Shalani on Noynoy: It was 'instant attraction'

Posted at 01/14/10 11:17 PM

Soledad tries to keep it low-key when answering questions about her love life.

MANILA, Philippines - Valenzuela 2nd District Councilor Shalani Soledad is tight-lipped when it comes to her love affair with presidential contender Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Soledad declined to elaborate on their relationship. The high-profile political pair reportedly want to keep their privacy.

Asked what makes their relationship "different" from other couples, however, Soledad replied: "I think 'Noy and I, when we met, it just happened. There is an instant attraction."

In an interview with Aquino's youngest sister Kris Aquino-Yap, published in "The Buzz" magazine, Soledad said she fell in love with Aquino because "unknown to many, he's very sweet, has a great sense of humor [and he is very thoughtful]."

Though slightly more chatty with Kris, Soledad still gave short answers to love-related questions.

When Kris asked why she loves Aquino, Soledad answered: "He lets me be what I am."

Asked why Aquino loves her, she said: "I understand him."

'Support system'

Valenzuela councilor Shalani Soledad (right) swears to Kris Aquino (left) and a crowd of Noynoy Aquino supporters that she will "not break Noynoy's heart." The "love angle" keeps crowds entertained at campaign sorties.

Noynoy Aquino's love life is proving to be an effective tool in clinching the interest of voters during campaign sorties.

In one such campaign event, Kris Aquino-Yap introduced Soledad as "the girl who holds Noynoy's heart." After calling Soledad onstage, Yap asked her to promise not to break Aquino's heart--prompting the crowd to cheer and tease.

Some political analysts like Angelito Banayo believe, however, that Aquino still needs to focus on more substantial messages like his specific plans for government, his principles as well as his track record.

Soledad told ABS-CBN News that she will be Aquino's "support system" during and after the 2010 polls.

True to form, Soledad defended Aquino against criticisms hurled by rival candidates who are questioning Aquino's lack of experience and his family's role in the controversial property Hacienda Luisita.

Though she says she is hurt by criticisms against Aquino, Soledad reportedly knows this is part of politics.


Shalani Soledad takes her oath as a Liberal Party member. She has shifted party allegiances twice in her political career.

In the interview with ABS-CBN News, Soledad evaded questions about whether she and Aquino plan to marry.

"We are still focused on the elections and how to campaign for Noy," she said.

She vowed to let the public know if they have imminent wedding plans.

Should Aquino win as president,Soledad may be called upon to act as the country's First Lady.

However, Soledad claims the possibility of being First Lady is still far from her mind.

Prior to joining politics, Soledad was a former Senate staffer for Sen. Ping Lacson, an opposition candidate. Soledad later ran and won as Valenzuela councilor under the administration party Lakas-CMD in 2007.

She transferred to the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), of which Valenzuela Rep. Rex Gatchalian is the spokesperson.

Last year, Soledad took her oath under NPC, but jumped ship a few weeks later to join the LIberal Party, which chose Aquino as its standard-bearer. Report by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News. With reports from abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak.