If you still remember, Zyrene placed third in GMA’s Are You The Nezt Big Star? She was also signed with Viva, but she found love and followed her heart. She quit singing and is now living a blissful married life with Nico Valencia.
Valencia is one of three nominees in Juan Movement Party List (the other two are Jun Llave and Mark Boado).
While Zyrene is busy wooing voters to blacken no. 31 in the party list category in the ballot, her hands are also full as wedding director of Bridal Walk based at St. Michael Church in BGC (Bonifacio Global City).
“I enjoy the work,” she told me over lunch recently. “I get to work with couples that are very enthusiastic to get married and start a new life with their partners.”
So, how much is she paid for the work? “Oh no, it is pure ‘for the love of’ because that is my promise to myself when I got married to Nico that I will help other couples have a blissful marital life.”
Zyrene had a bright future in singing, but she chose to be just Mrs. Valencia. “No regrets!” she said. “I am happy with Nico and he with me. We do a lot of things together as a couple. And that’s where all the fun is.”
Zyrene, if you recall, got a lot of buzz when she sang in 2010 the Philippine National Anthem before the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito match in Texas. That’s why if you hear the song “Ang Bagong Pilipino” being played on the loudspeakers of Juan Movement’s vans, you can say, “The voice sounds familiar.” That’s because Zyrene Parsad-Valencia sang it as well.
“I was Pacquiao’s personal choice,” said Zyrene, “and I was cited by Congress for being the only one who sang it the right way.”
She also explained that“Ang Bagong Pilipino” was composed by then MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino. “He asked me to sing it during the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). He was one of the principal sponsors at our wedding. The song’s message reflects that of Juan Movement, so I asked our ninong’s permission to sing it at the campaign.”
Zyrene had already one album released and Viva had laid out big plans for her. Viva Boss Vic del Rosario, also the couple’s ninong, understood Zyrene’s decision though.
“Actually,” admitted Zyrene, “when I sang at the Pacquiao-Margarito fight, I was already engaged to Nico. As soon as I came back from Texas, he proposed to me. It wasn’t a tough decision to make. I knew my priorities in life. My career will always be there, but my husband is my forever. No regrets. I’m very happy. Every day, I feel so loved and I’m so in love.”
Their paths first crossed when Zyrene was assigned to interview Nico’s father, former Mindoro governor and congressman Rodolfo Valencia.
“We were on a Supercat to Mindoro when Nico’s dad told me I was pretty,” recalled Zyrene. “Then, he said that he had a son and introduced Nico to me. We were two right people meeting at the right time. Nico was free and so was I. In fact, he’s my first and only boyfriend.”
A Business Management graduate from La Salle College of St. Benilde, Nico at 43 is 11 years Zyrene’s senior but the age gap doesn’t matter.
“We never fight,” said Zyrene, “but we do argue. Fighting is different from arguing. I’m happy. This is God’s plan for me, for us. When you are married, you don’t think of yourself anymore. We put God at the center of our marriage.”
As a wedding director of Bridal Walk and with Anthony Pangilinan and wife Maricel Laxa as mentors, Zyrene and Nico prepare couples getting married, as Zyrene put it, “emotionally, mentally, financially and, most important of all, spiritually.”
The couple has no child yet. “Until after elections,” Zyrne said.