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Metro In Love: Empress Schuck And Vino Guingona—A Match Made In Heaven

The recent wedding of Vino Guingona and actress Empress Schuck may have been a beautiful celebration of the couple’s lasting love for each other, but it was also a powerful testament of their faith under the canopy of God’s immense grace

“Finally, here we are… closing a page and now starting a new chapter…” so goes a line from actress Empress Schuck’s wedding vows to her now-husband Vino Guingona, and it really is a new and heartwarming season for the long-time couple.


Vino and Empress found a way to rise above these challenging times and found a beautiful moment to celebrate by finally tying the knot on March 6, 2021 in Tagaytay with their family, closest friends and loved ones present at the ceremony.


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Love begins

The first time Vino, grandson of former Philippine Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. and nephew of former senator Teofisto Guingona III, laid eyes on Empress was when he gatecrashed her 18th birthday party. She had no idea of his presence nor of his existence.


They would formally meet years after when a common friend thought of introducing them and setting them up together on a date.


“Vino and I are both from Zamboanga and that mutual friend is also from Zamboanga—my kinakapatid who happens to be one of his best friends. So one day, he was in Manila and that kinakapatid said, ‘I want to introduce you to someone who’s also from Zamboanga and who’s also a friend of your family.’ My dad’s side is from Zamboanga and it’s really a small town so everybody knows everybody. My parents know his parents but we don’t know each other,” Empress shares.


Vino remembers feeling apprehensive about the meet-up because he knows Empress is a celebrity. “My friend was saying to me ‘Sige na, come with me. I’ll introduce you to an actress, a celebrity.’ Sabi ko, ‘No, that’s out of my league. I cannot keep up with her.’ But my friend insisted to meet each other first then just see what will happen,” Vino recalls. He gave in and met up with Empress and their friend at a restaurant and offered the actress a ride home.


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Their first impressions of each other was a clue to how the future would eventually play out. “When I saw her, I was just frozen. I just see her on TV tapos nandyan na sya sa harap ko, so of course, I was overwhelmed by her beauty. I’ve never seen someone like her na sobrang ganda,” he confesses.


Like any other girl, Empress did a proper research prior to meeting up with Vino. “Before we officially met, s’yempre, if ’yung friend mo kapag may ipapakilala sa iyo, ipapakita muna yung picture ’di ba? Nakita ko na sya sa picture. I find him really handsome also. Paranguyyyy, okay, pwede!’” she laughs.


The couple felt the chemistry right off the bat. “I felt it noong hinatid ko sya. I felt na I can keep up with her kasi sobrang humble lang niya. Kasi I thought she’s a celebrity so mahirap baka high maintenance. But when I dropped her off, she was humble, very down-to-earth tapos mabait talaga. Hindi sya actress at that time; she was just Empress,” Vino says.


Empress was equally happy with their first date. “I find him kind and very respectful kasi even before that, medyo na-brief na ako kung anong klaseng lalaki siya. Sinabi naman ng friends ko nasobrang bait niya, wala kang problema dito. Baka ikaw pa magpaiyak dito.’ In-expect ko na na good boy talaga ito—which is what I wanted naman talaga in a partner. Tama namantotoo naman yung tsismis (laughs). When you meet and see him, he’s just really quiet. You would really feel that he’s a kind and introverted person,” the actress smiles, fondly recalling those memories. And the rest, as they say, is history. Vino and Empress have been together for six long years and were blessed with a beautiful girl they named Athalia in 2015.


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Going strong

Throughout those years of being together, it’s easy for them to answer what they love the most about each other. “I love her because she’s very simple, humble and down-to-earth. Alam moyung hindi mahirap to be with? For example, in a relationship, we fight ’di ba? Hindi siyayung person na when we fight, she would find a way na babawi ba. Easy for her to let go lang and then forgive. The next day, wala na, masaya na kami. We’re fine,” Vino shares, honoring his wife.


For this part, Empress got pensive—but only because she thinks there are so many things to love about her husband. “Maraming reasons to love him and kamahal-mahal sa kanya but siguro, I can really say na I can count on him no matter what. Parang if I need someone to run to, to talk to or just somebody to be with, it’s really him. He’s very fun and light to be with… hindi ka mato-toxic sa kanya. That’s just one of the few things that I love about him but definitely, there’s a lot more pa,” she says.


They both agree though that their relationship is not perfect and they would still get into fights and misunderstandings sometimes. However, they have made a resolve to always maintain the respect for one another.


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“What I learned with from our six years of relationship is ang top priority for me is respect and good and open communication. Kasi siyempre when you’re angry, kahit na gaano mo kamahal ’yung tao, somehow madadala ka talaga ng damdamin tapos kung anu-ano nayung masasabi mong masama. Sinasabi ko talaga sa kanya na as much as possible when we fight, dapat nandyan pa rin yung respect,” Empress begins. “And also open communication. For me, I need to be aware of his feelings para I can do something about it.”


“What’s nice kasi about us is after arguing, we wouldn’t let it last overnight. We understand na fighting is normal, we just have to accept each other, move forward and learn from our mistakes tapos kung feel namin na it was my fault, I would go to her and apologize. Same with her. Forgive lang and accept it and make sure to just be calm. Don’t hurt each other physically—iyan talaga yung number one,” Vino concurs.


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God-centered marriage

The pair’s relationship marked a milestone in September 2020 when Vino surprised and asked Empress to marry him right smack in the middle of Athalia’s birthday party.


Asked how getting engaged and married amid a pandemic felt like, the newlyweds got real and candid about the situation. “It was stressful but it was also an advantage. Stressful kasi with all the restrictions and rules na kailangang i-follow but advantage also because mas intimate ’yung wedding. We just invited ’yung mga kailangan naming i-invite—close friends, family, relatives—kilala namin lahat. It was a light feeling,” the groom shares. “Actually, iyong date ng kasal namin is two days before our marriage license was going to expire,” he continues, highlighting the stress behind the scene of their beautiful all-white wedding.


For Empress, their relationship with God was the reason for this breakthrough in their union. “It was kind of rushed kasi. ’Di ba usually [preparation] takes a year? We actually wanted to push through by December kasi we got engaged because we are practicing to be Christians. Before our engagement, nag-start kami ng Bible study with friends and so we learned a lot from the Word of God and parang lahat ng commands Niya, gusto naming i-obey and we wanted to be blessed right away,” she thoughtfully shares, acknowledging the role of their faith in their little family.


The two are part of the CCF (Christ’s Commission Fellowship) spiritual family. “Parang at the time, na-realize ko yung amount of sins na nagawa namin and then sabi ko, since we’re engaged na, huwag na nating patagalin kasi kahit engaged na, we’re still sinning so gusto kong makabawi agad kay Lord,” the actress explains.


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To their delight, God blessed their wedding day with wonderful moments and a sunny weather to boot, wiping away their weather worries about their outdoor garden ceremony.


Empress serenely walked down the aisle, with the bridal glow of incomparable happiness, in a stunning Aoui Regala white gown adorned with hand-sewn pearls, beads and Swarovski crystals. Vino was also a handsome groom in his blue Van Mercado suit. Their five-year-old daughter Athalia walked down the aisle as well and came as a little bride, wearing a mini version of the bridal gown her mom was wearing.


The couple shared that Athalia was part of the whole process from the proposal and even down to the ocular inspection of the venue. The little kid was equally excited for her parents’ kiss and her gown. “Sobrang high pa kami, parang lahat highlight from the ceremony to the reception to the food to the photos, the videos, the gown… marami!” the newly minted Mrs. Guingona happily states.


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The newlyweds are thinking of going on a beach honeymoon to either Boracay or Palawan with their daughter. The twosome generously shared pieces of advice to those who are getting married as well. “Don’t stress about the situation, just enjoy the journey and always give way to your partner, hear her advice and suggestions. Just adjust to each other. No need to spend a lot for the wedding. Just make it intimate, simple and what’s important naman is the blessing from God eh. That’s our motive for the wedding, just surrender everything to the Lord and pray na it will be successful,” Vino starts.


Turning a bit more serious, Vino emphasizes the importance of God in their union. “Just always put God first at the center of the relationship kasi for us, we were not spiritually involved with God yet back then. We were impatient and we couldn’t understand each other minsan. We let our emotions get the best of us. But when we let God handle everything, pray and when we read the Bible together, we become patient and always forgive each other,” the husband concludes.


Empress agrees. “Also, there’s a verse that says: Be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). For me talaga napaka-importante nung respect kasi kahit na lagi kayong nag-aaway but the respect is there, you make your partner feel na you still love him no matter what. Just try to always accept their flaws. Hindi naman pwede yung if I don’t like this personality of yours, I’m out. And hindi ganoon kasi, you will never find a perfect person. You just have to really accept them for who they are and give your trust, your love, your patience, your respect and always pray to God. Everything that you do, always put God and everything will be okay. He will help us always,” Empress smiles, basking in her newfound role as a lawfully wedded happy wife.


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Photos courtesy of NicePrint Photo

Special thanks to Star Magic