Tears of joy, lots of love at Boracay beach wedding

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2015 - 9:00am

When her and Remy Monteverde’s grandson Keith Ryan exchanged vows with Taipei-born Winni Wang at the Shangri-La Boracay last Saturday, Nov. 14, Regal Matriarch Mother Lily couldn’t stop crying.

“I was moved by their vows,” confessed Mother Lily.

Keith, 32, a lawyer who graduated cum laude from Boston University (with a Masters of Law from UC Hastings), was the first of the seven Monteverde grandchildren to get married. He met Winni, a doctor-pharmacist, in L.A. where they are working, going steady for four years.

“I made sure that the wedding would be held at a beach because Keith is a beach-lover,” said Mother Lily.

Keith asked Winni’s hand in marriage from her parents during their engagement in Taipei.

“He informed us about the engagement only after it was done,” said Keith’s mom Roselle. “Keith is so independent-minded, very self-reliant.”

What was Mother Lily’s gift to the couple?







“Tears and love,” she joked, then laughed. At the reception, she danced with Keith to the tune of Que Sera Sera.

Lolit Solis, one of the guests, also shed tears.

“I wasn’t the only one,” she qualified. “Kahit sinong tingnan ko, umiiyak. So touching ang ceremony.”

Lolit has interesting anecdotes about Robina Gokongwei-Pe and Irene Tan-Luy, two of the principal sponsors. Robina’s family owns Cebu Pacific and Irene’s owns Philippine Airlines (PAL).

“When we checked in at NAIA for the flight to Boracay,” related Lolit, “I saw Robina and Irene falling in line just like the other passengers. There was an announcement that the Cebupac flight was delayed due to a bird that got caught in the engine. Robina joked, ‘At least, bird; hindi snake.’ She was referring to the wild rumor that there was a snake, kambal daw niya, at a dressing room of the Gokongwei-owned Robinsons Malls. Nang pumasok kami sa plane, the flight attendant told Irene to place her bag at the overhead bin at sumunod naman siya. They are so humble.”

Here’s Keith’s thank-you speech that left not a pair of eyes dry:

On behalf of my wife, I would like to thank you for coming today and spending this day with us. This is the most important day of our lives, and seeing everyone here brings a warm feeling in our hearts, and the joy we feel is overwhelming. Many of you traveled very far. We sincerely appreciate all of you being here. Winni and I are truly humbled by your love and support. We cannot thank everyone enough.

We have a few specific thank you’s that we would like to make.

The first one is to my grandfather Remy. As some of you know, I spent a good deal of my childhood in Manila. And every time I think about those times, I think about my grandfather first. I didn’t have a lot of friends but it didn’t really matter. Every Sunday, we would play basketball in the morning, went to church, ate at a buffet, and watched a movie. That was our schedule every Sunday. I asked once why he did that. He said he didn’t want me to be lonely, and wanted to give me something that I could always count on.

And today, despite everything my grandfather, forever thoughtful and caring, willed himself to make it here to support not only me but my wife. We thank you so much, Grandpa.

The second person I’d like to thank is my grandmother. When she first met Winni, grandma surprised Winni with her love and energy. She gave her a big hug and chatted her up. By the end of the day, she was calling her “grand daughter” and welcomed her to the family. When we got engaged she was so happy that she bought Winni a nice present and forgot about me. I think this sums up my grandmother --- someone who is so hopeful, so accepting, and so generous. Winni and I would like to thank you for being there for us, Grandma. You are a true inspiration for us both.?Finally, I’d like to thank my mom Roselle. Wow, we’ve come pretty far haven’t we? Wedding planning was tough, but in the end I really enjoyed it. Here’s why?It’s been a while since my mom and I worked on something together. I still remember when you use to help me with my homework, school projects, and cheering for me at basketball games. Despite being a busy woman, when I think back, you were still there next to me every step of the way. So it’s only fitting that you and I got to work together on this wedding weekend and planning all the details.

Everything we did this weekend including last night and tonight, was due to the efforts of my mom. Thank you for everything, Mom. You are a tremendous role model for both me and Winni, and you will be a great role model for our child three to four years from now.

The newly-weds left a day after the wedding lest they be caught by the expected APEC-related traffic jam and cancelled flights. After their honeymoon (in Seoul), Keith and Winni will settle down in San Francisco. Photos courtesy of Girlie Rodis & Roselle Monteverde


(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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