Here's how Christopher Quimbo got Alodia Gosiengfiao to marry him

Christopher Quimbo is the president of Novellino, a gamer, and Alodia's newlywed husband.

Christopher Quimbo was at work when his friend who was in a meeting with Google told him he was suddenly trending. "She told me I was the most searched thing on Google. It's crazy. I beat out Ant-Man and the NBA somehow," he says.

Of course, it was because he married one of the country's first internet celebrities Alodia Gosiengfiao a few days earlier and on Valentine's Day. Everyone was curious about who he was.

Christopher Quimbo, or just Chris to close family and friends, was born on July 23, 1987 in the U.S. where he stayed until he was 25.

"For the first 25 years, I was in the Midwest. I grew up in Minneapolis but I lived in Chicago for a bit," he tells Esquire Philippines. "I was born in Minnesota, and when I went to high school, there were 800 kids, mostly white kids. I never felt like I was treated differently. Funny, I was actually more secure back then than I am now.


Quimbo's family is actually related to the Quimbo politicians of Marikina.

"Former Congressman Miro Quimbo is my cousin, husband of former Congresswoman Stella Quimbo."

Christopher Quimbo During the Prenup Shoot with Alodia

Photo by Courtesy of Christopher and Alodia Quimbo.

Christopher Quimbo's Early Years

Quimbo studied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an adolescent, he says he loved math and music.

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"I was active in music stuff in college. I was actually in an acapella group. I was in a band too, playing piano," he says. "I really wanted to do something related to music, but I was young and naive, but I saw that when you really chase music as a career, first of all, people are so talented, much more talented than me, but it's difficult being an artist and being able to do what you love. It's like when your passion becomes work, it kind of takes away from the passion."


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Times were turbulent when he graduated in 2009. The world was in the middle of a global recession stemming from the subprime lending crisis in the U.S, which bankrupted major banks, credit rating agencies, and collapsed the housing industry. It was during those times when Quimbo found himself working for a non-profit music-related company that gave hope to young kids.


"I worked for a music-related startup company in Chicago," he says. "It was a non-profit that would auction off some merchandise from musicians, and the proceeds would fund after-school programs for kids in Chicago. Like, playing music after school, a lot of these kids have no place to go. We'd get instruments for them. That was kind of my thing, and then I just kind of jumped into the corporate world."

Jumping into the corporate world would seem anticlimactic, but it was something that Quimbo really enjoyed.

"I loved it, I really loved it. I worked for Target!"

There was a glint of excitement in his eyes while he recalled his days at one of America's largest retailers.

"I was a buyer for Target. You're assigned a category, so any of the kitchen items, I would buy. I managed a big budget. It was nice to be on the other side of that job because you have all these suppliers who are hoping to get their products into Target."


Then one day, Quimbo received a phone call from his father, asking him to come home and work for the family business.

"I just knew that my dad had started this thing. He started it when I was still studying in college. I also felt that I could get on the other side of that, being on the selling side."

His bosses at Target told him that he could always come back and there would be a job waiting for him.

"It was supposed to be for one year, and now, it's been almost 12 years!"

Now, Quimbo has no intention of going back to work in the U.S.

"I fell in love with the company. I fell in love with its vision, with its purpose, and here I am," he tells Esquire Philippines.

How Christopher Quimbo Became Novellino's President

His father, Vicente Quimbo, lived in eight different countries working as a corporate executive for various multinational companies, including Procter & Gamble and Pepsi, and was mostly involved in fast-moving commodities and goods and marketing.


Christopher Quimbo, President of Novellino

Photo by Courtesy of Christopher Quimbo.

"That was always his thing. When he started the wine company, we didn't actually own it. He had this vision that there's an opportunity for Filipinos to drink wine. He thought that when Filipinos think of wine, they see it as a very aspirational thing-wine is romantic, it's sosyal, it's cultural, but if you look at consumption at that time, it was so low. Anytime you have a product that has a very high appeal to the consumers but the consumption is low, you always have a business opportunity," Chris says.


"Anytime you have a product that has a very high appeal to the consumers but the consumption is low, you always have a business opportunity."

Quimbo's father Vicente pitched the wine business idea to big conglomerates, and ultimately, Metro Pacific took interest. Vicente became the broker; he basically set up the company, put them in contact with the supplier in Italy who would provide grape juice, and then make a commission selling grape juice to Metro Pacific. Vicente would help with the company, with the wine's formulation, and make sure everything worked.

"Wilkins water was under Metro Pacific at the time, and Coca-Cola acquired Wilkins two years into the wine project, and so then, the wine project, in its infancy stage, became an orphan-it no longer made sense for them since they were in the same umbrella as a beverage. That could have been the end of my dad's commission, but he used it as an opportunity to get all the equipment at a low price, at a good value.

"We put out everything we had as a family to get the equipment and we made our own brand and called it Novellino," Quimbo adds. "It was always meant for my dad. And the fact that these things happened, which could have been a disaster for him, ended up being the biggest blessing-it was an opportunity for him to acquire the company."


Quimbo joined Novellino in the next 10 years after its founding.

"And I've been with the company for 11 or 12 years-more than half its existence, and I've seen it grow since then. It's great!"

While everything is working fine now, it wasn't always a rosy picture for the Quimbo family. When Vicente lost his job in corporate, the family lost much of its income. It was Quimbo's mother Milagros Quimbo who supported them with her small bakery business.

"We actually had very humble beginnings. When my dad lost his corporate job, we had no income and he was trying to broker this wine business deal, and my mom was supporting the family with a small bakery in Minnesota. It's really cold in the morning in Minnesota, but she would wake up at 5 a.m. just to put bread in the oven, and she did that for 10 years. She was running that bakery every single day, she is really hardworking. Nowadays, of course, she doesn't need to work anymore, but without her, we wouldn't be able to have this company."


So when that phone call from his father came through, Quimbo knew he had to go. It turned out to be a good decision, despite the challenge of getting more Filipinos to drink wine.

"The average wine consumption in the Philippines is one cup per year. In France, it's 42 liters. In the U.S., it's 10 liters, and in Australia, it's 20 liters per person per year," Quimbo explains. "So you literally have hundreds of times more consumption of wine in these developed countries. There's a really big opportunity to sell wine in the Philippines, and I think we were able to prove that. What many people don't know, is that Novellino is a local company. Secondly, we own close to 40 percent of the domestic wine market."

That's enough to make Novellino currently the market-leading wine in the Philippines, catering to the masses.

"We give the average Filipino a wine that they actually enjoy the taste of. Going back to what I said before about the gap between the aspiration of wine and the low consumption among Filipinos, you ask why people don't consume wine if the appeal is so high?"


Quimbo says it's because of three important things: taste, price, and familiarity.

"First, taste: Filipinos like things that are sweet," he says. "I think you know that if you go to Jollibee and ordered spaghetti, it's sweet. If you ordered a glass of iced tea anywhere and added a cup of water, it's still sweet! Filipinos like things that are sweet. The second is price. We try to convert non-wine drinkers to wine drinkers. It has to be affordable for everyone.

"We're not trying to make wine for the one percent of the population," he adds. "We're trying to make it accessible to everyone. The last one is familiarity. If you walk into a store, usually people think that when something is expensive, it's good, and if it's cheap, it's bad. It's not true, though! We want to make sure that if you go to a store, you can find a brand that you're familiar with. We are the first ones to market wine as a lifestyle product by really engaging in advertising and making people want the brand."


How Christopher Quimbo and Alodia Gosiengfiao met

Quimbo had been golfing buddies with one of Alodia's cousins, Philip, who introduced the two.

"I thought he was joking when he mentioned that his cousin was single and that his cousin is Alodia. I was like, 'I don't think she'll be interested!'" Chris says.

Christopher Quimbo and Alodia Gosiengfiao at Esquire's Man at His Best 2022

Photo by Esquire Philippines.

"I didn't think it was actually a feasible thing! But then Philip and his wife Christine were very persistent. The first time Alodia and I met, we hit it off but I didn't get her phone number, but I did get her Myers-Briggs personality test results!"


He laughs. "That was a good move!"

And of course it was. How the heck do you get someone to take the Myers-Briggs personality test on your first date?

Somehow, Quimbo managed to make the personality test a topic of conversation and gave it to Alodia, who used his phone for the test.

"I don't know how I managed to do it, but when she finished, obviously I had her data, haha. Essentially, I was able to look at that and learn more about her, but I did get her phone number!"

"I had just taken that test too, and I always thought those kinds of tests are B.S. because I felt like people are unique individuals more than just a bucket, but then I was telling her how mine was so accurate, that it made me feel bad that I wasn't like, unique! But apparently, those tests are backed up by a lot of research, they're actually pretty accurate."


Because the test was accurate for him, he thought that it would be accurate for Alodia too.

And the results?

According to Quimbo, he's a Protagonist (ENFJ) and Alodia is an Architect (INTJ).

"I'm someone who apparently is very passionate about what I believe in, which is true, and Alodia is very strategic, she's introverted, I'm like 95 percent extrovert and she's like 90 percent introvert."

To make an analogy, Quimbo compares their personalities to the roles in the game World of Warcraft.

Quimbo and his new bride are both gamers, but when it comes to competition, he admits he's no match for his wife. We reminded him of how Alodia beat him so badly playing Tekken during Esquire's Man at His Best event in November 2022.

"Very clearly! Alodia's much better than me at games, okay! But it's also pretty cool because that's my girl!" he says. But one game that they always play together is Overwatch 2, which they also play with friends.


But Quimbo says he has a special love for World of Warcraft. "I've played so much of that game back in high school and college, but obviously I don't have time to play that game anymore. Maybe I'd beat Alodia in World of Warcraft because I've sunk in hundreds of more hours playing that game than she has.

"We're very different but we complement each other really well, imagine, playing World of Warcraft," he adds. "If you're a tank, you need a healer or someone with high DPS (damage per second). We always joke about how I'm a tank and she's a healer or vice versa. Basta two classes that are very different but complement each other.

"We realized that we enjoy life without much having to solo grind, I mean solo grind is alright but it's slow. And if you're DPS, you die so easily because you're so squishy, and if you're a healer, you have no damage. But if you can combine those skills, you'll end up with a very harmonious paretnership, and I think that's what we have."


How did Christopher Quimbo know Alodia was the one?

Christopher Quimbo and Alodia Gosiengfiao met each other on March 2, 2022. A month later, Quimbo asked if he could be Alodia's boyfriend. She said yes. Four months later, he proposed. The couple got married on February 14, 2023-their first Valentine's Day together.

"It's like so cheesy. People say when you know, you know. I was a skeptic on that thought, but I guess when you know, you really know. Some people make checklists of qualities they want, but I don't think love works like that."

Chris and Alodia Playing the Piano

Photo by Hayden Kho Jr. .

"We already beat the month on becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, we beat the six months on getting engaged, we thought we might as well beat the year on getting married!" said Chris. "Even though we're married within a year of meeting each other, I feel like I've known her for all of my life, and I think she feels the same way."


They weren't really planning for a February 14 wedding day, but it was the only day that was feasible for most of their suppliers and the wedding coordinator.

"Some people make checklists of qualities they want, but I don't think love works like that."

"It just so happened when we were plotting the dates, February 14 was open. We thought it was really cheesy, but we were like, 'Might as well!'" Quimbo says. "And I think I've bailed out a lot of guys because on that night, no need to plan a Valentine's dinner!" he adds, laughing.

For the honeymoon, the couple have planned a number of trips for the rest of 2023.

"We're going to first do Japan because Alodia loves Japan," he says. "We'll probably stay in Tokyo for Holy Week. We're meeting up with some friends there too. After that, we're also leaving for the U.S., we'll go to Yosemite National Park, and then we're also doing San Sebastian in Spain with my family, and then we're probably going back to the U.S. again in November for my brother's graduation."


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