‘Two Roads in the Woods’

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
âTwo Roads in the Woodsâ
DBP chairman Bert Romulo and wife of 55 years Lovely with their children and grandchildren (from left) Shalani Soledad Romulo, Maia Puyat, Cara Tantoco, Mons Romulo, the couple, Vito Puyat and Zach Paraiso; (back, from left) Cheskie and Simon Tantoco with Roman and Erwin Romulo.

To celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary, former senator, Foreign Affairs Secretary and now DBP chairman Alberto Romulo and his wife, the former Rosie Lovely Tecson, quietly renewed their marriage vows at a Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Archbishop’s chapel in Mandaluyong. Only the couple’s children, grandchildren and sponsors Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and wife “Ball,” and Injap Sia and Priscilla Chan, were present.

You could say that the Romulos have scaled the highest mountains and seen the deepest valleys. He has reached the pinnacle of political success, with his beloved by his side. And yet both have had to endure the heartbreak of losing a child, their firstborn Lupe.

These “two roads in the woods” always connected, and the journey ahead — despite the ups and downs — was never lonely.

Their daughter Mons shared an insight into her parents’ marriage. “They both make each other a priority. They always consult each other and make decisions together. My dad treats my mom like a queen while my mom worked hard for our family so my dad could focus on his work as a public servant.”

According to Mons, her parents also pray the rosary together every day.

“Five years hence in 2023, we look forward to our 60th Diamond anniversary,” Tito Bert told me.

The following piece, sent to us by the still-smitten groom, was written by him on the couple’s 46th wedding anniversary in 2009. We are sharing excerpts from the original piece because an expression of love, vivid and genuine, is always worth retelling.

And this is how Bert Romulo professes his love for his Lovely:

(From left) Injap Sia, Priscilla Chan, the couple, Cynthia and Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

Seems like only yesterday when we were in Madrid, when we were young.

To quote Winston Churchill, “Glorious in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.”

Yes, we were then all young and gay and without a care in the world.

We laughed and sang and danced Spanish and Filipino songs in the Colegio Mayor de Guadalupe and along the bars and cafés of Gran Via and Calle Princesa.

And, it was in Madrid — at the Colegio Mayor de Guadalupe in Ciudad Universitaria — where I first saw and met a radiant and ravishing beauty.

I was smitten — absolutely and completely. From the beginning it was love at first sight. It can truly be said that I have not set eyes on another woman since.

Through all the years — 46 good years — Lovely has been my inspiration, my weathervane, my consigliere and my partner.

Come to think of it, I still do not know why she took the gamble and said “Yes, I do” in those long ago, balmy, carefree and magical years of Madrid.

To start with, I was a provinciano from a small town in Central Luzon called Camiling — you know the saying, “You can take the boy out of the country but not the country out of the boy.”

I was not tall, dark and handsome.

Neither did I own or drive flashy cars, let alone any car.

Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle with the joyful couple.

On the dance floor with my two left feet I was an embarrassment to my dancing partner.

Definitely, I had none of Prince Charming’s attributes.

And yet in Madrid she said “Yes, I do.”

I can only say the good Lord must have been in my corner all along.

And to me in particular the good Lord has been trusting — gifting me with a kind, loving, loyal and understanding wife and life partner.

Lovely has given me five wonderful sons and daughters who in turn have blessed us with six amazing grandchildren.

Almost singlehandedly, Lovely took care and reared our two sons and three daughters — literally from the womb, as they were growing up, during their schooling here and abroad, helping their early professional careers, to their own emerging in public life and service.

I ask, what more can a boy from Camiling aspire for?

One would think that is enough.

Yet Lovely continues — now that our sons and daughters are on their own — to give of herself to others as selflessly as ever.

Newlyweds Bert and Lovely in 1963.

Samuel Johnson wrote, “Nothing as much flatters a man as the happiness of his wife.”

This evening as I see joy and happiness in the eyes of my radiant bride, not only am I flattered but I know I am immensely blessed beyond words and dreams.

Robert Frost spoke of two diverging roads in the woods — and how the path one chooses can make all the difference.

I found that road and path in Madrid. I found my bride and wife, Lovely. And it has made all the difference in my life.

Through thick and thin, through stormy weather and tempestuous times we, Lovely and I, have always emerged full and fulfilled.

In the words of Dante: Equindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle...and so we emerge again to see the stars.

Because of you, you have made our anniversary more memorable and meaningful for the rest of our lives.

In your friendship and fraternal support you all have helped us travel life’s road and live a life truly blessed and fulfilling.



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