Wife Has Kept Her Husband's Love Letters Since 1964. Awww!
PHOTO BY courtesy of Leah Ensalada-Beltran
  • Men like to think that grand gestures of love make women weak in the knees, but it’s the simple, little things that matter. It’s why many people obsessed over the character of Peter Kavinsky in the Netflix rom-com and book “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” — this teen got so many things right about what women want: a kind, thoughtful man who makes an effort to make you happy. 

    The problem: Peter Kavinsky is fictional. In real life, couples can find themselves wondering if they even have time for the romance part once you have kids. But we don't think that romance is dead either, and this kilig true story proves it.

    A Facebook post by user Leah Ensalada-Beltran went viral when she uploaded photos of her dad, Quintin Ensalada’s love letters made to her mom, Luna, who kept everything in pristine condition. “My dad made all these cards and drawings by himself,” she wrote in the post.

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    “I saw my dad’s love letters for mom when I was in high school, inside a folder while I was looking through our steel cabinet. My mom is very organized when it comes to documents, even letters from friends and relatives are kept intact,” Leah shares with SmartParenting.com.ph in an email interview.

    She recalls that her mom got embarrassed when Leah told her that she saw and read the letters. “My mom was so shy to show it to us when we were younger. She also had replies for my dad, of course, but we couldn’t find it anymore.”

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    Quintin's very first letter for 'Lun,' his future wife's nickname, was on the occasion of her 19th birthday.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Leah Ensalada-Beltran
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    The letters started back in 1964, and Quintin wrote to Luna on the occasion of her 19th birthday and the beginning of his courtship. “He wrote a poem for my mom and also included the lyrics of Moon River by Frank Sinatra,” Leah says. (Are you swooning yet?)

    “If the moon is useless without the stars to glow, then ‘I’ like the night, [am] useless without you.”

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    While the courtship was long and arduous, according to Leah (her mom came from a well-respected family in her hometown of Cabadbaran in Agusan Del Norte), Quintin eventually won Luna's parents’ approval, and they got married on September 9, 1967.

    The letters, however, continued until they were married. Leah recalled her Papa still sent love letters to her mom when he was away for three months to study at Haggai Institute in Singapore. “He was the romantic type of person,” Leah notes.

     

    Quintin confesses his love for Luna writing, "Bitaw, Lun, tinood na ning ako," in Bisaya. Translation: "Yes, it's true. I mean it...I just don't have the guts to do it."
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Leah Ensalada-Beltran
    Quintin showed his affection through small acts of love, which Leah and her three siblings witnessed growing up. “Early in the morning, dad would prepare a warm washcloth for my mom. He’ll boil water for her every time she went to take a bath,” Leah shared.

     

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    Her mom responded in kind. “She always makes sure there’s food on the table, which she cooks herself. There were always three to four kinds of food we can choose from every meal time. Her way of affirming her love was filling his tummy!”

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    When ‘Lun’ couldn’t go to church because she had a cold, Quintin wrote, “I crazily thought of visiting you with at least a tablet or two. But, of course, I know the fort is well-guarded with agents!”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Leah Ensalada-Beltran

    According to Leah, her mom and dad were inseparable, and they were a united team when it came to parenting their four kids. “They were both disciplinarians, and we were raised in a Christian family,” Leah shares. “After my dad retired from the Philippine Ports Authority, he became a full-time pastor, and my mom supported him.”

    “I hope you won't be surprised but the urge of writing you seemed irresistible.”

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    (Standing from left) Adrian, Quintin, Luna, Caesar, Leah's brother-in-law Emmanuel Diola. (Seated) Leah's niece Abigail, Leah's sister-in-law Liza Gayanilo-Ensalada, Leah, Leah's nephew JD.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Leah Ensalada-Beltran
    Quintin passed away on April 23, 2000, at the age of 58 due to a heart attack, and Luna was devastated. "My mom locked herself in their bedroom for nine months after my dad passed away, but she would go to my dad's tomb every morning to have her bible devotional there," Leah shares.

     

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    This was one of the few photos of the couple that remained intact after Quintin passed away. Leah says her mom cropped photos of her dad to make a collage.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Leah Beltran-Ensalada
    Her mom came out of mourning with her apos giving her strength. "After those nine months, I taught my mom to chat with her friends online," Leah says. 

    Eighteen years after the death of the love of her life, Luna remains active at the age of 73 as Quintin's memory lives on in the letters he left behind. Leah hopes that by posting the letters on social media, her father's love can change the perception especially of young millennials that true love is hard to find.

    "They think 'walang forever' but meron. I'm really happy that a lot of people continue to be inspired through those letters," she says.

     

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