May-December love affairs can be seen as taboo, especially in a conservative society like the Philippines.
But what if the two lovers involved were celebrities? For Vic Sotto, 61, and Pauleen Luna, 27, love knows no boundaries, and despite all the controversies and contradictions, they are finally getting married today.
While some may think that their age difference was the only issue that the pair had to work through, Sotto and Luna had to hurdle many other complications before admitting their relationship in public.
The two met as co-hosts of Eat Bulaga in 2010 when Sotto just ended his long-time relationship with Pia Guanio after being together for five years. And while Sotto is a pioneer of the noontime show, Luna has just rejoined GMA-7.
A year later, rumors began circulating that Sotto was dating Luna. It became the talk of the town during promotions for the movie Enteng ng Ina Mo, in which they starred together with Ai-Ai delas Alas. But as expected, the showbiz buzz was unwelcome news for Sotto’s children, most of whom were within Luna’s generation.
Oyo Sotto, his son with first wife Dina Bonnevie, expressed his thoughts on social media.
“Ang dami talagang mukhang pera . . . ang daming lumalandi! Nakakalungkot [hindi sa akin]Haay nako,” he tweeted. “Respeto lang.” [“Vic Sotto and Pauleen Luna engaged: A look back at their ‘roller-coaster’ love story, pep.ph, September 2, 2015]
During this time, many were convinced that Sotto was showering Luna with gifts, and even helping her build a house.
This prompted Luna’s mother, Chat, to break her silence in an interview with showbiz talk show, Startalk, on GMA Network.
“Since her start in this industry, she had but one goal—that is to enjoy what she loves the most—acting and hosting. What she earns from this profession comes secondary to her passion. That is why it pains her and us as well to hear that she is using someone else for financial gains,” she said. [“A look back at the Vic Sotto-Pauleen Luna love story,” January 7, 2016, www.gmanetwork.com]
Still, no official announcement was made regarding Sotto and Luna’s status although they continued to be together everyday, thanks to Eat Bulaga, the longest running noontime show in the Philippines.
It was in 2013 that Sotto finally admitted his relationship with Luna at ABS-CBN where he was interviewed by Boy Abunda in his segment for late night newscast Bandila.
More opposition from Sotto’s family came out. Oyo’s sister Danica Sotto-Pingris admitted that she was uneasy with the age difference.
Even ex-wife Bonnevie broke her silence. She was concerned for her children who were even older than Luna.
Still, the couple persevered quietly, which according to Luna they were able to do through their faith.
“Ang nasa gitna ng relasyon namin is God talaga kaya that’s [age]just a number for us. We respect each other equally. Pareho naming binibigyan ng importansiya ang pananaw ng isa’t isa, so I don’t think problema ang numero ‘pag dating sa ganyan,” she said. [www.gmanetwork.com]
Eventually even those who were wary of the relationship finally came around. Bonnevie became the voice of the family’s change of heart when she personally met Luna for the first time at The Ryzza Mae Show in August of 2015.
Sotto, the very next month, announced that he and Luna were engaged.
Soon, details for their wedding began to trickle out, including their target date—the first quarter of 2016—and the blessing of their home together as Mr. and Mrs. Sotto.
Luna has also been very generous with her fans in sharing her wedding preparations on Instagram, from photos of her fittings to her bridal shower.
Today, as Sotto and Luna tie the knot, their family and friends believe that this is not the culmination of their colorful love story but the beginning of a lifetime of boundless love.
The Sotto-Luna nuptials will begin at 7 p.m. tonight with the wedding ceremony at a Catholic church in an exclusive Alabang subdivision, to be followed by a reception at nearby Filinvest.
A star-studded entourage will also serve as witness to their union beginning with the principal sponsors, Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd and Carmencita Garcia, producer Tony Tuviera and wife Madeleine Tuviera and Joey de Leon and Salvacion Gatchalian.
Luna’s Eat Bulaga co-host Ruby Rodriguez will be her matron of honor while her non-showbiz best friend Franchesca Que will be the maid of honor.
As earlier reported, among the bridesmaids are Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach—who has confirmed her attendance—Anne Margaret Luna, Leah Camille Agcaoili and Mara Isabel Sotto.
Sotto’s best man is Vico Sotto, his son with actress Coney Reyes, while the groomsmen include his brothers Val and Maru Sotto and Eat Bulaga co-hosts Anjo Yllana, Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros.
The secondary sponsors are Danica Sotto and Marc Pingris, veil; Oyo Sotto and Kristine Hermosa, cord; and Paulina Sotto and Miguel Mario Luna, candles.
Paulina is Sotto’s daughter with former actress Angela Luz.
The couple’s ring bearer is Danica and Marc’s son Jean Michel Pingris while Oyo and Kristine’s son Kristian Daniel Sotto is coin bearer. The bible bearer is Alessandro Jose Sotto while Marciano Dominico Antonio is the rosary bearer.
Not to be left out are the couple’s flower girls including Ryzza Mae Dizon, Danica’s daughter Anielle Micaela Pingris and Oyo’s daughter Ondrea Bliss Sotto.