On Golden Bond

Quezon City, the Philippines

June 1, 2008

For the occasion of our parents’ golden anniversary, my sibs and I had envisioned a grand event: PowerPoint presentations, video interviews, buffet galore, and hundreds of friends and relatives sharing the joyous occasion with us – the works! We thought our parents deserved nothing less than a fantastic fete with high (not to mention, tacky) production values.

The Golden Couple: Dong and Agnes

Thankfully, good sense and logistical issues paved the perfect way for us to celebrate our parents’ wedding anniversary. Simple and low-key, yet genuine and meaningful – much like the love and marriage we were celebrating.

My “unstoppable” sister, who originally made a reservation in a swanky Makati restaurant, had a light-bulb of an idea. She thought of going back to where it all began – in U.P. (University of the Philippines in Diliman, where my parents met). And so it came to pass that we ended up with the most appropriate golden anniversary celebration that my parents would be delighted with.

Church of the Risen Lord in U.P. Diliman

It was a surprise. They knew we were attending a Sunday service, but didn’t know where. It was at the Church of the Risen Lord in U.P. (a Presbyterian church inside the campus), where they were married on June 1, 1958.

Mom and Dad, 50 Years Ago

…50 Years Later

My parents had not been there in decades as they have since become ecumenical. It was quite a walk down memory lane for them. The pastor simply announced their presence and the occasion. Then we had some photos taken after the service. Later, the family converged at a gazebo on the church grounds for lunch and a short program. With us were two pairs of representatives from each of our parents’ paternal and maternal sides. We were also joined by a few family friends who helped in the preparation and video-recording.

We Are Family!

Since there were only a few of us, each one was able to give a message, including my U.S.-based brother who had sent his message on video. The messages, of course, were  both touching and hilarious: anecdotes of their young love, memories of our childhood with our parents. Most touched on how inspiring their marriage was – for lasting this long and staying this happy.

Most wondered aloud what their secret to a successful marriage was. Well, I’ll let you in on their secret (see photo below).

Old Goat and Kid

Yes, they still do that…and quite often too! :)

Laughter, a good measure of cheesy kissing, constant conversation (after half a century together, they haven’t run out of things to talk about!) and the grace of God – that’s how they have strengthened their Golden Bond.

Love and Marriage go together like U.P. and the Oblacion

98 thoughts on “On Golden Bond

  1. Your parents are truly inspiring. People ought to remember that “irreconcilable differences” is just a fancy way of saying they don’t have what it takes to cut the mustard, or was it the pie.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Now I know what I want to do with my married life. Hehehehehe…… This is truly inspiring.

  3. Dear Loilda, Bernard, Barry,

    What a great way to celebrate your parents’ anniversary! Thank you for sharing this with me. Now I am thinking, hmmm maybe I can get my parents Sixto and Elvira come to QC and have a sentimental journey in the fountains in Balara, where my father suddenly proposed marriage while they were reviewing for the Bar. I doubt that tatay would, though, because when we celebrated their 5oth he said, ” why should i get married again? ” Jboy, his grandson, had to poke a toy shotgun on his back and led him to the garden.

    THese are great photos, i will forward them to my brother Casten so he can show these to nanay, who is a friend of your mommy.

    I love you, tita, tito!

    Hugs,
    Bing

  4. Hello Ta! Thanks very much for sharing the above note. Got to read it only just today, and I am delighted at the way you wrote about your Mom and Dad. Also, it’s so nice to see the photo of Nang Agnes and Nong Dong on their wedding day 51 years ago. Indeed, it’s heartwarming to see a love story continue to blossom through the years like that of your mom and dad. It’s really no secret at all. It’s just a matter of a deep commitment to fulfill what has been agreed on the altar of matrimony – to love one another for better or worse… you know the rest. I am very happy that your parents have that commitment for each other. Yesterday, I was requested to officiate on the renewal of vows of a couple on their 25th wedding anniversary. It was a privilege to be a part of that kind of event. Indeed, it’s a great and wonderful blessing to see a husband and wife still so much in love after so many years being together. My BIG congratulations to your Mom and Dad for doing so. God bless you.

    • Thanks Tito George! Yes, it really is about “deep commitment”. They make it look so effortless though. :) I’ll let mom read your comment tomorrow.

  5. Dear Manang Loida,

    The idea of bringing your parents back to where they first met is really cool. :) I used to worship at the Church of the Risen Lord decades ago when i lived with my sister Bim at the UP campus…Just a single look at the church brought back beautiful memories in my mind…Tito and Tita must have that ecstatic rush of memories too, when you guys celebrated their golden wedding anniversary there.:)

    Tito and Tita are model parents and i should say that their solid relationship is very inspiring…they have shown us what true love is.

    May God continue to bless you, your parents and all the members of your family.

    Big kiss,

    Chris

  6. My dear Loida and Barry, ka perfect idea gid to celebrate your parents 50th. Church of the Risen Lord, the oblation… great pictures too. My love to your Dad and Mom. regards.

    Cara

  7. Oh, what a peaceful lovely family!
    Pls, also show your present girl friend(s)’s pics. ^^
    Thanks to remember me. AJ!

  8. Congrats Uncle Dong and Auntie Agnes!!!

    Happy 50th Anniversary… God bless you always…

    Such an inspiration to all and an inspiration to us.

    Peter, Kay and Lorenz of KSA

  9. Hi Loida,

    I was teary eyed reading this blog of your brother. No doubt, it is LOVE in ACTION : the love of your dad to your mom and vice versa, the love of children to their parents and vice versa, the love of each family member to one another and to the “extended” family members.

    Thank you for sharing this to us.

  10. Dear Inday Desi and Barry,

    May the Lord continue to bless you and your parents (our Senior Deltan Sis and Senior Sigma Rhoan Brod). Thank you for sharing the purity and intimacy of the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. It is truly inspiring.

    Blessings.

    Bing-Bing Desiderio Villareal-Fernando

  11. barry and loida,

    congratulations on your parent’s anniversary.

    sincerely,

    edgar recto
    new york

  12. Dear Mr. Dong and Mrs Agnes Poliquit,

    Happy golden anniversary!

    Mr. Poliquit, I remember you as a very humble and gentle person. One time, you lent me a book on contract growing from your bank’s library. I never really got to return that book although I wanted to. Somehow, it got lost. Anyway, I want to thank you for your kindness.

    You were an inspiration. You invited me to several christian gatherings and I managed to attend only twice. But each time, it was heart warming.

    Now as I behold your lovely pose with your beloved wife, I cannot help but make a wish to be in the same situation one day with my wife Connie. Happy, happy golden anniversary sir!

    Steve Naromal

  13. Dear Brod Dong and Sis Agnes,

    Congratulations on your most meanigful Golden Wedding Anniversary!

    You have remained down to earth and humble despite great accomplishments
    and enviable stature. This is because you are a very religious person and this you
    unselfishly shared with all both with Brods and nonBrods alike.Because of this
    you hold a very special place in the heart of The Lord.Thank you for being my
    true Brod and unselfish friend.

    Always,

    Brod Romie and Sis Ester Cadiz

  14. What a lovely couple you have for parents! Thanks for sharing and this gave me an idea on what to do with mine… still have 7 years to plan…. hehehe…

  15. Dear Nong Dong & Nang Agnes,

    Your love for each other truly speaks of the grace of God. Your commitment to each other speaks of your commitment to God. Congratulations! God is honored in your lives.

    I love you both.

    Neneng Pearl

  16. Thank you Ta for posting this. Thank you Barry, Inday Des, & Noyke. Indeed you give honor to our God by honoring your parents.

    From Old to the New Testament it speaks of honoring our parents. This is a command with a promise.

    I’m proud of you.

    Love,
    N. Pearl

    • Hi Tita Pearl! Just my small way of sharing how my parents taught me about love. Hope to see you again soon!

      Ta

  17. Tito Dong! Wow! 50 years!

    Tito Dong is one of the senior brods in Sigma Rho that I admire the most: upright, humble, incorruptible, jolly, etc…all the things I would want to be when I grow older and become a grandfather. I am honored to be his brod twice over in the Fellowship Under the Cross.

    May God bless you and your family. You have been a tremendous blessing to me and my family.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    Bro. Leonard & Lady Love Castañeda

    (P.S. As far as I know, CRL was never a Baptist church but a Presbyterian one that eventually joined with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines)

  18. Love can endure all obstacles in Life . . . this is a new beginning of a wonderful loving couple in their golden years . . . and years to come. . . .

    Happy Golden Anniversary. . . Tito Dong & Tita Agnes.

    Such Inspiring for the New generations Inspiration.

    ;-)

  19. Dear Loids & AJ,

    Marriage ought to be this blessed- not just in years but in every aspect- not the least of which is their progeny! Not only had the Lord added 4 more alumnae to your Mom & Dad’s Alma Matter through their union but He also made sure that their 50 years together brims with happy memories that no smoggy day could ever dim nor choke. I’m always blessed by your accounts of their way of dealing w/ life, Loids & I believe that your Mom & Dad’s love story is a depiction of God’s faithfulness. Too, it didn’t hurt that they choose to deal with challenges (including an only daughter who must have been quite a handfull! Ha ha ha!) with their unsinkable humor & indomitable trust in Jehovah Jireh. Praise be to HIM!

    Congratulations Mom & Dad!

  20. This is such a wonderful blog. Ta, you do have a way with words. So glad I was part of this celebration…and dare I say, a part of your family!

    • You’ve been part of this family since forever, Mimi. It just became official when you gave Phantom to us. :)

  21. Love this ‘J! This is the love story which brought forth your Charlotte-of-Sex-and-the-City hopeless-romantic persona. :) No wonder you turned out to be the Love Hero that you are and not into some hedonistic bohemian playboy I know, haha..

  22. hey AJ, this one’s really sweet! enjoyed your experience vicariously, my mom and dad would have celebrated their golden wedding in a couple more years but mom… well, let’ just say she’s happier in heaven.

  23. Hi Ta!
    I enjoyed reading your blog. Ka cute gid sang wedding picture ni Dad Dong and Mom Agnes. Congrats. What a testimony of fun, love, faith in God and perseverance in trusting Him. Blessings.
    Paniong Alvarez

  24. I read and reread this post atleast three times. Stories of love and years together always nourishes my mind and heart. I wish your parents all the best and may they have many many anniversaries.

    I am quite glad that the children and extended family made the occasion such a memorable one.

    Loved the old and new pictures. The “Old Goat and Kid” picture was fab and sweet. May the good Lord bless your family abundantly.

    Joy always,
    Susan

  25. How wonderful to be married to the one you love for those many years:) My husband and I have been married for 18 yrs now. How funny, it seems like just yesterday. And yes, having open lines of communication about everything and remaining ‘flirty’ are important aspects of keeping the years going by:)

    • @Mary: The communication and “flirty” aspects seem to be consistent ingredients in long-lasting relationships. :) May yours reach gold and beyond!

      @Sat and Priyashmita: Thanks. Mom and Dad will have an eternity together eventually. :)

  26. That is the most beautiful Valentine post ever. That is so wonderful and absolutely love those pics of the “Old Goat” and the “Kid”. How wonderful, congrats to the parents on 50 years.

    debra

  27. Wow, your parents are both inspiring… through all the years their love for each other didn’t fade… and blooms as ever more sweet as blossoming Tulips… thanks for sharing this with us… i wish ‘em more happiness and love as they count for another memorable years to come…^^

    BTW, i thought you’re a Malaysian the first time we met…. and i didn’t recognize you’re a Filipino too… well, anyhow i wanna officially say that i am glad to meet you over this world called blogging…. God bless!!!^^

    ~Kelvin

    • Haha what made you think I was Malaysian?! I’ve been mistaken to be Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, even Cambodian. I guess I’m really Malaysian, truly Asian. :D

      Thanks Kevin. I hope this post inspires you to write a poem. :)

  28. Oh AJ, tears were welling up in my eyes when I read this. They look so happy together and this is such a precious memory that you should treasure forever. Your parents can be very proud to have children that care so much! Beautiful blog!!!

    • It touches me that people have also been touched by my parents’ love for each other. They are my love heroes, Nelieta. We, their children, care so much because they first cared for and loved each other.

  29. What a beautiful story. I love reading, talking to or listening to people who have stayed in their marriage year after year and made it work. The general attitude today is if it doesn’t work, walk out and start a new. Not really the encouraging message to hear when going through a difficult patch. But hearing about people who have been there, done it, worked it out, and still laugh – now that is truely priceless.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • As I always say, they’re my love heroes. You’re right – they don’t make marriages like this anymore. My country is the only one left in the world that hasn’t legalized divorce. But despite that, many married couples separate and eventually get an annulment. Same banana, methinks.

      Anyway, I miss hearing my mom’s laughter at dad’s jokes. Only dad can make her laugh like that.

      Oh, and mom looks very Audrey Hepburn in her wedding dress. :) Thanks Kerry-ann!

  30. This is very inspiring AJ especially now that many relationships seem to be more like gadgets that often need upgrade or replacement. It’s kinda rare now so it’s always heartwarming to see couples like your parents fulfil their promises to each other till the end.

  31. This made me remember of my grandparents’ golden anniversary few years ago. And it also reminds me that today is my parents’ 25th anniversary hehe

  32. I am emotional while reading your blog. I am reflecting upon ourselves this kind of momentous golden wedding anniversary of your loving parents. Could my children do this for us also? My wife and I are already in our 40 years of happy married life.

    • Happy 25th anniversary to your parents, Mei! :)

      Hi Gil! I’m sure your kids will have a surprise for you and your wife when the time comes. I believe that when children are inspired by their parents’ love for each other, they will express it one way or another. :)

  33. I love how pared down everything was and it still managed to be a “grand” affair — of hearts: your parents (wow, happy golden!), you and your sibs, the whole family. Simply moving. My cousin got married in that same church December 2010 and we who comprised of the Bacolod delegation flew over to attend. That gazebo behind the church… lovely di ba? You’re from Bacolod too pala! Nice. That vid you commented on my blog? 90% pics of the fam in Bacolod. :) Oh… and yep, that was Riverside’s ER. Replied to your comment on why that pic made it to 2011′s top. :)

    • Thanks for the comment, May! My parents are not the bell and whistle types so it was just appropriate that the celebration was low-key, like them. :) Yup, lovely gazebo behind the church. Actually, lovely church too with its unique egg-shaped structure.

      Nice to meet another kababayan in the blogosphere. Seems there are lotsa Ilonggo bloggers! Ok I’ll scoot over to your blog in a few.

    • It’s such a comfort to know that my parents (though my dad already passed away) still inspire people, even ones who don’t know them personally. Thank you Yuu Ki, Joy, and Tess.

  34. AJ, this is the first time I saw your dad and mum on a post on your blog. hehe. I love the big happy family that you have. I can recall having included u and your mum on my blog’s Mother’s day post and I am happy.

    Thank you for sharing this one AJ. God bless your family

    • The doctor is in! :D Again, thanks for that honorable mention in your Mothers’ Day post. Perhaps you can include me and my dad on your next Fathers’ Day post. :)

  35. so sweet. A marriage that last for a long time was admired by many .
    Wishing for good health for the both of them and your family ..
    They give me hope :)) haha

    • Not only the smile, but the love. Wishing all of you the same one true love. Thanks Kathy, Jonathan Quiogue, and FranCis!

  36. simply inspiring. With today’s separation issues this is one story everyone must read and learn from. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to your parents po!

  37. wow! congratulations to your parents. this sure a very heart-warming post, made me wish my parents had the chance to celebrate theirs, too. oh, well i bet they will both celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in the heavens, together with our dear creator + the angels, when the time comes…^_^

    • Thanks Jhen! You’re right, people just don’t work on their marriages as much as the generations before us. My parents became each other’s best friends. No idea why modern couples don’t usually become BFFs.

      Awwww Jared’s mum. Length of time together is not the only criterion of a successful and blissful marriage or relationship. Chessy much, but it’s love. So congrats to your parents as well. :)

  38. Congrats! Your parents are an inspiration. You are so lucky to have them, and of course they are so gifted to have kids like you.

    • Hi Beth!!! What a pleasant surprise! How long has it been – more than a decade? Geez we’re old! :D Thanks for parking a comment on my site. Miss ya back!

    • Wow, I’m walking on sunshine with this award! :) Much appreciated, Curly. And thank God for the sunshine. We’re just the moon, reflecting His light to the world.

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