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Unstoppable Love: This is our biggest fear for our age-gap relationship

By Beauty Gonzalez and Norman Crisologo (as told to Brooke Villanueva) Published Feb 03, 2021 9:40 pm Updated Feb 24, 2021 8:23 am

We have been keeping our romance alive for about seven years now. Our 20-year age gap has definitely raised some eyebrows—sometimes, we'd reply to bashers, but the best way to deal with them is to ignore, laugh, and just have fun with it.

Norman Crisologo

I was walking past this bookstore and I saw this magazine and there was this super beautiful lady in the cover. I actually saw it a couple of times. Every time I passed by, I kept on looking at it and then, I just said, “You know? I’ve got to meet this girl somehow.” So I found a way to find friends who might know her, I started calling up people, and I got her number somehow. I sent her a message and she thought I was selling her something.

Beauty Gonzalez

Ano kayang binebenta nito? Insurance? Loan? Sabi ko, “Wala akong pera.” Hindi ko pinansin. Then he called me using a different number. I thought it was my tita in some other country, but he said, “Hi! I’m Norman Crisologo. I’m friends with Ellen and I want to invite you to this event.” I showed up because Ellen pushed me to go there kahit nahihiya ako sa mga event. I went there, overdressed, kasi hindi ako sanay sa mga events. And then, I saw him.

It was awesome kasi that was our first time to see each other and I’m a big fan of Eraserheads so sobra akong kinilig nung nakita ko yung Eraserheads. I was like, “I’m not going to hug him because I don’t know him. I’m not going to do anything physical.” But the moment na Eraserheads na lumabas, wala na. Niyakap ko na siya. Sabi ko, “Oh my god, thanks for inviting me here! I like you!” Then pinatugtog yung Magasin ng Eraserheads and suddenly, Norman said, “That’s our song!” I said, “Yeah! That’s our song!” That’s how it started. 

Norman

We were about to leave the place because we thought they weren’t going to sing. We were about to walk out, then we heard Alapaap. I grabbed her hand and we ran inside, then we saw them sing. 

From that day, alam ko na—hindi ko na binitawan. I can only speak for myself but for me, talagang ayoko na bitawan. Kasi apart from the physical, there are so many things that we kind of have in common. You don’t really talk that much when you’re in those situations, it’s just basically the feeling or the vibe—the right vibe—which is very important. I felt it and I hope she felt it, too.

Beauty

I felt it. On my side, when I first met him, I can’t explain the feeling. Inside of me, I wanted to make things right with this guy. I wanted to take it slow. I didn’t want to rush anything. I had to leave early, Cinderella, para mamiss niya ako. I really did the right things.

Norman 

We became official that same day. I know it doesn’t sound that good. In all honesty, when you think about it, that’s really the day we became official. We just knew. Well, I knew.

Beauty

When I went to Paris, I asked him, “Did you ask me ba? You should ask me.” But we decided, “Let’s do Sept. 4 for the rest of our lives.” From that day on, we kept talking to each other and calling each other. 

Norman

First date namin sa Paris. A week after we met, I had to go to Europe for some stuff I had to do. She had to go to work, so we met in Paris. That was officially our first date. 

Beauty 

The thing I knew that Norman was the guy for me was when he stood up for me to my mom. Hindi siya natakot na harapin mommy ko, hindi sila nag-away ever. He told my mom: “I’m not a problem. I’m the solution.” 

Norman 

Her mom talked to us. Nagulat ako, she went inside the house. She kept on saying Beauty’s like this, like that, and she kept on telling me all these problems. Sabi ko, “You know what, tita, I’m not a problem. I’m part of the solution. So, relax, I’m not here to make gulo, or to wreck everyone’s lives. I’m here to make things better for everyone.”

To tell you the truth, from the very beginning, I had every intention to stay for a very, very long time. From the beginning, I really planned on and wished and hoped for that it will continue to go on until forever. Apart from just hoping and planning, of course, you have to work on it. I know it sounds a bit corny and hard to believe, but from the beginning, I really thought, this is it. It’s forever for me.

Beauty

My whole life changed when I met Norman. Maraming nangyari sa career ko. He’s my mentor. He’s my everything. That was one of the biggest changes, na-uplift yung career ko when I met him. I’m happy he came at the right time, he guides me very well kasi we really help each other. 

Norman 

For me, it just got a lot more exciting. At my age, a lot of people are starting to relax and wind down. But me, all of a sudden, I have to start working out again kasi all of a sudden, I have got to keep up. Things are not starting from scratch, but there are things that need to be done that may have been one before. S2C now, I have to do it again but in a better way, and do it wiser. So parang na-extend yung buhay ko. Parang na-plus another 30 years that have to come—it’s so exciting. It really changed. It’s just more colorful, more of everything. So it’s so much fun for me. It’s a good, good, good change. 

Beauty 

When our daughter came into the picture, our lives changed a lot more. I’m so happy Norman was there, I couldn’t have survived it without him. I’m so happy I agreed with him to travel a lot with Olivia when she was still a baby, just the three of us, kasi it was really one of the best years of my life. Taking care of my daughter, far away to another place, you’re there for so long, just the three of you—I cherish those moments when we’d go out for breakfast and we’d go dancing in bars at night. 

Norman 

We didn’t decide to build a family—it was decided for us. Olivia just decided to join us and, ready or not, we were happy to have her with us. It wasn’t planned. It was shocking at first, but right away, we accepted and we were very happy about it and we made it work for us. I think Beauts can agree that we’re much better as three than we were as two. Not really better, but even more fun.

Beauty

Marami kaming similarities. We’re very easy together. Everything we do, we both like it. I like what he’s doing. He’s also very supportive with the things I’m doing and all the things I like.

Norman

But syempre, there’s really a lot of differences with age, like generation gap. I had a different upbringing, she grew up in Dumaguete. Very big difference talaga, looking at us. But when we actually got to talk to each other we realized all those differences just made it more interesting. There’s nothing that made it really difficult for us to be together. So wala namang major hadlang. But differences? Really just the generation gap, my experiences growing up, her experiences. But more or less, very easy.

Beauty

Sometimes, matigas talaga ulo ko and buti nalang mahaba pasensya niya. I’m just lucky that we always try to fix things agad. We don’t let it last long. Sometimes, we do need time together off. But I appreciate that we have to fix it agad—we’re willing to fix it. We don’t have conflicts talaga. Actually, I can’t remember the last time we had a conflict.

Norman

We really don’t have a lot of challenges because of the age gap. It’s really just personality stuff, but actually, nakakatulong talaga yung age gap instead na nakakaproblema. It really helps a lot. If I met Beauty when I was younger, siguro ang dami naming away, ang dami naming problema because I was a different person. I don’t react to things the same way, I’m a bit more patient and calm now, which helps in our state. If we were the same age, siguro iba. So, we’re just lucky. 

Beauty 

Do we have fears for our relationship? Definitely. Who goes first? Sino mauuna sa amin? That’s my biggest anxiety, my fear, all the time. But as what Norman said, while we're here, spread love to a lot of people. 

Norman

That’s probably the biggest issue for someone like us—the aging. But again, you never really know. Who’s to say I’m going to go first or she’s going to go first? No one would know. I guess we have to live life day by day, week by week, because nobody really knows naman. Things will take care of themselves as time goes by and Olivia’s always with us so it’s not actually just the two of us anymore. There’s Olivia, who’s actually a lot younger than us. She’ll take care of everyone as well. We take good care of her now, she’ll take care of me or Beauts or whoever—that’s the cycle of life naman. That’s probably the biggest thing, but when you think about it, okay lang naman. It happens to everyone in one way or another.

Basta, Beauts, ‘pag nagkita tayo ulit sa heaven, makikilala mo pa din ako ah?

Photos from Beauty Gonzalez and Norman Crisologo