Love can be a lot of things all at once.
It doesn’t come to certain places and people at any given specific time – it comes in a rush or sometimes can take a little while longer. It doesn’t seek to be contained in just one word. It is everything we see and don’t.
Like water, its shape depends on who contains it – love can be bittersweet, motherly, new, fading, unrequited, and perhaps, adventurous (like the no-label relationships that are on trend).
Most times, love can transform into a language we never thought we knew.
We just know it the moment our hearts skip a beat, when butterflies start to fill our stomachs, and when we run out of words to describe the feeling. It is when love hits us straight in the face that words — even thousands of them printed in encyclopedias and dictionaries – won’t and will never be enough.
In an attempt to bring love into a description, we collected stories of the different kinds of love – regardless of gender, distance, and form. It’s our own way of saying “Happy Valentines Day!” this February.
For all those brave souls who never stopped loving despite everything, this is for you.
Mercy Cortes, 25
Customer Service Officer, Singapore
Based in Singapore, Mercy is in a three-year long-distance relationship (they will be celebrating their anniversary in April) with her partner David Riccio, all the way from America. Theirs is a love that blossomed via online.
With a 12-hour time difference and a once/twice a year chance to see each other, Mercy admitted that keeping the relationship was hard –dealing with trust issues and lack of time— but worth it.
For her, “one should not lose sight and hope in love. To never stop getting to know each other. When misunderstanding arises, talk it out. Be patient and love your partner’s love (his passion and dreams) as if it is your own.”
Lace Arceo, 24
Accounts Representative, Cebu
“Then college sweethearts” Lace and Mike Ornopia had their fair share of ups and downs, but as what Lace said, the secret is always accepting your partner’s flaws and keeping a good sense of humor (you won’t know when you need it).
“We never paid attention to that statement,” she said when asked to give her thoughts on the notion that college sweethearts really don’t last. “We still have a long way to go but we also strive to stay on the right path because sometimes it also feels good to prove a statement wrong, doesn’t it?”
For her, “love should not be about conforming to what’s the norm and keeping up to what’s in today. It should be about being true to your relationship, doing things that you are comfortable doing and not thinking about what other people might say. Because at the end of the day, there is only you and him in the relationship.”
Flora Mae Sestoso, 24
Software Engineer, Cebu
Fondly recalling how she became a “bridge” to her crush and a friend (who are now happily married by the way) and despite being single for six years, Flor is keeping her faith in true love.
“No, I don’t feel any pressure at all (laughs). Kidding aside, I must admit I feel it at times but I always remind myself that if I was able to withstand it for six years, why quit now? And most of all, this is what I always hold on to that His plans are way bigger than mine.”
Flor defines love as “something not to be imposed. It should be embraced wholeheartedly and genuinely.”
Shahana Pearl Uy, 29
Aesthetic Physician, Pearl Medical Aesthetics + Laser
Her love for fur babies, especially cats, started when she rescued a kitten from the street. Fearing that it might get squished by running vehicles, she took it home. Sadly, it died. But it led her to raise more fur babies at home.
“My boyfriend surprised me with an orange Persian cat on my 28th birthday last year. I fell in love with cats that I got six more. A few of my cats have to be flown from Russia and Ukraine,” she said.
As a doctor, coming home from her clinic and being with her pets are great relievers of stress. “Cats are lovable, sweet and very cutely annoying. When I come home, I find time to hand-feed them, pet them, and talk to them as if they can understand me,” she said.
For Shahana, love should never be an obligation; love should be unconditional.
Prime Asprer, 38
Director for Operations, Marketing, and Sales, Salon de Rose
For Prime and partner Miguel Jimenez, there is no gender when it comes to love.
Celebrating their 20th year anniversary as a couple, Prime and Miguel trace their love story back in Ateneo de Manila University, where they went to college. Being both members of the swimming team and the school’s choral group and were in constant interaction with one another, love was something that was bound to happen.
“Love is finding a good fit and making it work. Love is happily ever after but never really an easy happily ever after. Every day, you may find a new challenge, but you have to find a solution together, grow and learn. From it, you love a little differently, a little more broadly and a little more flexibly,” he said.
And if there is any secret to keeping a relationship burning passionately for 20 years is:
“To compromise, make your own rules and commit to following them. Put God as the center of the relationship. And to learn each other’s language of love, and make a deliberate effort to speak the other language.”
Maria Theresa Tio
Childlink Learning Center and Childlink High School, Inc. School Directress
Running a school is like running a huge house filled with kids – a no easy task for its directress Theresa Tio. However, Theresa is but a natural to kids and growing adolescents being a mother herself, as the school became her extension to guide them like it is of her own.
“Childlink is a school of character. Developing the character should be at the forefront of the school’s curriculum because this is what the world needs,” she said.
For her, love is unconditional and sometimes it shows in a smile painted on her students’ faces.