When Anthony Taberna began to establish a name in radio and TV as a credible journalist more than a decade ago, he also did so with a happy-go-lucky reputation when it comes to women.
At The Sunday Times Magazine’s exclusive interview on
Wednesday, Taberna admitted that his past relationships would only last up to three months in average.
But when he hit the age of 30, he decided, “It was time to get serious.” And as fate would have it, a doctor friend called him up to say he wanted to set up Taberna with a 20-year-old lady by the name of Rossel, who was also a member of Iglesia ni Cristo.
Hesitant at first, everything changed when Taberna saw Rossel’s photo. He said, “Pagkakita ko, sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Ito na ata ang hinahanap ko!’ [When I saw her, I told myself, ‘She could be the girl I’m looking for!].”
Why wouldn’t she be when Rossel, then a graduating Mass Communication student, was both beautiful and bright, appearing on TV as a reporter for Net25 and a talent for GMA Artist Center.
Anthony immediately asked for Rossel’s number and began texting her. However, Anthony related, “Masungit pa siya noon, parang dini-dismiss nya ako. [She was snobbish at first, as if trying to dismiss me].”
It was at this point that Mrs. Rossel Taberna felt the need to tell her side. She recalled to The Sunday Times Magazine, “My parents knew him as they were really listening to him every morning, but he sounded old and serious to me.”
Still, Rossel gave the man a chance and they met personally for the first time on November 5, 2005. They both remember the date well.
They agreed to meet up at a 7-Eleven convenience store, and Rossel insists she did not fancy Taberna then; while he says he found her to be “topak [crazy]” since she was very young then.
With an uneventful first date, the communication between the two also ended as Rossel went to Malaysia for a vacation, while Taberna decided to revive a past relationship.
It was only on June 19, 2006 that they met again when Rossel was chosen as the muse for Calamba, Laguna’s Rizal Day celebration.
At the sight of the true beauty, Taberna dramatically recalled,
“Tumibok uli ang puso ko [My heart started beating for her again].”
Then and there, he vowed to court her properly and, like a true gentleman, asked her father’s permission to do so.
“Pumayag naman ng may pananakot [He agreed with threat],” the ever-witty Taberna continued. He then said to Rossel, “O tayo na ha!” and what else could she do but fall in love.
With 10 years between them, Taberna and Rossel knew they would have to work on many differences.
“But it helped that my parents had a similar love story because my
father is also 10 years older than my mother,” shared Rossel.
“Three months pa lang kami noon, gusto na kaagad magpakasal pero hindi kami pinayaagan kasi kaka-graduate ko lang [We had only been together three months and he already wanted to get married. My parents didn’t allow it because I was had just graduated from college].”
While waiting for her parent’s permission, Taberna worked on securing a house where he and his future wife could raise a family.
When finally the “right one” a year into their relationship, he surprised his girlfriend and again proposed marriage.
“Sapilitan na naman! [Talk about pressure!]” Rossel joked. But she was ready and said yes. It was July 2007, and Taberna told her “Wala nang atrasan! [There’s no backing out!].”
The couple wed in January 2008, and now live happily ever after.
Making it work
Anthony and Rossel are already blessed with two daughters, Azasia Zoey, 6, and Helga Antoinette, who is turning 5 in November.
And even if they both have fulltime careers and runs separate business (Taberna has a bakeshop based in Nueva Ecija, while Rossel runs a salon near ABS-CBN), they still make sure to spend quality time with their children by allotting weekends solely to family and the church.
Rossel elaborated, “Anthony has work Mondays to Fridays. He leaves at 4 a.m. and returns at 10 p.m. Tulog na ang mga bata [The kids are asleep already].”
But thankfully, come weekends they stick together like glue and make up for the workweek.
“We make sure that weekends are sacred for the family,” Rossel reiterated. “But if there are commitments we can’t avoid, we just bring the family along with us.”
Asked how he felt as dad to two lovely girls, “Totoo pala talaga ‘yong sinasabi nila na nakakawala ng pagod ang mga anak mo. Lalo na dahil sweet sila, parang mommy nila [It’s true what they say that your kids wipe away all the stress; especially since they’re sweet just like their mommy].”
Rossel also credits her loving husband for being a kind man and a good provider who showers her and their girls affection. Moreover, with his unwavering faith in God, he is able to lead their family in the right path.