10 love lessons from local celebs’ relationships
Happy Valentine’s Day! Like it or hate it, love is in the air today, so rather than be a Valentine’s Grinch, we decided to focus on the positive and celebrate the occasion by shining the spotlight on the local celebrity couples who not only touched us with their love stories, but also became our #relationshipgoals.
Fann Wong and Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee put all husbands to shame when he turned up unexpectedly - and looking rather macho - at a media conference in 2015 (yes, we still remember!) with a bouquet of flowers for Fann Wong. *cue awws* Yes, you may argue that some women don’t like flowers, but it is not the bouquet but the gesture that matters. Guys, are you taking notes?
Love lesson: Don't stop at marrying someone who makes your heart flutter. Marry someone who will be your personal cheerleader, who will be happier than you at your happiest moments, and sadder than you at your saddest ones. And this sweet post on Chris’ Instagram to the missus on their anniversary pretty much sums it up: “My dearest wife, we’ve been married for six years. Let’s remain loving for 60 years or even, 600 years!”
Priscelia Chan and Alan Tern
Priscelia Chan went through a dark two years when a “massive traumatic health ordeal” made her give up acting in 2016. Due to a suspected imbalance in her immune system, she suffered major skin problems - it was so bad that she thought would be permanently disfigured. It was traumatic to say the least, but even at her worst, hubby, former actor Alan Tern, would still tell her that she’s beautiful and reassured her that she’d recover. She's finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and has even returned to showbiz albeit behind the scenes, directing a short film as part of an incubator project.
Love lesson: Be your partner’s biggest pillar of support. Just being around, offering words of encouragement and loving them in sickness and in health can do wonders.
Alfred Sim and Tay Kewei
Alfred Sim spared no expense while proposing to his fellow singer and girlfriend of ten years, Tay Kewei. In May 2014, Kewei walked into a restaurant ready to perform for a client’s solemnisation ceremony, but it turns out that the gig was merely a facade for an elaborate proposal, as she was shocked to see about 40 members of her friends and family in the room. And in the middle of them stood Alfred, singing and strumming to her song, So in Love! A few rounds of confetti and poppers later, Kewei was led to a floating stage, where Alfred got down on one knee and popped the question.
But the proposal didn’t end there. Thinking it would be “anticlimactic” to go back to everyday life after getting engaged, Alfred whisked Kewei to Tokyo that very night, where she and Alfred were greeted by three friends who filmed and photographed their mini holiday. And as the final touch, Alfred surprised her with a pre-wedding photoshoot at the end of the trip. The trip cost upward of $50,000.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: how could their wedding possibly top that kind of gesture? It turns out that Alfred had more tricks up his sleeve, as the two enjoyed a gala-themed, star-studded wedding at the Shangri-La Hotel in January 2015.
Love lesson: Money can’t buy you love, but it can definitely buy you a “spoil market” engagement. Don’t ever hold back from your beloved!
Photo: Ideally Yours/Screenshot
Joanne Peh and Qi Yuwu
Distance can make the heart grow fonder but it can also make or break a relationship, especially when you live apart for a long period of time - years, even, for Joanne Peh and Qi Yuwu’s case. He’s based in China, while she’s in Singapore with their two children. In 2014, the couple said “I do” even though they knew they were going to be in a long-distance marriage, and now, fast-forward four years later, though they are miles apart, they are “closer than we were when we started”.
Love lesson: Distance is no barrier to true love. Despite juggling busy careers, two young kids AND Joanne’s “third baby”, enrichment programme The Dimple Loft, Joanne says she and Yuwu always make it a point to spend important occasions like birthdays and festivals together, making what little time they have together count, whether it’s going on dates or as a family. And when all else fails, there are always video calls. Heh.
Pierre Png and Andrea De Cruz
Pierre Png and Andrea De Cruz’s love story is like something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel (but with a far happier ending). Pierre first spotted Andrea walking out a hair salon, and was captivated by her beauty, but they didn’t get together until years later when they were both single. Things took a turn for the worse in 2002, when Andrea suffered liver failure after taking Slim 10 diet pills. Pierre sprang to the rescue, donating part of his liver while she was on the verge of death.
Today, after 15 years of marriage, the two are as much in love as ever. Their fortitude in taking things one day at a time, in the face of Andrea’s health. Not only have they adopted a bundle of “furkids”, but Pierre frequently surprises Andrea with cute gestures, like flowers, or taking her out for churros when she’s craving them, while Andrea cooks delicious meals for Pierre – which he lovingly documents on Instagram.
Love lesson: True love requires sacrifice. While Andrea has shared that there’s a risk her body could reject the liver someday, she’s blessed to have a man who sticks with her through thick and thin, even at a cost to himself – and meanwhile, Pierre is lucky to have found someone who fights bravely in the face of death.
Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan
Jesseca Liu and Jeremy Chan’s relationship was one of the best-kept secrets in local showbiz. The couple not only dated under the radar, but were also engaged for about a year before they went public with their romance in 2016. But it was not all smooth-sailing for Jeremy, who was criticised for his romance with Jesseca: netizens had a field day poking fun at his shorter stature and how he could not measure up to her both physically and professionally. But the actor took it in his stride and would even make self-deprecating jokes about his height. In 2017, they tied the knot in a romantic beach wedding in Langkawi.
Love lesson: Ignore the naysayers (and marry a guy that makes you laugh). Their relationship was not without its challenges but it’s their unbreakable friendship (he calls her his best friend on earth) and Jeremy’s sincerity that moved Jesseca. In her wedding vows, Jesseca thanked Jeremy for not giving up on their relationship, saying, "Ever since you got together with me, you've heard the worst things - thankfully you have a big heart and took it all in stride… Thank you for your determination and for not giving up, which gave me a chance to be your wife."
Hong Huifang and Zheng Geping
Even after 27 years of marriage and two kids, Zheng Geping and Hong Huifang are still as loving as ever. The doting husband revealed that he makes it a point to kiss Huifang every night before they go to bed and occasionally makes little surprises for her, including steamy dance routines worthy of Magic Mike. Way to spice things up the bedroom. 🙈
Love lesson: Always dote on women because they are made to love (Geping’s words, not ours). Ever the romantic, Geping never fails to send Huifang flowers on her birthday, their anniversary and Valentine’s Day, even when he is overseas. And till today, the actor still remembers what Huifang wore on their first date. The devil is in the details.
Kate Pang and Andie Chen
Nothing is more sexy than a secret relationship, especially when you’re in showbiz. In 2013, Andie Chen and Kate Pang revealed that they’d not only been dating on the down-low for a year (despite brushing off earlier rumours), but that they were married and expecting a child. When questioned by the media, Kate and Andie admitted that they’d felt like “puking” at the thought of playing lovers in Break Free. Andie joked that Kate is old and ugly, while Kate replied that the joke was on him, since he now has to look at her for the rest of their lives.
Today, Kate and Andie are one of the most fun couples to follow on social media, thanks to their continuing banter and their adorable kids, Aden and Avery. They even have a parenting site Kandie Family to document their domestic life and share tips on parenthood, showing that beyond being lovers and best friends, these two make excellent creative partners.
Love lesson: Never say never! While it wasn’t love at first sight for Kate and Andie – both acknowledge their relationship was a slow burn, and that it was different from their previous relationships – it’s clear that these two are a perfect match.
George Young and Janet Hsieh
Perhaps it was only a matter time before George Young and Taiwanese host Janet Hsieh, who met ten years ago, decided to be more than just friends. In their wedding vows, Janet admitted that she’d had a crush on George since Day Two – she’d thought he was gay on Day One – while George “joked” that he knew he was in trouble ever since she’d drunkenly approached him at her 30th birthday party to tell him that she wanted to have his babies.
“One of the scariest things you can do, though, is to tell someone that you love them first,” he said, voice trembling amidst barely repressed sobs. “You made me do that, not with words, but by being who you are. I love you, I promise to continue to love you, and to look after you wherever the world takes us.”
Love lesson: The friend zone is negotiable. If you love someone, get drunk and tell them.
Bonus PRO TIP: Janet shared that George thought of her as a “dude” for years, until one fateful night in 2014, when she cooked for him while he was sick. He began seeing her differently, while she realised that she enjoyed taking care of him. So what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and start practising!
Photo: Janet Hsieh's Facebook page
Shane Pow and Kimberly Wang
Unlike the other couples on this list, Shane Pow and Kimberly Wang have not walked down the aisle but we decided to include them anyway ‘cos no one keeps us entertained like these two with their constant bantering, trolling and savage roasting online. Jokes and jibes aside, Shane is also quite the sensitive new-age guy. How many guys do you know would spend more than four hours slaving in the kitchen just to whip up their bae’s favourite dish?
Love lesson: Keep it fun -- doing silly things together can help keep the spark alive. Like how Shane gave Kim a very advance (six months!) birthday surprise when they were vacationing in the United States and this #Seoulfunky dance video which saw the pair boogieing their way through the city, to the bewilderment of passers-by. “This was completely unplanned and spontaneous. It just happened as we went about our trip,” said Kimberly. Never change, guys.
Photo: Instagram/@ohhowstrange, @shanepowxp