Today I’m still on cloud nine from saying “I do” last Sunday for the fifth time to my favorite person in the world! To those who still don’t know my peculiarity of being a serial bride, I’ve said “I do” to my husband Marvin five times already! And I’ve also made it a part of the renewal tradition to wear my original wedding gown. ?
Today we are on a “quickie honeymoon cum detox” in Tagaytay. Yes, that’s how middle-aged honeymoon can go especially since we declared #HealthyToThirty last year as we prepared for our Pearl Wedding Anniversary.
For today’s article I wish to share with you the wonderful homily of my favorite Jesuit, Fr. Johnny Go of the Society of Jesus. He was a long time president of Xavier School where my two sons finished high school. This multi-awarded Jesuit who has authored books, written songs, and educated thousands of students, is now the director of Ateneo SALT Institute. SALT stands for Science and Art for Learning and Teaching.
Here’s his heartwarming and entertaining homily.
30th Anniversary of Marvin and Rose Homily – by Fr. Johnny Go, S.J.
I wanted to check if the 30 years that Marvin and Rose have spent together are really a big deal, so I decided to give them a quiz. The quiz consisted of two questions that they were supposed to answer separately, without consulting each other and without peeking into one another’s answers. In other words, no cheating.
The questions are quite simple. The first question is: Out of the millions of people in this world, why did you have to pick this one?
And the second question is: After thirty years of marriage, why did you choose to stay with this one?
I know they didn’t cheat because their answers were so different from each other. Marvin’s response to each question was a sober one-liner that amounted to much fewer than 280 characters. He could have tweeted both answers and added a dozen emojis, and Twitter would still accept it. Rose’s answers, on the other hand, are at least one paragraph-long each, with lots of hahaha and lots of emojis.
Do you want to find out their answers?
So, when asked why she picked Marvin out of the millions, here’s Rose’s answer verbatim:
Well, I didn’t get to meet the rest of the billions, hahaha!
Seriously, way back then, the way we had fun being together gave me a clear preview of how great a life with him will be – he’s always smiling with his bedimpled face, always positive, making me feel and know that life adventures and challenges would be best shared with him.
Great answer, right?
Now here’s Marvins’ response: She makes me happy.
For the second question, this is how Rose responded. Why did you choose to stay with this one? Because there is NO REASON why I shouldn’t! ? Any woman whose husband declares to the world that his purpose in life is to make her happy is a fool not to take good care of their marriage. I actually thank God every day for what we have, and I pray that I will never get tired or I will never forget being grateful for what we have – a great marriage, three wonderful sons, meaningful work, family & friends, material blessings, and more.
Another great answer.
Here’s Marvin’s response: She makes me a better person.
I think just from their answers, we already know one secret to this 30-year marriage right there: Marvin lets Rose do all the talking!
But seriously, did you notice that while the style of their responses was lightyears apart, their content — what they were, in fact, saying — couldn’t really have been more similar? Being happy, sharing a great life together, growing better, staying positive, feeling grateful. These are words that we’re sure to find if there ever was a recipe to a happy marriage. These would be what we can consider the secret ingredients of relationships that last.
And to think Marvin and Rose never even met in Ateneo the whole time they were both going there for college. Either they were too busy studying or too busy dating other people!
Also, to think that when they finally met, they were already in committed relationships with other people.
So I asked them to share their story with me–again, separately–and since this day is a special celebration of their love story, I’d like to share it with you.
Their story began one afternoon back in 1985, when Marvin, two years after graduating from college, walked into the Far East Bank Head Office in Intramuros from a client call and took notice of the new girl in the office. That was the very first time he laid eyes on Rose, who was then a new recruit attending her very first day of work.
To this day, Rose insists that Marvin was literally staring at her the whole time even as he walked away, and she always teased him about being attracted to her at first sight. But Marvin would always deny it. Sabi nga ni Rose, sa deathbed na lang niya siguro aaminin.
Well, Rose, here’s something that will finally settle the case: Marvin begins his account of your first meeting by saying: “The first time I met Rose at the office, I was already attracted to her. She was cute, funny and intelligent.”
The two quickly ended up in the same office barkada. They had a “baon gang” who brought their lunch and consumed it together in their conference room, where they discussed their credit study assignments and made fun of their bosses. That group had so much fun together that their barkada also went out on weekends and in the summer. Needless to say, all this time spent during and after office hours made Rose and Marvin really good friends.
Rose enjoyed talking with Marvin not only because he was intelligent but also because he was funny. They swapped their love stories with other people, so long before they dated, Marvin already knew all of Rose’s idiosyncrasies and pet peeves about dating–like how she was allergic to latecomers, how she wants her dates not to arrive too early, but right on the dot, and how she likes to be pakipot.
As it came to pass, for different reasons, they both later found themselves single and available. After going out on a few dates, Marvin woke up one morning just exhausted, and then it occurred to him, “Why not Rose?” After all, she too by then had broken up with her boyfriend and they always enjoyed each other’s company. So just like that, he asked her, “Tayo kaya ang mag-date?”
For both, the transition from “non-dating friends” to “dating friends” was, as expected, initially awkward, but since they already knew each other well, they didn’t have to go through all the usual rituals of having to put your best foot forward. In fact, according to Marvin, it was easy for him to fall in love with Rose. And it wasn’t too hard for Rose either since Marvin by this time knew all her dating do’s and don’ts and applied them all. For example, he always made sure to be on time. Whenever they had a date, he would arrive early, pick a lamp post at a nearby street and read a magazine to while away the time and to make sure that when he rang the doorbell, he would be right on the dot–just the way Rose likes it.
It also helped that they are, upon their own admission, both romantic–maybe even to the point of being corny. After about a year, Marvin made what he claims was the most important decision of his life. He decided to propose marriage to Rose. After dessert, he offered her a ring asking her to be his partner for life. Rose did not immediately say “Yes”–after all, she was only 24 then, and after all that’s just Rose being pakipot so it didn’t really bother Marvin. He knew it was just a matter of time.
He was right. After about a week, he received a white rose from her with a card that simply said, “Yes.”
So 30 years later, here we are with Marvin and Rose, and their three sons, Martin, Enrique, and Anton.
So what’s their secret?
It’s interesting, but for both of them, it wasn’t just the feeling of love. That’s important, of course, but I don’t think that was the crucial factor. Rather, it was a decision they each made 30 years ago.
For Marvin, it was the decision to make it his goal in life to make Rose happy. He never forgot a wise piece of advice that he had received: “Happy wife, happy life.” Since he wanted a happy life, he made sure all his decisions would make Rose, the love of his life, happy. For example, no matter how busy they got, he made sure they continued to go out on dates every week. As a result, the 30 years he has spent with Rose have, for Marvin, been–and I quote–“the happiest and most fulfilling days of his life.
Rose, on the other hand, made the decision to work hard for a happy marriage. All the years they were together, she refused to settle for anything less. She didn’t want a corny or “pwede na” marriage. And she certainly did her share. When they had their second child, Enrique, she decided to give up her career to devote her total attention to raising their children. She also focused on managing their finances well.
Which brings me to another thing that contributed to this marriage. Marvin and Rose both have high FQs. In short, parehong kuripot.
Joking aside, the way Rose puts it is that they started with little in their Balance Sheet, but they built it together by making joint decisions.
There’s so much more to their story, but I will leave the juicy bits for the speeches later. For now, I just would like to say that while I knew Marvin as a batchmate in college, I only got to know them as a couple when they were Xavier parents. Even then, I knew there was something special about their relationship. Parang laging bagong kasal. I am happy to be part of this celebration.
Our Lord said in today’s Gospel – “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.“
Thank you, Marvin and Rose, for showing us that it pays to put our heart in the things that matter. Thank you for the gift of your love for one another, for showing the world that at a time when people too easily give up on forever, how possible it is and how wonderful it is to be in an enduring and committed love relationship.
Rose and Marvin, we, your friends and family, assure you of our continued prayers and support.
1. Mom and Son Podcast – Season 3 Episode 7 (THE SECRET TO 30 YEARS OF MARRIAGE)
We are celebrating 30 years of marriage! Today Anton interviews me and my favorite person in the world. We talk about our love story, how we keep the passionate fire in our love alive. We share how we face challenges and what mindset we have when it comes to making a marriage work.
Stream the full episode through these links:
(originally uploaded in Anton Fausto’s Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/s00UJH2waMs)
2. Thanks to those who already bought the FQ Book, especially to those who took the time out to send me their feedback. Your feedback is food for my soul. To those who have not gotten their copy yet, here’s a short preview of FQ: The nth Intelligence
3. Want to know where your FQ stands? Take the FQ Test Challenge now! Click link. http://rebrand.ly/FQTest
Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The nth Intelligence.