At the Star Magic Ball last Saturday, September 3, host/VJ Iya Villania was clad as a ’20s flapper girl, styled by John Paul Dizon. Her white classic gown with a black ribbon to highlight her slim waist was a creation of Joey Samson. Iya was a stunner, as always.
At the red carpet she was with a few men—Showtime host Vhong Navarro, and judges Ryan Bang and Jhong Hilario, even actor Jason Abalos.
Her boyfriend Drew Arellano was nowhere on the red carpet during her moment. According to Iya, Drew came in late because he was at a previous commitment.
"Humabol na lang siya," says Iya and then exclaims giddily, "Yee!"
"So, at least hindi ako lonely. Humabol siya [kasi] galing siya sa isang event."
Some girlfriends would be unnerved by a late, or worse, an absent boyfriend. But seven years of being together sets Iya and Drew apart for the maturity they have developed.
While teased about entering the star-studded event with other men, Iya’s retort was proof of her confidence in their relationship.
"Malandi ako! Chos!" she joked. "Marami akong friends. I’m just blessed with friends at saka yung mga ka-date ko, mga ka-close din ni Drew kaya hindi na ako nahiya makiakbay sa kanila."
Iya was present last night, September 5, at the launch of MSE (Marikina Shoe Exchange) at the Richmonde Hotel in Eastwood, Quezon City.
She was named ambassador of the direct selling business alongside Billy Crawford, John Prats, Kris Lawrence and Carla Abellana.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had the opportunity to get an update on Iya’s relationship with Drew at the launching. Are there others who pursue her despite her known off-limits status in showbiz?
Iya quips, "Wala. Hindi ako maganda! Hindi mahaba yung hair ko!"
Suddenly turning serious: "There are a lot of people that I find good friends in, pero I guess they all respect me and my relationship with Drew to a point that they wouldn’t try anything offensive."
The entertainment media have been persistent in asking when she and Drew would settle down. She usually answers calmly that she and her boyfriend don’t pressure each other.
"The great thing with Drew is that he knows that I’m quite young still and I still have a lot to discover and experience so he doesn’t tie me down, he doesn’t restrict me.
"He really just lets me explore and that’s what I love about him. I’m still able to become my own person," says Iya.
Iya is 25 and Drew is 31-years old. Do they get affected by friends who have tied the knot and are now raising their own families?
Iya says no.
"Actually natutuwa nga ako sa kanila kasi mga friends niya, kinasal na, may mga anak na.
"Tinanong ko naman siya, ’Honey, hindi ka naman nape-pressure?’ [To which Drew replied] ’Of course not!’
"We’re really happy with where we are.
"We’re so in love, we’re so secure, and we’re so sure.
"Hindi na namin kailangan magmadali."
Iya mentions that their relationship has gotten stronger.
"Lalong na-confirm yung pagsasama namin," she stresses.
A formula to the lasting special friendship she shares: "Faith in each other, understanding.
"Understanding is a huge part of it. Giving and taking.
"’Cause with understanding, you’re open to make mistakes. But of course, you’re not gonna repeat them as much as possible.
"So even with the mistakes that we’ve made, we forgive each other, we understand each other, and we get past it, we move on."
GETTING PAST THE SEVEN-YEAR-ITCH. It takes rough times to make relationships grow.
The 7-year itch—a phrase that refers to the inclination of any one party in a romantic relationship to become unfaithful, uncertain, or lose interest in the relationships— is among the trials that couples go through.
Asked if she and Drew have undergone such a trying time, Iya says, "Actually, I understand what people say.
"You do reach that point in a relationship. It’s that point when you either carry on with it and you become sure of each other, or you realize, hang on, I’m not in this for the right reasons anymore.
"And I’d like to think na nalagpasan na namin yun."
Does this confirm that Iya and Drew have in fact gone through the 7-year itch?
Iya indirectly answers, "Mas naging sure pa kami sa isa’t isa."
Iya reveals that her relationship with Drew has seen through a lull or a cooling off.
It lasted for about a week or two, according to Iya.
"We’ve had our rough times... may konting cool-off na naganap, but nothing major."
Has third-party interference ever attempted to break them apart?
Iya smiles and says, "No. We’ve been really quite good to each other.
"Basta we’ve had our fair share of problems...
"I haven’t been the perfect girlfriend.
"You know, he’s also had his fair share but it’s those tests that have brought us to where we are now."
While they have no wedding plans yet, do they ever talk about marriage and raising a family together?
Iya replies, "Oh, yeah. Yeah, we talk about it. Everything that we’re doing now is definitely for our future.
"Sana bago mag-ten years... Sana... But it’s definitely there. We’re actually excited about our future."
Does their long-term commitment ever intimidate them or scare them that it would end up in tears, fights, and an eventual breakup?
Iya says, "We’re not thinking about the risks. Siyempre, if you keep thinking about the risks, you’re definitely entertaining the negativity.
"We’re not thinking about the risks. We’re really happy with where we are... we’re very sure about each other."
Iya’s final note on a "sooner or later" marriage: "We’ll get there."