Works

Chris & Carisse

One of the most beautiful aspects of love is that it moves in inexplicable ways–in rhythms and motions that no two people can anticipate. I’d like to think that the first stages of being in love can be likened to listening to a song for the very first time. The way you can’t expect how a song to sound the very first time you hear it, that’s how it feels when you’re starting out in a relationship. You never know how the chorus will sound like or how the last note will sound. The highs and lows of the musical melody is unknown to you until you actually listen to it. But one thing you do know is that you know if you like the song or not. If there is enough melody to make you sway or tap your feet or if the harmony is enough to give you goosebumps or maybe rend your heart in a good way. And when you reach the end of that introduction, you know–with all certainty–if you liked the song or not.

In many ways, that was the case with Chris and Carisse. Chris is a member of the Fil-Am musical group called Legaci. He and three other members sang back up for Justin Bieber. They sounded so well (as all Pinoys do) that when Justin heard them sing their own version of “Baby”, Justin knew that he had to have them as his backup singers.

Carisse has been working in the music industry for the longest time so she’s met her fair share of music celebrities during her years. It turned out that an introduction by a friend to Chris through email was actually what would bring these two together. The magic didn’t happen overnight though, as Carisse recalls that she was very cautious of falling in love with a musician who was on a global tour with the biggest act at that time.

Separated by thousands of miles, they recall that they just talked and talked a lot over email, Skype and by any means online. It was one of the necessary but important things that helped them form a friendship as they just relied on communication to build their friendship.

Could you even fathom how hard it was to wait for someone to visit you all the way from the United States just for a single date? Apparently, Chris and Carisse learned the value of waiting. You would think that such a distance would discourage Chris or maybe even be a red flag for Carisse but continuous prayers by the two elicited a common answer from God: “Keep going and just wait.”

For Carisse, it was too much work. The geographical barrier, the difficulty of emotional detachment that comes from the distance, the difference of mindsets going into the relationship. But Chris never gave up–never wavered and because he had the blessing of the Lord to keep on keeping on, he pursued her.

Carisse mentions how important God is within a relationship and says, “He has been our glue, our center, our provider, our counselor, our teacher. He has caused us both to grow so much throughout this process, and we are excited to find out what else He has in store for us! Only God could have orchestrated a story as intricate as this – that it would span several countries, confusing time zones, countless emails and video calls, Justin Bieber, and a LOT of laughter.”

Chris answered the same question by highlighting the role of God in all of this: “God has been in the forefront of our relationship since day one. He’s the main reason why we’re still going strong to this day, despite all the difficulties of sustaining a long distance relationship. He’s held our hands throughout our adventure, and we honestly couldn’t have done it without Him. There were so many times when Carisse and I both wondered if we should keep on going; if we should just call it quits. But it felt as if God was rooting for us… and never gave us a solid sign to stop what we’re doing and move on. He’s taught us patience and to love each other unconditionally, just as He loves us. My story with Carisse is a clear example of God at work.”

The truth is, only a skilled composer can create music so intricate, mysterious and compelling that it just tugs on the heartstrings of everyone within earshot. The love story of Chris & Carisse is no different from an opus because the truth is, the baton never stopped moving in their lives. Every decision, every heartbreak, every wall built and every connection formed led to these two meeting each other and to a beautiful chorus with the crescendo leading up to the altar.

May you find harmony in waiting and beauty in the dips and highs of your own life song. <3

 

 

 


Van & Shirin

We aren’t always aware of it but each and every time we open up to possibilities, we open up to miracles coming in to our lives.

The most mundane things somehow catches us off guard and disarms us for a fleeting moment. A word spoken, a humorous statement shared and even a simple hello, given.

And when Van saw Shirin for the first time at the backrow of grad school, he never knew his life would ever be the same again. First impressions were interesting for Van and it was the piquing of his curiousity that made him sit up a little straighter and look a little longer. Unlie most curiosities, Van’s never fizzled out nor waned. It grew stronger. And he bided his time and like a grandmaster, waited for his opening.

“Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?”

It would’ve been splendid if our hero had delivered that line…and even more epic if our heroine fell for it.

But whatever Van said, it made Shi laugh.

And so the conversation began.

And continued.

And at times when things weren’t going so well, the conversation stopped.

But it would always go back to that simple, “Hey”…that one word or phrase that would always bring them back together. Without complications or commotion, Van and Shi would always talk. And my, how those conversations filled both their days and their hearts.

You look at these photographs and you somehow see the easy part of the process. The “I do”s and the wedding plans–all of those are the crescendo of the relationship. What you and I never hear about are the little whispered promises, the heartfelt messages without emoticons, the emails that were typed in tears and the hands that held each other in silence.

The extravagant parts are the ones that you and I see as guests, relatives, family, co-workers and friends.

But the beautiful parts–the heartbreakingly beautiful ones–those are what hold two people in love together.

Van & Shirin, everybody.

Here’s to a love borne out of hellos and one that would be held together by everything in between.

Main photographer: Toto Villaruel
Videographer: Red Sheep Cinema
Wedding coordination: Wedding Treasures
Catering: Bizu Patisserie
Chalk art: Zeus Martinez

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Peter & Grace

Peter never knew if their paths would ever cross again. It was a difficult decision but it was one that he and Grace had to make simply because it was the wrong time.

I heard that the right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person. I guess it really does hold true for these two as they had to learn to simply accept that they could not cheat both time and themselves.

And so Peter had to say goodbye and Grace had to wait. And their careers had to take centerstage for the meantime. With no promises of waiting, both had to live their own lives and pursue their respective careers.

It is said that time heals all wounds.

But for this couple, it only prepared them for what was to come.

Years passed and their passed crossed again. Both were already emotionally mature and ready to trust again. The broken-hearted boy was now a man in pursuit and the forlorn girl was now a woman.

Instead of promises, this time prayers held their newfound relationship together. An unwavering trust in the Almighty and His timing proved to be worth it in every way. It is through the breakup that both found strength and dependence on Providence and it was through waiting that they found joy in the return to each others’ arms.

Peter quotes a promise in the Bible in the book of Philippians where it says, “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” It is their love overture for the symphony they have found themselves in.

For some people, they fall in love, get engaged, get married and start with their happily ever after.

For Peter and Grace, they had to wait a little. And for them, it made all the difference.

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