Love is in the air—along with the COVID-19 Delta variant. On Oct. 24, Kris Aquino announced her engagement to former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Mel Sarmiento.
“To my best friend and the man I said yes to spending the rest of my life with, thank you for, as Bimb said, loving me for me, with no agenda, and for being just an overall good and patient man. It’s unreal how much more calm and peaceful I feel now that you’re here,” Aquino wrote in an Instagram post with a video of the happy couple. She credits her brother, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, for being her “matchmaker in heaven. “We would never have met nor reconnected had it not been for Noy,” she said.
Aquino previously shared in an Aug. 12 post that she was seeing a mystery man who was casually introduced to her during her brother’s presidential term, and that her son Bimby approved of him. “Bimb carried this pretty awesome bouquet…I have never been thanked this way for a ‘birthday’ post…obviously he has Bimb’s yes,” the talk show host wrote cryptically. “Because I want to keep it this way, whatever shall be happening will be only for us—my family, closest friends, and trusted team.”
We send the newly engaged couple our well wishes. While waiting for the wedding, we’re looking back on Kris Aquino’s real and rumored former romances.
1. Randy Santiago
Randy Santiago was rumored to be courting Kris Aquino when he showed up as her high school prom date. In an interview with PEP, Santiago clarified that nothing happened between them. “Wala ’yung kay Kris. Bata pa siya noon, e. Tapos may mga PSG [Presidential Security Group] pa siya noon. Hindi ko siya nagawang ligawan kasi nga she was too young for me that time. Natuwa lang ako sa paghanga niya sa akin noon.”
2. Alvin Patrimonio (and Aga Muhlach)
Aquino admitted that former leading man Aga Muhlach was her first love in a 2000 “Private Conversations” interview with Boy Abunda. However, she did spill that Alvin Patrimonio was one of her biggest fantasies. She recalled how the PBA star admitted on national television that she was his crush and sent her tickets to watch his first game. However, she did say with a hint of regret that his wife Cindy Conwi was “already part of the picture” and that she might have been just his crush. During a brief estrangement with his wife, Patrimonio was said to have gone on dates with Aquino. The actress-host publicly spoke about the encounter in “The Buzz.”
Aquino starred in “Humanda Ka Mayor!: Bahala Na ang Diyos” (1993) and “Bakit Pa Kita Minahal” (1994) with Muhlach. On the other hand, she starred in “Tasya Fantasia” (1994) with Patrimonio.
3. Gabby Concepcion
Gabby Concepcion starred in “Pangako ng Puso” (1990) with Aquino. He reportedly tried to pursue her on set.
In her vlog in 2018, Aquino jokingly told Concepcion, “At some point in your life, nagandahan ka sa akin in the past.” At the time, a photo of the two on their Batangas beach date in 1990 became viral after it was posted by entertainment writer Lolit Solis on Instagram. Solis also revealed in the post that they were in a relationship when it was taken.
4. Robin Padilla
In a 2010 interview with StarStudio magazine, Robin Padilla onced talked about his brief relationship with Aquino, which he candidly said her mother was very much against.
“Crush na crush ko talaga si Kris noon,” said Padilla of his admiration before they even met. He started courting her after he got invited to her 18th birthday TV special. “Nanligaw po ako para kaming naging poor boy-rich girl (na fairy tale plot). It was you and me against the world,” he recalled.
He said Aquino fought for their relationship by bringing him to Malacañang events, and that their breakup was his doing. “Ako ang may kasalanan noon. Adik ako nun. Hindi ko na value ang ginagawa (ni Kris).”
5. Phillip Salvador
Phillip Salvador and Aquino’s romance started on the set of “Nandito Ako” (1994). At the time, the relationship was considered controversial: Not only was Salvador nearly 20 years her senior, he was also still married to his estranged wife Sony Dabao. The two lived together, to the disapproval of Aquino’s mother. In 1995, Aquino gave birth to their son Josh.
The couple parted ways in 1999. “Kung natanggap lang talaga ng mommy ko si Philip, we’d stay together,” Aquino told Boy Abunda on “Private Conversations.”
6. Vic Sotto
Kris dated Vic Sotto “a couple of times” after her relationship with Salvador, she said in a 2003 interview with YES! magazine.
In a 2003 interview with TV Patrol, after falling out with Joey Marquez, she mentioned how Marquez accused her of cheating on him with Sotto. Aquino apologized to Sotto and clarified that the accusations were false.
7. Joey Marquez
Aquino’s romance with former PBA player and actor Joey Marquez started after she interviewed him for “The Buzz” in 2002—incidentally, about his separation with Alma Moreno. However, the relationship didn’t last long and prompted Kris to give a dramatic tell-all interview in 2003. On TV Patrol, Aquino accused him of pointing a gun at her during a violent fight in their shared condo and infecting her with an STD.
Marquez initially denied the accusations, but then issued a live apology to Aquino on GMA. Afterward, the two signed a settlement agreement.
8. Mark Lapid
In 2004, Mark Lapid was rumored to be dating Aquino after SunStar Pampanga reported that she was seen with his family in Porac, Pampanga. At the time, Lapid was running for governor in the province. Aquino stated on “The Buzz” that they exchanged texts and that she received flowers from him.
9. James Yap
PBA star James Yap met Aquino at a restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan back in 2005. Yap told YES! Magazine that Aquino was his high school crush and that he asked his talent manager Dondon Monteverde to set them up. Five months later, the two got married.
Kris and James had their share of marital troubles, the most controversial of which were about his alleged infidelity.
In 2007, a receptionist at Belo Medical Clinic alleged that she had an affair with Yap from March 2006 to January 2007. Yap denied the allegations and Aquino, who was pregnant with second son Bimby at the time, stood by him.
Kris announced in 2010 that they had called it quits and later admitted on “The Buzz” that it was due to infidelity. Their marriage was declared null and void in 2012.
10. Diether Ocampo
Another rumored suitor of Aquino was her “Dalaw” co-star Diether Ocampo. The actress said that after rumors in 2011 surfaced, her siblings reminded her of her vow of giving up on handsome men. Speaking of being linked to Ocampo, she quipped to ABS-CBN, “Hindi naman puwede maging friends talaga ang maganda at guwapo na hindi lalagyan ng malisya, and tinawag kong maganda ang sarili ko, take note.”
11. Herbert Bautista
Former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista and Kris Aquino were in a brief relationship in 2014. Bautista proposed to Aquino in April during the same year. However, Bautista broke up with her on April 8, a day after Aquino announced their relationship on her entertainment news program “Aquino and Abunda Tonight.” He hinted on “Bandila” that his reason for doing so was the disapproval of his children.
In a blog post published on her old website withlovekrisaquino.com, Aquino revealed his proposal: “He said, walang romance, walang lokohan, walang bolahan. Okay na raw ba ‘ko to marry him kasi nga PAGOD na siya?”
Hopefully, this time around, Aquino can find her happily ever after with fiance Mel Sarmiento.