After all, at the time of their meeting, Maine was one-half of the Philippines’ most-loved television tandems, and the couple also came from rival networks. However, as the saying goes, love stories are even more appealing when they are tested by challenges that truly show how they feel for each other.
Now that Maine and Arjo now set to bring their romance to the altar, let’s take a look back on their relationship for the past four years:
July 2013: 'Arjo cutie'
Every love story has to start somewhere. For Maine and Arjo, theirs began with something as a simple post on Twitter.
"Arjo cutie" was what sparked it all. It was a tweet Maine manifested on July 28, 2013, five years before the couple actually met each other for the first time. It's also the date that will forever be special between the two of them.
July 2018: The first meeting
As if their fingers were intertwined with the red string of fate, Maine and Arjo finally got a chance to meet exactly five years later on July 28. Whether it was merely coincidence or destiny, nobody knows for sure, but at the time, the two of them attended a story conference for the movie Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles.
Maine was one of the three main leads, alongside Vic Sotto and Coco Martin. Arjo was also a part of the cast as the leader of a drug syndicate, whose Maine's character had a fight scene later on.
October 2018: Dating speculations
Rumors of a blossoming romance eventually surrounded Maine and Arjo after they were seen together in public several times. They were spotted dining at a restaurant in Makati, partying in Bonifacio Global City, and celebrating Halloween in matching costumes as Daphne and Fred from the cartoon show Scooby-Doo.
January 2019: The real score
It was Arjo who first revealed the real score between him and Maine on Jan. 22. In an interview with reporters for his movie Tol, Arjo said that while they were not officially in a relationship, they were "exclusively dating" and that he was at his "happiest."
Maine, for her part, previously said a month earlier that they were "going out as friends" and they were still "getting to know each other."
Many of Maine's fans were unhappy about the news, as they were hoping she'd be with her love time Alden Richards. However, Arjo emphasized that he wasn't affected by the bashing as long as they didn't attack his or Maine's families.
March 2019: Confirming the romance
In a lengthy blog post, Maine finally confirmed the news that she is indeed dating Arjo.
"Again, without waiting any longer, here's the statement and confirmation you have been waiting for: It's true, I am dating Arjo," Maine revealed before proceeding to list the things she likes about him.
"He always goes out of his way to make me extra happy and actually puts in effort in everything he does. I appreciate everything he does for me and I am happy that I get to experience such wonderful things," she wrote.
She then took the time to speak against the online bashing they received from "AlDub" fans.
"A lot of people close to me have experienced the immense bashing from some 'fans' and haters combined, including my family and friends. It has to stop. You may not be required to love the people around the person you idolize but I don't think it's too much to show them at least some respect," she stressed.
December 2019: First anniversary
With their relationship now open, the couple had been spending more and more time getting to know each other and bonding with each other's families. On Dec. 21, Maine and Arjo celebrated their first anniversary with a romantic beach getaway.
Maine posted a picture of them on social media, where they could be seen holding each other close while they were on a boat in the middle of the sea.
"Happy first," Maine wrote with a heart emoji. Arjo replied in the comments: "I’m crying.. I love you."
In a separate post by showing the two of them holding hands while admiring the sunset at a beach, Arjo wrote, "Thank you for everything, babs. Happy first anniversary!!! I love you."
December 2020: Second anniversary
Maine and Arjo commemorated another year of being together with yet another beach trip.
"I love you more than you could possibly imagine. Happy second anniversary bubs!" Arjo wrote, accompanying his post with a picture of himself hugging Maine tight while she was making a goofy expression.
December 2021: Third anniversary
Three years into the relationship, Maine and Arjo's romance was still going strong. The couple continued their tradition of spending their anniversaries at the beach.
"Life with you just keeps getting better. Happy third anniversary, my bubba pie pie," Arjo wrote as he posted pictures of them having a picnic at a yacht surrounded by red balloons and a gorgeous view of the setting sun.
July 2022: 'I will marry you, cutie'
Wait, whaaaat??? We’re engaged?! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/OobMkCX0uX— Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) July 29, 2022
From manifesting "Arjo cutie" on July 28, 2013 to their first meeting on July 28, 2018, this date seemed at first to be just a mere coincidence, but the two have since made it something special when the couple announced their engagement exactly eight years since Maine’s viral tweet.
"My turn, I will marry you cutie. 07.28.22," Arjo captioned his post showing the romantic outdoor setup he prepared for his fiancé.
One of the photos in his post captured Maine standing in a field filled with artificial white roses. At the back is a set of LED lights that form the phrase: "Will you marry me?"
June 2023: Family's blessing
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"The Ataydes and Mendozas will soon merge as one family."
That's what Arjo's mother, Sylvia Sanchez, wrote as she revealed that her son has formally asked for the blessings of Maine's family ahead of their wedding through a "pamamanhikan," which is a Filipino tradition in which the groom, who's accompanied by his parents (and family members), formally asks the permission of his bride's parents to marry her.
Sylvia highlighted that she is "excited" for when the wedding bells would finally ring for Maine and Arjo.
July 2023: Bridal shower from E.A.T. family
Every bride deserves one exciting and fun-filled bridal shower, and Maine was given just that by her E.A.T. family.
In a July 22 episode, the TV host was given a headband and a sash with the words "bride to be" before she was entertained with song performances from Ryzza Mae Dizon, Joey Generoso, Carren Eistrup, and Ice Seguerra.
Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon later prepared their own special song number for her with My Girl by The Temptations before being followed by a comedic dance number by Paolo Ballesteros, Wally Bayola and "Zombie."
Of course, her bridal shower would not have been complete without some gift-giving, where Maine received some sleepwear, kitchen utensils, a mosquito net, and a bag from her colleagues.
Maine thanked them for the heartwarming gesture on Twitter, where she wrote, "Napaka saya ng puso ko. I am so blessed and I am truly grateful. Maraming salamat sa lahat, Lord. Maraming salamat sa pag tanggap at sa pagmamahal, dabarkads. Mula noon hanggang ngayon. 14344."