Tito, Helen were secretly married before courtship

Posted at 10/27/12 10:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Unbeknownst to her mother, Helen Gamboa had already been married to Tito Sotto before he was welcomed to her home for formal courtship.

In an interview with "Showbiz Inside Report" aired Saturday, Gamboa recounted the start of her relationship with the senator, who was then a part of a band.

According to the veteran actress, her mother had been very protective of her, and would even accompany her to her dates with her numerous suitors.

Learning of Gamboa's increasingly serious relationship with Sotto, her mother immediately "closed the doors on him."

Even then, Gamboa recounted, "Napakatiyaga niya. I fell for him na."

Eventually, she and Sotto would start meeting in secret, and on one fateful night, found themselves in a church in Sto. Tomas, Batangas exchanging vows -- without her mother knowing.

"Kasi there was no hope na makakapunta siya sa bahay, to visit me normally, to have a normal relationship. Hindi pwede sa mommy ko," Gamboa said, justifying their decision.

The two would resume their lives as if nothing had happened. Sotto again tried to woo Gamboa; this time with the consent and approval of her mother.

"After two years, we married again publicly," Gamboa said. "My mother, that was the time she gave her blessing, and she started loving Tito na."

Tying the knot with Sotto, Gamboa shared, was her cue to "hibernate" from show business to try her hand at being a full time housewife, and later a mother to their four children.