In Toni and Paul's rulebook, following tradition and sticking to conservative beliefs aren't passé—especially if they make your relationship stronger.
It’s a done deal.
Director Paul Soriano and multimedia artist-slash-host Toni Gonzaga got married at the Taytay United Methodist Church today, on their eighth anniversary as a couple. While the vows may have been short and sweet, we can’t help but think of what it took for the couple that’s #PerfectTogether to last this long in a public relationship.
After years of endless media intrusions, the couple’s well-documented highs and lows give us a glimpse on what it takes to last as long as the future Mr. and Mrs. Soriano. We did you a favor and compiled a list of musts to keep the fire burning past the nuptials. You’re very much welcome.
#1 Courtship isn’t Dead
If your partner wants you, he or she will let the rest of the family know. In this age of speed and swipe dating, courtship might not be the most modern way of winning a boo over. But Paul didn’t mind.
On the night he asked the first big question, he was also under the scrutiny of Toni’s strict family entourage. “I continue to respect [her family.] I don’t argue, I just listen. In my mind, I wanted to be her boyfriend, so of course, being the guy, you have to ask her. So I asked her. And she said, ‘yes,’” he shares.
#2 Effort Matters
It’s not easy being working professionals in relationships. Sometimes, we resort to too much social media that we forget the real benefit of physical contact. Toni knows, and she understands what we all need to keep the ball rolling.
“We really make time to see each other. We find other ways to make the relationship stronger. May mga bago kaming bonding, may mga bago kaming nadi-discover together. He was the one who really pushed me and enrolled me to (sic) cooking classes. So maraming activities na naiisip na nag-grow kami together and be more mature.”
Surprises also work as romantic affirmations of a partner who cares. Toni remembers a time Paul gave her a most memorable Valentine’s day. Thinking he wouldn’t make it to meet her on the 14th, Paul showed up with a gift—a bracelet with a letter “C” for her full name “Celestine.”
#3 Be Firm with Your Beliefs
No matter how much you and your partner dig each other, leave some space for yourself. We’re past the age, hopefully, of interpreting loving as blind submission. For Toni, this means practicing traditional abstinence before marriage. Of course, this is a personal choice, so you should work work whatever boundaries you feel comfortable with, whether or not it involves pre-marital sex.
“Ako kasi, ang paniniwala ko, atsaka kung paano rin ako pinalaki, I think that love should be greater than your lust for each other,” she once said. While admitting it’s difficult to maintain her decision—“Sobrang hirap, sobrang hirap panindigan. Honest lang talaga ako!”—Toni is firm about avoiding temptation.
#4 Be Each Other’s Personal Cheerleader
So now you’re together, what’s next? In your honeymoon phase, you’re lucky to have someone who’s like Paul who does everything to give you what you want. “Whatever Toni wants, I do my best to give it to her,” he says.
While that’s nice, what’s more important is to have someone who you know has your back, especially when you’re in the hot seat. When asked about his reaction to the negative response Toni got while hosting this year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant, he answers: “What I know is that she did her best, and that’s good enough for me. You cannot please everybody in this world.”