Gelli de Belen and Ariel Rivera have been married for 21 years, but it has taken 22 years before they starred in the same movie again.
Ikaw Pala Ang Mahal Ko, their first, was released in 1997. Ang Sikreto ng Piso, their second, will hit theaters on January 30.
The two stars remain one of the most enduring couples in showbiz.
“Well, hindi naman kasi namin naiisip na kami yung matagal na nagsasama sa showbiz. It is what it is,” Gelli explains.
“It’s not something naman na, 'Ang tagal na natin. Wow, naungusan na natin ang iba!' Wala naman kaming ganun.
“E, di ba, nag-asawa ka, di ba, forever yun? That’s what it supposed to be.”
When asked what are the good and not-so-good sides that she and Ariel have seen of each other in their two decades of being together, Gelli is quick to answer, "lahat good."
Ariel, for his part, notes that the tone and volume of Gelli's voice can be construed as being angry, even when she is not.
Gelli agrees with a laugh, “Pati mga anak ko, 'Mom, Dad, are you fighting? '
“Parang it’s more of a fact. It is what is it, 'tapos sasabihin niya, yung boses mo ang lakas. Feeling ko nga, hindi kaya bingi ako kaya ang lakas ng boses ko?”
Gelli also reveals why she and Ariel did not have kids after their two sons, who are now teenagers studying in Canada.
“Hindi na uubra, e, ” she says “Hayaan niyo na, marami namang anak na babae si Janice [de Belen, Gelli's sister].”
She continues, “I had a very complicated pregnancy with my second. Sarado na ang pabrika. And siguro yun talaga ang plano ni Lord sa amin.”
Ariel, for his part, says he did not prefer having a daughter because it was harder raising a girl.
The couple are known to be meticulous about projects that they do, so people are curious why they chose MPJ Entertainment Productions and JPP Dreamworld Productions' Ang Sikreto ng Piso as their first movie together after 22 years.
“It’s interesting, it really is interesting,” Gelli answers. “Interesting yung tungkol sa piso.”
With regard to their television projects, she and Ariel do not happen to be working for one network at the same time.
“Hindi naman namin sinasadya, talagang hindi lang nagkakasabay,” Gelli says.
“Okay na rin naman kasi, magkasama na kami sa bahay. 'Tapos, sa trabaho magkasama pa rin kami. Yung movie, okay lang kasi ilang shooting days lang naman.
“Pero yung sa taping, buong maghapon-magdamag magkasama kami. Pag-uwi, magkasama kami, talaga?”
She jests, “Hindi ko alam kung kakayanin ko yun... Well, para naman may mai-share pa rin kami sa isa't-isa.”
For now, Ariel is with the Kapamilya network, while Gelli is a Kapuso.
The latter stars in Ika-5 Utos, which is nearing the end of its run.
Still, Gelli remains excited of what's in store for the series.
“Ang dami pang magaganap na kahit ako, kapag makukuha ko ang script, ay, ano ang mangyayari? Ano ang mangyayari kay ano? And because of the show, well I’ve always been intact with Jean Garcia, Antonio Aquitania but because of the show, we became more close.”