It was Ryan O’Neal who said it to Ali MacGraw in the moving scene in the 1970 Love Story, the romance-drama based on Erich Segal’s best-selling novel that melted the hearts of millions who were convinced that, yes, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
“Sorry is a very important word,” claimed Zoren Legaspi. “You don’t say sorry every time you make a mistake, especially small ones. Or else it becomes just a word, so it should be seldom used. Hindi parating ginagamit.”
“I say sorry kahit tampuhan lang,” admitted Carmina Villarroel.
“Tampong purorot,” said Zoren.
“Lambing-lambing lang,” qualified Carmina.
Believe it or not but in the 20 years that they have been together (11 years as steadies and nine years married, blessed with grown-up twins Cassy and Mavy), the couple has never fought.
“We argue but we don’t really fight,” explained Carmina (who calls Zoren tatay). “We don’t agree on certain matters and we discuss it pero hindi kami nag-aaway, usually caused by little things like where should we eat, what should we eat for lunch or for dinner. Mga mabababaw na dahilan.”
Carmina was recently reported to have fumed against a younger actress who was “disrespectful” to her on the set, prompting people to ask who that “ill-mannered” actress was (Carmina swore she would never work with her again). Should young stars be reminded about good manners and right conduct?
Said Zoren, “Not really. I mean, ano eh...You know, when I enter the set, whether you say hi or good morning to me or not, it doesn’t bother me. I am there to work and not to make friends. But if you show disrespect...smoking in front of me or making noise while people are resting or sleeping...I would be offended. ‘Yan ang pambabastos. If you don’t want to say hi to me, I won’t care. It’s your option.”
Knocking on wood that the unpleasant encounter hasn’t happened again (“Hindi pa naman nangyayari uli sa akin”), Carmina said that she’d rather shrug it off, unless the disrespect (whether to her or other “older” stars) is so pronounced.
“I wouldn’t judge that person. Baka may problema, may pinagdadaanan. But huwag lang akong babastusin. I am older and wiser unlike before when ‘yung hindi ka babatiin was something like an issue to me, ‘yung kunwari hindi papansinin. I report to the set to work and not to gain friends although mas okey kung kaibigan mo ang lahat at parang pamilya kayo.”
Has the green-eyed monster (jealousy) ever reared its ugly head between them?
“Never,” according to Zoren. “There’s no reason for either of us to be jealous. Wala pa, eh. If there is, then it’s the right of either of us to be jealous.”
“Yes,” said Carmina, “I am selosa, not about somebody but about time, ‘yung madalas siya mag-bike. I would say, ‘Sana you have more time with me than with your bike. Ganoon lang. Pa-cute lang.”
Is Zoren faithful?
“Yes,” exclaimed Carmina. “I don’t have to elaborate.”
And how do they keep their marriage strong?
“Aside from love, respect and trust,” replied Carmina, “communication is very important. Kahit mag-asawa kayo, you should give each other space to do each other’s thing, especially when work is concerned.”
Carmina is in the cast of the Kapuso series Babawiin Ko ang Lahat (airing on the GMA Afternoon Block) which reunites her with John Estrada. Carmina was barely a teenager when she worked with John on the fun series Palibhasa Lalake and years later they played a couple in the GMA drama Kara Mia.
“I am excited about Babawiin because I am playing a kontrabida for the first time,” shared Carmina who is cast as Dulce, the mean stepmother of Iris (Pauline Mendoza), daughter of Victor (John) with his new wife Christine (Tanya Garcia-Lapid). Dulce has two children (Kristoffer Martin and Liezel Lopez) with Victor before she married Akita (Jett Pangan) and lived in Japan, only to come home and rekindle her ties with Victor.
Asked if she and Zoren are raising their twins the same way, Carmina said, “Zoren is more of a disciplinarian and a spoiler. I don’t know how he does it. Ako naman, I’m the constant reminder of everything.”
“We are on the same page,” agreed Zoren. “Medyo different lang ang style ng pagpapalaki.”
(E-mail reactions at . For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram .)