On Edu, Ralph, and babies – “…It’s been over five year since Vilma Santos and Edu Manzano have gone their separate ways and a little over years that Vilma had lived-in with current flame Ralph Recto, but still, Vi and Doods have remained the closest of friends. “It’s better this way, no more constant bickering. May respeto pa rin naman kami sa isa’t-isa, so all is well between us.” says Ms. Santos. Edu was rumored to have had an affair and that triggered the break-up. “We really didn’t know why and how we parted ways. We could not pinpoint the problem. It just happened. We gradually drifted apart and before we knew it, we were so far away from each other that any holding on proved to be futile,” said Edu. “Hindi namin talaga alam kung ano ang nangyari, because had we known the root, we would not be apart from each other now.” Vilma no longer makes as many movies as she did before. A lot of showbiz insiders said that the timing of Edu’s marriage to Vi was all wrong. Vi was then making a lot more dough than her husband was and this fact contributed much to the strain in their relationship. Vilma’s romance with Ralph Recto started tongues wagging and a lot of speculations cropped up, especially so, since Edu, after the break-up had remained unattached for a long time. Talks circulated that Edu left Vilma because she was first to fall-out of the bonds of marriage. “Hindi totoo iyan,” Vilma was quoted in an interview “nauna si Eduardo at alam niya iyon.” But the past is past and Vilma can now look back with a smile on her lips. “Mas maganda ang relasyon namin ni Eduardo ngayon.
We are friends. I know I can count on him kung mayroong malaking problema. We understand each other, kaya nga may ganitong arrangement.” Vilma says she is happy now for Doods who has found his right girl. “Naiintindihan ko naman si Edu and I’m happy for him. If he thinks Maricel is right for him, I know Edu when he makes a decision, then, I am happy for them both. Wala naman akong hinangad kundi matagpuan na ni Doods ang babaeng para sa kanya. Ako naman, I’m very happy and contented with my personal life kaya I wish him all the best.” Asked if she is against Edu having a child with another woman, Vi replied: “Bakit naman? We now lead separate lives at sa mga ganung sitwasyon, hindi na pinagtatalunan pa. I’m not against Edu having a child with any woman, basta ba alam kong nagmamahalan sila and having a baby will make their happiness complete, bakit naman ako magagalit? Siguro naman, If I decide that I too would want to have a baby with the man I am living with, Doods will not make it difficult for me. Hindi siya hahadlang dahil he also has my happiness at heart. Like I said before, mayroon na kaming arrangement and we’re both contented with the ways things have turned out, so walang problema.” Talks are spreading like wildfire that Vilma is about to move out of her Magallanes digs and that she has bought a house for her current hearthrob. “Unfair naman iyon. I wanted to buy this house for my family, kay Lucky. Just because Ralph is not visible in the movie scene, eh pagiisipan na siya ng hindi maganda.
I intend to keep this phase of my life private and hindi naman siya showbiz personality so why can’t we spare him from the intrigues? Iba naman ang mundo niya.” Vilma has other plans aside from just staying as an actress all her life. “I plan to go into production and television, ibabalik ko rin ang VS Films. I have plans pero hindi pa naka-set. There are so many factors to consider at hindi bigla-bigla ang ganitong desisyon. Sabi nga ng marami, I’m not getting any younger daw and many people would like to see me retire from film making. Sabi ko nga, as long as there are people who still watch me on the screen, as long as there are fans supportive of my career, nandito pa rin ako. When that time comes na aalis ako sa showbiz, hindi naman totally na mawawala ako. Siguro, behind the cameras na lang ako. Directing maybe. Producing, why not? But that wuold still be a long time. I’m enjoying my profession and no one can stop me from enjoying what I want most.” Not even having a baby? “I know I’m not getting any younger and I’d like to have another baby after Lucky. Sino ang makapagsasabi, maybe this year, bakit nama hindi?…” – Lulubelle Lam, Manila Standard, Mar 29, 1989 (READ MORE)
Luis knows his limitations – “…Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos-Recto denies reports that she is having problems with her 17-year-old son Luis, the boy TV fans remember as Lucky, who is the offspring of Vilma and her first husband, actor Edu Manzano, now Vice Mayor of Makati City. Luis, who is a high school student at the San Agustin College in Makati, lives with Edu in the Vice Mayor’s Ecology Village residence during weekdays while Vilma stays in Lipa City attending to her constituents. On weekends, both Vilma and Lucky move to her Green Meadows residence where the actress- politician relaxes and plays Mom before going back to Lipa on Monday. Luis was reported to be so in love with his Filipino-American girl friend Nicole that he is allegedly neglecting his studies. Vilma, who is married to Batangas Congressman Ralph Recto, reacted sharply to these reports. “Luis knows his limitations,” Vilma is quoted by Malaya’s Ethel Ramos. “While Edu and I do not stop him from falling in love, for that is but natural among boys his age, we keep reminding him that he is too young to get involved seriously. Edu an I want him to finish his studies first before he becomes involved seriously with any girl…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, Oct. 21, 1998 (READ MORE)
Family is First Priority – “…A prominent resident of Lipa has told Manila Standard columnist Isah Red that his city’s mayor, actress Vilma Santos, spends only three days of each week in Lipa, and the rest of the week in her Metro Manila residence. “For the past weeks, she’s been working only for three days a week: Monday to Wednesday,” Isah quotes his source. The writer adds that “the multi-awarded actress might have been overwhelmed by the scope of her duties as a local government official, plus the numerous problems in the city that need to be addressed.” Vilma had told everyone from the very beginning that she’s going to divide her time between her family and her duties and obligations to Lipa City as mayor. Her supporters claim that even when she’s not in Lipa, she is in constant touch with her Lipa-based staff, monitoring activities from wherever she happens to be. But Isah’s source says that is not enough. “She has to make herself visible to her constituents. Nothing is decided upon (at the City Mayor’s office) after Wednesday. People who want to do business in the city have to wait until the following Monday to get things done, especially those whose documents need the approval or signature of the mayor,” he complained. Vilma claims that “It’s already a sacrifice for me to be away from my kids for three days.” The actress tries to make up by staying in the mayor’s office beyond the regular office hours. “Now I also need to be with my children and my husband for the weekend,” Mayor Vilma Santos- Recto said. Her husband, Batangas Congressman Ralph Recto, holds office in Metro Manila because he reports for work at the Batasang Pambansa complex which houses the House of Representatives…” – Sol Jose Vanzi, Nov. 21, 1998 (READ MORE)
Luis Manzano is a better actor than dad Edu Manzano – “…Yung movie na ginawa naman namin ni Eduardo (Edu) eh romance. Bagong kasal lang kami noon, hindi ko pa siya nakita at naka-eksena talaga na really heavy. That time nung [kasama] kami nina Dina (Bonnevie) sa Palimos ng Pag-ibig, mas nataon si Eduardo sa action eh so hindi ko talaga na-pick up ‘yung dramang-drama na acting [sa kanya]. But dito kasi, first time with my son meron siyang moment dito na isang eksena na nadala ako bilang nanay. But kung sino ang mas magaling, magaling naman si Eduardo, pero mas magaling si Lucky (Luis)…” – Bernie Franco (READ MORE)
“…Ralph. “He is the most secure man I have known. I want to grow old with him.” Luis. “Who he is today, he worked hard for. I am proud of him.” Ryan Christian. “He is very passionate. One time he told me he wanted to get into politics and showbiz. And I told him, ‘It’s hard anak’ and he shot back ‘Bakit ikaw mommy?…” – Boy Abunda, The Philippine Star, July 31, 2009 (READ MORE)
How else to explain why so many are joining beauty contests and, win or lose, more often than not, marrying a rich guy? A penniless, pretty lass with bountiful physical assets in, say, showbiz, has more chances than others of attracting and bagging a representative, a senator, a businessman, a somebody with huge financial assets. The Vilma Santos-Ralph Recto romance is like a Cinderella story except that by the time Vilma married Ralph, she was no longer a pauper. She wasn’t looking for a prince or a moneyed papa, for, after all, she was the multi-awarded actor Vilma Santos, the Star for All Seasons. In other words, he was rich, and she, too, was rich. The difference is that he was born rich, and she was not to the wealthy born.
The love story began 20 years ago, in July 1985. For the first time after a one-and-a-half years of being separated from then husband, actor Edu Manzano, Vilma came out of seclusion. Although Vilma and Edu were living separate lives, residing in different houses, Vilma remained constant, maintaining a semblance of fidelity, because, she reasoned out, she was still legally his wife. She didn’t want to give people an opportunity to wag their tongue, to misunderstand or judge her, she avoided getting stoned by negative opinions of her. But when she found out Edu was dating other women, she decided it was time for her to have fun herself, to spread her wings, and to find a life. “Ba’t ako magpapaka-martir?” Vi pouted.
Finally heeding friends who had been advising her to go out and enjoy herself, she dressed up and accepted an invitation to King Kong disco bar, which was owned by director Marilou Diaz-Abaya. So, there she was chatting and laughing with friends Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Maryo J. delos Reyes, Charito Solis, Charlie Peralta, and Greg de Guzman, swaying and stomping under the strobe lights, and feeling free. Then, a tall, mestizo guy approached Vilma and introduced himself: “Excuse me, my name is Ralph Recto. May I have this dance with you?” Vilma snubbed him; no, she did not want to dance with that boy. Was it because she didn’t know him or was it because she was still hurting from a failed marriage? The guy was persistent and patiently waited until he asked her again. Charito Solis nudged Vilma: “Four am na, pagbigyan mo na, isayaw mo na.” And so, the reluctant Vilma danced with Ralph.
While dancing, reports Vilma, Ralph asked her: “Do you know my father?” “No,” Vilma answered. “Do you know Assemblyman Raffy Recto?” Ralph continued. “No,” Vilma replied. “Are you interested in politics?” Ralph ventured. “No,” Vilma shrugged. After the dance, he asked Vilma: “Are you coming back here next Saturday?” Vilma: “Maybe.” Then, he got her phone number and brought his partner back to her table. “At my first glimpse of her, I found her attractive,” say Ralph, “I didn’t know that she was the Star for All Seasons, so to speak.” It was only when he went back to his table that he found out who that attractive young woman was. His barkada from Greenhills told him that the person he was dancing with was Vilma Santos the actor.
All he knew was she was named “Vilma” and that she was “A joyful person.” The funny thing is he had only recently seen the Vilma starrer Sister Stella L. Vilma surmises that maybe he did not recognize her because she was wearing an off-shoulder attire, which was, of course, very different from a nun’s habit. Ralph called up Vilma the following day, and “she obliged me to meet with her again the following week in the same place, the same disco.” “Why? Well, Vilma’s first impression of Ralph was that he was “Very intelligent, down-to-earth, tisoy (mahilig ako sa tisoy).” And so, they did see each other again a week later.
Another week after, recalls Ralph, “we had a private dinner. I felt we would have a meaningful relationship. ”That private dinner was with his parents in Greenhills. Vilma was at once nervous and excited. They knew her background, she didn’t hide from Ralph who or what she really was – that she was 32, that she was married, had one child, had been grist for gossip columnists, had not had higher education, etc. By this time, Vilma knew he was only 21, single, a graduating student at the De La Salle University taking up Economics, and a member of an illustrious Spanish-speaking family. Edu Manzano, meanwhile, drifted further away from Vilma.
Being an American citizen, Edu had married Vilma in Las Vegas, and then porced her in Guam. Three to four months after their first encounter, Vilma and Ralph went MU, or mutual understanding, which is the first stage of today’s couples’ relationship. Mutual understanding meant that they could see each other as often as they liked, but neither one was committed to the other. In other words, in principle, both could go out on a date with other persons, but they might show a special devotion, a special friendship, love and understanding —that is, the two on MU—for one another. Those happy, carefree days would see Ralph attending the shooting of Tagos ng Dugo by Maryo J. He would come from school, stay in his car, wait for her, and then bring her home to Magallanes.
In Magallanes, Vilma recounts: “Magkukuwentuhan kami ni Ralph tungkol sa lahat ng bagay, about everything under the sun. Inaabot kami hanggang sa pagdating ng diyaryo ng 6:30 am. Hindi naming namamalayan na maliwanag na pala, na umaga na.” Vilma sizes Ralph up: “Matalino, maraming alam, pero hindi mayabang. Inisip ko na marami akong matututunan dito.” They enjoyed each other’s company while going places, eating pizza, and having “gimmicks” and so on. Vilma analyses his appeal to her: “Baka nadala niya ako sa kabataan niya, kasi di ko naranasan iyon noong bata ako.” She concentrated on her work as a child, and has done almost nothing but work ever since.
Vilma and Ralph lived in for seven years. She was not prepared to get married then because she had to attend to her career and her small child by Edu, Lucky. Ralph, on the other hand, wanted to be more stable in his profession and his finances. Then, after seven years of living in, Ralph ran for Congress and asked Vilma to campaign for him in Batangas. Vilma accompanied him all over the province. She experienced the hardship of going from city to city, from barrio to barrio. She had a taste of politics. If she was willing to make that sacrifice for him, Vilma thought, “siguro mahal ko itong taong ito.” Ralph told Vilma, “Win or lose, let’s get married.”
“You know,” Vilma warned him, “hindi ako madaling maging asawa. Mahihirapan ka, kilala ako sa Pilipinas.” It would be quite difficult for him to do any hanky-panky because he would easily be found out since Vilma is so popular that almost everything and anything the nosey press would sniff would immediately be reported in the media. The brave Ralph was not intimidated, and at 2 pm of December 11, 1992, they officially tied the knot in a splendid wedding ceremony in Lipa, Batangas.
Some 500-700 guests from politics and showbiz witnessed the exchange of vows. It must have been a relatively blissful union since they already had a chance to get to know each other up close when they were living in. Relates Ralph: “For me, the most trying period in our relationship was the first seven years.” The proverbial sevenyear-itch happened to both Vilma and Ralph before their wedding. Ralph lived in his condo in Greenhills, but he telephoned Lucky almost every day, pretending or so it seemed, that his concern was only Lucky and not Vilma.
Lucky missed his Tito Ralph, and after two weeks, thanks to Lucky, Ralph returned. Vilma, the mother and wife, observes that “the whole time of marriage is a period of adjustment. Habang tumatanda ka, nag-iiba ang priorities mo sa buhay, so mga every five years, kailangang pag-isipan mo ang priorities mo.” “There are times you have to listen to your children. They should retain an old sense of values, like respect for elders, how to properly treat people. You must talk openly with your spouse and your children, you must trust your children, you communicate with them, you text them. You must also know how to let go.”
Like other typical couples, they undergo moments of discord. Sometimes, even when they’re in a bad mood, they still greet each other good morning and good night with a kiss, but a quick, cold one, like they’re merely fulfilling an obligation, a task, so that they can attend to other “more important” matters of the day. However, no problem is unsolvable. Sometimes, they let a month go by in ill humor until things cool off a bit. At the end of 30 days of silence, they would go” “Can we talk?” They find dialogue most effective. No vitriolic physical or verbal barbs, just civilized talk.
Both believe that support for each other is very important in a relationship. “It’s important to support each other’s ambitions, dreams, goals in life. Walang inggitan,” Vilma advises couples. “A career woman has to adjust to a relationship, work on it, get off her pedestal. I learned to say ‘I’m Sorry.” In their political life, Ralph seeks Vilma’s opinion on some of his speeches. Vilma tells him, for example, “to stress this point or ito, heavy, mabigat or ‘yan, tanggalin mo ‘yan…” Also, Vilma confides that she doesn’t compete with Ralph. “In fact, as mayor, I receive guidance from him in making decisions. ”
Vilma claims they are both broadminded. How long has Vilma been mayor of Lipa? “This is my last term. I’ve been mayor for three terms na, three years per term, so a total of nine years. I have been serving Lipa for almost eight years now.” This celebrity couple also lives ordinary lives. For example, Ralph treats Vilma like any other ordinary person, and not like a VIP. Vilma reveals: “Hindi porke Vilma Santos ako and I’m earning a lot, e, wala na siyang ibibigay na allowance sa akin. He takes care of the maintenance of the house. He’s the provider.”
In the last five or six years, Vilma and Ralph have tried to spend more time with each other in spite of their busy schedule. They have been traveling alone, just the two of them, and sometimes with their children Lucky or Luis, now 24 years old, and Ryan, aged 9. Together, they go swimming, bowling, boating, meditating, playing golf, watching television, etc. Right after Ate Vi, aka Mayor Vi, was given the Gawad Plaridel last July 4, 2005, which is sponsored by the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications, at the Film Institute’s Cine Adarna, husband and wife took a grand vacation. They spent 14 days in Europe, came back to the Philippines for a while, and hied off to Los Angeles, USA, for five days, and to New York and New Jersey for four days.
In New Jersey, Vilma cut the ribbon at the opening of the four-year old Philippine Fiesta Exposition Center. “She’s an excellent mother,” gushes Ralph. “ She takes good care of me and her children. She’s a loving person. Sometimes, she’s hardheaded. But I can live with that. I’ve learned to live with it. And sometimes, I could be hardheaded, too. (Smiles) I’ve no complaints. She is what she is and I love her for what she is. She’s now more concerned about social and political issues.” How does Ralph for his part keep their relationship going? “We count our blessings.
Both of us have been blessed.” Although Vilma doesn’t cook, she sees to it that the cook, upon her culinary guidance, serves Ralph his favorite dish such as baked pasta, which contains corned beef, cream of mushroom, parmesan cheese, and sweet corn. Says Vilma: “My immediate family comes first. I do my part as a mother and as a woman. I don’t plan my life. It’s enough that I live comfortably, my family is fine.” Their terms of endearment for each other are “Papa” and “Mommy.” Has the tag ‘Mr. Vilma Santos’ ever, ever affected Ralph at any point in his life? “No, it has not affected me in a negative way,” explains Ralph, “It has helped me tremendously.
Being Mr. Vilma Santos made it easier for me to identify with the masses. As a kid, my professors in school would tag me as the grandson of the great Claro M. Recto. So I was used to it. I’ve always thought of it positively. There’s nothing in their relationship that he wants to forget. “The relationship is incomplete if I will forget even just a tiny bit of it. There’s nothing I would want to forget or change. I have no complaints about our relationship. I’ve been blessed by this relationship. I’m the luckiest man alive. I hope she feels the same way, too. With a wife like Vi, children like Lucky and Ryan, how can I complain? Why would I want to forget any part of this wonderful and blessed relationship?”
In fact, Ralph will always happily remember “achieving milestones in our life together—getting married, having children, watching them grow up, participating in school activities, helping each other make our community better. Of course, traveling together. I suppose our happiest times are yet to come—which is, growing old together.” The Vilma Santos-Ralph Recto romance, despite all the zigging and zagging, sounds almost like a fairy tale. Yes, perhaps, politics and showbiz do go together.
Source: Written by Ms. Mara P. Lanot, Mr. & Ms. Magazine, Nov 2005
The wedding of Vilma Santos and Ralph Recto was a union of stellar figures in showbiz and politics. Santos is known as the Star for All Seasons and has a huge following from the Filipino audiences. Recto, on the other hand, came from a prominent political family from the province of Batangas. Their wedding which was open to the public created a huge buzz. Being one of the country’s most popular and respected actresses, the people wanted to know every move and possibly every major decision taken and made by Santos. This popularity became one of the reasons why her marriage to Ralph Recto was highly publicized. Another reason why it became talk of the town was because the marriage was not only about Santos marrying some typical guy but a prominent member in society. Their lavish wedding created media frenzy and the public wanted to know every bit of detail that went with the occasion. This wedding proves that there’s no such thing as keeping it low in the worlds of showbiz and politics (Top 10 Biggest Filipino Celebrity Weddings).
Makulay ding masasabi ang kabanatang may kinalaman sa buhay-pag-ibig ng ating hinahangaang at iniidolong aktres na si Rosa Vilma Santos. Bukod sa kanyang record bilang the greatest actress of all times and the reigning movie queen of the local cinema ay naitala rin ang kasaysayan ng kanyang pag-ibig. In her early stage of her career, ang dalagang si Vilma Santos ang most desired at most desirable actress, at ang record niyang ‘yon ang nangingibabaw in an industry which feeds on gossip and intrigue. Truly, the star for all seasons and reasons has the longest line of suitors and admirers, barring none. In and out of showbiz, Ate Vi would easily be the most desired star of them all. And to think that she’s not the typical sex symbol of our parochial mold. In matters of the heart, Ate Vi had many romantic interludes with these interesting men in and out of showbiz world. Considers the names that the rumor mill has linked to her: Edgar Mortiz, Eddie Peregrina, Jay Ilagan, Jojit Paredes, Ronnie Henares, Erik Espina, Bongbong Marcos, Dave Brodette, Junior, FPJ, Meng Fei, Dolphy, Jimmy Morato, Rollie Quizon, Bembol Roco, Eugene Torre, Boyet de Leon, Mark Gil, Zaldy Zshornack, Jun Arestorenas, Eddie Rodriguez, Ricky Belmonte, Romeo Vasquez, Mat Ranillo, Joey Stevens, Lito Lapid, Glenn Capacio, Paul Alvarez, Alvin Patrimonio, Dante Silverio, Edu Manzano, Philip Salvador, Miguel Rodriguez, Ronnie Ricketts, Aga Muhlach, Eric Quizon, Gabby Concepcion, Nonoy Zuniga, Jolly Benitez, and Senator Ralph Recto. Her lovelife is one of the movielands’ most colorful and also the stormiest. Like the other actresses who fell in love and fell out of love, Ate Vi has had her share of sad valentines. But while she loved, she loved to the fullest and gave her all. And when she got separated from her first husband, Edu Manzano, she did not linger on the broken pieces of a love affair turned sour.
There was no bitterness or rancour. After all, that bond gave her a son, Luis Manzano. Maraming makukulay na episodes sa buhay-pag-ibig ni Ate Vi. Merong totoo, meron namang nanatiling tsismis lang. Sa pagpapakasal niya kay Senator Ralph Recto ay naipinid na ang chapters na ito sa lovelife ng actress-politician. Mahirap ang maging Vilma Santos.Isa kang “Star for All Seasons”, libu-libo ang mga tagahanga, sinasamba at iniidolo. Napakahirap humanap ng Mr. Right Man na aangkop sa pagiging Vilma Santos niya sa loob at labas ng daigdig ng pelikula. Her being number one star-actress poses a different problem to suitors of lesser means. Of the sundry men that the rumor mill has identified with her, Ate Vi admits to having had real relationships with only five: Edgar Mortiz, her first boyfiend; Ronnie Henares, to whom she was engaged; Romeo Vasquez,her controversial beau; Edu Manzano, to whom she was married and eventually divorced; and Senator Ralph Recto, her longest affair, the only boyfiend she had after her first marriage broke-up and the father of her child, Ryan Christian.
Ate Vi learned different things in the seasons she spent with them. Si Edgar Mortiz ay isang bahagi ng puppy love ni Ate Vi. Itinuring na subok na matibay, subok na matatag ang kanilang tambalan.Mula nang magkatambal sa pelikula, nagkaroon din sila ng mga TV shows tulad ng “The Sensations” at “Edgar Loves Vilma”. Si Bobot ay ang first love ni Ate Vi. Tumagal din ang relasyon ng dalawa na umabot ng tatlong taon na mahigit. Akala nila ay panghabambuhay na ang kanilang relasyon but it suddenly ended on April 28, 1974. Sa kung anong tunay na dahilan ng kanilang break-up ay hindi naging malinaw. In fact, naging very close nga sila ni Edgar at pati ang kani-kanilang pamilya, to the point na angpatayo pa sila ng bahay na magkatabi lamang sa isang subarban subdivision. Dahil sa magkaibang estado nila, mas sikat si Ate Vi noon kaysa sa kanyang screen partner, at hindi pag-usad ng career ni Bobot ay nagbunga ng kanilang argumento. Siguro nga, isa sa mga dahilan ng kanilang paghihiwalay. Career move, ika nga. Even now that they lead separate lives, Vilma and Edgar have remained the best of friends.
Taong 1975, a year after she had ended her colorful involvement with Edgar, pumasok naman sa eksena ang elitistang singer na si Ronnie Henares. In a way, matagal nang magkakilala ang dalawa pero nagkaroon lang sila ng pagkakataong maging close nang mag-guest si Ronnie sa drama anthology ni Ate Vi ang “Dalambuhay ni Rosa Vilma”. Inamin naman ni Ate Vi sa mga interviews na si Ronnie ang siyang naging instrumento niya na matutong magsalita ng wastong English-bagay na hindi naman ikinahihiyang aminin ng aktres. He taught her how to pronounce English words. Malapit sa isa’t isa ang pamilya nilang dalawa. Muntik na rin silang lumagay sa tahimik pero hindi maiwasan ‘yung nagkaroon sila ng sigalot sa kanilang pagitan, at hindi na nga naisakatuparan pa ang planong humarap ng altar. Nangibabaw pa rin ang obligasyon ni Ate Vi sa kanyang pamilya at dedication sa career kaya eventually ay sa paghihiwalay rin nagtapos ang dapat sana’y makulay na episode sa kanyang buhay. Romeo Vasquez is an oddity in Vilma’s life. Hindi akalain ng lahat na ang isang notorious playboy and balikbayan actor would capture the heart of the then elusive Ate Vi.
Nagkaroon sila ng affair which lasted for more than a year. Kilala si Bobby sa pagiging bohemyo kaya naman walang kakilala si Ate Vi na bumoto sa aktor. Ate Vi was love struck at talagang na head-over heels in love. Nagsimula ang kanilang affair sa set ng kanilang pelikulang “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin”. True to this title, nagliyab silang dalawa at tunay ngang nag-apoy ang kanilang damdamin. May plano pa nga sila ni Bobby na magpakasal sa Europe. Talagang Ate Vi was ready to give up her life as an actress and would settle with the actor abroad. And with herb relationship with Bobby, nag-surface ang bagong Vilma Santos.Ate Vi realized that she cann’t sacrifice everything for love. Nagising siya sa katotohanan at nagkamali kung kaya nagdesisyon siyang kumalas sa bohemyong aktor. Nagkulay rosas noon ang mundo ni Ate Vi at ibinigay ng buong laya ang sarili’t pag-ibig sa isang Mr. Edu Manzano na kung saan nagbunga yun ng isang Lucky. Umusbong ang pagkakakilala nila ni Doods sa Cebu City, kung saan nagkasabay sila sa flight paluwas ng Maynila.Nag-shooting kasi noon si Ate Vi ng pelikulang “Yakapin Mo Ako Lalaking Matapang” at parang pinagtiyap ng panahon na magkrus ang kanilang landas. Ibang klase ang ginawang panunuyo ni Doods sa aktres.Naroon ang yayain nito si Ate Vi na kumain sa turo-turo.Nahulog ang loob ng aktres na siempre pa na humantong sa kanilang pagpapakasal. Bale sa abroad, sa Las Vegas naganap ang kanilang kasal. Hindi naging matagumpay ang kanilang pagsasama dahil na rin sa baon ng utang sa BIR nang panahong ‘yon. Akala ng lahat ay si Esu na ang Mr.Right Guy kay Ate Vi. Hindi pala.Ang isang masaya, makulay, masiglang simula’y sa paghihiwalay din nauwi. Mga tatlong taon lamang silang nagsama pero nanatiling mabuting magkaibigan sila.Sa Guam naaprubahan ang divorce nila on July 25, 1986 or thereabouts. Ang inaakala ni Ate Vi na mahihirapan niyang hanapin ang tamang lalaki sa kanyang buhay ay natagpuan sa katauhan ni Senator Ralph Recto. Despite a 10-year age gap, her marriage with Ralph has weathered all storms and is now into its 20 years. And it is still going strong.
Ang kay Edgar, kay Ronnie, kay Romeo, kay Edu- ay pawang mga kasaysayang puwede natin isapelikula. Dahil bahagi na lamang sila ng kahapong may tamis at pait sa gunita. Cute ang sa kanila ni Bobot. Masaya ang kay Ronnie. Maligaya ang kay Bobby. Makasaysayan ang kay Doods. Pero ang kay Senator Ralph Recto ay pinakamaigting na relasyong hinding-hindi malilimot ng isang Vilma Santos. One thing is most important at this time in Vilma’s life-her marriage with Senator Ralph Recto, ostensibly destined to be the most important in her life from now on. – Willie Fernandez, V magazine, 2005