The rings that bind
FAMILY JEWELS - Michelle Dayrit-Soliven (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2019 - 12:00am

My life as a jeweler is most fulfilling because of the joy that fine jewels bring to so many couples in love! Every ring created is a love story in the making. To be able to participate in the creation of beautiful dreams come true, to witness the highest moments of jubilation and marital bliss is a joyful privilege that my siblings and I truly treasure.

Choosing an engagement ring can be an exciting yet daunting chore for a man who often starts by asking himself: What size and what kind of ring will she like? The best part of this activity is that true love is, first and foremost, his inspiration, motivation and binding factor. So, ultimately, it is not the size that matters. Big or small, it is a precious gift given with such great love that it will surely melt the heart of the woman who loves him back. More importantly, the engagement ring represents a man’s deep desire to bind himself to the woman he chooses to marry. His commitment is the ultimate gift. The ring is secondary but yes, it is a very welcome gift of love.

After the proposal, the engaged couple agree on a wedding date. They will need a pair of wedding bands to exchange during the wedding ceremony when they finally say their I dos. The wedding rings are used as symbols of eternal love that come with a promise to bind their hearts and souls forever.

Next question is “Where to begin?”  Well there is a wealth of choices available. But I have some interesting advice, romantic stories to share and oh, a bit of warning. Look for someone you can trust since there are many synthetics in the market today. To be safe, please deal with a reliable person to ensure authenticity of the ring. I have one very helpful tip: don’t do it alone. Accept the help of someone who cares like your mom, sister or best friend.  Before you start scouting for the perfect engagement ring, another important tip: you must know her correct ring size, please. Believe it or not, this is a common problem. A man is not familiar with the ring size.

 I fondly recall how HR director/model Hans Montenegro’s sweet loving mom Rose Montenegro helped him to find the perfect “Will you marry me” ring for the woman of his dreams. He thoughtfully prepared a very romantic proposal for, model/interior designer Marilen Faustino on a sandbar in majestic Palawan with the help of the entire El Nido resort staff. Hans got down on his knee at sunset, ardently asked her to be his wife as he presented her with a beautiful emerald-cut diamond ring. She cried, they tearfully embraced and jubilantly called her parents. Hans then designed the wedding bands, which they exchanged in an amazing beach wedding in Cebu.

Pretty CNN Philippines anchor Ria Tanjuatco Trillo’s engagement ring was the collaboration of her husband Meralco Bolts assistant coach Luigi Trillo and her mom Cora Tanjuatco, who helped him find the precious piece. It was heartwarming to see the love of Cora for her daughter and son-in-law through the excitement she exuded while pre-choosing the ring. A one-carat brilliant-cut diamond ring on a white gold setting.

Sometimes men need not go far to look. Perhaps your mother or grandmother may already have a ring waiting to pass on to the next bride to be. Remember the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians? Eleanor Young (played by Michelle Yeoh) handed down her gorgeous green emerald ring, a family heirloom, to her son Nicholas Young (Henry Golding) as a sign of acceptance and approval for his lady love Rachel Chu (Constance Wu). Likewise, my youngest sister Yvonne was honored to receive a diamond engagement ring from her husband Pael Romualdez because the ring was a gift of love from his mom, Cristina Carlos. The oval-shaped diamond is a binding symbol of love that has spanned three generations.  

Not all engagement rings are necessarily white diamonds, by the way. We fondly recall the day Sponge Cola vocalist Yael Yuzon chose a striking blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring for lovable singer, actress and TV host Karylle. 

When it comes to wedding bands. It’s the endearing line, “Honey, what do you want?” that comes to our minds.  This is what veteran actress Boots Anson Roa lovingly asked her fiancé lawyer  King Rodrigo when it was time to decide on designs for their wedding bands.

Engagements bind the hearts not only of the bride and groom but also their respective families. My brother-in-law who works for the World Bank in Washington, lawyer Dennis Soliven, hosted a dinner party with both clans in complete attendance and there, on bended knees in front of everyone, professed his love as he slid the ring on the love of his life Celeste Alinea’s finger. We were so charmed by the talented and prayerful Alinea clan. Their youngest sister Marela even performed a song-and-dance impersonation of her idol Gary Valenciano. We all fell in love not only with my sister-in-law Celeste but with her entire family as well.

Master Filipino furniture artist Benjie Reyes recently surprised his charming wife Carina on their wedding anniversary with what we call a “Will you marry me again?”  ring. It was a gorgeous round one-carat diamond solitaire ring specially designed for them by my only brother Mark,  a close friend of the couple. 

I hope that the men who read this will be inspired not just to find the best ring for their brides, but also to pray for them and to discern the best ways to bind their hearts together as they journey in their love to forever.  


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