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  • 'Hate' At First Sight Talaga Ha! 5 Couples Share Their No-Escape-From-Love Stories

    Five real-life love stories to read that will make you believe in happily ever after
    by Carol Amistad .
'Hate' At First Sight Talaga Ha! 5 Couples Share Their No-Escape-From-Love Stories
  • They say that true love conquers all. Whether you’re both from different sides of the world, or it was “hate” at first sight, there’s no escaping when love hits you real hard, as you will read in these love stories.

    These real-life couples have endured the test of time and will make us believe #mayforever is actually out there, even if it seems hard to understand at times.

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    Committed even without a wedding

    Norman Cruz and Kim Pablo were both college sophomores when they met at a band rehearsal studio in 2002. He was the vocalist-guitarist of his band, while Kim was the vocalist of her own band. One day, she was invited to jam with Norman’s band, and she accepted because they were covering No Doubt, her favorite band.

    Secretly, however, Kim was drawn to Norman, whom she found intriguing because he was isnabero. After several gigs and hours of telebabad, they admitted they had feelings for each other.

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    There was no formal courtship, and they didn’t get married even when they had their first child together on their fifth anniversary together.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author

    Kim found it hard to tell if Norman was The One. She admitted there had been many times in their relationship that she almost gave up. So what made her hang on?

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    “I think about those things we went through and why we were here in the first place -- that gave me the reason why I think he was the one. God put me here to be that person, not as someone who needs him or someone who is needed by him, but how we are as a person when we are together. 

    “We’ve had a lot of bad fights, but it cannot outdo the best moments we had, especially when we are with our children. As the cliché goes, we’re better when we’re together.”

    For Norman, there’s no secret to a lasting relationship. “There’s only love, trust, and a lot of patience. It’s not always about fun and happy times, and life will certainly bring you rough and trying times. You’ll need to appreciate those moments because they are the ones that will make your relationship stronger.”

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    Norman and Kim stayed as domestic partners until Kim’s U.S. papers were finalized. They tied the knot in 2019.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    In love despite belonging in different worlds

    In 2012, Love Torrecampo and Ibrahim Elgawhary were both auditors in Qatar. But it never dawned on Love she and Ibrahim could be more than colleagues despite the long, grueling hours of work together.

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    That is not to say there was no attraction. In fact, Ibrahim says it was love at first sight for him — he wanted her in his life.

    Their love story was not easy, though, because of their different cultures and beliefs. They had their fair share of arguments about lifestyles and values, each driven by their racial and cultural identity.

    After a solemn beach wedding in Seychelles, Love’s family flew in from the Philippines to Egypt for their traditional wedding reception.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Five years later, Love and Ibrahim finally embraced and celebrated each other’s differences and realized that love knows no boundaries, no race nor religion. They feel lucky to have an active support group that accepts and listens to their issues and celebrates their milestones.

    “We managed to keep our relationship stronger with effective communication, a LOT of patience, understanding, and respect,” says Love.

    Within their first year of marriage, the couple welcomed their son, and both have never loved each other more as they watch each other become parents.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    The dogged pursuit of love

    A simple “hello” can turn someone’s day or even life around, but it took Lester Humawid several “hello’s” before Joan Feliciano decided to reply to his message in Friendster (for those who are too young to remember, Friendster is today's Facebook).

    “I thought he was just one of those guys who send random messages to random girls, so I didn’t respond,” Joan recalls.

    The two did become friends and chatted through Friendster and Yahoo! Messenger. Lester also texted and called her every night. It was apparent Lester wanted to go courting and admitted his feelings a few months later. Unfortunately, Joan told him she didn’t share his feelings.

    They remained friends. They would still hang out, eat together, and talk. And Lester still pursued her. After seven months of courtship and three rejections, Joan finally said yes.

    Lester got down on one knee to propose to the love of his life. It was also his birthday celebration in Nayon ng Kabataan in July 2012.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Why? “He is very sweet, caring, hardworking, and most of all, he makes me laugh all the time. I saw how serious and sincere he was because he wanted to meet my parents, and he wanted me to meet them even if we were so young. We were just in the first month of our relationship!”

    Joan said, “They tricked me during one of the games where they blindfolded me. When one of our friends took it off, I was so confused because I saw kids in front of me. Each one held a paper with the letters, ‘W-I-L-L Y-O-U  M-A-R-R-Y.’ Then I looked for him. I saw him standing at the corner, holding a bouquet of flowers, and the word ‘M.E.?’ He was crying! I had mixed emotions -- surprised, confused, and happy. He asked me nervously, ‘Mie, will you marry me?’

    “He said some other things, but I already forgot and didn’t understand because I was so surprised. In my mind, I was thinking, ‘Are we ready for this?’ But I just answered, ‘Yes!’ I knew we were ready, and I trusted him with all my heart.”

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    Lester and Joan have been married for almost five years now and are blessed with a lovely daughter.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    “Hate” at first sight

    Engr. Reynold So and Geraldine Esguerra, M.D., met when they were both mending broken hearts. They were introduced by a common friend, but there were no sparks, no magical, no kilig feeling. In fact, they didn’t like each other.

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    Gay remembered Rey saying something that went like this: “Doktora ba’ yan?” She was wearing an oversized shirt with her hair on pigtails. Gay found him arrogant and self-centered.

    And just when Gay thought she would never see Rey again, she was so surprised when her overly strict mom suddenly called Rey and asked him to pick up Gay from her dorm and drive her home.

    After their first meeting, Rey and Gay had no plans of seeing each other again. But a mother intervened. 
    PHOTO BY COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR
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    Their families didn’t know each other. But their common friend did bring Rey along when she went to Gay’s house. That’s where Gay’s mom spotted Rey...and saw sparks? The two clearly was not feeling it.  

    Rey did as he was told, but he said, “Di kita nililigawan, ha. I do not like you. I will just drive you home.” Gay hated him more.

    Since then though Rey started visiting Gay at her dorm. He came by so often that they forgot they did not like each other and became friends. It was a friendship that turned into 18 years of marriage and counting.

    Gay says, “We stay and keep each other happy all the time — whether we are together, or just talking over the phone. We make fun of each other, we laugh and try to stay positive as much as we can. We share our feelings, thoughts, pains, and frustrations. When we have arguments, we settle it at once. We say I love you often, and we make each other feel loved.”

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    Rey and Gay now have two kids and still madly in love with each other. 
    PHOTO BY COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR
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    ‘Perfect’ for each other

    Drew and Bianca Estandarte met when they were trainees in a B.P.O. Bianca was talking to a friend about why she was ending a complicated relationship. While the friend empathized, she had one of their colleagues on her mind. A fellow trainee, Drew, had a crush on Bianca.

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    Somehow Bianca’s friend devised a way to get Drew to confess to Bianca he had a crush on her. Bianca thought it was cute — he was two years her junior. It did not stop her from asking if Drew would go on a date with her. He said yes.

    Drew and Bianca were young and reckless and had a baby too early in their relationship. They still decided to live together for the baby.

    Drew and Bianca didn’t get married right away because they weren’t sure about each other.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    For five years, Bianca battled her insecurities, unsure of Drew’s commitment yet scared of being on her own. Drew, who was doing his best to make the relationship work, got tired. They got into a huge fight that made Bianca realize Drew was for keeps. She asked him to marry her, another milestone in their love story.

    Thirteen years later, the two are as strong as ever. “It just gives us a sense of peace that no matter how imperfect we are, we are perfect for each other. No matter what we say or do. There’s nothing superficial. We take in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh, and when we fight, we fight a good fight, hahaha!”

    “For couples with kids, don’t be afraid to show kids that you’re fighting. It’s normal...healthy even, as long as it’s not violent and as long as they also see how it was resolved.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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