How I Met Your Nanay: Love, Ageless and Evergreen

Photo: My parents in November 1985 on the Liloan Bridge in Southern Leyte. After hearing the complete story of how my parents met, fell in love, and got married, I can't help but think it'd be the perfect story for one of those Filipino soap operas. My parents were both born in the small town of Libagon, Southern Leyte, Philippines. My mom was born to a fairly well-off family (her father had served two terms as mayor of Libagon) and my father was born to a middle-class family. My mom and dad's families were pretty close. Their parents got along and they had many siblings who were friends with each other. However, when my mom was two-years-old her family moved from the province to the big city of Manila. It was not until after graduating high school in the mid-1970s that my mother returned to Libagon for a little vacation. It was then that my parents once again "met" and their love story began. While in college studying to be a nurse, my mom would always spend her months off vacationing in Libagon. She and my dad only saw each other once a year during this time. While she was away my dad would write my mom letters...every week! In December 1980, my mom arrived in Chicago after having been petitioned by her parents. Before she left, my parents made plans to eventually marry. Since this was the '80s the only means of communication my parents could rely on were telephone and letters. My dad continued his habit of writing my mom letters every week. My mom wrote back as often as she could and in one of her letters she told my dad that she would be returning to the Philippines in October 1985. My dad wrote back with his "proposal" and the rest is history... My mom became a U.S. citizen in June 1986 and petitioned my dad who arrived in Chicago on December 24, 1986 (dressed in just jeans, a t-shirt, and light jacket - definitely not winter appropriate attire). I was born the following year in October and my younger brother was born in July 1992. My parents' wedding theme song was "Evergreen" by Barbra Streisand. Even after 25 years of marriage, I can still catch a glow of young people in love on their faces. They still tease and laugh at each other to no end and enjoy sharing stories about growing up in the Philippines. I’m so thankful for my parents for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is that they make it a point to be great examples to my brother and me of how to love.