Love is gold

NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. - The Philippine Star
Love is gold
Architect Ed Alimagno and his wife Connie celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.
STAR/ File

The title of this article refers to two golden moments: the 50th wedding anniversary of my other “parents” in Cabuyao, architect Ed and Connie Alimagno, and my beautiful relationship with their family.

An Easter Mass was held at the golden celebration of their wedding anniversary but Tita Connie and Tito Ed opted not to have their renewal of vows because twice they renewed their promise of love eternal at Cana in Holy Land in their previous visits.

Even without the ceremonies, the couple professed their undying love before their guests as they welcomed them to the Centennial Hall of The Manila Hotel. Every visitor they invited showed up, not one left, not one absent. Presence is always a genuine gesture of love.

There was palpable joy on the couple’s faces when they entered the dance hall. They were dancing, prancing, holding each other’s hands. Halfway to the stage, Tita Connie almost tripped on the parquet, her husband ready to catch her. Love was in the air.

The couple and their children lawyer Alexis Alimagno Felix, Aliw Alimagno -Santos, Tylou Alimagno Bowman, Mariel and Nezlee Alimagno, and Mye Alimagno-Pascual with their respective spouses Andrew Felix, Marco Santos, Darryl Bowman, Darrel Gallacher and Joseph Pascual.

What’s their secret to a long and lasting love?

“Stand by your man; weather all the storms that will come in your relationship. And it is always a conscious choice to choose the relationship above all else. That, I think, is the reason why we have lasted this long,” says Tita Connie.

“Look forward to forever. That should be the goal when one gets married. Love should be forever. When my own parents and my parents-in-law celebrated their own golden anniversaries, I told myself that I would also afford my wife a golden moment on our 50th wedding anniversary — and it happened,” beamed Tito Ed.

The author with Diego Alimagno, Jose Antonio Alimagno, Vince Tercero, Teody Tiqui, Jose Hector Alimagno, Michelle Linzaga and Jose Angelo Alimagno.

The Alimagno couple is blessed with six accomplished children — all no-nonsense girls: Mye Alimagno-Pascual, Nezlee Alimagno, Mariel Alimagno, Tylou Alimagno Bowman, Aliw Alimagno-Santos and Alexis Alimagno Felix.

“Parents with several children can easily have their favorites,” said Mye, the eldest in the brood, my BFF in Cabuyao, with deadpan humor. “But as one of their children, I only have one set of parents and they are Ed and Connie. They are my only favorite parents.”

The grandchildren of Ed and Connie Alimagno: Joaquin Anton Pascual, Jose Alfonso Pascual, Alonzo Luis Santos, Julia Alexanda Pascual, Justin Andrei Alimagno, Sophia Adea Alimagno, Amanda Louise Santos and Adrianna Marcy Bowman.

Mye added: “Our family’s life story is an example of perfect imperfections, to a point of being dysfunctional but never delusional. Amidst all these, we choose to love. Papa and Mama are one of my many blessings. God had gifted me with them and maybe that’s a proof that I might have done something right in my previous life. What’s left in me after all this love is sincerest gratitude.”

For her part, Nezlee said, “The best lesson I learned from them is to be humble always. And to be kind to other people.”

“And the importance of family,” Mariel, a civil engineer in the US, quickly quipped. “They taught us to be there for each other at all times.”

“Papa and Mama’s love story is a true testament that unconditional love does exist. And for that I am grateful to them for choosing to love each other. They have shown us what true love is,” said Tylou, an architect in the US.

“The best part of having them as my parents is that they will do anything and everything to give us and their grandchildren a comfortable life. They are our moral compass; they do not tolerate it if we have done something wrong. Best part also is they don’t play favorites. They give us equal love,” said Aliw.

Tita Connie and Tito Ed’s youngest daughter Alex, a lawyer, said, “The best part of having them as my parents is having the best qualities of each of them. From Papa, I learned to never stop fighting and standing up for what you believe in; while from Mama, I learned to do everything and understand with heart, passion and compassion. From them I learned that I cannot just live my life while only thinking about myself, what I want and what I need. They taught me to be selfless.”

Indeed, the celebration, witnessed by their close friends and family, was golden. At the end of the night, the couple melted in each other’s arms as they danced to their song: (You’re the) Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.


The Alimagnos are some of the best things that ever happened to me. When my parents couldn’t afford the P50 monthly tuition fee in a private high school in Cabuyao, Tito Jun Alimagno, eldest brother of Tito Ed, took me under his wing and made me a scholar. Of his thousand and one scholars in high school, Tito Jun, who later became mayor of the town of Cabuyao, recounted to me when he was still alive, I was the only one who returned to him with a heart bursting with gratitude.

Gratitude blurred lines between us and, no sooner than we all realized, I started to become part of the Alimagno family. So close that in a sea of Alimagnos, I will be the only Tenorio in their intimate gatherings.

So close that when I get hungry biking on the road, the guard in their house in Cabuyao will open the gate for me and I will be served a hot meal, even if no family member is at home.

So close that when I get wet in the rain while biking, they will afford me a warm shower and a family member will hand me a shirt, a pair of shorts, even slippers.

So close that they will not allow me to pedal home in the middle of the night when my bike lights are busted and instead load my bike on a pick-up truck and make sure I’m home safe and sound.

Love is gold and my Alimagno family has shown me that since 1984 when they sent the dreamer in me to school.

On the occasion of Tita Connie and Tito Ed’s 50th wedding anniversary, we sealed again that love. Family is love.

Happy golden wedding anniversary, Tita Connie and Tito Ed. My grateful heart loves you both.

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