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Our Love Story: The Civil Wedding

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It was never our plan to have a civil wedding.

As early as August 15, even before we formally informed The Sabenianos of our plan, we already started preparing for December church wedding. And to save money for my room rental in Cavite and other daily expenses, we decided that I moved in with Jonjie to his parents’ house in Las Pinas.

But with that decision, we realized we are not setting a good moral values to the three young minds, Jonjie’s nephews and niece, with whom we have daily interactions.

It happened when Kuya Hernan, Jonjie’s eldest brother, informed us that the kids asked him, “Why Tita Annie is already living with Tito Jonjie but they are not yet married?”

And so right there and then, we decided to have a civil wedding. And Jonjie immediately thought of Carrie as the one to help us. According to Jonjie it was Carrie Parcero (now Magno) who coordinated the civil wedding of one of their friend, Ed Sison. And most of the time, he accompanied Carrie because he owned a transport. Coincidence? I would like to think, divine intervention…

When we informed Carrie of our plan, she immediately started coordinating with her contacts at the Municipal Hall of Imus, Cavite. The days that followed were hullaballoos of completing and signing of documents, filing for the marriage license and going to Bulacan to buy our wedding rings. Not to mention, trying really hard not to show the real status of our relationship to our colleagues at work.

Why hide it? Because while all the preparations were happening, they, especially the ladies, are discouraging me not to fall in love with Jonjie. They have one common comment, 
“Huwag na huwag kang mai in-love kay Jonjie o kay Sir Jonjie…lahat ng bago dito sa kompanya, nililigawan nya…lalo na ung mga OJT nurses”. 
How can I convince them differently…most of them knew and worked with Jonjie for four years, since the company's start-up. And my best option is to keep our wedding a secret…and Jonjie agreed.

We set the wedding ceremony, September 8, in time for the celebration of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But…few days before the date, Carrie was informed that Mayor Oscar Jaro will not be available to officiate the ceremony because of an important appointment. 

I was devastated…I really want our wedding date to have a connection with Mama Mary. Remember...
My Novena Prayer every Wednesday in Baclaran: “Mama Mary, kung lumipas na po ang lalaking nakatadhana para sa akin, tulungan mo po akong maging masayang matandang dalaga…ayoko ko pong maging masungit. Kung hindi pa naman po at may nakalaan pa, pakibigay na po sa akin, ngayon na kasi nagkakaedad na ako (30 o 31 na ako noon). Kung pwede po sana kahit dalawang M lang…ung mamahalin ako at magsisimba kasama ko. At pwede po ba bigyan mo ako ng maliwanag na maliwang na sign na sya na ang lalaki para sa akin”
My sign, August 3, 4th day of our getting to know stage: Nalaman ko na Don Dosco graduate sya noong high school. Nagsisimba sya pero hindi fan ng mga novena at ung mga lumalapit sa imahen. Sabi ko sa kanya, “di pala tayo magkakasama bukas, kasi tuwing Miyerkules nagsisimba ako sa Baclaran”. Mabilis syang sumagot, “sasamahan kita”. Dasal ko sa sarili ko “thank you po Mama Mary, sya na ang lalaking ibinigay mo upang makasama ko”.
Carrie understood my sentiments…she did everything she could to make it happen. And finally, we received the good news.
 
Instead of the Mayor’s Office, they were able to arrange it with Imus Reqional Trial Court. The five of us, Jonjie and I plus our three  accomplices Carrie Parcero, Ed Sison and Olan Angus sat down and discuss our game plan on the scheduled date, since it’s a working day.

Why the planning? During Ed’s wedding, the four of them did not report for work on the same day…and eventually it was known that the reason was Ed’s civil wedding. After deliberation, it was finally decided that Ed will report for work and hold the port for us…to break the pattern they previously set.
 
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And so on September 8, 1999 at 10 o’clock in the morning, Jonjie and I were pronounced husband and wife by the Honorable Dolores L. Espanol in her office at the Regional Trial Court. Rolan Angus, Jonjie’s friend and Thess Espiritu, my friend, stood as our principal witnesses. Kuya Hernan joined us and of course, it will not be complete without Carrie.

A simple reception followed at Barrio Fiesta Imus with their famous Kare-Kare, Crispy Pata and other side dishes.

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