The newlyweds show off their wedding rings on their way back home.
Photos from Rich Asuncion’s Instagram
How it feels to be Rich
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2018 - 12:00am

It started as a blind date that blossomed into a romance and was capped by a very private wedding in Hong Kong last May 28.

“We planned to get married on April 28 which we consider our third anniversary as sweethearts but the place was not available,” Rich Asuncion, now Mrs. Benjamin “Benj” Bruce Mudie, recalled to Funfare. “We don’t really have an anniversary and we just make April 28 as a memorable date because that was the day we first met.”

It was Rich’s fellow Kapuso Yasmien Kurdi who set up Rich and Benj, a professional rugby player who is a member of the Philippine Volcanoes. His mom is Filipina and his dad is Australian.

“Yasmien and Benj used to be neighbors at BGC (Bonifacio Global City),” continued Rich (Richie Angalot in real life). Yasmien is married to Rey Soldevilla, a former flight attendant and now a pilot. “There was a premiere and after that, Benj and I had dinner, just the two of us.”

They clicked on that first meeting.

Rich Asuncion and Benjamin ‘Benj’ Bruce Mudie, a rugby player with the Philippine Volcanoes, were married in Hong Kong with only a few friends as witnesses.

“It was a getting-to-know-you dinner. We were comfortable with each other kaagad. Mabait naman siya. We exchanged phone numbers.”

And that was that.

“There was no ligaw-ligaw at all. One day, we realized that we were ‘on’ already. Naging kami na.”

Rich is one of four siblings from Tagbilaran City, Bohol, where she finished runner-up in the Miss Bohol pageant (marking the Sandugo Festival). Prominent Tagbi residents Boy Echavez and Raoul Tidalgo advised Rich, who was barely 16 then, to join showbiz and she did. She later competed in the 2009 Bb. Pilipinas pageant and placed first runner-up to Bianca Manalo (Bb. Pilipinas-Universe who also ventured into showbiz as a Kapamilya), and tucked up a Tourism degree from UP.

Benj is the middle child among three siblings brought up on both Australian and Filipino values. He is a Physical Education teacher at the British School Manila with which he is under a four-year contract.

“He’s an athlete and a teacher,” noted Rich, “that’s why he’s a perfect balance.”

Rich has introduced Benj to her family in Bohol and vice-versa.

Last year, Benj surprised Rich on the set of her GMA soap Ika-6 Na Utos by proposing to her on his knees, offering Rich a bouquet of roses.

“Nagulat ako,” confessed Rich. “I didn’t expect it. It turned out that Sunshine (Dizon, also in the cast of Ika-6 na Utos) conspired with Benj.”

The wedding was not done in haste.

“We have been planning for it since last year pa,” said Rich.

Why in Hong Kong?

“A friend told me that it was easier to apply for a marriage contract there, unlike here where you are required to submit a lot of documents and you are required to attend marriage counseling. No hassles. Benj and I felt that we were ready. We started as good friends and they said that it’s the best way to start a lasting relationship.”

First, they took a five-day vacation with Benj’s folks in Canberra (the capital city of Australia) where Rich bought a wedding gown. They came back before proceeding to Hong Kong for the big day. Among those who witnessed the ceremony were Rich’s mom, Benj’s mom, and Rich’s friends and fellow Kapuso Sunshine Dizon, Yasmien Kurdi, Glaiza de Castro and Sheena Halili.

The newlyweds are staying in Benj’s place at BGC (10 minutes away from the British School Manila) where they have put up a nail spa business.

As soon as they are both free, the couple planned to have a honeymoon in Vietnam. Rich will continue with her career (her contract with GMA is good until next year).

Asked if she and Benj got married “so soon” because she was, uhm, “expecting,” Rich said no.

“We plan to have a baby next year yet.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

BRUCE MUDIE RICH ASUNCION WEDDING
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