Staying married for 21 years is no easy feat for any couple. Harder still if the couple in question are Bong Revilla and Lani Mercado.
"It's quite difficult especially if the ladies are the ones pushing themselves to you already," Lani confessed in YES! magazine's December 2007 issue. Taking a stab at her husband's "playboy" image, the morena actress added, "And there are quite a few in the [entertainment] industry who are like that."
During the course of the three-hour interview by YES! Editor-in-Chief Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon, the celebrated yet always controversial couple never made any attempt to sugarcoat reality just to play up to the public's idea of a fairy-tale union. Neither was there an attempt to cover up Bong's legendary weakness: women.
"Marunong lang kami magdala na mag-asawa na hindi pumuputok sa labas,"explained Bong on their ability to do damage control in times of trouble. "Unlike siguro ibang celebrity diyan na iyong kuwento nila sa loob ng kuwarto, lumalabas."
Silence. The same quality displayed by Lani on numerous occasions, triggering critics to label her as "martir" or "walang pakialam" in the face of Bong's alleged wrongdoings.
"Ewan ko, totoo kasi siguro," affirmed Lani, before clarifying, "To a certain extent lang. Kasi minsan, ang martir hindi nagsasalita, e. Pero ako I speak up naman."
As her nature dictates, Lani will fight for her man but she won't allow herself to be pushed around either. In fact, there were even times, as Bong revealed, when Lani threatened to storm out of the marriage because she had enough.
"Hindi maiiwasan ‘yon. Dumating rin ‘yon, na nag-threaten siya," disclosed Bong candidly.
Jo-Ann said that the couple was in good spirits and quite open in answering sensitive questions raised during the interview.
But the conversation was not devoid of tension. When the topic came up of Bong having a child by another woman and the pain Lani had to go through upon learning about it, the actress reportedly sobbed before hastily reaching out for a table napkin.
"Quickly dabbing the table napkin to her eyes, she says, ‘Excuse me,'" wrote Jo-Ann. "We are all rendered silent, including Bong."
To read the full article, grab a copy of YES! magazine's December 2007 issue, now available in all leading bookstores and magazine stands nationwide.