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Mel Sarmiento Promises Kris Aquino: 'Aalagaan Kita. Kasama Mo Ako Sa Buong Buhay Natin'
PHOTO BY Instagram/krisaquino
  • Kris Aquino, 50, is overjoyed that her brother, former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III who passed away in June 2021, served as a "matchmaker in heaven" for her and fiancé Mel Sarmiento, 59.

    Mel served as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary from September 2015 to June 2016, under Noynoy's presidency. 

    Kris recalls that despite having many encounters with Mel during that time, it was only when Noynoy died that the two were able to get to know each other. 

    On October 28, the newly engaged couple answered a special Q&A uploaded on Kris's Instagram account. Her son Bimby was the one who asked questions about their love story.

    During the Q&A, Kris admitted that she and Mel became official on July 24, 2021. "It's really weird to admit this. Our monthsary is actually a month after Tito Noy died," Kris told Bimby.

    couple talking to teenage boy

    "That's why I said there's a matchmaker in heaven. Because of pandemic and everything, because we're quarantined nonstop, we got to know each other so well so fast."

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    Bimby asked his mom if there was anything specific that Mel did to get her to say "yes." Before Mel could reply, Kris interjected, "Don't shock my son."

    When Bimby asked why, Kris replied, "Because out of the blue he just kissed me. Parang sabi ko, 'Ang lakas ng loob.'"

    Bimby asked if it was a deep kiss and asked Mel to describe whether the kiss was similar to scenes in movies like The Notebook or Fifty Shades of Grey. Kris asked her son to stop prying, saying, "No, Bimb, please..."

    She admitted, however, that she was surprised by Mel's romantic moves. "And then I asked him, 'For someone so shy, paano mo nagawa yun?"

    Bimby commented frankly, "He let it out, man!"

    Mel on the other hand, replied with a smile. "Di ko mapigilan, e. She didn't stop me, so..."

    At this point, Kris and Bimby stopped the conversation. "I won't dive any deeper so I won't traumatize myself," Bimby said.

    How Kris Aquino and Mel Sarmiento first met

    The two recall that their love story had "perfect timing." According to Mel, they met so many times during his term as DILG secretary, but he couldn't court Kris out of fear of former President Noynoy. He was also "starstruck" whenever he saw Kris.

    "It's in Bahay Pangarap, the first time the former president introduced me to her," recalls Mel of the residential building in Malacañang, now called Bahay Pagbabago.

    Kris adds, "We would ride in the same helicopter. Kuwento ako nang kuwento sa kanya. [In my head], 'How come di niya ako pinapansin?'

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    But Mel would just give curt replies. "It was so weird. Most people pag kinukuwentuhan ko, natutuwa naman to talk to me. Siya talaga would ignore me.

    "So, I had to ask the staff, 'Shy ba siya talaga?' I said, 'I don't think naman he's gay. If he's gay, 'di natuwa na siya sa akin."

    Mel admits being "torpe" at that time. "Siyempre, admittedly, crush ko siya. Napapanood mo sa TV, ta's biglang asa harap mo.

    "Tapos boss ko pa kuya niya. Nung nasa tabi na siya [Kris], di ako makapagsalita. Ta's nung nasa isang lugar kami, she would start talking to me, si Sir [Noy] nasa tabi, baka magalit."

    Kris shares that she wondered why Mel didn't do anything back then. "Sabi ko, 'Nag-ilang out of town tayo. Bakit di mo ako pinansin? You could have gotten my number.' Because at the time, I was single."

    According to Mel, he felt awkward about making a move out of respect for President Noynoy. He told Bimby, "Minsan, we're about to have lunch, your Tito Noy is seated two chairs away. Tumabi siya sa akin.

    "Sa isip ko, 'Paano ako makakakain niyan?' Tapos andiyan pa tito mo, so nag-alangan ako."

    How Kris Aquino and Mel Sarmiento reconnected

    When former President Noynoy died, Kris and Mel's paths crossed again. Ater that, Mel visited Kris's house to give a "presentation" about certain projects.

    According to Kris, she thought of befriending Mel to know more about the "kidnap threat" she received in April 2016. While she did not give any more details about their conversation then, Kris shared that Mel's visits to their house became more frequent after that.

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    Kris shares, "He started coming here more often. It took the third dinner for me to finally get him to talk."

    When Mel found himself falling for Kris, the former DILG secretary shared that he decided to visit Noynoy's grave. "Nagkakasama na kayo, pagtakbo ng panahon iba na nararamdaman mo.

    "Siyempre naisip ko baka magalit si Sir, multuhin ako. Nagparamdam pa naman yun after ng libing niya.

    "So, I went to the cemetery. I was talking to him, telling him what's going on.

    "I wanted to control myself, but wala talaga. Kasi naisip ko siya, baka magalit sa akin," Mel recalls.

    How Kris and Mel knew that they were right for each other

    Bimby asked Mel how he knew that Kris was the "right one.

    Mel replied, "Siyempre, yung nararamdaman ko, saloobin ko, I'm so happy.

    "Lahat na-notice yun. People very close to me would say, 'Antagal na kita kakilala..." My nieces [would say], 'Iba ngiti mo ngayon.'

    "Talagang ang hirap i-explain, pero sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, siya."

    He adds that because of Kris, it became easier for him to slow down. "I used to do a lot of things. I was kinda busy doing this and that. Ngayon, dahil sa nararamdaman ko sa kanya, I learned to balance my time," he shares.

    "Nung araw, panay work. Ngayon, na-realize ko, 'Okay naman magtrabaho pero masarap pala pag happy ka dahil in love na in love ka,'" he adds.

    On the other hand, Kris shared that she felt relieved that Bimby was in favor of Mel. "It really mattered to me that you like him," she says, to which Bimby replied, "Yeah, of course! Tito Mel's cool!"

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    She added that she also felt happy receiving the blessing of Mel's two sons. "We had dinner with his two sons. And I said sorry to them that they're not seeing their dad as often.

    "I was really touched when they said thank you. They said they've never seen their dad as happy.

    "I felt they must really super love their dad for them to say that. When they left, when I was in the bathroom, I was really crying.

    "I couldn't imagine two boys near Kuya's [Josh Aquino] age saying that, thanking me for making their dad happy. Sabi ko, 'Ohhh... this is something. I just felt really, really touched by that."

    man and woman hugging

    A promise of a lifetime together

    Kris and Mel announced their engagement on October 24. Kris declined to share details about the proposal, saying that it was full of drama. "I will spare him the embarassment of saying why, what happened."

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    Instead, Kris implied that she found her match. She may be a "drama queen," but Mel was also a "drama king."

    At the last part of the interview, Bimby asked the two to give their messages to each other. 

    Mel says, "Alagaan kita. Kasama mo ako sa buong buhay natin." To which Kris replied, "Thank you, Babe."

    Mel also kissed Kris on the lips and jokingly told Bimby,"That's how I did it."

    Kris shares that she feels "at peace" now that Mel is in her life. "All I want to say is that for the longest time — kasi si Kuya [Josh] has chosen to be independent in Tarlac.

    "And you know, it really mattered to me na the man I would end up with will also really love Bimb. Because, wala, it’s really for so long just the two of us.

    "And the fact na, you showed me talaga na with no hesitation that you’re ready to step in, and the fact that you try your best to make me happy, I really feel how much you love me. That’s why, parang ang tanga ko lang kung pakawalan pa kita…

    "I love you with all my heart… Whatever’s left of my life, you have me."

    What's next for Kris Aquino and Mel Sarmiento

    According to Kris, Mel is not used being in front of the camera, but he agreed to do the Q&A so that Kris's fans can get to know him better and learn more about their love story. She also showed the simple gold ring that Mel gave to her, alongside the ring that her brother gave. According to Kris, it is their "commitment ring."

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    Kris wrote on her Instagram post, "So, we compromised — pumayag siya but said after this yung next video yung wedding na namin and, of course, I agreed.

    "That’s how much he has changed me — I now know it’s not all about me, it’s definitely a give & take, and it really should always be about US."

    This story originally appeared on Pep.ph and translated to English by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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