December 17, 2020

Love in the Time of Corona

#WERealWeddings featuring JOSE GABRIEL H. REYES and KYNA C. PASAMBA

I’ve always loved romance. Romance in music, literature, art, films—you name it. Growing up, I always dreamt about what my own romance would be like. I had the unconditional love of my family & friends, and to me that was more than enough, but I was genuinely curious about what it felt like to meet my soulmate.

I thought meeting my soulmate would make my heart race, but when I met Dappy, it was different. Yes, my heart did race, but it settled and I felt peace, as if it was meant to be.

We began planning the wedding in December 2019, but in March came the pandemic. No one could have prepared for that.

I’ve heard of other couples that postponed their wedding because of the constant and  rapid changes in the government’s pandemic protocol. The uncertainties and risks can be so overwhelming, and I understand why some people wouldn’t want to go through that for a once-in-a-lifetime event. But as months passed, I grew more and more sure of October 10th. At a time when people not only lose livelihood but even their sense of purpose, I found that the wedding now has a chance to mean something more.

At this point, it was no longer just about Dappy and I. It was going to become our love letter to our family & friends, a reminder that love persists even in the most difficult times, and that joy is always present if we look hard enough.

We wanted our guests to have something to look forward to, but laying the groundwork for the strict implementation of health & safety protocol was of utmost importance to us. From social distancing to proper sanitation, this was by far the most challenging aspect of our journey.

Dappy and I have always been a team, but the preparations for our special day made us a stronger tandem. The result? We learned that there’s no need to postpone milestones. Everything can be celebrated in our own way as long as we are willing to persevere and adapt.

At the St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish in Magallanes, a carefully selected total of 45 of our closest family & friends gathered for our ceremony. To see all our loved ones that day in one place had us beaming. Months of this New Normal and Dappy and I were granted a moment of our old normal as we glanced upon all the faces that brought us joy over the years.

The walk down the aisle was an experience I’ll never forget. Underscored by a live rendition of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Iniibig Kita” as my bridal march, I entered the Church in a gown fit for a queen. One that not only made me feel beautiful, but gave me a sense of security on this very emotional but joyous occasion. It was as though I had stepped into the romantic fantasy I’ve been dreaming of since I was young.

Halfway down the aisle, I tried my best not to tear up at the sight of my father as he waited for me so he can give me away to my husband. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life from school graduations and academic accolades, to passing the Bar Exam, and working in the highest court in the country; but there’s absolutely no comparison to his look of love and pride in that one unforgettable moment.

My mother and father are one of the main reasons why I pushed for this wedding to happen. I wanted them to witness their only daughter find happiness the way they had always wanted.

I was so touched by how every guest remained cautious and respectful of the guidelines, sitting safely apart from each other with their masks on at all times. They all did their very best to do their part without taking away the solemnity of the event.

Solemnity—the perfect word to describe the tone my father’s ensemble of talented musicians had set for us in the Church. It amplified the feeling that God granted us the grace to enjoy this day despite all that’s going on in the world. The fact that the soundtrack of my marriage to Dappy was curated and prepared by my own dad made it all the more special.

Another beautiful moment was having my uncle, Fr. Joel Cariaso, also my godfather at my baptism, preside over my wedding. His words will stick with Dappy & I until our old age, a guiding light for our marriage, “…and now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

It wasn’t long before the heartwarming and solemn ambience of the ceremony at the Church had transformed into the buzzing, excitable atmosphere of the reception at the heart of one of the metro’s most beautiful hotels.

Mindful and vigilant, while implementing strict health and safety protocols, the staff dedicated to our wedding festivities made all our guests feel so at home. By the time we’d marched in for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Reyes, Dappy & I were pleasantly startled by the explosion of energy.

We walked right into our own mini wonderland adorned in greenery and gold, which was brightly lit yet still so intimate.

Dappy’s Best Man, Lawrence, and my Maid of Honor, Corky, both delivered touching speeches, followed by hilarious and heartwarming words from my brother, Atty. Ronald Pasamba, who also serenaded us with a medley of songs he prepared just for that night.

It’s been years since my dad picked up his violin, but in this private dinner, he moved everyone to tears with his solo violin performance of “Sana’y Wala ng Wakas”. Followed by touching speeches by my husband’s dad and sister that made me truly feel like we now had one big happy family.

To wrap up the celebration, Dappy & I finally surrendered to the moment during our first dance to our theme song, “Tuwing Umuulan” by Ryan Cayabyab.

Dappy and I are so sure about our love for each other that the grandeur of the wedding was not a priority. All we wanted was to have those dearest to us be healthy and happy as they witnessed us celebrate our union. Our love story finds fulfillment in the presence of our loved ones. Without them, we would have never been able to celebrate our love in the time of Corona.

Dappy and Kyna’s DREAM TEAM: Church: St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish Church, Makati City | Ceremony: Hua Yuan Brasserie, Hilton Hotel, Newport City| Caterer: Hua Yuan Brasserie, Hilton Hotel,  | Coordinator: Liza Lugue-Alviedo of 717 Events Inc. / Kasalan Coordination Services | Cake: Hearts and Bells| Invites: The Write Impression| Event Stylist: Randy Lazaro | Photographer: JC Tee of JCTEE Photography  | Videographer: Phoeben Teocson Cinema | Gown designer: Francis Libiran Bridal | Suit designer: Francis Libiran  | Live-stream Video: Picsure Cinema  | Music/Entertainment: Bernie Pasamba and the Music Masters 

WE Real Weddings 2020 is available for download at Magzter and Press Reader

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