My Life’s Constant Desire: Our Love Story Thus Far
A sweet serenade was playing in the background.
“… As endless as forever. Our love will stay together. You are all I need to be with forevermore…”
The room was filled with excitement. All eyes turned as the church doors open to reveal the bride in all her magnificence. She starts to walk towards me. As I gaze at her, I was filled with overflowing emotions of love and happiness. And despite the countless flashing cameras and hundreds of guests, in that moment, my world consists only of her: my Angel. With each step she takes my anticipation swells. With joy bursting in my heart, tears flowed uncontrollably from my eyes.
Our wedding day was a grand milestone in our relationship that spans 9 years to this day, the 10th of September 2011. Ann gave me the 9 most wonderful years of my life. 9 years full of exciting adventures. Here is our story; our love story thus far.
Our story starts in front of a church
June 2002, almost a thousand first years were hustling and bustling about the campus. It was the first day of school at Mapua Institute of Technology and our team at the Guidance Society of Mapua (GSM) were in charge of the freshmen orientation week activities. I was stationed near the exit gate in front of the school chapel to tell off students who are trying to escape from the orientation program. (I don’t blame them though, it was quite a bore.)
Half an hour in, a GSM officer assigned a new org member to help me out. I was a “rocker” back then with my long chaotic hair, unkempt get-up and angst full demeanor. I tried to greet the newbie with a slow, dramatic, rockstar-like head turn to her direction but when my eyes met hers, all this forced coolness melted away. “Vlad meet Ann…”
Of 20 Peso cheeseburgers and Manila‘s infamous floods
I was struck. Ann dominated my thoughts from that moment on. I dogged her endlessly for the next three months finding every little reason to visit her, to take her out, or to speak with her over the phone. I remember our first official date. We were 2 hours late for a friend’s 18 birthday celebration because of insane traffic conditions aggravated by the turtle-style driving of our chauffeur. For everyone else, the date was a disaster. For me, it was 2 hours of heaven with the beautiful young lady that tamed the angry metal-head in me.
On the 10th of September 2002, we became each other’s Angel. We were together almost everyday and every moment was a blast. The amazing thing was that we enjoyed (and we still do) even the times without the “fireworks”; banal things, such as our DVD date nights with 20 peso cheeseburgers and a bottle of Coke.
Here’s another “no fireworks” moment. We have just finished having dinner and watching a late night movie at SM Manila, the mall nearest our school. We were chatting happily with each other as we exited the mall, hurrying to get home because it was almost midnight, when we saw it: knee-deep flood waters everywhere!
We braved the flood, found a pedicab (bicycle rickshaw) and gave the driver a day’s allowance just to send us home. We ended up laughing about the experience while at the pedicab and continued our conversations as if nothing happened; ready for our next adventure. That was the first time, but not the last, that Manila’s infamous floods tried to stop us from having a great time together. Too bad for mother nature and awful city planning because they never succeeded in doing so.
Marriage and new beginnings
We have always known that we will spend the rest of our lives together. I could think of no greater joy than waking up beside your sweetheart every morning to remind you that you have the best life has to offer.
The only thing stopping us was a Philippine law preventing us from getting married before we turned 25. Being the younger of the two of us (and I don’t miss a heartbeat to remind Ann of the fact), I was the one keeping us from applying for a marriage license. So on my 25th birthday, we didn’t miss the opportunity, traversed the long winding bureaucracy and set our first wedding on the 3rd of April 2009. So far, so good…
A few nights before we tied the knot, I was nervous. No, I was scared. The old Vlad was fighting for his life, a life without responsibilities, a life in which nothing is uncertain. I spent the entire evening until the wee hours of the next day wandering aimlessly around the metro. I ended up in Dangwa Station, Dapitan St., a place well-known for its flower market. I remembered how Ann jokes about me not giving her flowers often enough and I felt a sudden desire to buy her a bouquet of roses.
That afternoon, I gave her the flowers and saw her smile, the smile that never fails to melt my heart. God gave Ann to me and He showed me at that moment that my love for my Angel is greater than any of my fears.
The morning of the 3rd of April came. When the judge declared us married, happiness overcame me. I couldn’t stop my tears, I hugged Ann tightly and kissed her for the first time, as my wife. I knew then and there that I have just made the best decision of my life.
And we lived happily ever after..
Fast forward to December 30, 2010, the day that we made our commitment of love in front of God, our family and close friends, our so-called church wedding. At our wedding reception, I sang a song that I have composed during our college days. The song is called “Ngayon Lang” (Never Before), a song that fully encapsulates the love that I have for my Angel, the magic of the past 9 years, and the promise of the next 99 years.“Ilang taon na ring lumipas nung tayo’y unang magkita, naaalala mo pa ba? Tatlong buwan, isang halik, at magkayakap magdamagan, hindi ba’t napakasaya? At ngayon ko lang nadama ang tamis ng tunay na pag-ibig. At ngayon ko lang nadama na handa akong ibigay ang lahat. Sa piling mo naisip na tunay ngang may langit at ikaw lang ang sasambahin. Ngayon at sa habang buhay, umulan man o umaraw, ang nasa puso ko’y ikaw. At ngayon ko lang nadama ang tamis ng tunay na pag-ibig. At ngayon ko lang nadama na handa akong ibigay ang lahat. At wala nang hahanapin. Ikaw lang ang para sa akin. Ikaw lang, wala nang iba. Ikaw lang, ngayon lang. At ngayon ko lang nadama ang tamis ng tunay na pag-ibig. At ngayon ko lang nadama na handa akong ibigay ang lahat.”
Happy Anniversary My Angel! I married you twice already and I would do it a million times over (if not for our bank accounts getting in the way… hahaha…). I love you so much!
- [9.10.2007] Give Me Five! (vladcardenas.wordpress.com)