This photo was taken in Paris, with the Notre Dame de Paris or the Notre Dame Cathedral serving as background. The cathedral, also according to Wikipedia, is “a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe.”
During the interview with YES!, Dingdong and Marian don’t tell us they went on a side trip to Paris, France.
But the photo above and this one reveal that they did.
The structure behind the lovebirds is actually the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre), which houses the Louvre Museum, home of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
The online encylopedia Wikipedia describes the Louvre Museum as “one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited museum in the world, and a historic monument.”
In Madrid, Marian and Dingdong celebrated Valentine’s Day with Marian’s dad, Francisco Javier Gracia (left).
That bit of news prompted speculation that Dingdong’s visit may have been for the purpose of formally asking for Marian’s hand.
But Dingdong, upon his return to Manila, was quick to douse all pamanhikan speculation.
“Wala, walang gano’n,” he laughs. “Ang main objective lang talaga namin, e, makapag-bonding silang mag-ama. Sinuportahan ko lang si Marian sa objective niyang ‘yon.”
Asked where this photo was taken, Marian says: “Sa labas ng isang mall. ‘Pinasyal kami ni Papa ko sa isang mall na may indoor ano… basta may snow, nag-ano kami… ano ba’ng tawag d’on?”
“Parang indoor snowboarding,” Dingdong says. “Siguro, isa ‘yon sa pinaka-enjoy na ginawa namin. Meron pa ngang ski, e, hindi namin nagawa. Sobrang steep, e. Wala kaming practice.”
“Sa restaurant ‘yan ng papa ko,” says Marian. “Colony ang pangalan. Spanish-Italian ang sine-serve nila. Ayan, kumain kami, nag-bonding kami.”
Dingdong elaborates: “Puro kain ang ginawa namin do’n. ‘Tapos, most of the time din, pinuntahan namin ‘yong mga relatives niya [Marian], ‘yong mga kapatid ng mommy niya na nando’n, mga pinsan niya na halos lahat doon na nagtatrabaho at nakatira. Pinuntahan namin kung saan sila nagtatrabaho, at talagang ‘pinakita din nila sa amin kung gaano kasarap ang kanilang mga luto. So, kunwari, sa umaga sa tita, ‘tapos sa gabi sa bahay naman ng daddy niya. Pagano’n-gano’n.”
Besides being reunited with her father and her mom’s relatives, Marian also got introduced to her half-siblings on her father’s side—one, seven years old; the other, two. She also got reacquainted with her Spanish grandparents, both of whom were excited to embrace their first apo, whom they hadn’t seen in six years.
“Eto, sa Dubai ‘yan,” says Dingdong. “Diyan kami nag-concert. Ang laki niyan, sobra! Football stadium, e. Sorry, nakalimutan ko pangalan ng lugar.”
The stadium, we later gathered, is inside the Zabeel Technology Theme Park in Dubai.
(YES! June 2010 issue)
Courtesy of Dingdong Dantes
Dingdong and Marian in Dubai, Paris & Madrid
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Real-life sweethearts Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera left on February 2, 2010, for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to be special guests in the Ogie Alcasid-Regine Velasquez Heart2Heart Concert, held in that Middle Eastern city on February 5.
Shortly after the concert, Dingdong and Marian flew, via Doha Qatar, to the land of Marian’s birth—Madrid, Spain.
This was to make true on Marian’s long-standing promise to her Spanish dad, Francisco Javier Gracia, that she would visit him after six long years of not seeing each other.
The visit was made even more special by the presence of Dingdong, whom Marian got to introduce to her dad for the first time.
Asked how his first meeting with Mr. Gracia went, Dingdong says, smiling: “Magaan. Unang-una, walang parang dialect difficulty, kasi magaling siya mag-Tagalog, so nagkakaintindihan kami. ‘Tapos, siguro ‘yong kultura natin, medyo malapit din sa kanila, bilang naging Spanish colony tayo dati. He’s very groovy pa din, e. Saka pareho kami ng mga interes, lalo na sa kotse. And he’s a very hardworking fellow. Ang galing!”
But the best part of the trip, Dingdong adds, was seeing dad and daughter happy together: “After almost six years of not being together, e, they were given the chance to be with each other again.”
Marian says there were no crying moments between her and her dad at the outset. “More on tuwa talaga,” she recalls. “Pero naiyak talaga ako noong pauwi na kami. Doon ko na-feel na, ‘Ay, uuwi na ‘ko.’”
The actress, who lives with her mother, Amalia Rivera, in Cavite, says she took home, not just happy memories, but something more important: her dad’s loving words.
“Sabi niya, nakompleto ang buong pagkatao niya noong makita niya ako uli.”