MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Coleen Garcia and Billy Crawford had a nautical-themed despedida de soltera at Casa Ibarra on Saturday, April 14. Organized by the bride-to-be’s family, the event gave guests a sneak peek of what to expect on the big day happening on April 20 . (READ: How Billy Crawford proposed to Coleen Garcia )
The two had been mum about the specific date of the wedding. But on Sunday, April 15, during the telecast of Pilipinas Got Talent , Toni Gonzaga confirmed that date when she congratulated the couple. " Nais rin naming i-congratulate at sasamahan na rin natin ng best wishes dahil sa darating na Biyernes na po ang inaabangang kasal ni Billy and Coleen. We celebrate your life and your union ," she said. (We want to congratulate and also give our best wishes to Billy and Coleen as they tie the knot on Friday. We celebrate your life and your union.) Billy also expressed his gratitude. " Sa lahat ng nagmamahal sa amin ni Coleen (To everyone who have given their love to Coleen and I), we really just want to say thank you. And thank you, Lord. I'm ready for this new journey for me,” he said.
“It’s just really nice having our family together and this is just a taste of what we’re gonna have in the wedding. So, ngayon pa lang, pinipigalan na namin umiyak (As early as now, we're trying to stop ourselves from crying) ,” Coleen said during the party.
Asked about the event’s theme, Coleen explained that they opted for a nautical theme as anchors holds a special place in her heart.
“My personal symbol is really an anchor because it really symbolizes strength and stability. I had it tattooed on my back, tapos ginaya ako ni Billy (Billy did the same). So we got the same tattoo on the same part. So now it’s kind of like strength and stability together as a unit,” she shared.
Making the party more memorable was the arrival of Billy’s parents, whom his own family had not seen in 4 years. Billy and Coleen kept their arrival secret from everyone as a surprise for his Manila-based family.
Coleen’s mom, Maripaz Ortega, couldn't help but shed a few tears after seeing Billy reunite with his parents.
Early this year, Billy shared that his parents might not be able to make it to their wedding due to health reasons. The couple originally planned on flying to Texas to see them before the wedding.
Luckily, they received the go-signal from the doctor in time.
“I got really emotional when I saw his mom. I hugged her kasi alam mo yung si Billy, sobrang uhaw na uhaw na siya sa love ng parents. So alam mo ‘yung sobrang miss na miss na niya ,” Maripaz shared.
(I hugged her because I know how Billy's been craving for his parents' love. So you know, he misses them.)
The beginnings of forever
During the interview, Maripaz admitted that she initially had her doubts when Billy and Coleen started dating. She said that as a mom, she just wanted to protect her daughter.
“I didn’t approve since the beginning but I’m the type to always keep it to myself lang. Parang ako , I’ m just here to support you, pero nandiyan na eh (but it's already there), so I’ll support [the relationship]."
"Ayoko lang masakatan ‘yung anak ko, ‘yung ma-judge siya or whatever kasi siyempre ‘di pa maayos lahat ‘di ba? Parang ang daming bashers or whatever or mag co-comment, eh you can’t please everyone. I just don’t like my daughter to get hurt and I trust her decision naman .”
(I don't want my daughter to get hurt, judged or whatever because things weren't settled yet, right? There are so many bashers or people commenting and you can't please everyone.)
But Billy eventually won her over. Maripaz now only has nothing but kind words for her future son-in-law.
“Billy’s such a nice guy. Kung may mali siya (if he's wrong) he’ll correct [himself] and make it up [to you]. Malambing and sobrang makatao siya (He's very sweet and he cares about people) . I mean, I like him. He’s a good person and has good heart. He’s very kind.”
Maripaz jokingly added that she wanted to have 10 grandkids from Coleen and Billy.
Wedding preparations and house update
With the wedding only a couple of days away, Coleen admitted that she’s gotten a little stressed this week, especially when it comes to the guest list. Although they wanted to keep the ceremony as an intimate as possible, they didn’t want to leave people out. (READ: Coleen Garcia on wedding planning: I'm no bridezilla )
“ Ang hirap naman kasi talaga ng guest list lalo if you’re both from the industry it’s really very hard, especially when you have to limit to a certain number. Kahit anong gusto naming gawin, kahit gano ka-intimate ‘yung gusto namin for our wedding mahirap talaga to exclude people.
(It's definitely hard when managing the guest list, especially if you're both from the industry and when you have to limit the number of guests. As much as you want it to be intimate, it's so hard to exlude people.)
“Sa ngayon we invited around 250 people, Intimate pa rin naman especially considering na nakita niyo kung gaano kalaki yung pamilya namin .”
(So now, we invited 250 people. It's very intimate considering how big our families are.)
Billy and Coleen are also in the final stage of renovating their home .
“ Matatapos na siya habang nasa Balesin (It will be finished while we're in Balesin) . So pag-uwing pag-uwi namin (So once we get home) , we’re gonna move in already. Billy’s parents and my parents are gonna help us move in,” she shared.
According to Coleen, the renovation was an eye-opener for her and Billy, especially when it comes to managing their finances.
“It’s really a matter of allocating everything the right way. So that’s where Billy and I learned a lot… Dati wala naman kaming pakiealam sa finances ng isa’t isa’t (Before we don't touch each other's finances) but then this was also good practice for us as well and we really were able to work together as a team with all of this.”
Coleen on marrying ‘too young’
At 25, some think that Coleen is too young to be settling down, saying she should make the most out of her 20s. Rather than holding her back, Coleen believed that being with Billy brought out the best in her.
“A lot of people are telling me before, kasi medyo bata para magpakasal (because I was kind of too young to marry) , they were telling me you have to enjoy first ‘ yung freedom mo. But you know? I feel more free with Billy. I feel like I can be myself more with Billy. Kasi imbes na tino-tone ko ‘yung sarili ko (Because of toning myself down) I feel like he’s amplifying me even more."
"I feel like — kumbaga there are days na tamad ako (when I'm lazy), there are days na I’m discouraged, siya yung nagsasabi na (he'll tell me), ‘Love, you should go spend more time with your friends. You should experience new things also kahit wala ako (even without me).’ Instead of holding me back, siya pa nage-encourage sa’kin (he's the one encouraging me) to experience new things and to really put myself out there.”
While some may view their 10-year age difference as disadvantage, Coleen said the age gap was actually one of the reasons why their relationship worked.
“I love that I’m with somebody who’s so experienced already, who’s been through so much in life. To the point na , I don’t have to worry about certain things kasi may mga bagay na pinagdaanan na niya (because these are things he's already been through) . He’s able to give me advice, especially since he’s been in the industry for more than 30 years. Also he’s lived all over the world. He’s lived in the states. He’s lived in Paris. He’s really been everywhere so it helps, it really helps.” – Rappler.com