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The Love Story of Edric and Joy Mendoza

Edric and Joy Mendoza in Paris 2012; Inset – on their wedding day July 22, 2001.

It’s Valentine week and today I take a break from the FQ questions to tell you a love story. Well, it’s still related to FQ because it’s the love story of the host of ANC’s show On The Money Edric Mendoza and his lovely wife Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza. So sit back and enjoy this article with an open heart.

 First Meeting & Courtship

“I first noticed Joy walking around at the Ateneo campus. She was very pretty, half American as her mom’s a blue-eyed blonde. But it was like this girl’s out of my league! So I really didn’t have any intention of courting her, she was a major heartthrob!” recalls Edric about his first sight of Joy.

 On Joy’s part she shares, “When I first saw Edric, I thought this guy’s cute, good-looking. He was a campus crush!”

 Despite the seemingly “crush at first sight” mutually experienced by Edric and Joy, it was when they became classmates in Psychology that they started to really like each other. “Joy was very interesting and was always interested even in our small talks.” shares Edric.  Joy says the same about him, “Edric was very sincere, not pretentious and what made the difference was that we were able to connect on a deeper level. Our conversations were not the typical college conversation about people, ideas and other shallow stuff, but we were able to discuss about our relationship with God.”

 Joy is the daughter of Pastor Peter Tan-Chi and her mom was a missionary from Florida. The Edric-Joy friendship deepened and they dated for years. I asked them how they celebrated their Valentine’s Days when they were still in the courtship stage. Joy said that Edric was, and still is, the romantic type, be it Valentine’s Day, birthday or even ordinary days.

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 One time when Joy’s family was coming home from Baguio, Edric wanted to surprise her with a big gift. So he was coordinating with Joy’s siblings via text. The problem was they got stuck in traffic longer than expected. When Joy finally arrived home she found a big box waiting for her, “There’s this big box, a refrigerator box wrapped like a gift which was kinda moving and then all of a sudden, Edric pops out of it all sweaty holding a big teddy bear and roses for me!”

 Listening to their narration of their love story was like watching a Star Cinema Valentine offering and I didn’t even have to imagine any actor or actress playing their roles because these two good-looking people could definitely rival our current breed of young actors and actresses in the looks department.

 And as in any Star Cinema love story there has to be a crisis. After about two and a half years as a couple they decided to break up! Bam! Why? Did he have to go away for work? Did her parents not approve of him? Or, if you go the route of current movie trends, is one of them having an affair with the other’s parent? Good grief the answer is NO!

 The reason for their break-up is their serious relationship with God. It’s interesting that they were initially attracted to each other because of their individual closeness to God and now their break-up is also because of their relationship with God. Ok, stay with me here as it may be a bit confusing. Better yet let’s hear it from the horses’ mouths:

 Joy: We were at that point when we were discerning about marriage. We were still young, right out of college. And we really wanted to make sure if marriage was God’s plan for us. We were the type of couple who wanted to get married early and have a family early so we really didn’t want to wait too long. At the same time we were struggling with purity in our relationship. And we just felt that if we really wanted to honor God and wanted Him to bless our relationship, then it might be best to take a pause and really pray about it. It was possible that we wanted to get married just because we were emotionally involved and not necessarily obeying the will of God.

 Edric: This is how I explain it to people. It’s like having an internship with a company and you want to know whether that company is for you. It’s very hard to decide during the internship because you’re fully immersed in it. So in the same way when Joy & I wanted to know if we were meant for each other in marriage, we felt that it was good for us to have an objective perspective. What Joy shared that we had our struggle with purity in our relationship is something very personal. We thought then, “How can we go to God and ask Him for His blessing right now if we’re not even staying pure in His eyes?” That was a big reason why we needed to call off the relationship and really just spend time apart from each other.

 Joy clarifies, “When we said we were struggling with purity, in today’s eyes, that might sound like we were sleeping together. We weren’t.” Edric helps the clarification, “Honestly, it’s everything but that. And who were we fooling?”

 To this couple purity is being able to say to God that their relationship was honoring Him and since both of them didn’t feel that anymore, they decided to have a, what they call, purposeful break up.

 Maybe parents of teenagers with boyfriends and girlfriends should share this story with them. I think it’s a good reminder in setting the limits in the intimacy of relationships.

 During the break-up period they didn’t date other people but Edric volunteered that there were guys who courted Joy. The time apart from each other allowed both of them to really think about and pray for their relationship. Edric was also able to set his financial milestones at that time because his prayer was that when they would get back together, it would be their marriage.

Edric and Joy in a party

 Marriage

Prayers were answered, financial milestones were met so when they saw each other again after six months, the two love birds reconciled and immediately got engaged. They got married on July 22, 2001 at the Tagaytay Midlands at the age of 25. Edric was proud to say that he spent for their wedding. And his added detail made me reminisce our own wedding because we implemented the same modus operandi. Here it goes: Usually, our parents want to invite their own guests to our wedding and since it’s also their party, we want to accommodate their guests too. The way to do this without upsetting our wedding budget is to ask our parents to spend for the dinner (or lunch or whatever meal) of their guests who are not in our original list. This way everyone’s happy!

 This discipline with expenses was a good start off point for the couple who recalled with fondness how they lived within their means. At the start they even sat on boxes because there was hardly any furniture in their condo. But that was more fun than a problem.

 The challenges came in the form of clashing personalities. Edric is a first born and his younger sisters always deferred to him for decisions while Joy is the oldest girl, the Ate in the family. So the conflicts arose because both were headstrong and opinionated. But these were resolved in the counseling on marriage principles and marital roles. Edric learned more about his role as the leader, provider, lover and how to be more understanding to his wife. Joy, on the other hand, learned more about her role as a helpmate - submissive and respectful of the leadership of her husband.

Edric and Joy with kids Elijah, Edan, Titus, Tiana

Homeshooling and Dreams

They now have four children going five in August - quite a big size using today’s standards. And top that with the fact that they are homeschooling their children and intend to do so until high school. Joy takes care of the academic subjects and Edric takes care of the character, mentoring of the boys and sports.

I asked if Edric includes Financial Literacy as part of the curriculum and he said yes. He teaches them about the principles of money along with the values of stewardship.

They champion homeschooling because they feel that this is the best way to impart their values to their children Elijah, Edan, Titus, Tiana and the 5th baby coming soon. Even if homeschooling can give the parents an opportunity to save on costs, the couple doesn’t want to highlight it as the most important benefit. In fact, they pointed out that homeschooling can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. You may save on tuition (P25,000 per family and P5,000 per child on materials at The Master’s Academy) or even free if you don’t enroll with any homeschool, but you may also spend a lot on extracurricular activities and travel which form part of homeschool education. They warn parents that if cost cutting is their main objective in homeschooling they may not last as they’ve seen in some cases. Edric shares, “Some would say, ‘Homeschool na lang para tipid,’ and then they don’t last and they end up enrolling their kids in public schools.”

As one of my wrap up questions I asked, “How has Edric’s showbiz career affected the family?” Well, for one, in the recent Survey of the Top 10 Cutest Newsmen Edric was voted number one and this was just a few weeks after the initial airing of On The Money. They both laughed and then Joy said, “Well, he’s still the same man I married, in fact, an upgraded version. Even if others may have a crush on him I still feel secure because I know he loves God, the kids and me, so I’ve not really thought about it as a threat.”

We ended up our happy conversation with this question: What’s your big dream? They both answered that if they had one big dream, it’s changing the world for Christ by starting off with their own, by focusing on their family. Edric dreams to raise his children to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Everything that he does, his hard work and other matters are all toward this goal. For Joy’s part, she wants to leave a legacy of children who love God above all and she sees her work of homeschooling as her means to this dream.

I was inspired and blessed talking to this happy and handsome couple who has lived by their principles from the start of their relationship and are now raising their children by the same principles of loving God above all else. I hope you were too!

Happy Valentine to all!

Rose

(Rose Fres Fausto is the author of the book Raising Pinoy Boys. Click this link to download free book sample To read her other articles go to www.RaisingPinoyBoys.com archive. Send your questions via email to maryrose_fausto@yahoo.com or text to 0927-5159011.)

This article is also published in RaisingPinoyBoys.com

Read Joy's blog TeachWithJoy.com 

Photo Credit: Photos were provided by Edric and Joy Mendoza.

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