Published in Hola Magazine Ph, November 2013
There are celebrity couples that are lovely only on-screen, when the lights are on them. Then there are celebrity couples that are lovely in real life, bringing their own light when they walk into a room. Richard and Maricar Poon are the latter. One of the newest showbiz couples have managed to inspire thousands with a love story that reminds people that happily ever after exists – not as a fairy tale, but as a commitment.
Maricar first caught Richard’s eye during her Betty La Fea days as he admits to finding her pretty even then. They officially met in 2009, when she was cast in his music video for “You and I”. The two clicked, but Richard vowed years before that his next girlfriend would be the woman he married. “I used to be a womanizer,” he explained. “So after all the physical stuff, there just comes a day when you want somebody to talk to.” He wanted to be sure that Maricar was the one, so he took a step back. “Di ko sya kinausap – umiwas ako. Finally, I saw her after a year at the Star Magic Ball. My feelings were still the same, so I pursued her.”
“The first time we met, maayos yun conversations namin,” Maricar recalled. “My conversations with him were always meaningful and fruitful. It made me think that this was a guy I could talk to for the rest of my life.”
“He’s very up-front and direct. When we got together as boyfriend-girlfriend, he was already clear na he wouldn’t have a girlfriend without the intention of marriage so by the time nag-propose sya, I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know when or how – the day itself, what the ring looked like, how he proposed – that was the surprise.” Maricar explained.
“By 2012, we were stable. Sa kanya ko na feel yun. She turned out to be my best friend slash crush ko.” Richard said. “My friends and I were planning a big celebration – yun tipong may fireworks and maraming friends. I was 90% down that road, until I talked to Juris sa Sessionistas. She said nun nag-propose sa kanya yun husband nya, sila lang.” He started hearing accounts of intimate proposals, with only the couple at the scene. He realized that Maricar was a very private person, and immediately scrapped his first idea. “One night we were just talking, and I said it. Relaxed lang. I think we’re such good friends kaya walang drama.”
Richard and Maricar tied the knot in a private ceremony at the Bellevue Hotel in Alabang last June 9, with close friends and family witnessing their first ever kiss during the wedding itself. It was a testament to how much honor and respect Richard and Maricar had for each other, and the vows they exchanged. “The wedding was surreal, in a way. I knew it was happening, but it only dawned on me sa reception. I remember after the ceremony, we were in the lobby hugging and I thought, ‘We’re married!’” Maricar smiled at the memory.
When asked what it was like now, months after the wedding, Richard said, “It’s relaxed and masaya. We’re not perfect – we’ve already fought a couple of times – pero masayang-masaya ako. Ang daming reasons eh. When I look at her at night and she’s sleeping, kahit tulog sya, crush ko sya. I thank God for not answering my prayers in the past. Ang dami ko kasing prayers na ‘Lord, sana kami na nun taong to’ in the past. Mail ako eh. I’m glad that I ended up with her.”
Asked what she’s learned so far, Maricar shared, “I’ve learned that I support well, and appreciate a strong leader. That makes us a very good combo. Also, I learned that I can’t cook,” she laughed. “Well, I can, but I need to learn more.” While Richard teaches Maricar to cook, she’s influenced him to try biking. “She likes biking and joining triathlons. So I bought a bike. Tuwang-tuwa naman sya.” Richard grinned.
Quality time has always been an issue for showbiz couples, so Richard and Maricar have agreed to not be apart for extended periods of time. “We committed to making sure na hindi kami malalayo physically from each other for long. For example, if I have to stay abroad for long, like a tour, nakikiusap ako sa producer ko kung pwede sya yun +1 ko. We try to stay close but at the same time, pag may trabaho, tangap lang.” Richard said.
“If there are out of town trips longer than a week, dapat magkasama kami. And when we’re at home, we make it a point na at least one day a week, no work. We just hang out.” Maricar added. As for children, “If they come, welcome naman. In terms of planning though, we want at least a year, kami lang muna.” Maricar said. Richard explained, “I want a year or two with Maricar lang. She’s gone through a lot and deserves to be the center of my attention right now.”
It was Lao Tzu who said that ‘being deeply loved by someone gives your strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ These are the traits that both Richard and Maricar exhibit, and it’s refreshing to see newlyweds still in the honeymoon stage rise above the emotional high, their hearts focused and determined as they begin a new chapter together.
“I’m looking forward to changing with him. I’m sure he’ll change and so will I, so I’m looking forward to seeing us adjust and grow. If there are challenges, I want to see how we will overcome them.” Maricar’s eyes shine with excitement. “That’s always interesting.”