When I first met Stan we were both freshmen at the Ateneo during the Orientation seminar and we were both in the same Block. He was tall, skinny and geeky-looking with his thick glasses.
We got to know each other better when we became classmates during Physics class and as fate would have it, we became laboratory groupmates. From the beginning, we became fast friends. How can I resist as it became immediately obvious that he is someone fun to be around with.
From the beginning, Stan had an aura that made him unforgettable the moment you meet him. He possesses a quiet self-confidence but not an ounce of arrogance. He is friendly and charming with an easy smile. His kind demeanor endeared him to everyone he came into contact with in our batch. I was no exception.
What struck me about him the most was that he was friends with everyone, it didn’t matter who you are. He seemed to befriend everyone on campus, from students to teachers to guards and caretakers in and around the school.
He is a natural born leader. He seems to bloom in the responsibilities that leadership entails. He is whip smart, dominating our math and science classes so much that he was invited to change to a course that required higher math.
What really sets him apart in my eyes wasn’t that though. It was his natural inclination to help others.
I remember sitting at the Foyer waiting for my ride with him beside me when he suddenly excused himself. Next thing I knew, I saw him helping a driver of a stalled vehicle push his car across the driveway. Really, who does that?
I have been a first hand witness to his selflessness through our 22 years together as a couple. He does things like this time and again that my admiration for him just keeps growing. He truly inspires me to be a better version of myself to this day.
In 2002, I was lucky enough to finally be wife to this wonderful inspiring man.
To this day, after 15 years, I still can’t believe how blessed I am to have Stan in my life.
People ask me what is the sweetest thing he has done for me. There are actually so many but I have two standout stories.
When we graduated he was offered a high paying job at a Cebu based company, Timex. Everyone knows that the job market at that time was thin at best. Anyone who could find a job during the recession was lucky. I was resigned to having a long distance relationship with him so I was determined to just enjoy the last week he could spend with me in Manila before he needed to start work. He called me from Cebu a day before his flight and told me he won’t be flying that day. I was crushed, thinking he was reneging on his promise of one last week.
I was wrong. Turns out he would be spending one last week with his parents in Cebu instead because he decided to turn down the job in Cebu and try his luck looking for a job in Manila because he wanted to be with me. He said he didn’t want to be apart and the possibility of losing me because of a long distance relationship wasn’t a risk he was prepared to take.
He gave up an easy life in Cebu with his parents… and I am forever thankful to his parents as well for raising their only son in a manner that allowed him to make what seemed to be a foolhardy decision.
15 years of marriage and he still does sweet things like that.
Just this week, the day after Valentine’s, I was having an especially rough day missing my brother. He was in Boracay with his team in Virginia Food for their National Sales Convention. Next thing I know, he told me he has changed his flight and is coming home one day early. He decided to skip the touring and fun filled portion of their trip to be with me, ignoring all my protestations that it wasn’t necessary.
These are the things about Stan I treasure and appreciate the most, more than any material thing or vacation. It’s his ability to love and take care of me and the people around him that is uniquely, selflessly, Stan. These are the things that matter.
You make the world a better place through your words, actions and your sincere desire to do good and I am immensely proud to help you, in any small way, along your journey.
Thank you for being. I love you.
Happy 15th wedding Anniversary. Praying for the Lord will bless us with much much more.