Photos by Frannie Jacinto

Love beyond forever
PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

Mike Ong & Cristina Gomez

During a Malu Veloso fashion show in 2001, 21-year-old Mike Ong wanted to meet the 18-year-old guest model Cristina Gomez, but was unable to do so.

A year later, they ended up as classmates at the University of Asia & the Pacific and even without a formal introduction, he would always try to find a chance to say hello when he would see her on campus. Mike would continually message and/or call regarding the class discussion, making Cristina wonder if he was quite weak in the head. In fact, she entertained his queries because she almost pitied him. At the end of the school year, he aced the subject and that was the only time she realized that he liked her.

However, it took a decade for Mike to formally court Cristina and make his intentions known after she had finished her master’s in Fashion Brand Management in Italy and was finally back for good. As Cristina enthused, “He was always the ‘man on the side’ who was always quick to pursue me when I wasn’t in a relationship. It took me some time to come around to the idea of us being in a relationship, which is why I’ve always believed our relationship unfolded slowly but surely in God’s perfect time.”

Since Mike knew he had found the love of his life, he wanted to make sure his proposal at the Raging Bull Chophouse in Shangri-La at The Fort would include Arlu and Dandy Gomez since he knew Cristina was very close to her parents. Even the waiters were part of the plan because, when dessert time came, they were ready with two floral bouquets as Mike knelt on one knee to pop the question to a very surprised and flustered bride-to-be.

One could see how the groom adored his bride when Cristina walked down the aisle and as she approached him, he gently kissed her hand as he led her to the altar at their recent wedding ceremony at the Santuario de San Antonio, officiated by the bride’s uncle, Fr. Domingo Salonga and Bishop Teodoro Bacani.

For the bridal march, Franco Laurel, a close friend of Cristina, sang her favorite song Matibay, an original composition by Von de Guzman. At the reception at the Marriott Hotel Manila’s Ballroom, he repeated the performance once again to everyone’s delight. 

As the newlyweds thanked their family and friends after the wedding dinner, Mike lovingly announced to one and all: “Cristina, I will love you beyond forever.”

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