Monday August 20, 2018

#JessMenToBe: A true fairy tale

ONCE upon a time in a sweet-green island of Negros, a beautiful princess met a mighty knight. Love has brought them together. Love, still, will keep them forever.

Singing "Ikaw" of Regine Velasquez while walking on the aisle adorned with blooming flowers and shining draw swords of military officers, Meneil could not help but cry as she expresses her gratitude to the Almighty for giving her a husband in the person of Jess.

Witnessed by families, relatives, friends, and closest persons in their hearts, the two have finally exchanged vows and made a promise of forever. Wearing a sophisticated white gown, Meneil, who was the most beautiful woman that day, said “I do” to Jess, who was in his white military uniform.

Meneil Lopez, 30, a television reporter of ABS-CBN–Bacolod has finally tied the knot with her boyfriend for almost four years, First Lieutenant Jomart Jess Poquiz, 28, of the 11th Infantry Battalion based in Zamboanga City.

Officiated by Reverend Fr. Felix Pasquin, it was a solemn and meaningful wedding rites held at the Sacred Heart Shrine in Bacolod City last May 26. Shades of pink and red filled the church walled by the angelic voices of the internationally acclaimed University of St. La Salle Chorale.

Meneil was accompanied by her mother Imelda and uncle Allyn Lopez. Jess’ family led by his parents Mariquita and uncle Inocencio Poquiz, meanwhile, flew all the way from Pangasinan to witness such significant occasion.

They call each other “palangga,” a Hiligaynon word for “my love.”

Meneil is from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental while Jess hails from San Carlos City, Pangasinan. Truly, like their love for each other, the sugar of Negros is as sweet as mangoes of Pangasinan.

“Life took me to places I never imagined, places that brought me happiness and joy, from field work, and beating deadlines. Throughout that journey, I met different people along the way, but life has brought me to your direction,” Meneil told Jess.

“I started from humble beginning full of yearnings, strived to earn my degree, and entered the military. It is a place for my calling to serve my constituents and fulfill my passion to serve my beloved country. I live and enjoy living with people from all walks of life, and there I found you, the one I dreamt as my wife,” Jess responded.

The ceremony did not end with the couple’s first kiss as husband and wife. Some unique features made the celebration more remarkable.

As part of the military custom, the groom went through challenges to show his sincere love to the bride.

For Jess, he made a total of 20 push-ups and squats with Meneil on his back while saying “I love you Meneil.”

The celebration has become more special and memorable as the wedding reception was held at the famous The Ruins in Talisay City. It was like a grand ball in the majestic remains of the ancestral home mansion, one of the province’s tourist attractions.

Families, relatives, friends, and co-workers of Jess and Meneil in the military and media, respectively, again joined them in a sumptuous dinner coupled with music, fun, meaningful messages, and well wishes, among others.

Local news anchor Barbara Mijares, who is like a sister to Meneil, shares how the two met, texted, called and finally liked each other while Lieutenant Romeo Gumiran, a fellow military officer of Jess, revealed the sacrifices of his friend just to sustain the relationship with Meneil amid the challenges of the time and distance.

“We would like to thank everyone for sharing their precious time with us. We are blessed to have you on this journey of life. Thank you for the love and support,” the couple said.

Indeed, Jess and Meneil's love story will make us realize that fairy tale is not just about characters made to live by our creative imaginations. It could also be a magical yet true narrative of how two real people have proven that they are destined for each other.

Their story is a living testament, not a fiction, of how two different worlds crossed paths and embraced each other. They waited for the love to come at the right time. They sacrificed for the love to be preserved all the time. Most of all, they prayed for such timeless love that the two of them truly deserve to have.