‘I guess she’s really in love’
SILANG, Cavite—Mon Soledad, uncle of Valenzuela Councilor Shalani Soledad, said he was initially against his niece marrying Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo too soon—only four months after the couple got engaged.
Shalani, 31, and Roman, 44, met in July and got engaged in September. Roman is the son of former Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and Rosie Lovely Tecson-Romulo.
“I was hoping she’d get married after the 2013 elections [Shalani was said to be planning to run for Congress], but she just couldn’t be dissuaded. I guess that meant she’s really in love,” Mon told Inquirer Entertainment shortly before the wedding ceremony at St. Benedict Church in Ayala Westgrove here on Sunday.
Mon and wife Edith had been Shalani’s guardians while her mother, Evelyn, worked as a flight attendant and, later, as a caterer at a hotel in Kuwait.
Shalani met her biological father, former Banco Filipino chair Adolfo Aguirre, only in 2010.
Mon, a former Valenzuela councilor, recalled the day, Dec. 8 last year, when Shalani sought permission about the wedding. “She pleaded, ‘Sige na Tito Mon. Mabait si Roman.’ I justcouldn’t turn her down.”
Evelyn recounted that Roman asked for her daughter’s hand in marriage “only three weeks after we were formally introduced. I cried … I couldn’t believe it was happening so soon,” she said during the reception held at the dockside of the nearby Nuvali Evoliving Center. “But I know he’s sincere and he really loves Shalani.”
Evelyn’s message to the groom: “It hurts to know that I’m losing my princess, so take care of her, Roman. I may be losing a daughter, but I’m gaining a son.”
In his speech, Roman’s father said he was “entranced and charmed (by Shalani’s) beauty and endearing sensibility.” The senior Romulo described Shalani and Roman as “the perfect couple … a match made in heaven.”
Alberto also revealed that his son “popped the inevitable question” to Shalani at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Valenzuela. “I consider myself blessed and proud to now have five good-looking and talented women in my home—my wife Lovely, my daughters Lupe, Mons and Berna, and Shalani, whom we most affectionately welcome.”
Roman and Shalani left on Monday for a four-day honeymoon at Amanpulo island, a posh resort in Palawan.
Willie Revillame, Shalani’s cohost in the game show “Wil Time Bigtime,” failed to attend the wedding. He was represented by Jay Montelibano, the show’s business unit head.
Shalani had just broken up with her then boyfriend, President Benigno Aquino III, when she signed up as cohost of the controversial TV5 program in 2010.
Willie was rumored to have courted Shalani early last year. Only recently, he teased Shalani on the show: “Porke’t mag-aasawa ka na, ginaganyan mo na ako. Binabalewala mo na kami rito! Tandaan mo, nung nagdurugo ang puso mo, sino ang sumalo sa ’yo? Sino ang tumahi ng sugat sa puso mo? Sino ang naggamot niyan? Sino? Ako … di ba?”
To this, Shalani jokingly replied: “Para sa akin, both asset and liability ka.”
She would return to the program after a month.
Advice from cohost
Only one of Shalani’s cohosts, Mariel Rodriguez, attended the wedding ceremony. “I don’t normally go anywhere on a Sunday—it’s Robin’s day,” Mariel said, referring to her husband, actor Robin Padilla. “But Shalani is the nicest person. I just have to be present on her special day.”
Mariel advised Shalani to “be ready to adjust to life with Roman. It’s really the wife who should adapt. I’m sure they’d be okay. Shalani is painfully nice.”
Actor Richard Gomez—whose wife, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, was one of the gospel readers during the Mass—said he was “happy for the couple.” His advice to the newlyweds: “Prioritize your family. Everything else should come second.”
TV5 creative and entertainment head Perci Intalan said, “All of us [in the network] wish Shalani and Representative Roman the best. Shalani is a sweet and a truly lovely kapatid. She definitely deserves to live ‘happily ever after.’”
Also present during the ceremony were TV5 chair Manny V. Pangilinan, one of the principal sponsors, and network chief operating officer Bobby Barreiro. Some 150 TV5 personnel were deployed to cover the ceremony, as well as the reception.
The couple’s 700 guests were mostly from the political and business sectors. Among the show-biz personalities spotted were Valerie Concepcion, Marco Alcaraz, Precious Lara Quigaman, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and his wife, Bacoor Rep. Lani Mercado. Broadcaster Karen Davila and magazine editor Anton San Diego hosted the party, along with Roman’s brother Erwin and radio talk show host Gang Badoy.