THE movies “A Walk To Remember,” “The Notebook,” “A Second Chance” and “When Harry Met Sally,” to name a few, all have a special spot in every romantic comedy fan’s heart. These stories have fans wishing they could have that kind of love in real life.
But here’s a tale that is actually real with a more complicated twist than those in movies, and is more swoon-worthy: Two old lovers found their way back to each other and finally tied the knot (minus the sweeping background music and slow-motion) because, as they say, “Love is sweeter the second time around.”
Irene Kaye Cabilao and Rhonell Tiu met between 2006 and 2007 at a car show in Ayala Center Cebu. Rhonell still remembers how he was in awe of Irene Kaye’s beauty.
“She was the prettiest girl there, and I was just wearing a plain shirt, dirty jeans and a pair of slippers when we first met,” he said.
Both fell for each other and in their seventh year, as a result of their unconditional love, their son was born. Similar to love stories and fictional plots, the couple hit a rough patch and unfortunately called it quits.
As time would prove, their love for each other was stronger than any circumstance and it made them rekindle the flame and get back together with clear minds and open hearts after five years of being apart.
Rhonell proposed to Irene Kaye twice. The first time was on the day before Christmas in 2020, and the second was on the day before Valentine’s Day this year. He arranged a surprise romantic dinner date at Circa 1900 with the help of Cebu Unique Weddings and Events.
On May 16, just before the sun set, they finally exchanged “I do’s” and pledged to take each other, to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do them part, in front of God and the people they love.
The newlyweds shared some love advice, and what it’s like to get hitched during a pandemic.
SunStar LIVE! (SL): “How have your notions of what it means to love and be loved changed over your lifetime?”
Irene Kaye (IK): “When I was young and naive, I thought that love is just all about having him, being with him and being happy with him every day. But after everything we’ve been through and as the years passed, I realized love and being loved is not just about possession of someone and not just about happy times and romantic moments. It is far more complex yet more beautiful and deeper than that.”
Rhonell (R): “I didn’t learn things about love and life overnight. As I was getting more mature and as life was hitting me with reality and throwing curveballs at me, it was only then that I was slowly realizing things and I was starting to ask myself what kind of man I really wanted to be. Then I realized that the only man I really want to be is the man who deserves Kaye’s love.”
SL: “How did you know that he/she was the one?”
IK: “This may sound cliche, but the moment I first saw him at the car show, I knew right then and there that he is the one I will be loving forever.”
R: “As years went by, and after losing her for five years, I realized that she’s the only one I want to spend the rest of my life with. Like they say, ‘You never know what you have until it’s gone.’ I am just so lucky and glad that God and destiny gave me a second chance to win my true love back.”
SL: “How was it like to wed during a pandemic?”
R: “Not easy!”
IK: “I guess the protocols, the fear of getting the virus every time we’d go out to arrange the wedding and the limitations of some things that we used to enjoy freely but cannot anymore due to Covid-19 made it a bit harder and challenging.”
SL: “What advice can you give those who are looking for ‘the one’ and to future brides/grooms?”
IK: “For me, before looking for the one, you have to find yourself first. This mistake almost made me and my partner lose each other forever. It takes maturity, understanding, patience, honesty, trust, effort, genuine love and above all, prayers and faith in God to make a relationship work. True love still exists. And true love will always win. Just keep the faith and love and keep improving yourself. God will lead ‘the one’ to you when he sees that both of you are finally ready.
R: “Just wait. Be patient. The right one will come along someday. And once you meet her, never let her go. Man up and never waste your chance.” S
Coordinator: Carlo Abaquita (Unique
Weddings and Events)
Bride’s Gown and Groom’s Suit: Danny Booc (House of Ozar)
Accessories and Masks: Monch Ceballos (MC Bling Accessories)
Make-up: King Amante
Photographer: Hafid Caballes (Pidography)
Videographer: Team Panda Films
Venue: Chateau de Busay