Love on the run: The Ruffa Sorongon, Azlan Pagay love story

By: Mars G. Alison February 12,2020 - 04:29 PM

Azlan Pagay gives his long-time girlfriend Ruffa Sorongon a kiss after they won the 42k men and women’s titles of the Cebu City Marathon 2020 held last January. /Mars G. Alison

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Running is more than just a sport for topnotch running couple Azlan Pagay and Ruffa Sorongon.

Because not only has running brought them together, it has played a big role in sustaining their relationship for seven years now.

And, for Azlan, running will also give them the better future that he and Ruffa want someday.

Azlan and Ruffa met in 2012 in Davao City while training at the oval of the Bayabas National High School. It wasn’t love at first sight, they admitted.

It started with friends teasing them. Eventually, Azlan fell for Ruffa’s kindness and a year after they met, they became a couple.

“She’s kind. She’s very fond of helping the young runners. If she wins, she always treats them with her winnings,” said Azlan of why he fell in love with Ruffa. Azlan said that he doesn’t put much value on how a person looks physically but rather looks at their character, their attitude.

“Di man ko mo basi sa face akoa kay batasan jod,” mused Azlan. (I don’t base it on how a person looks. For me, it is really the attitude.)

Azlan’s good character is what also made Ruffa fell for him. “Caring sa girl unya di bayedor dili sad ibogon sa mga gwapa ray dagway, sa batasan ra naga kay dili man daw na sa gawas makita ang batasan, naa daw sa ugali saon daw ang gwapa kung batig batasan…parehas sad mig liki,” said Ruffa of Azlan.

(He is caring towards girls but he is not a womanizer. He doesn’t easily get attracted to pretty faces, he looks into their attitude because he said you will not see a person’s character through their physical attributes. It is in the attitude, what is a pretty face if she has a bad attitude…we have the same kicks.)

Helpful and compassionate

Ruffa also appreciates how helpful Azlan is especially to the old people and how he is very compassionate to other people. Although they met in Davao, Ruffa is originally from Koronada, South Cotabatol while Azlan is the Davao native.

They now call Cebu home because it was here that their running career bloomed and continues to grow along with their relationship.

In 2013, Ruffa was encouraged by another runner to come here in Cebu because she can hone her running skills here as there are a lot of running events. Ruffa eventually agreed and they pawned her bike to pay for her fare to Cebu.

After a month, Ruffa was already winning races here. She eventually earned enough to send some money to Azlan so he could join her here in Cebu.

And, the rest is history so they say.

Azlan said that he was really expecting that his relationship with Ruffa would last because, for him, Ruffa is already THE ONE.

“Para nako sya lang sapat na, tapos lami mag luto,” said Azlan who added that for him, Ruffa is the prettiest person in the world. (For me she is enough, and she’s a good cook.)

The couple strives on simplicity and they will spend Valentine’s Day by getting a bite at the mall.

“No need nanang bulak, chocolate. Simple lang jod mi ni Ruffa, basta ang importante maayong lawas tapos magka sinabot lang mi permi,” Azlan quipped. (There’s no need for flowers, chocolate. We are just really simple, what’s important is that we are both healthy and that we understand each other.)

Like any other couple, Azlan said that he and Ruffa also fight, but they can only last not talking to each other for a day, they would immediately kiss and make up.

Stay the same

“Bisan layo nami na abot sa among career, dapat di mi ma usab, og unsa mi sauna dapat mao ra gihapon, I always love you,” is Azlan’s message to Ruffa. (Even though we’ve already come a long way in our careers, we should not change, we should stay the same as how we started, I always love you.)

Ruffa agrees that running plays a major role in their relationship. She believes that they have both become better because they always help each other during training. And, it’s not all hard work. Through running, they are also able to travel and explore places together.

Ruffa’s message to Azlan is for him to stay the same.

“Siya di ma usab gara garaon lang permi di mag suya sa mga unsa makita sa uban lalo na sa mga gamit ma kuntento lang kung unsa naa lang sa iyaha enjoy lang ang adventure sa life.”

(For him not to change, stay playful, not to be envious of the material things that others have, continue to be contented with what he has, continue to enjoy life’s adventures.) /rcg

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TAGS: Azlan Pagay and Ruffa Sorongon, Cebu-based, from Mindanao, humble, love on the run, multi-titled, running champions, running couple, Valentines Day

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