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  • Pregnant Ex-Girlfriend, Meddling Mom: 2 Love Stories Worthy of a 'Maalala Mo Kaya' Episode

    There is no question these two couples were in love. But they had to work hard to be together.
    by Carol Amistad .
Pregnant Ex-Girlfriend, Meddling Mom: 2 Love Stories Worthy of a 'Maalala Mo Kaya' Episode
PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
  • We were on the lookout for great love stories that were not big on, er, production (no helicopter rides!). We wanted to focus on couples whose experience getting to the "great" part was a bumpy ride that almost didn't become a happy ending. Those stories would always get us so choked up, not because there was so much drama, but we know getting to that place of love and security meant showing the vulnerable you — and that can be painful.

    Here are two love stories worthy of a Maalala Mo Kaya episode

    A tale of two people who did not give up on each other

    Oliver and Maki Manalo were in a relationship for a year. They have been husband and wife for almost 12 years and blessed with two kids
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Olive and Maki worked in the same company but were only introduced by Maki’s supervisor when Oliver was invited to a friendly badminton game. Oliver thought she was cute but was too young for him. He was also "sort of" hitched already — his ex-girlfriend was pregnant. 

    Maki didn’t want to be a homewrecker, but she liked Oliver. “After finding out about the baby on the way, I turned the other cheek. Oliver made it clear that he and the girl weren’t together. But I didn’t jump into the relationship right away. I kept on praying for God’s guidance. I was crazy enough to ask for signs.”

    Maki told herself that if Oliver wore an orange shirt to work, that would be the first sign that she should give their relationship a try. That day of her wish for a sign, Oliver did wear an orange shirt! But Maki was not convinced.

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    “I asked God to let me hear Lupang Hinirang (the Philippine National Anthem) at a mall within the week. The next day, I went to Robinson’s Forum in Pioneer, Mandaluyong. I was standing in front of National Book Store when the national anthem played. It was so crazy!”

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    The signs might have happened, but there was a problem: Oliver did not have the guts to court her traditionally. “He was such a scaredy-cat, brushing his hands against mine, waiting for me to hold them. So, I did. Like the Joan of Arc of modern times, I initiated!”

    It took them three months to make their relationship official in front of the altar at the chapel in Greenbelt. Maki asked Oliver, “Ano ba, tayo ba or hindi?” To which Oliver replied, “Oo. Of course!”

    When Maki got pregnant, she and Oliver almost broke up because she wanted to go back to her hometown in Cebu to pursue her studies and give birth there. Oliver was unsure if he wanted to go with her because it also meant being away from his young son with his former girlfriend.

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    Maki, who didn’t believe in long distance relationships, didn't want to force Oliver to come, but she wanted him to go with her. “After resigning from work, I bought us tickets for Cebu. I told him if he doesn’t show up in the morning, that was it. I was so anxious that he would not show up. But on the day of our flight, there he was, standing by my apartment door, with his huge bag. I still remember the sight of him standing there, all smiles, telling me to get ready so we would not miss our flight.”

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    Oliver, on the other hand, thought about what he had to do to make sure his obligations are covered. “I did not want to spend the rest of my life miserable, and this was my chance. I packed my bags that night, woke up early, and said goodbye to my parents. I just had to be with the love of my life.”

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    The couple flew to Cebu that day and had their church wedding the following month. Just like any other couple, Maki and Oliver were bombarded with problems on the first few years of their marriage, mostly about finances. “We also had problems about jealousy, lacking time for each other, the share of chores, and how we should discipline our kids. We also had my mom meddling every time we argued, which made things worse,” Maki shared.

    Communicating in Bisaya was also one of Oliver’s struggles. “I would think that my wife didn’t respect me because she sounded like she was angry.”

     

    “Forgot to buy milk for the kids? Kiss your wife and laugh it off. Take her with you, buy milk, and drop by for some coffee. Left your shirt lying around? Surprise her by doing the laundry.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    Over the years, though, both learned how to be really, really patient and just laugh things off. Oliver shares, “Sometimes, you will get irked by your partner. Don’t let it get into you. Remember you chose that person. It’s a complete package.”

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    Instant attraction, a whirlwind romance, and a meddling mom

    Jay and Arvee Cruz were in a relationship for two years and three months before becoming husband and wife. They have been married now for 10 years and 2 months with two kids.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    The attraction between Jay and Arvee was instant. After a week, their status already was "in a relationship." A few months later, however, they broke up because Arvee’s parents, specifically her mom hated him for some unknown reason. 

    “Jay is really kind and timid. My mom meddled into our relationship, and it caused great tension not just between us, but between the two families. I was very insecure at that time because I could feel he would let go [of me] to keep the situation from becoming worse.

    “I felt marriage was the only way to make me feel secure. I pressured him, and just as I predicted, he did let go.”

    Jay, however, had second thoughts but not quickly enough. When he expressed to Arvee that he wanted to get back together, Arvee was already in a new relationship.

    “I was hesitant. What if he gives in again to the pressure? Plus, my mom still hated him even if we were not together anymore.”

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    Fighting for their relationship, Jay asked Arvee to marry him. Arvee couldn't say no, but the couple never made plans for the wedding until after a year of being together.

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    “We kept the relationship a secret so no one would meddle. Our families found out we were getting married around February or March of 2008. Our wedding was November 2008.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of the author
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    And Arvee’s mom? She now loves Jay. “We wouldn’t have gotten back together if Jay was not willing to change for the better. He used to be this meek person who was contented with his own little world.

    When we broke up, he changed and improved himself and got the confidence he needed to fight for our relationship.”

    The couple says they keep the following in mind: "Listen to your spouse and be open-minded. Consider your family’s feelings and well-being, too, before making a decision. Never put separation into the equation except when it’s about cheating, which is non-negotiable for both of us. Lastly, always have time for your spouse. Keep dating and surprising him/her."

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