LAST December 18, 2018, Azuela Cove’s Triangle Gardens witnessed an intimate gathering of friends, relatives and family members of Joanne Domingo and Dexter Latayan who tied the knot in a solemn outdoor ceremony inside the tree-shaded park.

Joanne was my college classmate and Dexter was one batch higher during my high school days in Ateneo de Davao. Joanne and I would reconnect with college friends later on engaging in the bacon business. Joanne’s family is the maker of the famous Larry’s Homemade Bacon.

I was a partial witness to their love story. The two met at a dinner party with our group and there sparks flew, Dexter fell in love with the enigmatic businesswoman and pursued her.

“He asked if he could add me on Facebook the first time we met. I said yes even before I knew who he was and what he was up to. Or even, why. No reason. We hardly knew each other. But in the cacophony of the bar that night, we would just look at each other and there would be calm,” recalls Joanne.

It was what you call serendipity as way back as kids they had crossed paths. Joanne’s family transferred to a home once owned by Dexter’s family, her older brother was Dexter’s classmate while their moms are longtime friends.

“It was God’s perfect time,” Joanne describes their relationship which took a new page with their wedding. Despite years of being single and searching, two seemingly distant people found familiar connection and subsequently love in unexpected circumstances.

The wedding entourage was composed of Joann and Dexter’s family and friends led by the groom’s parents Ariel and Janette Latayan, Dex’s siblings Anna Janina and Michael Jonathan the bride’s parents Romualdo and Dina Domingo, Joanne’s siblings John Paul, John Philip and Jasper Patrick.

Dex had his barkada from way back in Ateneo de Davao high while Joanne had her friends from Ateneo de Davao, Philippine Women’s College and Davao City National High School. The Matron-of-honor, Mayor Sara Duterte, was Joanne’s classmate during their grade school days in PWC.

Genevieve Ann Cruz was the Maid of Honor while the Best Man was Jerico Santos, Dexter’s best pal way back in Ateneo. Groomsmen include Juan Karloz Alba, Lloyd Francis Braganza, Carlo Magno Cruz, Jasper Patrick Domingo, John Philip Domingo, Michael Jonathan Latayan, and Michael Montebon.

Bridesmaids were Karen Pasco, Lirio T. Dondoy, Maria Guadalupe Magallanes, Gladize Divinagracia, Sachi Domingo, Cherry Ann Z. Diaz and Reggie Solana.

Candle sponsors were Patrick Andreas Patey and Anna Janina Latayan, Veil were JP Domingo and Donabelle Marie Domingo, Cord sponsors were Rey Divinagracia and Rosanna Divinagracia. Bible bearer was Don Miguel Domingo, Ring Bearer was Brent Isaac Obellanida, Coin bearer was Javier Francisco Aranas, Flower girls were Mia Olivia Veloso, Makaila Vonne Espero, Angelia Divinagracia.

Wedding sponsors included President Rodrigo Duterte, Congressman Antonio Floirendo, Leticia dela Paz, Elizabeth Zimmerman Duterte, Nicolas Divinagracia, Mary Ann Montemayor, Nelia Frances Llanto, Ethel Ampil, Ruben G. Santos, Genesis Goldi Colingan.

The reception was held at Enderun Tent also inside Azuela Cove where guests where shown the couple’s montage of photos and video created by Organic Studios and Monochrome Studios (for video). Joanne’s high school buddy Dan Salvaña, the man behind Salvo Events, made the magical day possible.