MANILA, Philippines - The first time I used that title was more than 12 years ago when Pops Fernandez, after denying to death that her marriage to Martin Nievera was on the rocks, finally confessed to The STAR, which broke the story three years earlier, that the persistent rumors were true, saying with finality, “When it’s over, it’s over!”
The second time that headline appeared in Funfare was more than two years ago when a Funfare VDPA (Very Deep Penetration Agent) confirmed that Robin Padilla and Liezl Sicangco had been separated for two years and Liezl was ready to remarry (a New Zealander). Of course, Robin has found his own new love in the person of Mariel Rodriguez whom he’s determined to marry again, this time in Catholic rites after their Muslim marriage in India in August last year — if, and only if, the church authorities will give them the go-signal.
Then last year, Funfare again used that title for a story about a controversial couple whose romance was doomed from the start.
And now, with a heavy heart, I’m constrained to use that “It’s over!” banner again as I break the story that, yes, it’s true, Sen. Chiz Escudero and Christine Elizabeth “Tintin” Flores, his wife of 10 years, have separated.
“They’ve been living apart for five months now,” said the VDPA.
Funfare texted Chiz and Tintin separately for comment, but neither of them replied. Close friends of the un-couple are also mum on the matter.
Chiz and Tintin met in 1995 while Tintin was singing at the lounge of Sulo Hotel whose owner is her father’s good friend. Chiz was a new lawyer then, working at the nearby Quezon City Hall. He and his friends would drop by after work, and that’s how he fell in love with Tintin.
Recalled Tintin in an interview with The STAR after they got married on Dec. 15, 1999 at the Shrine of Jesus at the Reclamation Area, Pasay City, “I committed a booboo on our first meeting. The waitress approached me with a request slip. Nakasulat doon Fallin’, requested by ‘Atty. Cordero’. Aba, Chiz’s group started laughing! His friends were shouting, ‘O, pare, hindi ka naman pala kilala, eh!’ It turned out that Chiz was boasting to them that he knew me and I knew him. He ended up alaskado that night.”
But it didn’t stop Chiz from courting her.
After suffering from ectopic pregnancy a year after they got married, Tintin finally gave birth to fraternal twins in October 2007, also her and Chiz’s birth month.
Rumors that their marriage was having trouble started circulating two years ago. Chiz had expressed an intention to run for president in 2010 and people thought that his possible opponents were the ones spreading the nasty rumor to discredit him. But even after the election, the rumors persisted, generating subplots in the process, with Tintin being linked to a member of an all-male dancing group and Chiz to Kris Aquino. I believed neither of the rumors.
Several times, Funfare contacted Chiz and Tintin for comment on the rumor that has gone viral in the Internet and that pops up every now and then in blind items, but up to now they have remained quiet, non-committal, not replying at all.
Until Funfare’s unlikely VDPA surfaced when I bumped into him on my recent trip to Cebu.
Asked if any “third party” is involved on either side, the VDPA said, “I don’t know. What I know is that they just drifted apart.”
(Paging Chiz and/or Tintin: Funfare is open for your reaction, whether a confirmation or a denial, anytime you are ready. Feel free.)
• AJ donates eyes to Eye Bank. AJ Perez’s parents, Gerry and Marivic Perez, confirmed to Funfare that AJ, 18, who died in a car accident late Saturday night on his way from Dagupan to Manila, has donated his eyes to the Eye Bank. The intended recipient was supposed to be Fatima Soriano, the blind singer with the magical voice (God bless you, Mama Mary loves you…) who co-hosts an inspirational program on DZMM with Fr. Jerry Orbos. Sadly, Fatima’s cornea is so badly damaged that an eye-transplant may not be possible. Gerry said that AJ’s eyes will then be donated to whoever needs them at the moment. The first actor known to have donated his eyes was Miko Sotto, son of Ali Sotto (who co-hosts the new GMA show Starbox with Papa Jack and the MJ/MM twins).
• Gladys Reyes and Christopher Roxas’ three little darlings. Here’s a letter from Gladys Reyes who is updating Funfare readers on what she’s up to these days:
Dear Kuya Ricky,
Kumusta ka na? Share ko lang po sayo some of our latest pictures. I have 3 kids now — Gian-Christophe, 5; Aquisha, 3; and my baby Grant-Carlin who’s now five-months old. I’m still breastfeeding my baby but I’m back to work. I’m now doing a new teleserye on ABS-CBN entitled Guns and Roses with Robin Padilla and Bea Alonzo. Ako po kontrabida ni Bea. I enjoy my job in MTRCB as one of the board members and still doing Moments on Net25. Christopher naman po is part of Nasaan ka Elisa, another teleserye on ABS and now hosting his own environmental and wellness show on Net25, entitled Footprints. Hope to see you.
Have a blessed holy week!
• Pilar Pilapil’s ex-husband sad about what happened to Pilar.
And here’s another letter, this time from Michel Ponti, the Spanish journalist ex-husband of Pilar Pilapil, e-mailed from Spain (printed as is):
I just heard the news about the stabbing of Pilar and I am really worried about her. No matter what went wrong between us during our marriage but this is another thing. I really do feel very sad about what happened to her. I would like to know from you how is she and which chances she’s got. You should know that the news reaching here in Spain is poor. If you could tell me how is she, please do. And please let her know that I have been very worried about her and tell her that I will do anything she needs for her recovery.
Thank you very much and I expect your news.