For congressional couple Mark Villar & Em Aglipay, a honeymoon in Lisieux to pray to Saint Therese
WILL SOON FLOURISH - Wilson Lee Flores (The Philippine Star) - October 12, 2014 - 12:00am

Despite being a successful politician marrying a fellow achiever politician, 36-year-old Las Piñas Congressman Mark Villar and his wife, 32-year-old Diwa partylist Congresswoman Emmeline “Em” Y. Aglipay, both chose to keep their recent civil and church wedding ceremonies here and abroad very private, with only their families and close friends present.

Even their Oct. 9 dinner reception at the Fernbrook Garden tent area in Daang Reyna, Portofino South, Las Piñas City, was limited to  their fellow politicians and other friends, without media coverage. They also invited only four sets of godparents, their aunts, and close family friends, with no political bigwigs. 

Mark is the middle child of three kids born to billionaire realty mogul, former Senate President Manny B. Villar, and incumbent Senator Cynthia Aguilar-Villar, and also the grandson of former Las Piñas Mayor and Congressman Filemon Aguilar. Em is the youngest daughter of former Philippine National Police chief General Edgar Aglipay and granddaughter of former Armed Forces Chief of Staff, ex-ambassador General Manuel Yan. Here are excerpts of The STAR interview with University of Pennsylvania graduate Congressman Mark A. Villar:

PHILIPPINE STAR: Where and when will you be spending your honeymoon?

CONGRESSMAN MARK A. VILLAR: My wife’s dream is to honeymoon in Europe, because she wants to pray to Saint Therese in Lisieux, France. The place is one and a half hours from Paris. We’ll probably go there in late October.

You had a beautiful church wedding in Singapore; where and how many guests?

It was a simple ceremony, mainly our immediate family, about 100 people. It was at the Church of St. Teresa, near Sentosa.

That’s the same church where Megaworld founder Andrew Tan’s son Kevin married Michelle See in July 2013. Where was your dinner reception in Singapore?

The dinner reception was held at the Ritz-Carlton, where we were billeted.

Why was your church wedding held in Singapore?

I take courses there, that’s where I’m now taking my master’s, at the University of Chicago’s campus in Singapore. It’s an executive masters program, I go there once a month, and I’m now almost finished.

I heard you made the most unique marriage proposal atop the Great Wall of China during the Easter holidays?

Yes, I proposed to Em at the steep portion of the Great Wall of China at around 10 a.m. on April 16 this year, in that part where there were less people because it was hard to climb, nakakapagod doon sa taas (it was tiring going up that portion). After that, we rested and we had a nice lunch also in the Great Wall area.



Did you and Em also put a “love lock” atop the Great Wall? I saw many love locks by couples from all over the world there.

No, we weren’t able to do that, but I saw those love locks up there. 

I heard your civil wedding here was almost disrupted by typhoon Mario?

Yes, we originally planned to have our civil wedding ceremony at the Supreme Court, but the typhoon closed the SC early and we had to move it to Hotel InterContinental in Makati. Em’s law school professor, Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, officiated.

I heard from your assistant that your first date with Em was lunch on her birthday in May 2011? Where was this first date?

It was in Cerchio restaurant in the Scout area near Morato Avenue in Quezon City.

What are your gifts to each other for your wedding?

My gift to her is a commissioned 3-ft. x 4-ft. oil painting by Manny Garibay entitled “Pinag-isa (United As One).” Garibay is one of my favorite painters. Em gave me a pair of cufflinks with bulldog designs (Laughs), because she knows mahilig ako sa aso (I love dogs).

I have a French bulldog named Fiona.

Now that you’re newly married, what are your plans or priorities?

To have children. (Laughs)

How many kids do you want to have? What about your wife’s ideal family size?

I guess the ideal is maybe two or three children. It’s also the same for Em.

What about your home, where do you plan to live?

I’m building a house in Las Piñas City, Em has a house in Pasig City. We plan to settle in Las Piñas.

When and where did you first meet Em, and when did you start courting her?

We only met in Congress … midway through our term or one and a half years.

What was your parents’ advice to you about marriage or choosing your future wife?

My parents just want whatever makes me happy, that’s what they always say.

How did you know that Congresswoman Em Aglipay was the woman you wanted to marry?

Mabait siya at maalaga (She’s a good person and takes good care of me). She’s a very smart person, it was easy to fall in love with her.

Was it a case of “love at first sight”?

It wasn’t love at first sight for her (laughs), but it was love at first sight for me!

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