Valderrama: Love and loving


True love exists.

It is not just about the emotion or the feeling of excitement whenever you are with someone so special in your heart; it is believing and accepting the other person in all situations, and all those situations matter to you most. It becomes your responsibility.

I saw the image of true love in Benjamin and Elizabeth “Ben and Beth” De Guzman, who celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary and the renewal of their vows on May 4.

The occasion was a testament to unwavering love. Only a few have the opportunity to reach long years of togetherness. Only true love stands the test of time.

Aside from death, some couples separate after a few years, while others are unhappy.  Some still stay together despite not talking to each other much more caring for each other. Others continue to respect the bond, but each day becomes an agony.

But not to Ben and Beth.

Their friends shared how they valued each other while they continued to be the perfect parents to their three daughters and sons-in-law. Stories of love and commitment surrounded the special event. 

They were not just an adorable couple; their love for each other manifests one thing: Love is beyond everything.

Love knows no bounds.

After the renewal of vows presided over by Fr. Pedro Lamata at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish La Verna, two friends shared their experiences with the couple.

Eduardo “Edfer” R. Fernandez, also a dear friend, recounted his experiences, particularly with Ben, who served as City Administrator, Vice Mayor, and Mayor of Davao City.

He said he wants Ben and his family to remember what seems forgotten. He shared how Ben helped him when his wife had cancer. Unexpectedly, out of nowhere, Ben handed him financial support for the chemotherapy sessions.

Ben and Edfer were not close friends yet, and this act became so precious to Edfer as he repeatedly said, “Gratitude is the memory of my heart.”

When Edfer’s wife was dying in the hospital, Ben visited them at almost midnight to give his support. He saw how Ana, his wife, listened elatedly to Ben talking to her in Dabawenyo.

Edfer could not forget how Ben, the mayor at that time, chose to ride in his old car without hesitation. He was humbled. He knew the man had the kindest heart. From there, they became good friends.

Beth’s friend also shared their exciting and funny times. She described the couple as cats and dogs sometimes, but they always miss each other. 

Like in the Korean series, I can liken them to a cute and endearing couple who would always look for each other.

Yes, love is always beyond words, explanations, and expectations. It comes, and true love never goes.

Some couples would say they love their partner but stopped caring for each other. Meaningless and superficial.

The moment we establish a relationship, we load it with expectations. It’s being like this and like that, doing this and that, making this and that.

Love is about giving and not expecting anything in return. It is about understanding and thinking of the other’s welfare.

Love is accepting all situations – the past, present, and future.

And this is Ben and Beth. True love exists.


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