Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes on their long-lasting relationship

Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera maintain lasting relationship with respect

/ 02:03 PM December 10, 2023

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(From left) Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera. Image: Instagram/@starcinema

Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera. Image: Instagram/@starcinema

The characters of John and Mary played by Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera—collectively known as DongYan—in their Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry “Rewind,” are on different sides of the spectrum which resulted in the breakdown of their marriage.

John is a workaholic, while Mary is a “giveaholic,” or someone who gives too much. But off-camera, DongYan consider themselves as passionate “giveaholics” which is, perhaps, one of the secrets to their long-lasting romance.

“Malaking factor na kahit anong mangyari, mataas man o mababa, tagumpay man or hindi tagumpay, nandyan kami para sa isa’t isa. Kung ano man kulang, pupunan mo (A huge factor is no matter what happens, high or low, success or failure, we’re here for each other. What one lacks, someone will fill in the gaps),” Rivera told reporters during a press conference for their upcoming film.


In what seemed to be an advice to couples, the actress said no one should be above the other to make a relationship work. “Dalawa kayo dapat nagtutulungan para maabot ang pangarap niyo (It should be both of you willing to help each other to reach your dreams).”


“Makakamit ang pangarap niyo kung nandyan ang love, respect, give and take, at iisa lang ang patutunguhan niyo,” she continued. “Alam namin na hindi kami magiging ganito katatag kung wala ang nasa itaas. No matter what happens, ibigay ang biyaya sa’min, lahat ‘yun, ibabalik namin sa taas.”

(As a couple, you’ll be able to reach your dreams if there is love, respect, give and take, and you have one goal. We knew that we wouldn’t be as strong as now if the Lord was not there. No matter what happens, we’ll return our blessings to the Lord.)

DongYan’s maturity

“Rewind” tells the story of Mary, who doubts her workaholic husband John’s love for their family. Their argument leads into a car accident which puts her life in danger. A desperate John then makes a deal with God to turn back time.

Contrary to John and Mary, Dantes said one of the reasons why his relationship with Rivera just works is that they were already somewhat decided on their life goals when they met.

“Malaking bagay na nag-umpisa kami in our [mid to late] 20s. Kahit papaano, mature na kami sa aming choices sa roles [bilang artista] at pananaw sa buhay,” he said. “Noong mga panahon na ‘yun, malaki ang aming milestones na nagagawa. Maraming firsts ang nangyari sa buhay ko at sa kanya rin—at na-experience namin ‘yun together.”


(It’s a big thing that we started in our mid to late 20s. Somehow, we were already mature in terms of our choices as actors and perspectives in life. When we paired up, we had big milestones. We had a lot of firsts and we experienced them together.)

After their first team-up in “Marimar,” DongYan was catapulted into household fame. Their romance eventually turned from reel to real, and Dantes carried their “learnings” to make their relationship work.

“Ilan dito ang respeto sa isa’t isa at tunay na pagmamahal. [Para sa’kin] ang dynamic [ng relasyon] ay parang isang dance number. May give and take. At pati ‘yun, na-experience namin as co-workers. And I think, organically, na-apply din namin ‘yun sa aming relationship. Hanggang ngayon, gan’un pa rin kami,” he added.

(This includes respect for each other and real love. For me, a relationship dynamic is like a dance number. There’s give and take. We also experienced it as co-workers. And I think, organically, we applied it in our relationship. Until now, we’re still the same.)

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Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes. Image: Hannah Mallorca/

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes. Image: Hannah Mallorca/

“Rewind,” directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar, also stars Joross Gamboa, Pepe Herrera, Jordan Lim, Pamu Pamorada and Ariel Ureta. The screenplay is written by Joel Mercado and Enrico Santos.

The magical realism romance, along with nine other MMFF entries, will have its theatrical run from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7, 2024.

TAGS: Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)

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