Story: NAM THI
Two of Vietnam’s most famous couples are an inspiration in this season of love. Diva My Linh-composer Anh Quan and beauty queen Phuong Nga-actor Binh An are two couples from two different generations, but they share a passion and wholehearted dedication to love.
Diva My Linh Composer Anh Quan
Heritage Fashion met diva My Linh on an autumn morning. After a busy schedule, she was finally able to relax and chat about love and marriage. Before hearing her thoughts on the past, we asked for an assessment of her husband, who has been by her side for the last 24 years. “Anh Quan is a good person, the kind that’s rare in this life,” she replied.
More than two decades ago, they met as young people living in the world of art. However, My Linh told us that she fell in love with the music before loving the person, because she had listened to many tracks on his “Thien Duong” (Heaven) album. They were both young, and crushes at first sight were understandable. They fell in love without any immediate thoughts of marriage, but things gradually developed as if they were meant to be, My Linh shared.
You got married after only 3 months of dating. Would you consider that too fast?
My Linh: “Well, it was fast. But speed has its own charms. Come to think of it, if we had stayed lovers for longer, we probably wouldn’t have gotten married. We have very different personalities, but once we started living together, marriage is not just about love but also responsibility. We’re both artists, so we have strong personalities, but when it comes to family, we put our egos aside for the sake of common values. It serves as a guiding light for us to go straight in one direction together.”
My Linh and Anh Quan spent the first 10 years of their marriage developing their careers. During that time, recording albums and going on tours interfered with raising children and building their family. Their relationship was quite fraught back then. However, the two have always tried to compromise on their problems to grow together and complement each other’s missing parts.
What are the pros and cons of marrying a colleague? These days, many young people are afraid of falling for someone too much like them.
My Linh: “I used to think so as well, but the bright side of being colleagues is understanding each other. Spouses working in the same field will help each other develop their best abilities. If I had had to do it all alone, maybe my career wouldn’t have been as solid as it is now. It’s not just addition but multiplication. As for the cons, there is a tendency to bring work affairs into home affairs (and vice versa) and compromising with each other’s problems is also a time-consuming effort.”
All of My Linh’s pivotal career moments, especially lasting ones, took place after she partnered with Anh Quan. If she had been alone on her path, she is unsure if she would have gone so far. Their collaboration was the key to the stability that has lasted to this day.
Has composer Anh Quan been the inspiration for your music?
My Linh: “The greatest inspiration is getting to sing a song that has your own name and imprint your uniqueness on it. We had only been living together for a few months when Quan charted out paths that I didn’t think I could traverse.”
Before ending the conversation, My Linh advised young people “not to let emotions control your actions.” Emotions aren’t always correct. In every situation, think carefully before you act. As the elders taught us, a marriage can only last with mutual respect. Marriage should also be strategic, with clear objectives that you set and strive to achieve. Take time to understand yourself, through which you’ll learn to understand other people. Each of us should better ourselves and compensate for each other for the love to endure.
Miss Vietnam First Runner-Up Phuong Nga – Actor Binh An
We’ve been told that you’re preparing for your big day. How is the process going?
Binh An: We’ve been planning the wedding since June. Everything is new, so it was a little tricky at the start. The preparation is mostly done at this point, but we’re still anxious about whether we’ve forgotten something.
What about mentally preparing yourself to be a married person?
Binh An: In truth, I want to start a family, so I’m a little impatient. Phuong Nga is not rushing as much. Nga often told me that she only wanted to get married at 28. It took a long time to convince her. I seized the chance to propose when I saw it, and you can see the results. The old [Vietnamese] saying is true: “if you have a bride, make her your wife right away.”
Phuong Nga: As he said, I used to think that I would get married at around 27 or 28. But girls born in the year of Mau Dan (Tiger) only have this year to marry. If we don’t, we’d have to wait for two more years, and I’d feel bad for making him wait that long, so I accepted his proposal. I’m not overly worried about getting married soon because his parents and family are quite fond of me.
Was there a specific experience or moment that made you realize you wanted to stay together forever?
Phuong Nga: I think those would be the moments that we make the time to share and confide in each other. It’s the times that we share all our issues and troubles, even the things that are hardest to admit, and yet our partner still accepts and loves us anyway. Those are the very moments that decide who will continue with you on your future path.
It’s quite challenging to hide your relationship as a public figure. Did you have any issues publicizing your relationship? Maybe being “iconic lovebirds” is also a kind of pressure?
Phuong Nga: We chose to publicize our relationship for our comfort. Not long after I was named First Runner-up for the 2018 Miss Vietnam pageant, rumors about our relationship sprang up. It made even simple things, like going out for a normal meal or lingering at usual places, very difficult. We came to the mutual decision of publicizing it so that everything can return to normal, and we can comfortably go out in each other’s company.
Binh An: “Iconic lovebirds” is, perhaps, an exaggeration. In the eyes of any lover, their own love story is always the most beautiful. We don’t use love as a publicity tool. We share a little with the public and keep most of our relationship to ourselves. We consider ourselves lucky that we were supported and even more loved by everyone as a couple.
With your packed schedules, the time you get to spend together may be limited. What do you do to keep your relationship alive?
Binh An: There were times when we wouldn’t see each other for an entire month because of work. During these periods, we kept our love warm by texting and video-calling often. We always try to stay by each other’s side as much as possible. I think relationships always need some “breaks” due to work, so we can better treasure the moments we do have together.
Final question to Phuong Nga: What do you dislike the most about Binh An?
Phuong Nga: I think what I like the least about him right now is his lack of appetite. I then get told off for eating all of his food. I’ll put him on a regime in the future to fill him up and for both of us to be healthy.