Over the weekend, longtime Kapuso couple Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez announced that they were engaged! They both shared similar close-up pics of Carla's diamond engagement ring on their Instagram accounts, while Nice Print Photo posted photos of the actual proposal—which happened back in October 2020.
The two were first paired in the 2013 GMA-7 series My Husband's Lover and have been in a relationship since 2014. But before getting engaged, they actually made a huge couple decision: to live-in with each other! Both Carla and Tom spoke with GMANetwork.com and shared that their decision to cohabitate solidified their relationship and prepared them for what's to come.
Carla and Tom's experience living-in together during the pandemic
"It's sharing the most basic, definitely, sharing household responsibilities, taking over stuff that you do better than your partner lalo na if it's something na mas sanay ka o mas magaling ka in doing," Carla said.
Apparently, Tom moved into Carla's home right before Manila was put on lockdown due to the pandemic. And because of this, they were able to build a strong partnership in working on their relationship and household responsibilities as well.
"Marami akong natutunan about Tom during the lockdown but, thankfully, we both step up," she continued. "He shared in the work, partnership talaga kami, and nakaya niya. Kayang-kaya ni Tom and because of the anxiety, lahat naman tayo naging anxious during the lockdown, we had a lot of arguments but we pulled through, we managed. Inayos namin and we learned more about each other even about ourselves. At the end of the day, we have to resolve issues kasi we only have each other and, yeah, thankfully, we passed the test. Okay naman so malaking sign yung test sa relationship namin. At least now we know how to work around circumstances like that, then we are confident to say that we can face anything and everything na from now on."
Tom, on his part, was honest to admit that it wasn't all smooth sailing for them during this period, but this only made him even more committed to Carla: "There are good days and bad days. Sometimes, it's a tunnel vision na you're in that state, kunwari, life is a spectrum e. It's a rollercoaster ride, it's not all highs, it's not all lows. Sometimes, at one point of the ride, that's all that you can think about so it's really keeping things in perspective and honoring that commitment to each other and prioritizing it na hindi 'yon forever. If you guys, are going through a problem or hindi pagkakaintindihan, you guys have to work it out para ma-experience niyo yung buong ride."
How Tom proposed to Carla
Even before the pandemic hit, Tom revealed that he always had "intentions to propose" to Carla, but some things always got in the way for it not to happen. He also said that the uncertainties that the pandemic brought—like financial security and their overall well-being—really made Tom fearful and anxious. But it was when the cases spiked up again that made him realized not to live in fear anymore, or to wait for the perfect time. "I just woke up one day and boom, I knew. I knew it was the right time," he said. "There was no fear involved siguro it was the most lucid moment I've ever had. I couldn't have chosen a better setup than her mom's house with her family. There [are] no pretensions, we're not trying to put something on."
Both Tom and Carla, who are fur parents to a number of dogs, have their own YouTube channels where they've shown snippets of their cohabitating life—from DIY projects to fun makeup tutorials! Check out Tom's channel here, and Carla's channel here.