Maine Mendoza and Arjo Atayde are married!

By Jennifer T. Santos
Award-winning actor and Quezon City congressman Arjo Atayde and actress-host Maine Mendoza are officially a married couple.
After four years of courtship and partnership, Arjo and Maine tied  the knot in what they dubbed as close family and friends ceremony at the Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges Chapel in Baguio City last Friday, July 28.
Among  the power couple’s principal sponsors were ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak and Dreamscape Entertainment boss Deo Endrinal. Arjo is a talent of ABS-CBN.
Former GMA Network standouts veteran hosts Vicente Tito Sotto, a former Senate president; his brother Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon also stood as wedding godfathers. Maine achieved her popularity in the GMA Network through popular noontime show “Eat Bulaga.”
Several politicians also joined the entourage as principal sponsors, namely, Senate President Juan Miguel Migz Zubiri and House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez.
Aside from Maine’s fellow “E.A.T.” hosts Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon, the couple’s principal sponsors also included Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, Arjo’s ally in loclal politics; Diamond Star Maricel Soriano and Nova Villa.
The wedding reception was then held at the Baguio Country Club.
ABS-CBN executives Mark Lopez, Carlo Katigbak, Cory Vidanes, Laurenti Dyogi, Deo Endrinal, Ruel Bayani, as well as APT Studios’ Toni Tuviera and his children Celeste Tuviera and Mike Tuviera were among those included on the guest list.
Other celebrities reportedly present were Allan K., Wally Bayola, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Lorna Tolentino, Eula Valdes, Korina Sanchez, Ice Seguerra and Liza Diño, Kristine Hermosa and Oyo Sotto, Ciara Sotto, Sheena Halili, Ogie Diaz, Miles Ocampo, MJ Lastimosa and Thou Reyes.

Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Ria Atayde’s boyfriend Zanjoe Marudo, Enchong Dee, Kyle Echarri, Joseph Marco and Vin Abrenica were also on the guest list.

Maja Salvador, beauty queen MJ Lastimosa, Ciara Sotto, Kristine Hermosa, and Sheena Halili, on the other hand, were among the bridesmaid

The wedding ceremony was described as an enchanting fairy tale come to life.

A number of celebrities, influencers, and industry insiders graced the grand event, with each guest dressed in their finest couture, according to published reports.
Arjo’s parents  actress Sylvia Sanchez and businessman Arturo Atayde and  Maine’s parents—Teodoro Mendoza and Mary Ann Mendoza.- were in their best dresses.
 The wedding’s timing amid Typhoon Egay  was criticized by ABS-CBN’s Noli de Castro and the cast of TV Patrol, but netizens immediately defended the couple, claiming their wedding was well planned ahead.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives Secretary General Reginald Velasco  confirmed Quezon City 1st District Rep. Arjo Atayde did not request funding for his authorized travel to Europe, days after he tied the knot with actress Maine Mendoza.

Since their wedding in Baguio last Friday, the celebrity couple are again making headlines over reports their honeymoon in Europe will coincide with Atayde’s official trip to Switzerland, Italy, and Greece, CNN Philippines reported.

Velasco stated in a signed certification that Atayde was granted travel authorization to Switzerland on July 10 to attend the international screening of his film “Topakk” at the 2023 Locarno International Film Festival.

While Atayde is also attending the film fest as the vice chairperson of the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Velasco stressed that “Hon. Atayde did not request for any funding from the House of Representatives and said travel will be at his own expense.”

This comes after actress-TV personality Maine took to social media to address a news report by INQUIRER.net, which she claims “insinuates that this trip is at government expense.”

“There are two kinds of ‘official’ travels and I hope you include that in your article and where this trip falls under,” Maine said.

“I will probably be asked to delete this again but I shall say it again one last time, everything is at personal expense. 100%. No government funds will be used. Hope you can insert that somewhere in your article. Salamat,” she added.

In a  story, INQUIRER.net said it was standing by its article as it is “backed by documents and obtained from highly-placed sources,” adding that it is not inclined to disclose its sources.

“A document secured by INQUIRER.net, however, was clear on the destinations covered by the ‘official trip,'” the news agency said. “Nowhere in our articles was it insinuated that government money was involved in their travel.”

The House secretary general also released a copy of the travel authority issued to Atayde with the subject “Official Travel to Switzerland, Italy and Greece on 05-27 August 2023.”

It was stated in the July 10 travel authority that Atayde is “entitled to travel tax exemption.”

The document said the lawmaker will visit the Filipino communities in Italy and Greece.

According to Department of Tourism’s Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, among those who can avail of travel tax exemption are foreign diplomatic and consular officials and staff, government officials and employees traveling on official business, and grantees of foreign government-funded trips.

Overseas Filipino workers, children two years old and below, and Filipino permanent residents abroad whose stay in the country is less than one year are exempted from paying travel tax under the law.