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Thursday, October 17, 2013
WATCHING sunsets together, observing neighbors as they pass by, arguing over petty things only to end up laughing, being with each other's company and sitting side by side are the daily scenes at the verandah of Cresencio and Asuncion Panio's Compostela Valley home.
Since their five children -- Crison, 42, Dennis, 41, Mary Ann, 40, Marichu, 38, and Christopher, 37 -- have left their home to start their lives with their own families, Cres, 74, and Siony, 67, have more time to spend for and with each other, mostly at the small verandah, creating more wonderful memories together.
Both will yet celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 29 but their children surprised them with a special church wedding in May for an advance celebration as one of their daughters came home from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Siony, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said in the vernacular: "We were just made to wear our wedding gown and barong then march at the aisle of the church. The kids prepared everything."
The couple renewed their vows, which they first gave to each other in a civil wedding rite on Oct. 29, 1968 at the Municipality of Loay, Bohol, at Sr. Santiago Apostol Parish in Compostela Valley.
Cres said he's grateful to God for fulfilling their dreams, that they were able to send all their children to school, see them graduate and raise their respective families.
Crison married Cherry Ann Yee and they are blessed with two kids, Crissa Angela, 15, and Ckim Adrien, 12, as well as Dennis and wife Cecilia Mogato who also have two children, Jollibee Ann, 14, and Axl Dave, 12.
Mary Ann and husband Victorio Montederamos's children are Victor Andrei, nine, and Vicci Angelle, four, while Marichu and husband Marlon Yonyonan only have one child, Mycha Marie, 16. The youngest Christopher married Lovella Catedrilla and they have Kahleil Mathieu, three years old, and Kenshin Anthony, two.
Cres and Siony raised their family in Compostela Valley (Comval) but their love story began in Bohol where they were both born. Cres is a native of Loay while Siony's birthplace was in Baclayon.
Daugther Marichu recalled that her mom Siony used to be a conductress of St. Jude Bus where father Cres would ride, adding: "Dili mubayad si Papa kung musakay sya unya nabantayan na sya ni Mama (Father won't pay everytime he rides the bus but Mother had took note of him)."
Cres and Siony also went to St. James College of Tagbilaran where they were classmates in Philosophy.
Since Siony is often around friends, Cres would ask her friends to buy ice cream or peanuts somewhere far so he can have Siony to himself. But when he got Siony's ring, he blackmailed her to say yes to him or else he won't return her ring.
So Siony agreed to be Cres's girlfriend.
Siony said there was no formal courtship. They just talked and ate together being classmates and friends at the same time. It was in summer of 1965 that they became an official steady couple.
Cres, a supervisor at Davao Fruits Corporation in Comval before he retired, shared that what he loves most about Siony is her being helpful, understanding, and compassionate. Siony, a former teacher at Compostela Elementary School, loves her hardworking and understanding husband.
When asked what's the secret of keeping their marriage last this long, Cresy said, "Dili tagboon ang kasuko. Paghuman ug lalis, wala na (Never clash when one is angry. After an argument, never hold any grudge). Make God the center of the marriage. That's why we often go to church every Sunday. Whatever challenge, God always finds a way," Cres said.
In dealing with children, Siony said their family dinner time was their best venue to talk about their problems. When more serious matters need to be discussed, both of them sit down with their child who has a concern.
"There needs to be constant dialogue. It's important for us that we are complete every dinner time," Siony said.
The Panio family, however, faced a test in their faith when Siony suffered a mild stroke that left her half-paralyzed. But Cres was just there beside his wife, even now that Siony could no longer do everything that she has been doing before the stroke struck her.
Siony, fighting back tears, told her husband: "Salamat sa imong pag-amuma, sa imong understanding ug sa imong gugma (Thank you for taking care of me, for your understanding and love)."
Cres to his wife,"Akong ginapangayo sa Ginoo nga tagaan ka ug maayong panlawas ug taas pa nga kinabuhi. Magmalig-on ka sa gibating sakit (I've been praying to God to give you good health, longer life. That you will endure the pain you are suffering)."
Cres and Siony, theirs is indeed a marriage made in Heaven. Their love blossomed as they keep their vows and nurture each other for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
Their lives, their love and their faith in God made all the lasting difference.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 18, 2013.