How do you keep the flame of love burning?
WORDS WORTH - Mons Romulo (The Philippine Star) - February 12, 2017 - 12:00am

Falling in love and getting married are among the best feelings one can have. But being married is not always a bed of roses. Making it work takes time, sacrifice and patience.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, some of the married couples we look up to share with us their secrets for keeping the flames of love burning.

Iya Villania Arellano, TV host

Being blessed with our firstborn son, Primo, has definitely done so much to keep that flame burning bigger and brighter. But even before he came into the picture, we’ve always expressed our love and affection for each other through the little things — those small, unexpected gestures of thoughtfulness and selflessness that nobody else could possibly think of except that one person who knows you that well. And that makes it priceless!

Drew Arellano, actor and TV host

Nothing beats the thrill of doing things together whenever you can. In our case, our common love for sports and fitness has been a great bonding activity for us, and we’re actually looking forward to the time when our son, and maybe even our future kids, can all be part of this advocacy of ours.

Senator Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto

Our love and marriage can be described in two words — hot and spicy. Levity aside, I believe that our foundation — from the start of our marriage — has had a very strong effect on the success of our relationship. We are both Christ-centered, we both love music and we both think the family is most important.

Helen Gamboa Sotto, actress

After time, it is normal for a marriage to reach a plateau. To work around this, my husband and I go back to what brought us together — music and movies! We sing and listen to our favorite songs and watch movies — old and new. And because I was raised believing and I’ve always believed that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I make sure he is fed well. We enjoy traveling and being with family. We are both homebodies and very family-oriented and love to spend time with our children and grandchildren. We make sure we have time for each other, express our love and commitment for each other and always end our days holding hands in prayer.

Karylle, TV host and singer

It’s all about keeping your sense of identity and self-perspective. A lot of people think that you should “lose yourself” or give up a certain part of yourself for the sake of the other person. In the same way that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, I feel that having that mindset empowers you to give even more of yourself to your partner, without feeling obliged to do so just because it’s the norm, or what society expects.

Yael Yuzon, lead vocalist and guitarist of SpongeCola

Being artists, we respect each other’s creative quirks, and that means allowing each other space to think, grow or simply allow our individuality to shine. Of course, there are those magical moments when your combined collaborative efforts reach that point of sheer genius, and you reach this point of an almost spiritual bliss. It’s simply awesome.

Allan R. Dionisio, MD,?toxicologist,?family consultant?speaker and author of ‘Marriage and Family, Suicide and Poison’

I think it’s spending quality time with her. Men have a tendency to define themselves according to their accomplishments in life. That’s why we spend so much time working our tails off. The higher we go professionally, the wealthier we are, the more we feel good about ourselves. The problem, though, with this one-dimensional approach is that life is a multi-dimensional reality. And happiness ultimately comes from a balance of these different dimensions, a huge part of which is our relationship with our spouse and children. No one, at his deathbed, ever said “I should have spent more time at the office.” Instead, people always say: “I should have spent more time with my wife and family.” There really is truth to the cheesy saying that the word “love” is spelled “T-I-M-E.”

Maribel Sison Dionisio, MA, parenting and relationship consultant, speaker and author of ‘Marriage and Family,’ AMD Love Consultant

Your husband should be your best friend — and lover. He needs a lot of support and affirmation from the wife. So find opportunities to tell him about the qualities that you admire in him. Even texts will do. Be his number one cheerleader to make him feel good. Then invite him for a date — breakfast or ice cream or even just a 20-minute walk and chat around the neighborhood. Keep that friendship and romance glowing. Of course, look your best before you part ways in the morning. (I wear my office dress — a shift dress that Allan loves — before sending him off to work so he remembers me as the attractive spouse all day. Make sure you add a little perfume before he arrives home and gives you a hug. Make time for intimacy — get the children to sleep in their rooms at least four times a week. We love our kids but we love our spouses first. Keep the master’s bedroom for the two of you to snuggle up.

George L. Go, managing director, United Capital Resources Finance

Being married for some 15 odd years, we really appreciate our ability to communicate fairly and respectfully with each other.  With time, we’ve learned not to sweat over the small stuff and how to compromise over bigger issues. We don’t go to sleep with unresolved concerns. We’re very supportive of each other and I have complete faith in my wife that everything that she does is for the benefit of her family and for the greater glory of God.

Kathleen Dy-Go, general manager of Universal Records

The fact that we both have busy careers seems to be beneficial to our marriage. We both have our individual spaces, yet when we come home, we are able to build on and bring interest in our lives together. We always make time for each other and for our family. We both enjoy traveling near and far and that always brings about a fresh perspective to our relationship. But more than that, our strong relationship is grounded on trust, mutual respect and having God as the center of our family.

Marga Nograles, creative director, Kaayo Modern; managing director of MT Martish Corp.

Karlo is a workaholic. I try my best not to harass him or bug him at work. So the few times that I dragged him out of the office for a nice date he, more often than not, gave in. He is also very serious so I tease him a lot, then I keep telling him how lucky he is to have me in his life. (Laughs)
Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles

It’s important to spend quality time with your family. With Marga, it’s easy. A nice dinner, a movie date, a quick trip or even just hanging out at home with her and the kids. No matter how busy life can be, I think it’s really essential to just take time out to listen and be with one another and just talk and listen and appreciate each other’s company. 

Carla Larrazabal-Del Prado, housewife

Assure your husband that, no matter what happens, you’ll be there for him. Ignore all the little things but rather focus on the important things in life. Allow your husband to be the best person he can be. Don’t ever go to bed without resolving an issue. Dine, wine and travel together as often as you can. As foodies, food and wine are the key elements to our bonding. Lastly, always count your blessings and be grateful.

Joel Rama del Prado, businessman

Respect one another, forget and ignore all the small stuff, make time to talk, spoil your wife (all the time), travel and shop together as often as you can.


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