Maxene Magalona Is Now Mrs. Robby Mananquil
In this Metro Weddings x Metro.Style exclusive digital cover special, Maxene Magalona, now Mrs. Robby Mananquil, spent one of her last days as a single lady, basking in sheer bride-to-be bliss. Her fit and fabulous wedding-aisle-ready body was dressed in clean, classic, and sophisticated gowns from Vera Wang Manila, for this fashion editorial, as she joins the roster of local and international celebrities who are Vera Wang brides.
Here, read about the cute and inspiring love story of Maxene and Robby as well as details on their romantic pre-nuptial photoshoot in Paris, France and their dreamy Boracay wedding.
The Cinematic Start of Their Love Story
Just when we thought love at first sight doesn’t really happen in real life, we hear the love story of Maxene Magalona and Robby Mananquil—and how glad we were to be proven wrong.
Cue the dramatic lights, the romantic musical scoring, and the cinematic time freeze effect where only the two of you exist in your own little bubble. Well, that’s pretty much how Maxene would describe the moment she first saw Rob.
“I’ve known him from the modeling industry. We have common friends, but we were never formally introduced. But I first saw him at a gig. He was one of the performers there. Hindi ’yung band nila ’yung gusto kong panoorin talaga that night. But when his band, Pulso, started playing, napatingin talaga ako. I was enthralled. The music was so beautiful to my ears. I saw him playing, and instantly, nagka-crush ako sa kanya. Alam mo ’yung parang movie na may spotlight at musical scoring, parang ganu’n,” Maxene recalls.
Getting to Know Each Other
Curious as to who this guy was, Maxene messaged her sister Saab, who’s also part of the band scene, and asked about him. Maxene has had a secret crush on Rob since. And by some fortunate twist of fate, Rob added Maxene on Facebook a few months after that night. Although Maxene isn’t the type to accept friend requests from people she hasn’t met personally yet, of course, she made an exception for her crush.
But the online interaction between the two didn’t happen until after about five months. Maxene posted a status on Facebook: “Coming home from a long day of work and eating Indian mangoes and spicy bagoong is just the best feeling in the world.”
Suddenly, Rob messaged Maxene: “Hi Maxene. We’ve never been formally introduced but I know your sister from the music scene, and I know your brother, we’ve worked in a magazine feature before. Anyway, I saw your status and it got me craving. I just wanted to know if you could recommend a good place where I can get Indian mangoes.”
As she already accidentally opened his message, Maxene had to reply fast lest he’d think she wasn’t interested in him. Despite being on a kilig overload, Maxene mustered to reply: “Hi Robbie. Yeah, we’ve never been formally introduced but of course I know you. Anyway, I recommend you get it from this grocery I get it from. They’re really good. Just make sure to ask them help you pick the nice ones. Enjoy!”
Maxene thought that was that. But then, Rob, who was obviously interested in Maxene and was looking for a way to lengthen their conversation, replied with yet another question: “Oh, thanks! By the way, what kind of bagoong do you recommend?”
Needless to say, their conversation went on and on. Since then, the two had been on constant communication on Facebook. After a month, Rob finally asked Maxene out for a coffee date.
Falling in Love
“When he was asking me if I was game to have coffee with him, I was really scared. To be honest, in the past, it would always be like a group date. Someone would introduce me to someone. It was always set up,” Maxene says. But, for a change, Maxene accepted the invitation.
Since it was the first time she’d ever be on a solo date, she found herself really preparing for it. Maxene shares, “What I did that day was I went shopping. I bought three different outfits, took pictures of me wearing each, and sent them to my mom, my sister, my brother, and my best friends. I asked them kung ano’ng maganda. I ended up listening to my brother Frank’s choice, a long dress and just slippers. Very laid-back. Tapos ’yung makeup ko, I made sure na very light lang.”
When Maxene got to the coffee shop, Rob was already there holding a coffee for her. “Alam mo, first five minutes pa lang, habang nagsasalita s’ya, I was messaging my sister. Sabi ko, ‘Mahal ko na s’ya,’” Maxene shares. “Exaggerated ’yun, of course, pero that was my initial reaction. Parang everything I imagined it would be, even more pa ’yung nangyari. Sparks were flying.”
Believing in Forever
Maxene found that she and Rob share a lot of things in common like their love for music, watching concerts, going to music festivals, watching movies, taking pictures, traveling, and discovering new places to eat in.
They enjoy each other’s company so much so that Maxene wasn’t feeling any pressure to hit the fast-forward button in their relationship. “Mag-two years pa lang kami. I didn’t want to expect anything because I was just enjoying what we had. Masaya na ako na kasama s’ya,” Maxene says.
But Rob was ready to take their relationship to the next level, not to say that Maxene wasn’t; she just didn’t like to, in her own words, “Talk about forever and pangunahan ang mga bagay.”
On their first Valentine’s trip abroad, the two traveled to Japan, their go-to destination for a quick escape, and it marked the start of their forever.
The proposal took place at the picturesque Tokyo Dome City’s “Luminous Tunnel.” Rob had it all planned well (of course, he asked for the blessings of Maxene’s mom Pia and brother Frank first) and so natural to what they normally do on travels abroad, so Maxene had no idea she was about to get the surprise of her life.
Maxene narrates, “Rob asked me if game ako to take our picture for Valentine’s. Ako, sanay ako na nagta-travel photoshoot kami so I didn’t think anything of it. He set up the tripod tapos sabi n’ya gawa daw kami ng tatlong poses—‘’yung una nagtitinginan tayo, ’yung pangalawa hinahalikan kita, then ’yung pangatlo bubuhatin kita.’ Sabi ko, ’wag. Ako kasi, I don’t like to talk about forever. So sabi n’ya, sige, ’yung third pose, bahala na. ’Yung first pose, we did about 10 different shots. Next pose, kiss. Sabi ko, parang iba ’yung kiss n’ya, may something. Tapos before doing the third pose, nag-bathroom muna s’ya, ’yun pala hinahanda na n’ya ’yung ring. Pagbalik n’ya, pinindot na n’ya ’yung timer tapos ’di ba 10 seconds lang ’yun, pagbalik n’ya, lumuhod na s’ya agad. Wala s’yang speech, sabi n’ya lang, ‘Baby, I love you so much, will you ride this rollercoaster of life with me?’ That’s the only thing he said and I was dumbfounded. I was like, ‘Oh my god, are you serious?’ Tapos parang siya, ‘Ah, is that a yes?’ Yes, yes!”
Planning the Wedding
When Maxene and Rob got started with their wedding planning, the first major decision they had was to not hold a wedding out of the country as what seems to be the trend in celebrity weddings these days. “I asked Rob if it was okay for us to get married in the Philippines, because my dad is buried here. Right away, he agreed,” Maxene says.
The couple treated this wedding planning as a training ground in terms of decision-making. “We both decided on everything together because we figured that if we wanted to learn how to make decisions as a married couple in the future, this was the perfect time to practice,” Maxene notes. “I’m so happy that Rob opened my eyes and made me see the real meaning of why we’re doing this. It’s not about the wedding itself, it’s about the marriage, the union, kung ano ’yung mangyayari even after that day…He always reminded me that the wedding is just one day out of our lives. What will matter most is our marriage after that.”
Still, Maxene can’t help but admit she was a bit of a bridezilla. And who can blame her? It’s her big day! Thankfully, she says, “Rob always assures me I have nothing to worry about. He tells me to just calm down and enjoy. He puts me back into perspective…Throughout this whole process, I learned about Rob’s core values and it just made me fall in love with him even more.”
Ironing out all the details of a wedding is stressful in general. But, if you look at it from a different perspective, it can also serve as a bonding experience for the couple, just like how it was with Maxene and Rob.
“The whole wedding planning went by so quickly. Sure, there were a lot of stressful moments but what I really appreciated about it was how it brought me and Rob closer as a couple,” Maxene says. “We definitely became stronger as one unit because both of us were heavily involved in the whole process…We learned how to communicate more and value each other’s thoughts and ideas. We really wanted our wedding to be an expression of our love which was why we were very hands-on with all the details.”
The couple chose to hold an intimate wedding in Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa because it is special to them. She says, “We’ve always loved visiting that beautiful island. Every time we go there, we always have fun, feel relaxed and appreciate the beauty our very own country has to offer.” Their chosen date also has a special meaning: “Rob was also in Boracay when he called me at 1:11am as a mistake thinking it was 11:11pm (the time when I used to always call him to tell him to make a wish back when we were still only dating), which was why we chose January 11 as our date.”
Spreading Love in the City of Love
Their journey to the big day was made even more memorable with the simple yet stunning romantic pre-nuptial pictorial, which they did in Paris, France. Since they both love traveling, they figured doing a destination shoot would be best. Maxene told Metro.Style, “Our love for travel plays a huge part in our relationship so when the opportunity to have an engagement shoot with Pat Dy and his team in Europe presented itself, we just knew we had to do it. We wanted our pre-nup shoot to be an expression of who we are as a couple and since we love traveling and taking photos during our trips, walking around the City of Love with one of the top photographers in Manila was definitely a dream come true.”
The couple also worked with stylists Myrrh Lao To and Edlene Cabral who, as Maxene says, “helped us put together stylized versions of our usual twinning outfits.” She adds, “We really loved the looks they chose for us. The colors of our outfits complemented the look and feel of Paris.”
“We shot at the Louvre Museum, Pont de Bir-Hakeim (Inception Bridge) and the love lock bridge. Pat and his team actually surprised us at sunset when they brought us to the love lock bridge because we had no idea we were going there. We spontaneously bought a lock to put on the bridge and signed it with our names. Pat asked us to look at each other for the photo and we didn’t realize that we would both start tearing up because the moment was just so beautiful and surreal. Up to now, I still can’t believe that I met Rob and that I’m actually going to get to marry my best friend,” Maxene recounts.
Yesterday, Maxene and Rob finally tied the knot in the presence of their closet family and friends. The wedding was beautiful and intimate, and really shone light at what matters most: a celebration of love between two people who found not just a partner but also a best friend in each other. The couple was radiant as they both exuded so much happiness upon reaching this milestone in their relationship.
Against the stunning and picturesque Boracay sunset, Maxene and Rob exchanged heartwarming vows that really brought their guests to tears.
Rob told Maxene, “They say penguins only have one mate in their entire life and propose by giving their mate a pebble. I promise to be your penguin, the one who searched for the perfect stone and I promise I will love you till my last breath and never leave your side. I promise to take care of you. I love you so much my best friend turned into girlfriend then fiancée then now to be my wife. You cannot imagine the amount of joy you have sparked into my life. And for that, I’m forever grateful to you and God.”
Maxene’s vow, on the other hand, said: “I honestly still don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I feel like for everything right I’ve done in my life, you are my greatest reward and blessing. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wish that you had met my dad. If he [were] here today, I just know how much he would love you. The way you’re deeply passionate about music was how he was with his. The way you love your dog Chewie was the way he loved his chihuahua Gringo. The way you love and take care of me was the way he loved and took care of my mom and our family. And as I stand before you on this special day, in front of all our family and friends, I say without a doubt that Papa is happy…I love you, Robby. Always. Every day.”
Produced by Kate Paras
Photography by Shaira Luna
Story by Grace Libero
Styling by Myrrh Lao To
Assisted by Janra Raroque and Zia dela Rosa
Makeup by Gery Penaso of New Monarq Creativx, using Laura Mercier
Hair by Ezekiel Otilla
Set Design by Jo Claravall
Shot on location at Marriott Grand Ballroom. Special thanks to Hope Velasco
Maxene is wearing Vera Wang gowns and Royal Gem jewels