Senator Bong Revilla and Congresswoman Lani Mercado renewed their marriage vows in front of family and friends in a grand ceremony held yesterday, May 28.
The renewal of vows was officiated by Cavite Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle at the The Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Villamor Airbase.
Lani wore an off-white beaded wedding gown designed by Paul Cabral while Bong wore a gray tuxedo. The secondary sponsors also wore silver-gray gowns while the principal sponsors were dressed in Filipiniana and barong Tagalog.
At around 3:30 p.m., Bryan and Jolo Revilla—sons of Bong and Lani—led the entourage that included some of the most powerful people in politics and showbiz.
Among the principal sponsors who came were former President Joseph Estrada, Mayor Alfredo Lim, Atty. Felipe Gozon (chairman and CEO of GMA Network) former Speaker Jose de Venecia, Manny Pangilinan (owner of TV5), Wilma Galvante (GMA-7 SVP for Entertainment TV) and starmaker German Moreno.
Mother Lily Monteverde and TV host Lolit Solis, who were also principal sponsors, went directly to the reception.
Confirming his commitment to his wife after 25 years of marriage, Bong told Lani:
"When I saw you 27 years ago, I knew I wanted to marry you and for you to become the mother of my children. You are the only soul meant on this earth for me. I will not change... I will be the same Bong that you fell in love with. Till death do us part.
"They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman and they're right. Thank you for being a pillar for me during my political career. I will choose you to be my wife and the mother of my children in the next life. May the Lord bless us for another 25 years.
"I love you, I love you. I'm yours alone forever."
Lani was emotional as she said her piece: "Papa, we both know people have their own way of looking at our relationship. We proved them wrong.
"I never suffered from the intrigues, except the you-know-what. I never suffer. I just keep on loving and understanding you. I don't expect any more hurts from the you-know-what department from now on, Papa."
As soon as Lani mentioned the "you-know-what" referring to intrigues that affected their marriage in the past, there was a low murmur in the crowd while Bong simply smiled.
She continued: "Thank you for being my greatest leading man. Kahit pitong beses lang tayo nagkasama, ikaw pa rin ang leading man sa araw-araw na shooting natin sa 'The Life and Times of Bong and Lani.'
"Sana ay mahalin mo pa ako kahit lola na ako."
After the ceremony, guests swarmed around guest of honor Manny Pacquiao to ask for his photograph. The Pambansang Kamao was very accommodating as was his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao. When PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked Manny if he thinks his own marriage would last 25 years, he declared: "Mas matagal pa!"
President Noynoy Aquino was unable to attend the ceremony and reception held at the Harbor Tent of the Sofitel Hotel. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was not able to make it either although she sent a message to the "power couple."
Paolo Contis and Iza Calzado served as hosts of the program that started from 7 p.m. and lasted till 10 p.m.
La Diva, the singing trio of Jonalyn Viray, Maricris Garcia and Aicelle Santos, sang "The Prayer" at the start of the program.
Ogie Alcasid performed several songs that night, including a duet with his very pregnant wife, Regine Velasquez.
During the reception, Bong took the opportunity to dedicate love songs to his wife, whom he introduced as the woman he married three times. He quipped, "Hindi naman ako singer pero walang kayong choice kundi makinig sa akin."
The couple held hands as they performed duets and delighted guests when they gave each other a kiss.
After the program, Lani told PEP that she was grateful their special day was not disrupted by Typhoon Chedeng.
"I'm very, very happy dahil successful ang event. Lahat ng mahal namin sa buhay nandito, lahat ng kaibigan, mga magulang namin."
What is the secret behind their marriage? Lani pointed upwards and said, smiling: "Ang Panginoon."
Asked for his reaction to the "you-know-what" mentioned by his wife, Bong laughed and said: "Alam naman niya kung gaano ko siya kamahal. May mga pagkukulang rin tayo pero at least, marunong tayong bumangon."