Like a scene straight out of a rom-com, Maxene Magalona and Rob Mananquil’s not quite meet-cute three years ago had all the right elements: with Rob’s band Pulso playing at a gig that Max was watching, there was music, lighting, and that spark of attraction from across the room. They knew of each other, of course, given their very public careers, but something about Rob stood out to Max that evening: “As he was playing the guitar in the spotlight, I saw how passionate he was about music. It was very moving to watch him.”

Rob had also noticed Max as he was walking toward the stage, but it didn’t click until later on who she really was. “Our bassist told me later that night, ‘Maxene Magalona watched the gig.’ That’s when I realized she was the woman I had noticed because she was so pretty.”

As one of the more popular Instagram couples, it’s no surprise that their love story began with social media: After being just Facebook friends for a while, the two began to chat constantly upon learning of their mutual love for mangga’t bagoong. A month into their online correspondence, they finally had their first coffee date“. I was at a point in my life where I was thinking,

‘What if I’m not meant to meet someone?’” Max remembers. “So I was really hesitant to go on that date. I even bought three outfits for it and asked my family which one looked best!” Five minutes into their meeting, and she knew she made the right decision. “No joke, I texted my friends, ‘Guys, confirmed. Iba siya. Mahal ko na siya!’”

“We were like high school kids,” Rob adds. “We talked for hours, and I brought her home at 11 pm. Then when I got home, I called her up and we talked until 3 am.”

Since getting married in January, life still feels a lot like the same for the two. “Being married is fun,” Rob reflects. “It really solidifies our relationship. We do a lot of things together, so it’s been a very good transition.” “That’s actually a frequent advice from our ninongs and ninangs: to keep doing things together and even doing more things together,” Max adds. “After our wedding, we looked up some classes that we think are fun and should do together, like yoga. Even doing errands like grocery shopping together helps keep our communication lines open and honest.”

One of the couple things they do together is posting photos on IG, with captions that speak of positivity and kindness. “It started out as something we do for fun as a hobby, because we wanted to share our love,” Rob says. But with a growing number of followers liking their pictures, the couple soon realized the opportunity and the platform social media provides them. “It’s important that we show what’s real, because people can sense that and they appreciate it when you’re being authentic. We don’t post just for the sake of posting something; we post when it feels right,” says Max.

Though Rob used to be an infrequent IG poster, the intention and the stories behind their posts got him into the social media game. “It’s either all in or nothing for me, so since we’re all in, then we’re all in.”

“That’s one of the things I love about him,” Max says. “Aside from his kind heart, I admire his passion and how he puts all of himself into doing the things he loves. It has inspired me to do the same with my craft. He really taught me that.”

On his part, Rob admires how principled and strong his wife is. “I love her strong mind, her ideas. In a society where we tend to get conscious of what people think of us, Max made me see that there’s nothing wrong in speaking out and going after what you’re passionate about. I’m so thankful and happy I met her.”

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