The original plan of Regie Flores as the Executive Producer (EP) of “Lockdown Unlocked”—an online documentary film its two editions already aired on Facebook and YouTube through Quaratino Productions—was to shoot a very exclusive Valentine story on engaged couple Ara Mina and Dave Almarines, Undersecretary of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PTIC). It would be a very colorful and creative film ever to grace the social media platforms or so he thought.
While the engagement day of Ara and Dave done in the garden of the San Pedro City Hall in Laguna Province in January would be part of the narrative, the most challenging and innovative scenes to appear in the reel version was a reality show-like events like a real life wedding of two already grown-ups if not aged mom and dad to be sponsored by Mina and Almarines and officiated by a government official.
At the time Regie was too excited and all ready to roll out the project Ara was locked in the shoots of ABS-CBN’s “Ang Probinsiyano” in Batangas for weeks. Flores would still hope the actress would be out of the set two weeks before Valentine’s Day but her stint in the Coco Martin action caper was extended. It was bad timing and a delayed schedule altogether for the EP so he took the concept aside and turned to his other audio-visual productions.
The love story on cam would be too late for a February 14 uploading and screening so Regie just dropped the idea and thought of other storyline to actualize and replace the Valentine offering.
Even if Flores had received a note from Dave that the latter and Ara had a special date days before the Day of Hearts celebration. According to Regie, he got photos of Ara and Dave dating in a restaurant but no crying over spilled milk for him as he believed there would be other significant events on the lovers’ romance he might capture on camera.
Ara and Dave’s tryst is mostly in the idyllic Laguna where the government technocrat stays at the moment.
Here’s Ara’s Instagram post on her date with her fiancé: “What a great way to end our workweek with a simple and low-key date night.
“This is our first date since the engagement and our first day of wedding prep.
“I have been in a locked-in taping for weeks, and @davealmarinez on the other hand, was busy with his work.
“That’s why spending time with my fiancé is such a rare occasion because of our hectic schedules.
“Thank you Dave for the time.
Looking forward to more of this as we prepare for our big day.”
At the moment, the couple is already fixing the date and the details of their wedding this year. According to a very reliable source, the matrimonial bells will ring anytime soon probably June. Indeed, Ara will be a June bride.
Mina and Almarines are both free as birds although the man has previous relationships he has kids with the past two women—one of them producer and a member of the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) Rina Navarro, reportedly a former friend of Ara. But most people close to both Mina and Rina have been saying the two women are best of friends especially when the actress wasn’t romantically linked to the former Laguna provincial board member. Navarro had accused Ara of snatching away her boyfriend from her which the actress had denied. Our spy had intimated that Dave and Rina were about to get married before he got involved with Ara.
Mina has always been dragged into “boyfriend snatching” controversy like her former relationship with actor Jomari Yllana who was still legally married to Aiko Melendez at the time although they were already separated and after the latter split up with Bulakan, Bulacan Mayor Patrick Meneses when Ara came into the picture. Patrick is the dad of Ara’s daughter, Amanda Gabrielle.
But the accusation is more than meets the eye.