YES! (Philippines) - - In This Issue - TEXT BY jo­ce­lyn t. valle pHO­TOS BY nice print photography WED­DING DATE fe­bru­ary 17, 2017 WED­DING & rE­cEp­TION VENUE two gar­dens ta­gay­tay barangay west, ta­gay­tay city, cavite

That’s how Luis Alandy de­scribes the phase that he was go­ing through in the first quar­ter of 2014. By April of that year, though, the lone wolf—who got his big break as an ac­tor in the orig­i­nal 2000-2002 run of the tele­serye Pan­gako Sa’Yo, star­ring Kris­tine Her­mosa and Jeri­cho Rosales— de­cided to snap out of his in­tro­ver­sion. He signed up for the 360 Fit­ness Olympics 2014.

This was a day­long com­pet­i­tive event or­ga­nized by 360 Fit­ness Club, a health club with gyms in var­i­ous parts of Metro Manila. The 2014 competition was held on April 13 of that year at the Mer­alco Sports Cen­ter in the Or­ti­gas com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial district, and was open to gym mem­bers from all of the club’s branches. Luis had been go­ing for about a year to the Pasig City branch, also in the Or­ti­gas district.

The erst­while loner joined Team Or­ti­gas in the Cir­cuit Men’s Di­vi­sion— and his team won the gold medal!

It was at the 360 Fit­ness Olympics 2014 that Luis crossed paths with an­other mem­ber of Team Or­ti­gas: Joselle Fer­nan­dez, the woman who would cap­ture his heart. Nearly three years later, on Fe­bru­ary 17, 2017, Luis and Joselle be­came hus­band and wife at Two Gar­dens Ta­gay­tay, an event venue in Ta­gay­tay City in the prov­ince of Cavite.

In the cou­ple’s pre-wed­ding in­ter­view with YES! Mag­a­zine, Luis, who turned 37 last Fe­bru­ary 7, and Joselle, who would turn 24 on May 31, re­call with fond­ness how they lit­er­ally bumped into each other at the event.

“Nando’n ako, ’ta’s parang nakita ko siya,” he says, grin­ning. She re­acts, feign­ing ir­ri­ta­tion: “Parang nakita ta­laga?”

“Hindi,” he replies, his grin widen­ing in mis­chief. “Parang tatlo silang girls na… Ayan na na­man, sasabi­hin ko na na­man…”

She gets his drift and laughs. “Lagi niya kas­ing ina-as­sume na siniksik ko raw siya no’n,” she says. “Pero hindi ko ta­laga alam na nakaupo siya no’n sa bench. ’Yong view ko, nasa ka­bi­lang side, ’ta’s uupo ’yong friends ko, so umu­sog ako. ’ Yon pala, may tao sa gilid ko. Siya pala ’yon.”

“Nakaupo ako,” he con­firms, and then teases. “Nag­pa­pa­pansin siya kun­wari.” She just keeps laugh­ing, and he con­tin­ues his side of the story: “Akala niya, bag ako… Umu­sog-usog lang siyang gano’n, ’ta’s sabi ko, ‘Sino ba ’tong nagu­u­sog sa akin?’”

She in­ter­jects: “’Ta’s sabi ng friends ko, ‘Si Luis Alandy ’yan, a!’ Ha­haha!”

He ex­plains why he wasn’t eas­ily rec­og­nized at that time: “Naka-cap kasi ako no’n.”

She adds: “Nauna kasi kami do’n.” He protests: “Nauna ako.”

She shakes her head in mixed con­fu­sion and amuse­ment on what re­ally hap­pened that day. “Hang­gang ngayon, hindi ko alam.”

He set­tles the is­sue with a deus ex machina: “Sig­uro, gi­nusto ni Lord na gano’n.”

The ice was bro­ken be­tween the two gym­mates, but Joselle didn’t warm up eas­ily to Luis. She only knew him as Clarence, a ma­jor char­ac­ter in Sa Dulo ng Walang Hang­gan, the drama se­ries that she used to watch as a child in 2003. Ten years later, she saw him in per­son for the first time at a char­ity event.

“Hindi siya mukhang friendly,” she says of the good-look­ing ac­tor who seems to be as se­ri­ous as the roles that he usu­ally plays. “’Tsaka alam mo ’yong feeling na pag artista na lalaki, parang maram­ing girls.”

The pe­tite and pretty Univer­sity of Santo To­mas fine arts grad­u­ate, who has found a ca­reer in the sales and mar­ket­ing de­part­ment of SMC Global Power, a sub­sidiary of San Miguel Cor­po­ra­tion, con­fesses that “na-pre­judge ko ta­laga siya.” Less than a month be­fore their big day, Luis and Joselle talk to YES! about, among other things, what made them fall for each other.

Luis takes us back to early 2015, when he and Joselle were still in the get­ting-to­know-you stage. They were then hav­ing lunch with their gym friends in a restau­rant at the Shangri-La Mall in Man­daluy­ong City.

“I was hon­est na­man sa kanya,” he says of his la­dylove. “Sabi ko, when we had our lunch there, ‘It’s the first time that I re­ally felt gen­uinely happy about life again.’ Kasi, for the long­est time, me­dyo may pagka-loner ako.”

Iso­lat­ing him­self was, in a way, an ef­fect of his breakup with his im­me­di­ate ex, a Filipino im­mi­grant in Canada whom he had been en­gaged to.

That Shangri-La Mall lunch date made him come out of his shell again, and brought him closer to Joselle, whom he de­scribes as “so­brang bait,” “close na close sa fam­ily niya,” and “ma­bilis siyang patawanin.”

She chimes in, laugh­ing: “Kaya feeling niya, nakakatawa siya.”

For her part, Joselle owns up to her ini­tial dis­trust of him: “Dahil nga na-judge ko na siya be­fore, parang no’ng unti-unti ko siyang naki­lala, sabi ko, malalim pala ’tong per­son na ’to… Pri­vate pala siya, e. So nakita ko na­man kung gaano siya kabait. ’ Tsaka ’yong ef­fort niya, tested na sa layo pa lang ng ba­hay ko.”

For his part, Luis main­tains that he didn’t ex­pect her to be so much younger than he was. At his first sight of Joselle, he just thought that “ang cute ng girl na ’to,” though he also found her “ma­sun­git” and “hindi na­ma­mansin.”

One day, some of their friends at the 360 Fit­ness Club Or­ti­gas in­vited them to have lunch—and they all had a great time. They ex­changed phone num­bers and fol­lowed each other on so­cial me­dia. From there, Luis started send­ing mes­sages to Joselle through text and In­sta­gram. But she rarely replied to him, choos­ing in­stead to stick to her first im­pres­sion of him.

When the year 2015 rolled in, the group of gym friends had been hang­ing out more of­ten and go­ing on out-of-town trips. Joselle be­gan see­ing Luis in a new light, re­al­iz­ing, for in­stance, that “magka-wave­length kami ng hu­mor.”

A week or two be­fore her birth­day that year, Joselle in­vited all her gym friends to a sim­ple cel­e­bra­tion in her fam­ily home in the city of Sta. Rosa in La­guna prov­ince, but only Luis, who lives in a condo at the Or­ti­gas Cen­ter, showed up. His at­ten­dance sur­prised and de­lighted Joselle and her fam­ily. She spe­cially liked the way he hit it off with her par­ents, sib­lings, and other rel­a­tives, who are all very close and dear to her. It turned out that he was quite fam­i­ly­ori­ented, too.

Since that birth­day party, Luis be­came a fix­ture in Joselle’s home. At times, he would wait out­side in his car be­cause he had just come from an overnight shoot of the drama se­ries that he was making then, The Rich Man’s Daugh­ter. He would then drive Joselle to her Or­ti­gas Cen­ter of­fice, which is near his place.

Luis also en­deared him­self to Joselle’s of­fice­mates by per­son­ally de­liv­er­ing break­fast items he’d buy from es­tab­lish­ments such as Star­bucks and Krispy Kreme. “Kaya alam nila na may some­thing na,” Joselle says with a sheep­ish smile.

That some­thing turned into an official ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship on June 23, 2015. They were then on a four- day trip to Puerto Princesa to give do­nated goods to a school there. On the eve of their flight back to Manila, they had a heart-to-heart talk that cul­mi­nated in their be­com­ing of­fi­cially a cou­ple.

Un­like their un­pleas­ant first meet­ing, their boyfriend-girl­friend re­la­tion­ship was stress-free and smooth sail­ing.

“Wala pa kam­ing ma­jor fights ta­laga,” she points out. Nod­ding, he con­curs: “Wala ’yong petty quar­rels dahil sa so­brang un­der­stand­ing nam­ing pareho.”

Seems like there won’t be big bumps ahead for this com­pat­i­ble cou­ple.


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