Georgia Schulze and Armand del Rosario get candid about the lessons from their marriage, raising four daughters, and sending off their eldest to college.
You know how every college campus had the ultimate “It” couple everyone admired or aspired to be? In the mid-2000s, Georgia Schulze and Armand del Rosario were exactly that. Their relationship was considered as #goals by many, and the spotlight was always theirs, thanks to lots of magazine features about how they met and later got together. Not to mention—both were heartthrobs. Georgia appeared in several print campaigns and commercials, while Armand had a rising career as a football player.
Their witty banters, the exchange of inside jokes and their light-hearted responses to each other’s side comments is proof that they truly hold each other in high regard. Moreover, their love story is one filled with kilig and a happily ever after that they can rightfully claim as their own. But, like every love story, sacrifices are made and a lot of effort must be exerted. Yet, they’ve managed to make it work. Their four beautiful daughters, Nadia, Sonia, Katia, and Irina, are living proof of how both Georgia and Armand withstood the test of time and constantly adapted to change as individuals and as partners in life.
Luck was on their side
Their love story is one that started in a place familiar to many of us: on campus. University life lets many people from different walks of life cross paths. And while there are some who instantly become friends, there are those who simply prefer knowing that they were there. The latter is how the two first met. “He was somebody that was eye candy for me. Somebody that I could probably bump into at school, coming from an all-girls school. That was my first day of school—the day I met him,” Georgia shared.
But a relationship is not something that happens on impulse. Rather, it is with something much deeper that Armand truly valued. “It wasn’t something that you can just ignore or forget — talking and finding someone who had the same wavelength of thinking,” he admits. “We were sitting in a bar at Boracay and had a really good in-depth conversation. I think that was what kind of cemented the idea in both of our heads.”
Their connection was tested as they were met with some speed bumps and obstacles, including Armand’s supposed settling in the United States after college, where he was raised. But things worked out in the end. “When you find that person you can really talk to, be open with, and be completely vulnerable with. And you give your love and heart to that person. And know and hope that they won’t just trample it one day. So yeah, I think we’ve been both pretty lucky in that regard,” the former Kaya FC player added.
A young couple making adjustments
Being each other’s “person” meant being the strength and support they both needed to survive and thrive. As a young couple with a blessing of a child arriving earlier than expected, they had to face the challenge of immediately changing their mindsets from being completely responsible for themselves to somebody else.
“I had to fast forward into becoming now responsible for somebody else totally and completely. My youth was just vacuumed away from me. And you know, there are so many things that go along with that,” Georgia admitted.
Armand pushed to better himself and work for his family. “To be honest, it’s just more getting into work and that mindset of I got to work, I got to work. I got to make money to support the kids. I got to make money to support the family. So it’s always been since I was, you know, 24 or 25 years old.”
The wait to execute their traveling plans was well worth it. Their careers thrived especially for Georgia who had branched out from modeling to writing and editing then, to wedding planning, and baking, establishing her beloved pastry business, Butter.
Besides, the plans to travel became all the sweeter when they could do it together or solo when the kids were older.
Family values and trust
One of the key ingredients to making a relationship work is the security the couple offers to one another. For Armand, the security was found in the familiarity he felt from Georgia’s own values and principles which were similar to his own.
“I felt right at home. You have one side of the family that’s really strong and another side of the family that’s really sweet. And they both cook really, really well. So I felt right at home in their house. The whole thing, getting to know how beautiful she is and how we connected on the physical and emotional level was really nice,” Armand recalls.
Georgia’s security was more emotional in nature; she admits that her “jealous and possessive” nature didn’t rear its ugly head because of how he proved she could trust him. “If you can trust them and if you just feel that blind trust, they don’t give you any reason to distrust them, then it’s just there. So from somebody that really was very jealous and very possessive, you know, as a young girl to be with him and really not feel any of those emotions because he always made me feel secure,” she explained. “He was constantly telling me how attracted he was to me. Or how much he loved me, or how much he liked me.”
Many say that a relationship’s survival is based wholly on how secure a couple is with one another. Whether in a career that has many temptations like Armand’s or how much time work takes them away from each other, the knowledge-turned-fact that they’ll always be there for each other is the foundation of the trust that many wish to have but are also scared to give.
Marriage is hard work
Love may look like it’s all about putting your partner on a pedestal however, it’s that same act that causes a lot of disillusionment and frustration. But in a secure relationship, those moments are no secret to a couple as transparent as Armand and Georgia. “I’ll tell you marriage is difficult. It is so difficult,” Armand admits. “We’ve had our ups and downs ever since and it’s no secret. We have that fiery passion and love.”
While there is no exact science or handbook that tells us how to navigate marriage, Georgia and Armand have learned that through it all, love coupled with hard work, conquers all. “As you go through life and you go through your challenges and your peaks and your valleys, you’ll learn to appreciate the person more,” Georgia admitted. “I’m not going to lie. There are days you also want to kill them, and then you’re just like I can’t be here anymore.”
Truly, it is a choice that all married couples face every day — whether to leave, strangle, or love their partner harder. But it’s a conscious choice that needs to be made and Georgia knows what the best one is. “Then, of course, you come back and you’re like, ‘Okay. I went a little crazy there.’ And then, you know, that just shows that you’re able to get over things. Because the love is stronger.”
After all, their relationship is what’s going to set an example for their girls on how their relationships should look in the future.
A lesson Armand learned: “Why boys are from Mars and girls are from Venus.”
Boys are different from girls — biologically and psychologically. Unfortunately, that was a lesson that Armand learned in the most interesting way. He laughs, “With girls, it’s with dolls and then it’s non-stop talking. Like oh my god, what did I get myself into? I wasn’t used to it. With boys, you don’t necessarily talk that much. My brothers and I didn’t talk so much or ask any questions.”
Even the different styles of confrontation bewildered him. He recalled the time Nadia was bullied in school in a more psychological way. “I felt so sorry for her and I talked to Georgia about it. But Georgia said, ‘That’s the way it is with girls in all-girls schools.’ It’s hard to see; sad to see, too.” But that didn’t stop them from always coming up with ways to provide their girls the love, security, and support they need when the kids in school get cruel.
Something that always helped was staying active and engaging in physical activities. Even at the height of the lockdown, the girls made do by going up and down the stairs and when things opened up, it was off to swim at the beach. Sports became one of their core bonding activities as Armand is aware of the values it teaches such as communication, confidence, teamwork, and discipline. On top of sports, their family loves to bond over food. They love cooking and Sunday brunching together.
Differences in parenting
Armand admits to being the stricter one, particularly with his two eldest daughters. As the eldest himself and coupled with living in the United States, being independent was a necessity. He took care of his brothers and drove them to school, even being present for their parent-teacher conferences. He admits, however, it is a tad more difficult in the Philippines. “Here, it’s harder because not every family has chores for the kids. But it’s something that I like to prioritize for our children to help them have a better appreciation of their helpers and of money.”
As for Georgia, she revealed that each birth and newborn gave her a novel and different insight. “During the transition from having my first to my second, I felt I was like a different person. With my first, I was learning how to be a mother. I was very possessive and emotional and no one could touch my baby. With the second one — I had to give in even though I didn’t want the yaya to be with her all the time. And so all of a sudden, I became more understanding. I had to let go and be less controlling.”
Unfortunately, letting them go isn’t easy, especially when your eldest goes off to college in another continent.
Letting Nadia spread her wings
For parents whose kids move out of the house, it will always be an emotional time. Feeling the void of a child leaving the nest knows no age, and it doesn’t get better over time. For Georgia and Armand, they made the decision to allow Nadia to move away for college with a heavy heart. They knew it was the right thing to do to support her. Although they miss her terribly, they know that her experience in Spain will be a good training ground to teach her independence.
“I’m not even 40 yet and I have a daughter in college,” Georgia confides with teary eyes. “When she left, I cried an awful lot. I’m still tearing up about it. I remember having this conversation with my husband. We were both crying and I said to him we’re too young to be doing this. We’re too young to say goodbye to a baby.”
They say that when a mother has a daughter, a part of her lives on in that little girl, and that is true, especially for Georgia, who had Nadia at a young age. “My whole life as an adult was with her. She was almost like this little extension of me. So when she left, a part of me truly left with her. Like, I’ve honestly felt an emptiness since she’s been gone.”
But the thing with mothers and their children is that distance makes their love even stronger. Their relationship continues to transform as Georgia finds pride in being Nadia’s confidante, akin to being best friends and even mentioning how they sometimes drink to it. “We truly enjoy each other. To be a parent old enough to drop her off abroad, do all the heavy lifting while moving homes and apartments, but still be young enough to party and enjoy with her is a gift.”
A secret to a love that lasts
It is the kind that evolves constantly, especially when hardships are at play. “As you grow and experience life together, you learn and grow from those hardships and how to communicate better. The more you learn about yourself and love yourself, the more you have to give to your partner and the more your partner will have to give back to you,” Armand reveals.
“I think love is something that changes over time,” Georgia chimed in. “Because you’re giving all of what you are, and all of that to the best of your ability in your current capacity.”
Developing the mindfulness and zen to say confidently to the tough times, “This too shall pass” is something that Georgia says she developed. “Focus on what the positive is. For me, oh my gosh, you can’t imagine these worries I used to have. Like, let’s say when I got pregnant with my first daughter, what are people going to say? And oh my God, I’m going to bring shame to my family and my parents and all that. All that stuff may be hard at the moment but, I always go back to the same thing that I tell my kids during tough times: this too shall pass.”
Times rarely become easier, but it’s the confidence in one another that buoys the relationship and that softens the difficulties. It’s how Georgia and Armand made it work as a young couple and it’s the same advice they give to the younger generation. With love, respect, communication, and a whole lot of understanding, the tough times can’t get in the way. In Georgia’s own words: It, too, shall pass.
Words ALEXA VILLANO and KEVYN GOHU-CATINGUB
Photography EXCEL PANLAQUE
Art Direction MARC YELLOW
Makeup CATS DEL ROSARIO
Hairstyling PATTY INOJALES
Styling ROSHNI MIRPURI and SIYA DARYANI for THE CLOSET CULTURE
Shoot Coordination MJ ALMERO and ANTHONY MENDOZA
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO-TUPAZ
Shot on location at ASCOTT BGC
Check out more love stories like Georgia and Armand del Rosario’s:
Joy and Edric Mendoza on Raising Different Kids in the Digital Age
Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia: Love at First Sight
Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo: A Constant State of Equanimity and Equilibrium