ROCHELLE & ARTHUR
There was no spark, Rochelle Pangilinan recalls, when she and Arthur Solinap first met some 10 years ago on the set of Daisy Siete, the longrunning (2003-2010) afternoon drama series topbilled by the popular dance group SexBomb Girls.
Rochelle, one of the original SexBombs and the leader of the dance group, had the impression that Arthur, an affable actor from Iloilo, was “babaero.” And Arthur, who joined the Daisy Siete cast in 2008, in its 18th season titled “Prince Charming and the 7 Maids,” thought Rochelle was“makikay,” not his type of woman. What’s more, the two of them at the time were each in a relationship with someone else.
All that changed several months after their first meeting, when both Rochelle and Arthur found themselves single and unattached again. Encouraged by a mutual friend, Arthur decided to pursue Rochelle.
One night, after a Daisy Siete taping, he asked her out to dinner at a nearby restaurant. She agreed. Slowly, the mestizo actor and the morena dancer began to know each other better. They became officially a couple on August 8, 2008—or 08/08/08, said to be an auspicious date. But the significance of the date seemed to have no influence in the first year of Rochelle and Arthur’s relationship.
“Shaky ’yong first year namin,” Rochelle tells YES! in an interview two weeks before her wedding. “Siguro, dahil galing single siya, single ako. Hindi rin kami nagseryoso.”
Nodding, Arthur explains: “Hindi ko rin nakita na magtatagal kami. Parang sa akin, para magka-girlfriend lang ako, kasi ang tagal ko na ring single no’n.”
The relationship only deepened when Arthur and Rochelle introduced each other to their respective families. That was when Arthur began to see Rochelle in a different light: that of a breadwinner and a familyoriented woman.“Sabi ko, malayongmalayo sa image niya,” the actor recalls.“Sobrang makapamilya… Kumbaga, hindi siya ’yong... Kasi plano ko no’n, ’yong parang may syota lang panlabas. Hindi siya pang-gano’n. Pangseryosohan siya.”
Rochelle, on the other hand, was taken by Arthur’s closeness not just with his immediate family, but his other relatives as well (he’s a cousin of Dingdong Dantes). “Sila, parang barkada kung mag-usap,” the actress- dancer says of the Solinaps. “’Tapos, nakikilala ko na ’yong buong pamilya niya. Napakabait na parang super duper welcome ako. Ang ganda.”
In 2012, four years into the relationship, Arthur realized that he wanted to settle down with Rochelle. At the time, the actor was in Palawan, filming for the reality-TV show Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown. He told himself that he would propose to Rochelle as soon as he got to Manila. But when the moment finally came, Arthur backed out.
“Totoo pala ’yong sinasabi nila na kapag ’ando’n ka na sa situation, pag hindi mo nafeel one hundred percent, hindi talaga,” he recalls. “’Buti na lang, kasi marami pa kaming pagdadaanan pala.”
And just how much is marami? “Lahat, napagdaanan namin ’yan. Away doon, aso’t pusa, away-bati.”
Rochelle admits that in more than one instance, the misunderstandings almost caused the relationship to end. Only when they turned to prayer and communication did the fights dissipate. Love, thought to be lost, began to grow again.
Finally, on February 20, 2016, Arthur proposed to Rochelle at Balay Indang resort in Tagaytay—once a shooting location of Daisy Siete and the place where their romance first bloomed. Overcome by emotion and surrounded by close family and friends, Rochelle could only nod yes.
On August 8, 2017, their ninth anniversary as a couple, the morena dancer wed the mestizo actor in a grand ceremony at Los Arboles, Tagaytay City. Yes, it took a long time. But as Mr. and Mrs. Solinap would say: it happened “in God’s perfect time.”
What does Rochelle Pangilinan appreciate about her longtime boyfriend and now husband Arthur Solinap?
“Ang maganda kay Art, kabisado niya ’ko, e. Laging magulo ’yong utak ko, e. Bihira sa mga kaibigan ko ang nakakakilala sa akin, na isang tingin ko pa lang alam na nila ’yong iniisip ko. Si Art, kilalang-kilalang-kilala niya ’ko—kung saan ’yong kiliti ko, kung ano’ng nangyayari sa akin itong oras na ’to.”