “unique” way of proposing, Rochelle joined the bandwagon during a Christmas party with friends…without waiting for her boyfriend Arthur Solinap (Dingdong’s cousin) to take the initiative.

“I knelt before him and said, ‘Will you marry me?’,” recalled Rochelle. “He imitated his gay character (in the GMA show Pepito Manaloto) and pretended to reject me with a beki gesture, ‘yung pumilantik ang kamay.”

The whole act was a joke, pulled while everybody was laughing.

In August, Rochelle and Arthur will celebrate their seventh anniversary as steadies.

“We became a couple on Aug. 8, 2008,” said Rochelle, “and we realized that we are an  ‘888’ couple only a year later. 888 are triple-lucky numbers among the Chinese, di ba?”

No wonder they have lasted this long, which is a feat in a field where lasting relationships are a myth.

“Art lets me be myself,” said Rochelle. “Hindi niya ako hinihigpitan, and vice-versa. He’s sobrang sweet. He wants us to celebrate every little things, not only special occasions.”

Because Arthur broke his foot, he and Rochelle celebrated last Valentine’s Day quietly.

“We just had a steak dinner at his room,” revealed Rochelle, “kasi nga hindi siya makagalaw at ako ang parang nagna-nurse sa kanya.”

They support each other in everything, their careers included.

“When he thinks that what I am doing is good, he’s behind me. Pero kapag ang tingin niya ay makakasama sa akin, he tells me but doesn’t decide for me. When I posed for FHM, Art was the first to announce it on his Instagram.”

Asked if Arthur is faithful, Rochelle broke into a wide smile.

“Oo naman,” she confirmed, exclaiming, “sobra-sobra!”



Like Geoff, LJ said that she has moved on after she broke up with Paulo Avelino, father of her son Ethan Akio (who will be in kindergarten at Xavier next school year).

“No use dwelling in the past,” said LJ (who is 75 percent Chinese and has her early schooling at the St. Stephen [Chinese] School on Benavidez St., Sta. Cruz, Manila).

Things are better between them now. Paulo can spend time with their son anytime he wants to. When LJ was busy with the rehearsal for Juego de Peligro, her theater debut (being staged at the CCP Little Theater for one more weekend), she entrusted Akio to Paulo who, according to LJ, hasn’t been remiss in his obligation (financial support, etc.).

Instead of being jealous (“Why should I be?”), LJ said she’s happy when she learns that Paulo is dating somebody, even if she herself is loveless.

“I’m happy with my life,” insisted LJ. “Wala na akong mahihiling pa.” What about JC de Vera who virtually admitted that he and LJ are “on?” LJ was surprised. “Did he say that? Wala akong alam, hindi ko alam.” Then, she laughed and laughed.

Besides Juego de Peligro (in which she plays Señora Teresa, the same role played by Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons, the movie version), LJ is busy with other projects including an indie, Anino sa Likod ng Buwan (directed by Jun Lana, with Luis Alandy as leading man) and the GMA show Yagit.

“So how can I have time for love?” said LJ. “Saka na ‘yan.”

(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.)

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