A-list actor and celebrity Dingdong Dantes’ marriage to Marian Rivera has been a fairy tale from the very beginning. Dubbed no less as the “Royal Wedding” given their status as “GMA Network’s Prime-time King and Queen,” the December 30, 2014 nuptial is easily recalled as one of the most memorable showbiz unions in these shores.
Here was a dashing groom, his stunning bride, a throng of bishops and priests blessing their bond in a beautiful cathedral, and the most lavish banquet to celebrate their union.
Almost two years after what is still considered the wedding of the decade, Dantes’ life with his young wife remains picture perfect, especially with an almost year-old baby girl, Letizia, who officially made them a family.
And as Marian talks about being a hands-on mom, a dutiful wife, and an all around happy homemaker in her regular interviews, her husband humbly acknowledges he cannot be luckier.
“I especially feel that way given the theme of my current movie, which shows the more difficult reali-ties that many couples actually encounter,” said Dantes during The Manila Times’ turn at a Q&A for the Star Cinema movie The Unmarried Wife. The curiously—and seemingly contradictory—titled film opens today, and also stars Angelica Panganiban and Paulo Avelino, under the direction of Maryo J. de los.
The story, written by Vanessa Valdez, is centered on Anne (Angelica Panganiban), a woman who is afraid to love beacuse of a traumatic childhood experience. Geoff (Dingdong Dantes) changes all that when she meets him—they fall in love and marry. Marital bliss ends too quickly, however, as Geoff’s infidelity gets in the way, rendering Anne practically an “unmarried” woman.
“In a way, ito ‘yung katototohanan na maaaring mangyari,” Dantes continued. “I think yung kuwento ni Anne, Geoff and Bryan [Avelino] sa movie ay totoong kuwento na nangyayari talaga sa kapaligiran na-tin. What better way to learn from it than by immersing sa mismong nangyari. And as a husband in real life, I hope to learn from Geoff’s experience and be a better husband to my wife.”
The actor further noted that a movie, which boldly tackles family, marital issues, and separation—possibly even instigating a renewed debate on whether divorce should be legalized in the Philip-pines—is a useful tool for individuals to reflect on their lives, as well as their stance on certain ques-tions.
“Maganda na yung mga ganitong klaseng problema ay napo-point out na posibleng ma-encounter later on, so that para sa akin, puwede siyang maging measure para mas mag-step up or mas alagaan kung ano ang meron ako ngayon,” Dantes said.
Nevertheless, the 36-year-old husband is hesitant to dish out marriage advice at this point in his rela-tionship.
“Bago pa lang kami kasi, magdadalawang taon pa lang so I’m not in any position to give others advice. I have so much more to learn to be a better husband. Pero kung meron mang isang realization dito, ‘yun ay lahat tayo ay flawed. We may commit mistakes and what matters most is how we rise above the situation, paano natin maaayos ito at paano magiging mas mabubuting tao pagkatapos ng problema,” he ended.