PEP SCOOP Daiana Menezes on engagement to Representative Benjo Benaldo: "I deserve this moment of my life. Totoo pala ang kasabihan that after the storm comes the sunshine."

Matapos ang ilang minutong pagpipilit ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), nagbigay ng konting detalye si Congressman Benjo Benaldo tungkol sa kanyang proposal kay Daiana Menezes. Aniya, “Kasi sabi niya, she wants to go to Europe. Before going to Brazil, we went to Paris… so I did it under the Eiffel Tower.”


Huli na nang ibaba ni Daina Menezes ang kanyang kaliwang kamay para itago sana ang suot niyang diamond ring kagabi, November 6, sa birthday party ng TAPE Inc.’s Senior Vice President at Chief Operations Officer na si Malou Choa-Fagar na idinaos sa Imperial Palace Suites sa Timog Avenue, Quezon City.

"Are you engaged?" usisa ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Daiana, na mabilis nagsabi ng: "It’s just a gift."

Pero hindi nagtagal, nadulas ang kanyang boyfriend na si Jose Benjamin “Benjo” Benaldo habang nakikipag-usap sa amin.

Nasambit niya, "The proposal happened before we went to Brazil..."

At doon na nagsimulang nagkuwento ang congressman ng Cagayan de Oro— na mababakas sa kanyang mukha ang pagiging "smitten" sa Brazilian beauty.



HOW THEY MET. Inalam muna ng PEP kung paano sila nagkakilala.

“You’re the guy. Ikaw na,” ang sabi ni Daiana kay "Cong."

Pero hindi pa rin nagsalita ang boyfriend kaya si Daiana ang unang nagkuwento.

"We met in a restaurant. I was having a dinner with my mom. I was having a meeting with some of my boss [sic]…”

Dito na sumabat si Congressman, "Okay, I’ll tell them. I’ll tell them.”

Sagot ni Daiana, “Okay, go."

Ayon kay Congressman Benjo, “We were having a meeting sa Rembrandt [Hotel], sa Fridays,” pagtukoy niya sa T.G.I. Fridays restaurant.

“Kasi two thousand people died in Cagayan,” dala ito ng Bagyong Sendong na sumalanta sa bansa lalo na sa Cagayan de Oro noong December 2011.

“Parang I felt so bad. Even if I was here [in Manila], I would still cry papuntang session. So, nag-meeting kami on what to do."

At sa gitna ng kanilang meeting ay napagkasunduang magsagawa ng mga rehabilitation measures para sa kanyang nasasakupan.

Patuloy na kuwento ng kongresista, “While we were having a meeting, sabi ng mga boys ko, ‘Cong, nandiyan si Daiana Menezes.’

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"E, ako, before, mabilis ako sa babae.”

Saka niya binigyang-diin ang word na "before."

Sabi ni Daiana na natatawa, “Owwww!”

Sa pagpapatuloy ng kuwento ni Congressman, “No’ng tumayo siya, nagpakilala ako.

"Sabi ko, ‘Miss Menezes, I’m Congressman Benaldo.’ Diretso na...

“Sabi ko, “Two thousand people just died in Cagayan. Maybe you can come and visit us. Maybe it will boost the morale of the people.’

"She agreed to help out. So, yun.”

January raw ng kasalukuyang taon nung nagkakilala sina Daiana at Congressman Benaldo.

July naman noong unang silang nakuhaan ng picture ng PEP sa SONA (State of the Nation Address).

Ang komento ng PEP: "Parang ang bilis ng pangyayari."

Napangiti ang dalawa saka nagbiro si Daiana tungkol sa diamond ring:“Maybe it has some meaning."



THE PROPOSAL. So, paano naganap ang proposal?

Napaisip muna si Daiana bago ito nagpatuloy sa pagkukuwento.

Halatang may agam-agam ang dalaga.

Aniya, may tendency raw kasi ang iba na mag-judge, lalo pa’t hindi ito ang unang beses na na-engage siya.

Pero naniniwala naman siya na pagkatapos ng "traumatic 2011 and being single for nine months," hindi naman masama kung subukan niya muling magmahal.

"I deserve this moment of my life. Totoo pala ang kasabihan that after the storm, there’s the sunshine," ang banggit ng dalaga sa email na kapapadala niya kanina, November 7, kay Karen Pagsolingan, managing editor ng PEP.

"Ang daming blessings na dumaan sa buhay ko ngayon.

"I’m not gonna cry or give up, I’d rather give myself a chance to be happy and make others happy too."

Balik sa interview, inilarawan ni Daiana ang boyfriend: "Iba siya. Iba siya talaga. Pumunta siya sa Brazil. Nagpakilala siya sa father ko."

Namanhikan na ba?

“No!” natatawang sagot ni Congressman.

Ang pamaktol namang sabi ng kanyang nobya, “Don’t say no... He went there. And how did you propose?”

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Sagot naman ni Congressman Benjo, “Oh, I told your dad that I’m so in love with you and...”

Saka nag-astang reporter si Daiana, “No, how did you do it?”

Natatawang sagot ni Congressman kay Daiana, “Parang ikaw na sila [PEP], a.”

Muli ay nagbulungan sina Congressman Benjo at Daiana.

Mula kay Congressman, “It’s okay, baby. You tell the story.”

So, paano nag-propose si Congressman kay Daiana?

Panimula ni Daiana, “No, kasi I’m shooting a movie sa France. I was in Paris…”

“Go!” palambing na utos niya ulit kay Congressman na ituloy ang kanyang pagkukuwento.

Sabi ni Congressman Benjo, “Okay, on our way to Brazil kasi, I was gonna meet the family, so sabi ko, ‘It’s got to be big.

“To go to Brazil, you have to… kasi I’ve been there once. I saved the constituent na nakulong, so I’m very familiar with Brazil.

“Kasi sabi niya, she wants to go to Europe.

"Before going to Brazil, we went to Paris… so I did it under the Eiffel Tower.”

Sa City of Romance nangyari ang proposal, ano ang naging reaksiyon ni Daiana?

“Me? Nagulat ako sa unahan. And then, oh my God!

"He was crying and I thought I was gonna cry. ’Don’t cry, baby,’” saad niya sa kanyang fiancé na during the interview ay naiiyak ulit.

"September 1" daw noong maganap ang proposal.

Inamin ng congressman na na-involve na rin siya dati sa ibang local actresses. Hindi rin niya itinago sa PEP na hiwalay siya sa unang asawa.

Ayon na rin sa kanya, advantage ito para sa babeng kanyang napiling pakasalan dahil alam na niya ang mga maling nagawa niya sa kanyang first marriage na ayaw na niyang maulit.

Walang naging anak ang kongresista sa dati nitong asawa.



THE WEDDING DATE? Nang tanungin ng PEP kung kailan ang kasal, mabilis ang tugon ni Daiana: “Secret yung date.”

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Ayon naman kay Congressman, “She’s fixing the date, kasi…”

Si Daiana ulit, “It’s really hard for us to put our families together.”

Next year ba ang kasal?

Ayon ulit kay Congressman, “I want it sooner…”

Malamang daw na "January or February next year" maganap ang kasalan.

Sa kuwento pa rin nila, sa abroad sila ikakasal, pero magkakaroon din daw ng reception party sa Cagayan de Oro.

“I met the entire clan,” di makapaniwalang saad ulit ni Congressman.

Ayon naman kay Daiana, “It’s okay. My dad, first time ko nakita na natutuwa ang dad ko.

“’Okay, now I feel secure that my daughter… out of the country and blah, blah.’ My dad is very... My dad loves Benjo.”

How about her mom?

“And my mom is so in love with him,” sagot ni Daiana sabay hilig sa balikat ng fiancé.

Sakto namang napadaan ang kapwa representative ni Congressman Benjo na si Lani Mercado sa aming lamesa.

Sabi ng kongresista, “Lani, pina-admit na kami. Alam na ni Lani, and Lucy [Torres-Gomez, na congresswoman din] knows it. I asked them not to say anything.”

Ang nakangiting sagot naman ni Lani: “I’ve been quiet.”



NEW PROJECTS. Masaya si Daiana sa nangyayari sa kanyang lovelife, pero napansin ng PEP na parang mas pumayat pa ito.

Ayon sa kanya, limang movies ang kanyang pinagkakaabalahan.

"Sana malaman ng tao na I’ve been busy and I am happy," ang sabi niya sa PEP through a phone call bandang alas-kuwatro ng hapon ngayong araw, November 7.

"After my Hollywood experience, I’ve been so blessed po that I’m going back again on the 28th.

"Kahit puyat and always trying to learn Bisaya dialect, aside from Tagalog, I’m currently taping my hosting segments for Umagang Kay Ganda and Unang Hirit."

Gustong matuto ni Daiana ng Visayan dialect para mas madali siyang maintindihan ng constituents ni Congressman Benjo sa Cagayan de Oro.

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"I’ve learned a lot...

"So, I’m concentrating on movies and on being versatile at acting skills.

"Since I was little, I used to act, but my dad wanted me to finish college first, so now that I’m finally ready...

"I’m 25, and not getting any younger.

"I opt to work hard than to live in Brazil and work in our family business, shoe company.

"So to get the record straight, these past few months, I was busy with four movies," pagtukoy niya sa pelikulang Sketch, Huling Habilin, My Amiga Girl, at Zoom.


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