MANILA, Philippines – In celebration of the Valentine season, environmental advocate and ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Gina Lopez opened up about her previous relationships and gave love advice.
In her column in The Philippine Star published on Sunday, Lopez shared that she had her first “relationship” when she was in third year high school.
“My teenage years were a series of crushes, and then I went to the US. There were a few guys that I liked but people were much more conservative. I think kids now are much more intense. I left for college and got involved with Ananda Narga. And that was the end of that,” she wrote.
Ananda Narga, which literally means the “path of bliss,” is a system of spiritual practice, involving meditation and yoga.
Lopez eventually got married, but the relationship lasted for only eight years.
“When I came back to the country, I got married to my boss in Africa. After eight years, the marriage fell apart. Some years after was perhaps my most intense relationship. It lasted almost a year. He died and that was devastating for me. The relationship was ideal because he sincerely liked what I was doing. He even appreciated that I had gone to Africa. He was my brother’s batchmate in Ateneo so socially it was so comfortable,” she wrote.
While she is still hoping to find a man that she “could foster a relationship with,” Lopez admitted that it “gets harder as one gets older.”
“At my age, mostly everyone is already married. And in this society, if one goes against the norm, especially for me, it would not be good for the work I am doing at the foundation,” she wrote, referring to cougar relationships.
“Anyway, I am complete and happy. My mother fell in love at 69, deeply in love. Who knows what the future brings?”
Asked about her “ideal relationship,” she said: “Because spirituality is such an integral part of my life, the person has to be deeply spiritual, but just that alone is not going to cut it. It would be great if he was sexy and a lot of fun. I don’t think I could ever hook up with anyone who wasn’t caring and compassionate, or was dry and boring.”
Meanwhile, Lopez gave some advice on life, love and dating.
“Keep life simple. Don’t think too much. Many times what you are thinking is not even true. If you keep your heart simple and pure, then life will be simple and pure,” she wrote, stressing that one should stay healthy and not get into vices.
To those who are deeply in love with someone, she said: “Enjoy it! Feel it. Experience it. Don’t sully it and complicate it with insecurities. Just make it the joy of total giving. It doesn’t last forever, so enjoy it while it is there. It is a blessing and a gift from the Divine. If you ride it well, it can make you a much deeper person because a person is the sum total of their experiences. To be able to give and surrender purely is also giving to yourself.”
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