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Anthony and Maricel Pangilinan share why marriage is a marathon

September 12 ------ If you are contemplating on marriage or you want to make your romantic relationship better, consider reading Marriage is a Marathon, authored by celebrity couple Anthony Pangilinan and Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan. The book, comprised of eight chapters, is a goldmine of the couple’s wisdom about staying together through thick and thin. It summarizes their journey before and after exchanging “I do’s,” as well as their family’s journey as runners known as the Team Pangilinan. Anthony and Maricel have been married for 30 years now and together, they raised five lovely children namely, Ella, Donny, Hannah, Benjamin and Solana. Their beautiful family is a testament to Anthony and Maricel’s strength of character to make a life-long commitment to each other.

Marriage, Maricel said, can be likened to running in a marathon. In fact, she and Anthony have run marathons around the world. They’ve done 17 in total, and were joined by their children in some of them. A portion in the book tells that marathons and marriage both require “participants” to take a mighty load of preparation and endurance. “We’ve learned many lessons from running marathons around the world like preparing for the race, training, and recovering. So, we thought all these lessons can be applied to married life or life in general, whether you’re single or married, because it is necessary to have discipline,” Maricel began to tell how, in many ways, marriage is like a marathon.

The first chapter of the book is the couple’s favorite. It was mentioned in the book that they wanted to quit right in the beginning of their marriage. Maricel had a mindset that if a relationship does not work at some point. Then, it has to let go. “I think when you grow up in a household with a single parent, you are a survivor. When you see something is not working, then don’t force it, magkasundo na lang tayo (at) maging magkaibigan, tapos let’s move on,” she explained. “When we got married, we discovered a lot of little things about each other — little things that would annoy you,” the actress amusingly added. When they were still going steady, Anthony recalled how Maricel would make adjustments for them to be together “like outgoing ako, naging outgoing rin s’ya. I have friends whom she befriended. But when we got married, I realized that it was not her personality.” “Introvert pala ako,” Maricel chimed in. “She doesn’t like so many friends; she doesn’t like to go out. It’s a complete change of her personality,” said Anthony of Maricel’s show of true character. “I think that mindset of you already know that this (guy) is the one and you wanna make it work without really thinking about it, parang I was adjusting to him and then later on, na-realize ko hindi pala ako ‘yun, iba pala ako.” “Tapos noong napapansin niya na hindi ako masyadong excited lumabas or excited na maraming tao, nagtataka siya bakit, anong nag-bago, anong nangyari,” Maricel related.

The couple got a lot of help from a lot of people to resolve matters within the marriage. “Parang marathon rin na kailangan mo ng coach, mentor, kailangan may pumapalakpak sa sideline because otherwise, you will quit, and you make a decision,” Anthony stated. “You make a decision when you get married pero araw-araw pala kailangang mag-desisyon ka.” Anthony finds making decisions easy but what is tough is the decision-making process “(and) even today we have to decide for the children.” Marriage is like a marathon because both bring ups and downs. Everything certainly feels good when you’re just starting out. But as time goes on or kilometers tick by, there are challenges and rough patches along the way

In marriages and marathons, there will be major challenges to overcome — mentally and physically. Anthony and Maricel revealed they also went through life’s rough patches. Thus, the third chapter of the book talks about reviewing the route.

Anthony narrated that he and Maricel decided to go through premarital counseling. “Lumabas lahat ng problema na hindi namin nakita when we got engaged. Oh my God, ito pala ‘yung mapapangasawa ko, ganito pala siya at ganito pala ako,” Anthony shared. “So, by the time we were on our honeymoon, lumalabas na lahat ng mga isyu namin.” “We were in the middle of discussing major issues about money, family, sex everything else tapos ang dami pang press na kasama sa wedding honeymoon namin.” Maricel revealed that the members of the press were present because their honeymoon was sponsored. “In front of the press, we were in our best foot forward and when they left, Anthony and I were so tired and yet we needed to talk and have our honeymoon,” she enthused. To further explain what they meant about “review the route,” Anthony said that just like in a marathon, there are races where there are so many bridges to cross. “May pataas at pababa, kailangan umikot ka or mag-relax ka. Ganoon rin sa marriage, you have to talk to people who have been married before you because marriage also has its ‘routes’ and if you don’t have any ideas about them, you’ll get shocked and you cannot prepare for it. So, ask advice to those who have gone before you.”



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