MANILA, OCTOBER 14, 2011 (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (PHOTO - During the friendly lunch, Shalani Soledad and Roman Romulo have their hands in a loving lock (below). PHOTOS by RICKY LO)


• A highly-confidential negotiation is going on between a Kapamilya star (I won’t say if a “he” or a “she”) and the Kapatid Network, with the star’s long-time adviser/father-figure as intermediary. Being discussed is the talent fee of the star who is asking for P1M per taping but the Kapatid Network is asking for a P300,000 discount (a difference of P700,000). Will the deal stick?

• A very popular and controversial TV host with an “Edifice Complex” has just added a building in the Timog-Morato area, Quezon City, to his growing empire, to the tune of, well, only P180M. Chicken feed. The TV host has been eyeing the building every time he goes to the ground floor for his regular haircut. He’s really, yes, big time!

• After a recent repeat, and due to insistent public demand (tickets were sold out and many more people want to watch), the show of Willie Nepomuceno (photo) will have another repeat next Saturday, Oct. 22, 8:30 p.m. still at the Music Museum. I tell you, it’s a sin to miss the show. So get your tickets early. Call Ticketworld at 891-5634 or Music Museum at 721-0635. Prices are P2,000 per for reserved seats and P1,000 for free seating.

* * *

Soon-to-be-wed Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo and Valenzuela Shalani Soledad had no choice but to answer the intriguing questions that have been hounding them since their engagement was announced a few weeks ago.

It happened during their leisurely (read: friendly) lunch with their six trusted movie-reporter friends at Annabel’s. It was supposed to be a simple lunch — no interview, please! — but can any “investigative” reporter resist subjecting the sweethearts to some, well, gentle “grilling?”

During the “grilling,” Roman and Shalani held hands, he with his right and she with her left, using their free hands to take their soup.

Question No. 1: Isn’t their romance politically-motivated as some people are suspecting (since Roman is rumored to be running for senator and Shalani for Bulacan congresswoman in 2013)?

Roman: Speculations like that cannot be avoided in politics especially since it’s Shalani’s last term. But no, politics has nothing to do with our relationship. Between the two of us, wala talagang pulitika.

Question No. 2: Shalani, you were quoted in some reports that there was no courtship between you and Roman. From dating, you went straight to the proposal. Paki-clarify.

Shalani: What I mean is that wala kaming official date na parang boyfriend-girlfriend.

Question No. 3: Roman, does it mean that you are a fast worker, an action man?

Roman: Hindi naman po. We met last June (During an event in Valenzuela. — RFL). We started dating since then, away from the public eye. May nakakita lang sa amin when we had dinner at Café Juanita (in Pasig City). But we never talked about us. Palagi na kaming magkasama since then.

Question No. 4: When is really your wedding, Feb. 11, 2012 or Jan. 22, 2012 (according to a feng shui expert)?

Shalani: As of now, we haven’t decided on the date yet and which church. We haven’t any idea yet who the sponsors (principal and secondary) will be.

Question No. 5: What kind of wedding will it be? I’m sure it will be en grande, a gathering of showbiz, big business and politics. I wonder, are you planning to invite Pres. Noynoy Aquino, maybe as principal sponsor or, why not, secondary (cord) sponsor (as long as he won’t “accidentally” strangle you with the cord)?

Shalani: Hahahaha!

Roman: Why not, maybe as a guest.

Question No. 6: Shalani, what about your ex-future sister-in-law Kris Aquino? What role will she have in the wedding?

Shalani: We haven’t drawn up the guest list yet.

Roman: Ang napag-usapan namin, small wedding lang sana. But with the number of guests that we might invite, I don’t think that’s possible. (Both of them are Catholic. — RFL)

Question No. 7: Shalani, who will design your wedding gown, a local designer or somebody from abroad?

Shalani: I have two local designers in mind.

Question No. 8: What did you find interesting in each other? (Roman has had “elite” girlfriends including LG and VT, both daughters of business tycoons; while Shalani’s only known ex-boyfriend is Pres. Noynoy.)

Roman: Oo naman. Remember, I’m already 44. (Shalani is 31 — RFL). With Shalani, I can talk about anything. I’m comfortable with her. I’m convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that we are compatible. Like me, she cares so much about her family. Simple lang siya, very kind to everybody pati sa staff n’ya sa office.

Shalani: Mabait siya, and that’s important to me. We can talk about anything very casually and very comfortably, and that’s a good sign.

And also, are you sure you’re compatible enough to stay together for better or for worse, ‘till death…?
Shalani and Roman said, “No doubt about it!”

Question No. 9: What’s your term of endearment?

(They look at each other before answering) Roman: Let’s keep it private first.

Question No. 10: Shalani, si Willie (Revillame, her co-host on Wil Time Big Time) ba talagang hindi nanligaw sa’yo?

Shalani: A, hindi talaga. Alam mo naman si Willie, lahat dinadaan sa biro.

Question No. 11: If Willie offered his private plane to fly you to your honeymoon (wherever it will be), would you accept?

Shalani: Why not?

Question No. 12: Roman, some people (perhaps your detractors) are saying that you are gay. Comment please.

Roman: That issue came out when I first ran in the election. There’s another one — may anak na raw ako. Both rumors are negative.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved