Love happened to Francine Prieto when she least expected it.
At a time she was putting some meaning into her life, she met the love of her life.
In a recent interview with Rommel Llanes, associate editor of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), via Facebook, the former actress said, "Nag-meet kami through a common friend last December 2014.
"Nakakatuwa lang kasi that year in August, nagsimula 'kong ayusin relationship ko with God.
"And first time kong hindi naghahanap ng knight in shining armor, kasi nga busy ako sa walk with Christ ko.
"'Tapos na-meet ko siya, nagkasundo naman kami agad."
After one month, they became officially together, "By January 2015, naging kami," Francine said.
The former actress knew the courtship was kinda fast.
She remarked, "Thirty-three years old na ako, alam ko na sinong gusto at ayaw ko sa first few dates pa lang."
WHO'S THE LUCKY GUY? His name is Frank Shotkoski, an American scientist/ molecular biologist.
Francine added, "He's the director for agricultural projects ng Cornell University.
"Ginagawa niya is helping farmers from third-world countries para gamitin ang naimbetong technology nila para sa mga crops at para less pesticides din para hindi naman kawawa ang mga taong kumakain.
"What he's doing is also sort of a humanitarian project."
INTERESTS. Francine fell in love with Frank's strong family values.
She told PEP, "I like him because of his values, treatment sa ken and sa ibang tao, especially with his family, napakabait niya lalo na sa mom niya.
"At his age, dinadalaw at tinatawagan niya mom niya from time to time just to check on her.
"It says a lot about what kind of person he is."
Francine also gushed at the way Frank accepted everything about her.
"Also, no matter how busy he is, nag-e-effort talaga na makapunta dito to see me and be with me, and tanggap niya lahat ng tungkol sa ken.
"In-embrace niya ang mga tao at mga bagay na nasa mundo ko.
"At todo support siya sa mga ginagawa ko kahit sa mga dreams and goals ko."
On top of their common likes, "...parehas kaming mahilig sa kakaibang music and we love to unwind."
Among their petty differences, "...he loves surprises, and I don't."
TRAVELS. For almost a year now, they have been making beautiful memories together.
Francine related, "Memorable naming dates yung mga travel namin together.
"We went to Caramoan Islands, sinamahan niya ako sa Nepal for a Christian ministry event na guest ako to give my testimony.
"Nagpa-tattoo kami sa...Mambabatok sa Kalinga."
WEDDING PLANS. Frank proposed to Francine on October 6. The lady said yes.
On October 8, Francine described her dream wedding to PEP.
"No wedding plans yet, but ako ayoko ng engrandeng wedding.
"Kung puwede lang kami lang ni fiance, yung magkakasal at witnesses, then party-party na lang with DJ and rock bands at bumubuhos ng San Mig Light at Margarita."
What happens after the wedding?
Francine said, "Future plans, he wants to live in three places—sa US, sa Asia, and isang every year, iba iba.
"Kasi we both love to travel and mahilig kami sa adventures.
"And of course, parehas namin gustong magkaroon ng kid, maximum of two."
Lastly, Francine marveled at how things turned out best for her.
"Nakakatuwa lang dahil palagi kong sinasabi dati na kapag walang gustong magpakasal sa akin, magpapabuntis na lang ako sa taga-Greenland.
"I ended up with a handsome and kind-hearted man with green eyes."