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Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan are #goals

IN BED WITH: Retelling one of local showbiz’s sweetest love stories – find out how Huang Shinan made Pan Ling Ling the queen of his heart

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Photos: Lee Lay Na

In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health: Pan Ling Ling and Huang Shinan’s marriage of 21 years is one that has withstood the test of time. Due to their nine-year age gap, their relationship weathered her dad’s disapproval – plus, it didn’t help that Shinan was too poor to date her. Then, just when things were going good for them, life threw a curveball two years ago and she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she bravely fought and, thankfully, overcame.

Everyone loves a feel-good love story, especially when good triumphs over evil and our protagonists get the happy ending they deserve, and we’d like to think the same of Ling Ling and Shinan’s story.

By now we’re no strangers to how their 28-year-long romance began: Ling Ling, then 16 going on 17 years old and a trainee actress, was said to have played a prank on Shinan by mistake; they went on a few dates subsequently and exchanged numbers one fine day. In the couple’s words, she never thought she’d date and eventually marry an established actor she “grew up watching on TV dramas” and he never dared harbour the thought of dating her because of family problems. But as fate would have it, they fell in love and tied the knot on Valentine’s Day seven years later.

A lot of things have changed since then, like how they are now parents to two teenage sons and how he’s no longer a full-time actor, but some things remain the same i.e., Shinan’s sentimental streak and his sometimes over-the-top (but adorable) pampering of Ling Ling.

In Toggle’s final In Bed With interview series, we look at one of showbiz’s sweetest love stories and learn a few important lessons on maintaining a lifelong marriage. Read on to find out why we think Huang Shinan deserves the ‘Best Husband Award’ as well.

WATCH: How much does Huang Shinan dote on Pan Ling Ling?




They went through odds to be together

The 118 S2 actress is undoubtedly the queen of Shinan’s heart and is treated like a princess at home. Shinan’s immense love for his wife can be seen from the way he took care of her – especially during her battle with cancer where he gave her daily massages, stayed up until her ‘nightmare hour’ had passed, and took on the sole responsibility of parenting their two sons so that she could focus on getting well.

According to Ling Ling, what really “touched” her was when he told her to let the air-conditioning unit at home run 24/7, despite the hefty electrical bills he had to bear because of it.

Funnily, money, which is the least of his concern today, was the main factor that deterred him from going ‘steady’ with Ling Ling 28 years ago. “I was really scared, I had no money to go on dates,” Shinan said. “I really struggled… I wanted to give up on this relationship at one point because I needed to work to support my family.” But what made him change his mind was when Ling Ling helped shoulder his family burden and even got along with his mentally ill mother who didn’t take well to strangers, including their neighbours.

“She came up to my place and saw buckets of unwashed clothes in the toilet and started washing them for my mother. And you know, those clothes have been soaked in water for 2 to 3 days so it stinks too, but she made no fuss about it and even did it again when she visited my place for the second time,” he marveled.

So impressed by her willingness to stick by him, Shinan decided to take the plunge with Ling Ling and never looked back. “Even if I had no money, I decided I was going to date [her]!” It’s no wonder he cherishes her this much.



His OTT pampering and caring ways for his family

You know how longtime couples tend to complain about the lack of spark and romance in their lives after years of marriage or when kids come into the picture? Well, while Shinan no longer hugs Ling Ling to the point of suffocation when they sleep at night now (see picture above), he shows his love and affection for her in different ways. As for Ling Ling, she picked up cooking and went from being a wife who did not know how to fry an egg to one that could whip up three square meals for her three boys at home.

“I make it a point to eat every meal she cooks,” Shinan beamed proudly, “This is the best form of appreciation – to eat everything on your plate with no leftovers.”

Apart from supporting Ling Ling’s culinary efforts, Shinan says he makes it a point to always apologise after a fight, regardless of whether he is right or wrong (to quote Ling Ling’s favourite line by former Taiwan president Ma Ying-Jeou: “It’s always the man’s fault”), and shows his love by making sure his wife and two sons have a clean space to live in – so much so that he sometimes ends up cleaning the house in the middle of the night.

“When I turn on the air conditioner and realise that it has become dirty, there’s no time to waste because my wife and kids’ health are of top priority. I would dismantle the unit and wash it clean immediately before putting it back together,” Shinan explained, adding, “Sometimes when I see that the water filter is dirty, I’d dismantle it and wash it immediately too.”

After Ling Ling jokingly expressed her displeasure at Shinan’s noisy midnight antics, he solemnly promised, “I’ll try to change – next time I’ll do the washing downstairs instead!”

(Continued on the next page: Shinan still keeps Ling Ling's first gift to him)

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