All it took was one heartfelt rendition of Peabo Bryson's classic, "If Ever You're in My Arms Again," for Rufa Mae Quinto to burst into tears on the eve of Valentine's Day.
What made it even more poignant—her ex-boyfriend Erik Santos sang the song brimming with emotion, as if he meant every word for Rufa Mae to ponder.
Part of the song goes: "We had a once in a lifetime/But I just couldn't see until it was gone/A second once in a lifetime/May be too much to ask but I swear from now on.../If ever you're in my arms again/This time I'll love you much better/If ever you're in my arms again/This time I'll hold you forever/This time we'll never end...."
The moment happened last Wednesday, February 13, during the pre-Valentine concert Ol 4 Luv topbilled by Erik, Sarah Geronimo, Christian Bautista, and Rachelle Ann Go at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
According to entertainment columnist Rey Pumaloy in his Abante column, "Oh, Laban Ka!?," Rufa Mae was in good spirits during the early goings of the concert. She was even spotted laughing while Erik was singing their theme song, "Overjoyed," a Stevie Wonder original.
Rufa Mae's mood changed drastically, however, the moment she heard the first notes of "If Ever You're in My Arms Again." Before singing the song, Erik made a brief comment, relating the song's significance to his personal life. That introduction leading to the actual performance touched a sensitive nerve in Rufa Mae.
The sexy comedienne cried even more when Erik left the stage and made his way towards his former girlfriend's seat. Completely taken by her emotions and with Erik within reach, a sobbing Rufa Mae reportedly hugged the young singer tightly.
SUCCUMBING TO PRESSURE. Right after the concert, Rey Pumaloy asked Rufa Mae, by text message, what prompted her to be so emotional during the number.
"Kasi, ang dami-raming issue sa aming dalawa noon. Pinutakti kami ng kung anu-ano. At para matahimik ang lahat, naghiwalay na lang kami," revealed Rufa Mae.
Their separation was brought about mainly by external factors and not because of personal issues usually faced by any normal couple.
"Ang dami-rami na rin kasing pressures na nangyari, ang daming nagre-react. Ngayon, ang daming bumabato sa akin, ang daming intriga, pero kung tutuusin mas may karapatang magsalita si Erik dahil sa pain na pinagdaanan niya sa relasyon namin," said Rufa Mae.
Just like Erik, the meaning of the song was not lost on Rufa Mae and hearing it suddenly opened the gates of her heart, allowing memories to pour in torrents.
"Kung may nasaktan talaga, siya ‘yon at hindi ang kung sinu-sinong tao. Na-touch lang talaga ako. Parang bumalik sa isip ko lahat," she added.
As for the tight hug she rewarded Erik while he was singing to her, Rufa Mae confessed: "Yung pag-iyak ko, hiyang-hiya rin ako kasi baka kung ano ang isipin ng mga tao. Gusto kong itago ang iyak ko kaya yumakap ako sa kanya."