Singer-performer Gary Valenciano and wife Angeli Pangilinan went through more than just the usual trappings encountered by a celebrity couples.
Considering Gary's well-publicized battle with diabetes, a disease he has successfully managed since it was diagnosed in 1978, it is easy to understand why the couple would rather treat showbiz-related issues in a trivial manner.
ON SOLID GROUND. Aside from celebrating his 25 years in show business, 2008 also marks Gary and Angeli's 24th year as a married couple. The grand celebration is of course being reserved for next year, in time for the couple's silver wedding anniversary.
Though still one year short of the milestone, a handful of the recent Gary V tribute events inevitably put the spotlight also on Angeli and their solid union.
"Si Gary as a husband is a very loving, intense, very passionate father and husband. Very committed to what God's will is," said Angeli endearingly about her husband.
Gary's commitment as a father was tested recently when he decided to skip a late night dinner appointment just to accompany his son, Paolo, inside the recording studio for six hours straight. Paolo, at the time, was cutting his own version of his dad's classic single, "Look in Her Eyes." The version is included in the recently released Gary V tribute album, GV 25 (A Gary Valenciano All-Star Tribute Collection) under Star Records.
Angeli recalled Gary politely calling off the supposed dinner date by asking, "‘Okay lang ba?' Sabi ko, ‘Okay lang, Gary.' Kasi nakita ko ‘yong pagmamahal niya sa anak niya na gusto niya perfect ‘yong recording."
WIFE-MANAGER RELATIONSHIP. Angeli is not just Gary's loving and devoted wife. On the professional level, she is also her husband's manager and adviser.
"As a talent, siya na siguro ‘yong pinaka-mahirap i-manage," laughed Angeli in an interview with the press last August 6 at the Conway's Bar of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
Angeli confirmed Gary's reputation as a perfectionist, saying, "Ako ‘yong type na ‘Gary, gawin mo na please' Siya, talagang ‘Hon, hindi puwede kasi ganito e, hindi tama ‘yong sound system. Ayoko ng script, ayoko ng ganyan...' Pero si Gary talaga is sobrang perfectionist."
Like most professionals, however, Gary is still willing to compromise, but only after exhausting all possible efforts to make things at least a bit better to suit his meticulous taste. That's where his professionalism as a seasoned performer comes in.
Angeli proudly enthused, "Pero alam mo, even if he's difficult, you know what I love about Gary? He allows himself to be managed. When I tell him, ‘Gary, you have to do it', he just breathes and then he walks and does it."
Honesty, according to Angeli, is very essential to keep a marriage running, and they don't take it against each other when one corrects the other: "Gary makes me pagalitan, I make him pagalitan, too."
As a talent manager, Angeli earned a reputation for being strict when it comes to her talents and their deals. But outside work and contracts, the often misunderstood manager claims that she plays the traditional role expected from a wife and mother.
"I'm part of the management team of Gary pero sa bahay, siya ang boss talaga. And I always tell these sa mga tao, kung wala ang Diyos, wala kami. Talagang sa isang marriage, dapat tatlo kayo, e, parang triangle, ang nasa itaas ang Panginoon. And kahit nagkakamali ako, nagkakamali siya, if you know how to forgive each other and love each other...Love does not keep a record of wrongs so ang pagkakamali ko, hindi niya nari-remember and likewise si Gary," she explained in closing.