The true love stories of celebrity couples are as much the same as they act them out in their movies and television series.
There were actors and actresses who fell in love at first sight, who started out as friends, or who just couldn't hide their feelings even if they tried.
And just like in the movies or teleseryes, their love stories are super nakakakilig.
Richard and Lucy have been married for 22 years
It all in began in 1993 on the set of a shampoo commercial shoot in Lake Caliraya.
It was love at first sight for Richard.
For Lucy, who had a huge crush on him since she was 12, it was a dream came true.
In one of her Valentine's Day posts, Lucy recalled one of the small moments in between the commercial shoot that started their love story.
Her post began: "The first time we sat down to a meal —- lunch break during the first shooting day of the first storyboard of our first TVC together.
"I did not particularly like vegetables back then and you noticed I had eaten everything else on my plate but the carrots. 'You don’t like carrots? Try them, they're good for the body.'
"I ate every last bit, not really tasting them, just getting them down. I needed to do that anyway because, frankly, I couldn't breathe.
"I've loved you since I was 12, after all, and finally you were beside me. Real. Asking me to eat my vegetables.
"Plus earlier that day, on set indoors and under the light of the sun, your eyes were so beautiful, piercing.
"And I'd sometimes catch you staring at me, a little too long, a little too hard. Everything was a blur but you."
Lucy and Richard got engaged in December 1997.
He proposed on the eve of her birthday, December 11.
They got married on April 28, 1998, at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church in Ormoc City.
They have a 19-year-old daughter named Juliana.
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There was not even a courtship to speak of, not even a hint of a romance when the matinee idol and the beauty queen starred in the 90's Kapamilya sitcom Oki Doki Dok.
But at the very instant Aga realized Charlene was his future wife, he wasted no time proposing to her.
The actor recalled in an interview with the ABS-CBN morning program Magandang Buhay in October 2017, "She was never my girlfriend. Hindi ako nanligaw.
"It was just one day, parang gumanon lang sa akin na, 'My god,' sabi ko, 'naghahanap ako ng asawa, nandito pala sa harapan ko. Ito na siya.'
"Kasi kapag nagkwekwentuhan kami, parang may nakikita akong—you know, this may sound cheesy or ano, pero parang divine intervention.
"Para kang may nakikitang ray of light na parang sinabi, 'Aga, she's your wife. She's the one.' Seriously."
Aga proposed to Charlene during a special Oki Doki Dok shoot in Singapore.
He didn't have a ring at the time, but he did have a plan in mind.
He recounted, "There was so much love already. Not only love. There was so much, parang, I'm gonna get you. You're gonna be my wife.
"And I just proposed to her. Nung naramdaman ko, 'Just propose, just say it.'
"And if she said no, then doon ko siya liligawan. Liligawan ko siya kasi kukunin ko talaga siya. Siya na talaga iyon.
"Sabi ko, 'Will you marry me?' And she said, 'Yes.' Naiyak ako!"
Aga and Charlene got married three months later on May 28, 2001, in Baguio City.
A postscript: They were already married when Aga learned why Charlene immediately said yes when he proposed to her from out of the blue.
Aga told Magandang Buhay it was because she saw his "real self."
He said, "Kumbaga, kahit babaero daw ako noon, ganoon, parang she saw the goodness in me.
"Kasi hindi ako nagpapa-impress sa kanya, pinapakita iyong fake side, you know? She's always seen the real me."
Aga and Charlene are parents to twins Andres and Atasha.
The two young stars were part of what would become ABS-CBN's longest-running hit series, Mara Clara.
Here, the two decade-long (and counting) relationship of Gladys and Christopher began within the first few months of taping the series.
In the beginning, Gladys and her family looked askance at Christopher.
It was because the young half-French actor wasn't a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
For Gladys, especially, it was because she found him childish.
Christopher recalled in an interview with PEP.ph in 2007, "Ang tingin daw niya sa akin e bata, kasi laro daw ako nang laro."
But then Gladys also could not help being drawn to him.
She recalled in the same interview: "Para siyang bad boy, pero iyon ang isa sa nagustuhan ko sa kanya.
"Ayoko kasi ng lalaking Mr. Friendship. Iyong ngiti nang ngiti? Siya, nakita ko iyong pagka-natural niya. Pag galit siya, galit siya. Pag nasa mood bumati, bumabati."
After five months of courtship, Christopher became Gladys's first and last boyfriend.
They were boyfriend-girlfriend for 11 years.
But just like any relationship, Christopher and Gladys had their share of challenges.
The biggest one came on their eighth year as a couple when they broke up for two months—their longest time apart.
People close to them thought it was over and for a time, Christopher even enjoyed the solo life.
But sooner or later, the actor realized life wasn't just about fun. He needed to get serious.
He recalled in the same interview, "Noon ko nalaman ang salitang katinuan... Nagtino na ako mula noon."
Christopher worked abroad as a receptionist, a construction worker, and a snack-bar attendant. He saved all his earnings.
In 2003, their 11th year as a couple, Christopher returned to the Philippines with an engagement ring he bought from his savings.
He went straight to her home, surprising Gladys.
Christopher told PEP.ph, "Expected niya na darating ako January 19. Umuwi ako, umaga, ng January 8. Dumiretso sa bahay nila.
"Binigay ko iyong singsing, iyon lang. Hindi naman ako nag-'Will you marry me?' Basta ginising ko lang siya, inabot ko iyong singsing. Kaswal. Sabi ko 'O.'"
Gladys said yes immediately.
They got married on January 23, 2004.
The couple has four kids: Gian Christopher, Gianna Aquisha, Grant Carlin, and Gavin Cale.
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They were colleagues in the newsroom of ABS-CBN back in 1993.
And for Julius, it was their first encounter that made a lasting impression on him.
The veteran newscaster recalled to Philippine Star in 2003, "The first time I saw her was when she walked into our newsroom wearing red.
"I was attracted to her, but I wasn't really drawn to her."
Julius also felt an "instant connection" with Tintin because they were both film graduates from the University of the Philippines.
At that time, Christine—or Tintin as people close to her call her—was a newcomer in the prime-time news program TV Patrol.
Later, both learned they had more things in common—appreciation for the arts, love for animals, appetite for adventure, joy for food.
It all seemed natural for Julius and Tintin to end up a couple.
Fast forward to 2003, seven years into their relationship, Julius and Tintin were set to get married.
But there was one element missing—a wedding proposal.
In the same interview with Philippine Star, Julius said, "That's true. I haven't proposed because we want it to be really special, but I couldn't think of a unique way to do it.
"Sa tagal namin together, it was a given already. But I will propose to her one of these days."
One reason Julius never got to propose to Christine was the construction of their future home.
The Bandila newscaster continued, "I told her that I couldn't marry her without us having a home we could live in.
"I used to live in a small townhouse, and hindi pwede sa bahay niya because she lives with her mom and siblings. So, I concentrated on building our house.
"That is probably my engagement present to her."
This grand gesture convinced Tintin that Julius was committed to their relationship.
Julius and Tintin got married on December 8, 2003.
They have two kids, Anya and Nio.
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As their story goes, Drew intended to be a bridge for a friend who was interested in Iya who, on the other hand, admitted she actually pursued Drew.
She said in a Valentine's Day 2020 special clip for GMA-7: "Ewan ko kung na-realize niya na type niya ako, but alam ko na type ko siya.
"Actually, hindi ko siya niligawan, pero parang mas ako iyong naghabol sa kanya."
What was it about Drew that attracted Iya?
The television host recalled in an interview with GMA-7 docu-reality program Tunay na Buhay in October 2019, "Noon pa lang, nakikita ko na he is a family guy. How close he is to his papa, to his siblings, yes.
"'Tapos ang nakakatuwa lang, all the more I came to love him as he got older because naging athleta pa siya. And that's, like, super type ko."
Drew and Iya became a couple in 2004.
Eight years later, Drew asked for Iya's hand in marriage during a Europe trip.
On their 10th year as a couple, Iya and Drew got married on January 31, 2014.
Drew and Iya have two boys—Primo Antonio and Leon Alonzo— and are expecting their third child.
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When Richard's manager Eric So heard about this, he played cupid and arranged for Maricar to become part of the concert performer's music video.
Maricar agreed, but during the music video shoot, Richard stopped himself from asking for her cellphone number.
In an interview with Rated K in 2013, he said, "Actually I made a secret vow to myself na hindi ko kukunin ang cellphone nito.
"Kasi, personally, para akong speeding bullet. Dati kapag may gustong girl, I'll get your number, I'm very fast.
"This time I wanted to restrain myself. I didn't get her phone number."
Richard only called Maricar a week after the music video was edited, and their exchange lasted 45 minutes.
That call was the starting point of their love story, but not their relationship.
Richard and Maricar were both cautious. He needed to do some "soul searching."
He told Rated K, "The restraining wasn't easy and it wasn't perfect.
"Sometimes I'd see her, sometimes guest siya ng ASAP.
"Sabi ko hindi ko pupuntahan, pero pinupuntahan ko siya sa dressing room.
"It was a struggle yung one year of restraining myself."
Maricar, meanwhile, was always on guard.
She said in the same interview, "Ako naman kasi basta nakukuha mo ako with conversation, napapaisip ako na puwede ito.
"Pero iyon muna kasi I've become very guarded. Kasi ako basta makausap ko lang, parang nahuhulog na ako.
"So I had walls up already. He had to talk to me for quite some time before I really warmed up."
With much hemming and hawing, Richard and Maricar met again 2010.
Thus, their "on-off affair" began, according to their interview with Philippine Star in 2013.
But then their relationship hit a snag on July 1, 2012, when Maricar told Richard she wanted out.
He refused to give up on her, calling her several times and asking if they could talk.
When Maricar finally agreed, Richard spoke from the deepest part of his heart: "This is a commitment that you deserve. I believe we have waited for so long."
Richard and Maricar "secretly" got married on June 9, 2013.
Aicelle came into Mark's life scarred from her past relationships.
She came to believe a man never changes for a relationship.
She told PEP.ph in an exclusive interview before her wedding,"It's never true, it's never true. Siyempre may mga past relationships ka na hindi nag-work, pilit mo.
"Matigas ang ulo mo. Parang you compromise na, e. Bata ka pa kasi. 'Hindi. Ipaglalaban ko ito kasi he's like this naman. He's like this.'
"Pero ang daming buts. 'Pero kasi ganito siya.' 'But ganito siya.' 'No, he'll change for me.' It's never true."
That was why Aicelle wrote a detailed checklist of what future husband should be like.
She explained during her PEP Live appearance: "Mahilig kasi ako sa signs and wonders ni Lord.
"So kapag may event na nangyayari sa buhay ko, 'Lord, ano ba yung sign mo for me? Should I do this? Should I give this up?'
"And I think when it comes to finding the right guy, may checklist akong ibinigay kay Lord. 'Lord, ito yung gusto ko, ganyan. Ito, ito, ito."
Four years after making that checklist, Aicelle met Mark, who was then a GMA-7 reporter.
And, suddenly, the GMA-7 singer was changing her tune; she found herself ticking off her checklist.
Aicelle told PEP.ph, "Sabi ko, 'Wait lang, Lord. Teka muna, parang natse-check lahat. Hindi pa. Masyado pang maaga.'
"I felt, gusto ko later pa ako mag-boyfriend ulit, to really settle down, kasi gusto ko kung sino man yun, yun na."
For his part, Mark admitted he had already tagged himself as "single for life" before meeting Aicelle.
He told PEP.ph in the same exclusive interview before his wedding: "Jaded na jaded na ako noon, kasi pinaghahandaan ko na iyong 'single for life.'
"As in, kuha na ako ng condo na mag-isa ako. Sinasabi ko sa mom ko hindi ako mag-aasawa. Ganoon na."
But his mother Beng knew her son had so much love to give and she didn't want to see it go to waste.
Then, in 2016, Mark began noticing Aicelle and took a chance sending her a direct message through Instagram.
Aicelle didn't immediately reply, and when she did, Mark asked her out.
Although surprised, the Kapuso talent also took a chance.
Their first date lasted five hours, sparks flew—the heavens granting a mother's wish for her son.
How did Mark know that Aicelle was "The One"?
He recalled in the PEP.ph interview, "Naramdaman ko nung naging kami, I told her this before, an overwhelming sense of peace.
"Alam mo yung wala kang questions, kahit maliit.
"Wala kang doubts kahit konti about the person that you're in a relationship with…
"I can only trust myself with that person and that person with myself kung nakikita ko na she can be, first of all, the wife and the mother of my kids in the future...
"Lahat iyon nakita ko sa kanya, e. As in 100 percent sure ako.
"Kahit bumaba si God dito, tanungin ako sa harap ko, iyon din isasagot ko sa Kanya.
"It felt like a big sigh of relief and security and peace sa akin nung nangyari iyon."
Aicelle and Mark got engaged in March 2018.
They married on November 16, 2019.
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Their love story started with a jacket.
Megan recalled in an exclusive interview with PEP.ph days before their wedding: "I was hosting an event and he was a model.
"Adrianne, who is my best friend, actually booked the both of us, and I remember wearing this red short dress.
"The venue was super cold, and as soon as I walked to the backstage, he was there and he handed me his jacket."
That was in 2010, the first time Megan crossed paths with Mikael.
A year later, Megan and Mikael officially became an item.
But the couple agreed to keep their relationship discreet and private to prioritize their growing showbiz careers.
It was only in 2017, six years into their relationship, when Mikael confirmed he and Megan were a couple.
On top of that, as fans learned later on, the couple was also engaged by that time.
Mikael quietly proposed to Megan in 2014.
Their long engagement wasn't intentional, but it was an advantage to their future relationship as husband and wife.
Megan told PEP.ph, "I think Mik and I, our mindsets since we had a long engagement, I feel like we've already tapped into husband-and-wife mode ever since.
"We've planned like husband and wife for the past couple of years already.
"Like, with things we want to do, things like financial stuff, work mode, all of that, we planned it together."
Mikael added, "In a traditional sense, usually when you get married, saka pa lang… you talk about finances, habits, how do you this or do that.
"It's actually very stressful, to be honest, because that’s a lot of information from someone you love na, 'Oh my god, ito pala yun.'
"We've gotten over those things already which, actually, I'm very happy na we've gotten through already."
The Kapuso stars had two church weddings in 2020.
The first nuptials were held on January 10, which had only 10 witnesses.
The second ceremony was held on January 25, which included the couple's friends and family.
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They attended the same college, went to the same church, and shared a passion for music.
Jason, burned by a failed relationship, decided to "trust in God."
In a manner of speaking, he did the right thing.
Trusting in God, he began to see Moira in a different light.
He told PEP.ph in an interview via Facebook Messenger in 2017, "I wasn't expecting it to happen so soon.
"I want sana manligaw late this year pa, because I wanted to focus muna on my job.
"But when God says go, you just go! Haha!"
The singer said he was further emboldened to pursue Moira when he received the blessing of her late grandmother.
He recalled, "Her Lola Lucy, who passed away last April 1, put it perfectly nung nagpaalam ako sa family niya sa Olongapo kung pwede ako manligaw.
"She said, 'This is called a miracle. Because God protected you from each other even while being with each other until the time was right.'"
Jason and Moira then became a couple.
In August 2017, during #NationalGirlfriendDay on social media, Jason took the opportunity to honor Moira.
His Facebook post, which went viral, read (published as is): "I asked God for a funny one, He gives me someone who'll give me abs from laughing.
"I asked God for a singer, He gives me the most soulful and smoothest voice I've ever heard.
"I asked God for a pretty one, He gives me someone na sinisinat at nahihilo ako when I look at her.
"I asked God for a christian, He gives me a woman after God's own heart, a partner of mine in worship.
"I love you Momoi! I thank God for exceeding my prayers [heart emoji]."
Fast forward to April 2018, Jason proposed to Moira during the shoot for the video of her song "Tagpuan."
The couple got married on January 14, 2019.
Their collaboration song "Ikaw at Ako" served as a memory capsule for that special day.
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