Singer Jolie Chan marries Marc Rodriguez in Bali

Mexican businessman didn't know Jolie Chan was a Canto-pop singer when he met her at a bar four years ago, and that let her be herself

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 2:21pm

When Mexican expatriate Marc Rodriguez met Jolie Chan at a jazz club in 2008, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

Four years on, he is married to the singer and has appeared several times in local newspapers' entertainment pages.

Marc, who owns a trading company and is a former president of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, married Canto-pop and jazz singer Jolie at the Tirtha Uluwatu Chapel in Bali on May 5.

They celebrated their union with an intimate party for 60 relatives and close friends, flying a band in from Hong Kong for the party, which went on until the early hours.

The couple first met at the jazz club when Jolie was catching up with some friends while Marc was there with his brother, who was visiting the city.

"It was like destiny," Jolie said. "His brother's flight was delayed and that was why they were at the club. We wouldn't have met if his brother had got on that plane."

Jolie was immediately captivated by the handsome man, who politely asked if he and his brother could share their table.

"He was very charming, but I'd never expected to get into a serious relationship with a foreigner," said Jolie.

Marc, who had not been in town long, did not know that Jolie was a singer who had released her debut album in 2004 and collaborated with veterans including Hacken Lee Hak-kan. And that was the way she liked it.

They enjoyed a chat together and exchanged their contact details before leaving the club.

"He didn't know that I was a celebrity, so I could just be myself without being judged," Jolie said.

But it did not stay that way for long. A few months later, paparazzi snapped them kissing in the streets of Lan Kwai Fong.

"When I found out, I called him and warned him that he might see himself in the Chinese newspapers the next day," she said. But Marc was fine about it.

On Jolie's birthday, about a year after they started dating, Marc surprised her with a gift that almost moved her to tears.

"Inside an envelope, there was a coupon for singing classes with my favourite teacher, Christine Samson, that he had already paid for," she said.

Knowing that famous singers such as Joey Yung Cho-yee and Miriam Yeung Chin-wah had also sought out Samson to take their singing skills to another level, Jolie appreciated that gift more than she would have liked jewellery or designer goods.

"He understands how passionate I am about music," she said. "He told me I should follow my passion because life is short."

Last year, the couple went to Europe on holiday and Jolie visited Florence for the first time.

On the balcony of their hotel suite, which had a view of the scenic Arno river, Marc suddenly got down on one knee and proposed to Jolie - in Putonghua, English and Spanish.

"I hadn't realised we were moving so fast, so it was definitely a surprise," she said. "I said 'yes' straight away and called my mum in Hong Kong, even though it was 3am."

There was no reason for her to say no, she said.

"He's genuinely kind-hearted and honest. He's smart, and at the same time really hard-working. I feel that we can work hard, struggle and grow together for the rest of our lives."

Marc said he realised that Jolie was the woman of his dreams when they stayed with his family in Mexico one Christmas.

Jolie sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by the Christmas tree for the family, bringing tears to his parents' eyes.

The couple wrote their own vows for their wedding day.

"Marc has promised to learn Chinese before our first child is born," Jolie said.