MANILA — Both in-demand stars with packed schedules prior to the pandemic, Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera are relishing being together at home during the lockdown, which has afforded them the "best time of our married life."
The celebrity couple opened up about their own experience of grappling with the coronavirus quarantine on Friday, during the live Facebook launch of "Regal Movies At Home."
Under the program, the couple's 2010 film "You To Me Are Everything" will be available to stream for free on the social media platform.
During the live question-and-answer with viewers, Dantes and Rivera were asked whether the Regal Films project saw the beginning of their courtship.
Dantes responded, in jest, "'Yung totoong nagliligawan, alam mo kung kailan? Itong quarantine, itong ECQ (enhanced community quarantine)."
"Sobrang sarap ng experience namin together," he added, turning serious. "Kasi sobrang love namin ang isa't-isa. Itong ECQ talaga, the best time of our married life ito, sa totoo lang. Siyempre, because of the time."
Dantes, 39, and Rivera, 35, have two children together — 4-year-old Zia and 1-year-old Sixto.
"Nakakalungkot lang na dito pa nangyari sa kontekstong ito. Pero iyon nga, grateful kami because we have each other," Dantes said.
The couple shared that they've formed a new routine at home, which include personal activities, play time with their children, as well as a weekly goal related to home maintenance.
Those are aside from their respective initiatives of aiding frontliners and vulnerable communities, through Rivera's food drive and Dantes' foundation.
"Gustung-gusto namin pag nandoon kami sa room lahat, nagrarambulan kami," Rivera said of their children.
Being home for over a month since the lockdown started has also meant witnessing milestones of their children, particularly Sixto.
"Isang araw, nakita ko na lang siya biglang tumayo at naglakad," Dantes said. "Noong nag-umpisa ang ECQ, gumagapang pa lang 'yan, e. Ngayon, tumatakbo na. Imagine, iyong ganoong milestone, nasaksihan ko at nandito ako."
Dantes pointed out that prior to the lockdown, he was often not home due to his work commitments. Rivera, too, had been juggling family time with her acting projects.
Rivera shared that Zia, meanwhile, has been missing her school activities. In the meantime, they are opting for home lessons courtesy of Rivera.
Referring to the new normal of physical distancing amid the pandemic, Dantes said: "Natatakot ako para sa lahat, lalong-lalo para sa mga anak natin, sa next generation. At the same time, alam kong may hope, kasi hindi naman ito ibibigay ng Panginoon sa atin nang walang dahilan."
"I know that 'yung henerasyon nila, magri-reap ng benefits ng mga gagawin natin ngayon. Dapat ayusin na natin talaga ang mundong ito para sa kanila," he said.