BAGUIO CITY—An answered prayer has finally come to Ara Mina, 41, as she finally bade single life goodbye when she got married to Dave Almarinez, 45, on June 30, Wednesday in a star-studded ceremony held at the Alphaland Baguio Mountain Chapel in Baguio City.
Ara’s prayer to God is to give her a man who will be her partner for life.
“Kasi I’m not getting any younger. Gusto ko pa ma-experience ‘yung buhay may pamilya. Kumbaga, Kayo bahala. Pero Lord, ha, huwag naman too late, ha.’ May mga ganun. Parang kinakausap ko lang Siya,” Ara narrated in her interview with pep.ph recently.
Ara stated that she has waited long enough for her “The One” and she thought that she would be forever single, especially when her younger sisters Heidi Gatmaytan and Cristine Reyes got married ahead of her.
There’s an old belief that an elder sibling cannot get married anymore if the younger one gets married ahead of the elder.
“Oo, true! Kasi may pamahiin na ganun. Kaya nung naunahan ako ni Heidi, ‘yung younger sister ko sumunod sa akin… Tapos nauna din ibang brothers ko.
“Parang, ‘A, teka. Kaya siguro hindi pa ako nag-aasawa. Totoo ata yung pamahiin.’ Pero siyempre prayers pa rin. ‘Tsaka yung i-envision mo na makakapag-asawa ka, mami-meet mo someday.”
How Ara met Dave
Dave came into her life unexpected. She didn’t look for him, not even her type of man, not a crush.
“But I find him very smart and very nice when I met him.
Pero talagang nagsumipag siya. Sa lahat ng mga kasabay niya, siya lang naiwan. Pandemic na, masugid pa rin siya,” Ara said.
There were other suitors but she felt that they were not serious enough to be her sweetheart.
“Alam mo naman sa edad natin kung seryoso o hindi. Once in a while kakamustahin ka, alam mong may gusto sa ‘yo. Parang lulubog-lilitaw. I don’t find it serious pag ganun.
“Ang hanap ko kasi, dati ko pa sinasabi, na after sa father ni Mandy, ‘Sa next na magiging boyfriend ko, yun na ang mapapangasawa ko.’ So, kung ano gusto mong mangyari, idiin mo talaga,” Ara expressed.
Ara formally admitted that she and Dave were exclusively dating in November 2020 after two years of having known each other.
“Habang nagte-taping ako, masugid pa rin siya. Kumbaga, hindi siya nawawala sa eksena,” Ara said.
“Andiyan siya for me kahit nagwo-work ako. Siyempre nahulog na loob ko sa kanya.”
Lucky in love and in career
Ara is overly grateful to God for the continued blessings she received amid this pandemic. She was surprised to know that online orders in her café restaurants poured in and on top of that, she was included in the primetime series of FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano.
It was on January 12, 2021 when Dave proposed to Ara in San Pedro, Laguna, Dave’s hometown.
“Grabe nga si Lord! Sabi nila pag okay love life, hindi naman okay ang career… Yun pala, pwede pala mangyari ‘yung sabay-sabay!,” Ara said.
She added that she is so excited because her dream is to have a family of her own.
“Ang tagal ko rin kasing single, e. Yung single na kung anong edad ko ngayon. I consider myself pa rin na single kasi di ako kinasal ever. Nagkaanak lang ako at nagkaroon ako ng relationships.
“Pero this is the first time na as in magkakaroon ng katuwang in every decision sa life mo. Yung magiging isa akong maybahay.
“Though nagma-manage ako ng house ko, wala ka namang partner na inaalagaan. So I think this is different.”
A family of three
Ara is looking forward to living with Dave under one roof with her daughter Mandy, 6, her child with former boyfriend, Bulacan, Bulacan Mayor Patrick Meneses.
“Si Mandy at si Dave, ibe-blend ko pa sila. Siyempre bago rin ito for Mandy. Kahit lumaki siyang happy baby—pinapahiram ko naman siya sa father niya—napi-feel ko rin na she’s longing for a father figure at home.
“I can see in her eyes she’s very excited na magkaroon ng father figure pag nagsama na kami ni Dave sa house,” Ara stated.
She appreciates Dave’s gesture to be close to Mandy. Ara revealed that when Dave proposed to her, he gifted Mandy with a bracelet as if he also proposed to her daughter.
“Mandy and I welcome Dave to our family.” Ara said and this will not be a hindrance to Mandy’s good relationship with her father Patrick. It was a good thing that Mandy grew up knowing who her father is, so she will not be confused.
“Ang mga bata ngayon, smart na. So, madali na siya somehow,” Ara added.
Congratulations, Ara and Dave! (ECD/MTVN)