The taming of Rosanna Roces
The bride wore white, even though she already has two grown children and five grandchildren.
Escorted by friend Butch Francisco, former sexy star Rosanna Roces, wearing a traditional white lace gown, met partner Blessy Arias, who wore a three-piece suit, at the altar in a touching ceremony officiated by Rev. Crescencio Agbayani Jr. of the LGBTS Christian Church Inc.
The same-sex union was held at Alexa’s Secret Garden in Antipolo last Dec. 10. Agbayani described the ceremony as “a beautiful, feel-good” event.
An LGBTS ceremony, he explained, is “a combination of Anglican-Catholic and Protestant liturgy, with a touch of Filipino wedding traditions (like the veil, cord, arras, unity candles).” Among the principal sponsors were Superstar Nora Aunor and filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr. The highlight, he related, was the couple’s heartfelt “exchange of vows.”
Her colorful personal life notwithstanding, it is Roces’ first time to tie the knot.
She told the Inquirer that her first wedding to Tito Molina was invalid, because he was previously married.
This time, she made sure everything would hew closely to her idea of a dream wedding.
“It’s a great feeling when your choices are honored,” she shared with the Inquirer a few months before the big day. “The first time I got married, I felt I had to do it because my father was dying then.”
She explained that her father had wished to see her settle down before his passing. “He wanted to be assured that someone would be there to take care of me. It was as if he refused to die until I got married. True enough, he passed on a few months after my first wedding in 1993.”
She asserted that she had decided to open up about her same-sex relationship with Arias, to silence the intrigue-mongers.
“I didn’t want people to look at me and judge me,” she pointed out. “After all, I was never the type who would hide secrets and act holier-than-thou in public.”
She recalled that Arias was a “childhood sweetheart.”
“We met when I was only 15 years old,” she recounted. She had just been kicked out of an all-girls Catholic school then. “Blessy was my first serious relationship and came ahead of all the men in my life.”
As teeners, they shacked up with Roces’ parents. “We lived together for a few years.”
Then, they went their separate ways. Roces became a show biz sensation, starring in a string of R-rated skin flicks before evolving into an award-winning dramatic actress.
“When we met again years after, I had just separated from Tito, but Blessy was already involved with another woman,” she looked back. It was as if fate was preventing a reconciliation. “But eventually, we got back together 11 years later,” she related.
Through Facebook, Arias organized a get-together with old friends. “Blessy’s sibling fell ill with cancer,” Roces related. “She contacted me. We were friends on Facebook and would only say ’Hi’ and ’Hello’ at the time.”
Thank God for social media, Roces quipped, which allowed them to rekindle their thwarted romance.
Agbayani said that same-sex unions, although not yet legal in the Philippines, are still important because “the couple is seeking the blessing of God through a church.”
Why did Roces choose Arias to be her lifetime partner?
“First of all, Blessy is tried and tested,” Roces asserted. “I know her well. She was the only one who was able to tame me. No one else!”
Arias is her passion and peace combined.
“Blessy doesn’t have to go around in circles. She can get through me with just one look,” Roces owned up. “I don’t know why. We just get along so well.”
She has a theory, though, on what makes them click.
“Blessy knows when I am telling a lie,” she admitted. “She knows when I am telling the truth. She knows me inside out. She knows my soul. And she has accepted me for who I am.”
In all her captivating, confounding glory. INQ