Love is sweet, like wine
Forever starts now: Paolo Moran and Melissa Tan Moran

Love is sweet, like wine

Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2019 - 12:00am

Paolo Moran & Melissa Tan-Moran Nuptials

MANILA, Philippines — Paolo Moran, the executive chef of Amici Restaurant, was in his mid-30s and not actively seeking a life partner. Neither was Melissa “Meli” Tan, the chief financial officer of Marshall Poultry Farm.

But Cupid came and the two could do nothing to stop his fateful arrow.

“We were set up by my cousin, Trixie Tiutan, who somehow flaked out at the last minute on that date,” Paolo laughed as he recalled the encounter. “So we ended up having dinner together in a Spanish restaurant.”

The test was for Paolo and Meli to find something to talk about for the length that dinner would last.

The Morans: Patrick, Pauline, dad Danny, Paolo, mom Tessie, Pammy and Philip

“Well,” added Meli, “We ended up drinking a lot of wine and quickly found out we had a lot in common — wine, that is.”

That date led to many firsts as a couple. Good food cooked by chef Paolo and lots of wine — not just Spanish — started a friendship that turned into something much more after a year.

The Tans: Robin, dad Ruben, Melissa and Julian

But, they said that their love was not instantaneous — just like wine, which is better with age. Slowly they realized that they complemented each other very well.

A traditional man

With the couple are principal sponsors lawyer Amy Dionisio, Leah Mercado, Marlo Tiutan, Pinky Tobiano, Helen Lee, Corazon Lee, Ricky Mercado, Jay Feliciano, Oscar Bunyi, Jerry Kliatchko, Mike Moran, Frankie Barandiaran

“I planned a dinner with some friends,” started Paolo. “I pretended to have some sort of family emergency so we had to pass by my house. With the help of my sister, Pammy Moran, we set up a nice arrangement of roses and candles. I did the traditional ‘get down on one knee’ and proposed.”

“She said ‘yes’ and now it wasn’t the wine,” added Meli.

Bridesmaids Michelle Antonio, Niña Gonzales, Ida Bernardo, Kim Pua, the bride Melissa , Melanie Go, Genna Gobing, Larrissa Ong

The good dinner that night was prepared by chef Natalia Moran of Sunny Side Boracay.

“How could Meli say no,” Paolo laughed. “Good food, great wines, a man who truly loved her then and who would continue to love her forever.”

With groomsmen DJ de Guzman, Judge Carlo Villarama, Philip Moran, Patrick Moran, Toton Malvar, Ian Tugas, Paolo Teodoro, Miggy Ramos

“I was shocked,” Meli recalled about that special evening.  “I ended up just nodding ‘yes.’”

Meli and Paolo shared that after having dated for over a year, they knew what they wanted. “We found it in each other,” they chorused.

Father Adonis Mamuyac OSJ (Parish Priest of Santuario de San Jose), the newlyweds and Bishop Raul Martirez

“When you are in your 30s and both professionals, did you still need the seal of your parents?” I asked.

“My parents were supportive,” Paolo said. “When I told them, it seemed more like they were relieved I was finally getting married rather than being shocked.”

Paolo, the traditional guy, did ask permission from Meli’s dad before he proposed. “Thankfully I got his approval,” laughed Paolo. “I was really nervous asking him, though.” 

Mom Tessie and Paolo flank Margarita Fores, who catered the reception.

A young wedding

The wedding was held at Santuario De San Jose Church in Greenhills and the reception was catered by Margarita Fores in Whitespace.

What I did notice, though, is that we — the relatives and maybe the priests — were the only “oldies” in attendance. The rest of the guests were young professionals in their mid-30s as well.

The wedding cake is made of ube

“We really wanted the wedding to be intimate and casual,” said Paolo. “I even sent text invites to some of my family and friends, like you. ‘Wear anything you like. Just come. I know you are a casual sort of person and I did not want you to not come because of having to wear formal wedding gear.”

I did make it to the wedding; how could I miss it? And, yes, I was dressed as I liked.

The invitation

In a life of togetherness forever there are many roads that the couple will have to traverse. Disagreements will arise, I am told. But Paolo and Meli seem to be starting it right.  After all, they say that the road together is paved with all sorts of stones.

Here is a sample convo of the Morans’ discussion on anniversary and wedding dates.

Sealed with a kiss: Paolo and Meli

“Before getting married, we could never agree on which date was really our ‘anniversary’ day,” Paolo laughed.  “I always tell people we got together sometime in March; she usually says it’s on May 13, but really it actually happened on June 3. Anyway, those don’t count anymore because the actual wedding anniversary is on July 27.”

It doesn’t bother them — not being sure about when things happened at the start.

“What is important is that we are together,” Paolo says, as he lovingly looks at Meli. “And, for us, forever starts now — with love as the center of our lives, disagreements like these make it sweeter — just like wine.”

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