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Walang Hanggan… “A Love Story of Daniel and Jena”

By: Anne Gonzaga

Most of the time when two people meet, they seldom have the idea that the person they just met is destined to be their partner in life. They don’t even know that their love story is about to begin. But Jenalyn, as sensitive as she is… knew right there and then that the guy she met that night will play a very significant role in her life. Let’s take a peek into their love story…

The Love Story…

Where and when did you meet?

Jena: The first time we saw each other was at the birthday party of Daniel’s Tita Madz. It was on June 4, 2010 at Ate Tess’ residence. Daniel was barely two weeks here in Israel. The meeting wasn’t planned because Tita Madz’ party was meant for relatives only, but since they consider me as a member of their family, I was invited to join.

After a few shots of vodka, binanatan ko ang aking favorite na “I Will Survive”. I saw how he stared at me while I was singing, so nagpapa-cute na kami sa isa’t-isa and we went to Mommy’s later that night. From that moment on, I knew that I was attracted to him. But I didn’t know yet how he feels about me. Days passed by, pilit kong inaalala kung ano ang hitsura nya (I was having a hard time picturing his face on my mind). Then one day, Ate Tess told me to add him to my friends’ list. Hahaha! Kinikilig ako pag naaalala ko ‘to. Then we started chatting and the phone line was burning whenever we talk. I invited him to Tel Aviv (he was living in BeerSheva then) and I told him… “Pagpunta mo dito sa Tel Aviv hindi ka manliligaw ha, este maliligaw pala”…hehehe… nagpapa-cute lang po ako.

So what happened after that first meeting?

Jena : We saw each other again on the 17th of June. Sinundo ko siya sa Takana Merkazit. Alam mo yun… yung para akong girlfriend na naghihintay at excited na makita ang long-time boyfriend na bababa sa barko mula sa malayo at matagal na paglalakbay sa dagat. Hehehe… ganyang-ganyan ang feeling ko that time.

We both felt a little awkward at first, syempre kasi second meeting pa lang naman namin di ba? I brought him to my house to meet my Mom and bestfriend para kilatisin siya syempre (for them to take a good look at him as if weighing his face value), hahaha! Before he left I told him to come back the next morning so I can take him to places, specifically to Jaffa.

Laking gulat ko kinabukasan nung tumawag siya at sabihing andun na siya sa labas ng bahay ko. Imagine, alas-siyete ng umaga pa lang nun, parang Intsik pala ‘to kung manligaw, hehehe. He had no idea that I am a night owl who is up till dawn and stays in bed till noon.

But to tell you the truth, I was impressed! …at kinikilig siyempre. Biruin mo, once pa lang siya nakarating sa bahay ko eh alam na niya agad balikan at ang aga pa ha! So naisip ko, intresado din siya sa ‘kin. At malamang kaya ang aga nitong pumunta eh dahil hindi siya nakatulog sa kakaisip sa ‘kin kaya gusto niya ‘ko agad makita, di ba? Hehehe.

Tell us about your first date…

Jena: Hmmmm, first date… doon kami nagpunta sa Old Jaffa, kaya nga yun ang pinili naming location for our Pre-Nup pictorial kasi very significant yun sa lovelife namin. I took him to the wishing bridge then we had lunch at Dizengoff Center. This time we are already at ease with each other as if we were long-time friends. We attended the Independence Day celebration the following night and went straight to Ate Tess’ for Sharon’s birthday party with the Ilonggo Tribe group. They were all teasing us that we fit each other. Little did they know that we already had our first date the day before, hehehe. Gano’n kami kabilis na dalawa…papunta pa lang sila eh pabalik na kami. Nobody knows that until now. So I’m giving you permission, Dear Heart, to tell it to the public. Hahaha!

Daniel invited me to BeerSheva on June 2. Wala nang pakipot pa, umaga pa lang nag-train na ako. Then Ate Tess and family came in the afternoon. Although she already knew what’s going on between us, still she was surprised seeing me with Daniel when we fetched them from the station. Daniel and I became officially “us” on July 3. Then I began spending my weekends in BeerSheba until we decided to live together under one roof here in Tel Aviv a month later.

Was your relationship smooth-sailing or an “on and off” kind?

Jena: You see, Dear Heart, Daddy and I have gone so far and been through a lot in such a short time of being together. We experienced many trials and tests; we even had escapades too.

We traveled to Eilat so Daniel can exit to Tabha. He must do it for his tourist visa to be extended. After the “exit thing” we went straight to the bus station. Unfortunately, there were no more seats available and it was a Friday afternoon. The thing is we had to be back in Tel Aviv by evening. We had no choice but to fly. Thanks goodness …for we still have some money left, so we flew from Eilat to Tel Aviv. I have been here in Israel for a long time but that was the first time I traveled from Tel Aviv to Eilat and back overnight and by plane! Bonggah di ba? Hahaha!

Before our wedding, may mga sumulpot pa rin na problems like nawawala yung baptismal certificate niya… hindi matandaan kung nabinyagan na ba siya o hindi pa, nabitin ang mga damit ng wedding entourage, etc. etc. Basta lagi kami nalalagay sa alanganin (we often find ourselves on the edge) but managed to resolve things before it’s too late. With these I realized that nothing else matters as long as we are together. Sweet di ba? ^_^

How did you know for sure that Daniel is the one for you?

Jena: Well, when I first met him attracted na ‘ko agad sa kaniya. Then I was willing to go anywhere just to be with him be it in BeerSheva or Eilat, hehehe. People say I’m lucky having Daniel as my partner in life. His quietness and being soft-spoken influenced me in some ways. I am more considerate now and sensitive to other people’s feelings. I learned to worry less and am not easily angered like before. I think twice before saying anything. I can be a bitch if the situation calls for it but I choose to be good so Daddy can be proud of me.

Father Ric was right when he said that I have a stronger personality than Daniel but what people don’t know is that pagdating sa relasyon naming dalawa si Daddy Daniel pa rin siyempre ang may last say. I give him the respect that is due him.

I am sure that he is heaven-sent because he had a positive effect on me. I became a better person because of him…because of his love for me. And because of that… I AM HAPPY!

Well, that’s it folks! Straight from the bride’s mouth revealed some secrets and escapades of their love story.

-The Wedding of the Year-

Some people get married once. Others twice and there are those who do it thrice or more after divorcing. On the other hand, a couple may get married three times…  the first vow on their wedding day, then silver and there are few marriages who are blessed to survive till the golden anniversary and even more.

As most of you may already know, the longest wedding of the year recently took place here in the Holy Land – the Nuptial of Daniel Loot and Jenalyn Zuno, Focal’s Operations Manager, our “Bunso” (youngest sibling). Longest because in two week’s time, they exchanged vows three times. Something rare eh?

It was a Wednesday afternoon, the 8th of February 2012, when the young couple exchanged vows in front of Vice Consul Greg Marie Marinio at the Philippine Embassy. Quite a number of sponsors were present and witnessed their first exchange of “I DOs”. Witnesses were surprised when the very quiet groom suddenly shed tears… hold on, he wasn’t sad at all! Those were tears of joy of course and at that very touching moment the hearts of everyone around felt the sincerity and purity of the groom’s love for his bride. But the bride’s giggles (as if someone or something was tickling her) kept them all smiling and even laughing which made the atmosphere lighter. Yet, the scene was really romantic. A buffet early dinner was served after the wedding rites.

Sunday morning, 12th of February… some principal and secondary sponsors traveled by bus from Tel Aviv to Cana, Galilee. Yes, the very same place where Jesus Christ of Nazareth performed His very first miracle at a wedding where he turned water into wine. It’s the same “Wedding Church”, as it is commonly called now, where most visitors or tourists renew their marriage vows.

It was a very intimate ceremony because those who took time out to join the trip to Cana were really close and special to the couple’s hearts which made them extra happy (as Jena said on our way back to Tel Aviv). It was quite a long travel but most of the ladies took the opportunity to make themselves (especially their faces) ready for ceremony and … the cameras, of course. The wedding rites started a bit late than scheduled due to an electrical failure. The entourage was standing in line in front of the church while waiting for the cue to step forward and walk down the aisle. But because of the freezing cold strong winds, everybody agreed to break the line. All went into the church and sat at the back row while waiting for the lights to be back.

At last, electricity was restored and the wedding rites began. Jenalyn was extraordinarily beautiful in her wedding gown. The groom was equally handsome in his white tuxedo. And because we were few, everyone felt the intimacy of the ceremony. Fr. Ric Fernando shared a wonderful message about love and faith during the wedding rites and even gave a personal fatherly sermon with humor to the bride and groom. Everyone feasted on a bountiful table of food afterwards. The group traveled back to Tel Aviv as the 2nd wedding is done.

Wedding Day 3. February 18, 2012 , Muskat Hall. It was specified in the invitation that the dress code is ‘Black’. The bride told yours truly that they (Bride & Groom) wanted to be the only two people in white on the wedding party. So, 90% of the guests respected the couple’s wish. As usual, the call time was 8:30 in the evening but the program started at half past 9. It was a short ceremony officiated by Fr. Ric Fernando.

There were fireworks as Daniel and Jena went to the dance floor and had their first official dance as husband and wife. The traditional “sabitan” was of course done during this dance. A scrumptious dinner was served and enjoyed by everyone. The loud music invited the guests to loosen up, have fun and even get wild on the dance floor. It was a very successful wedding party which concluded the series of weddings of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel & Jenalyn Loot.

Allow me to give some words of advice to you, Daniel and Jena, not as your Dear Heart but as your Ninang Anne:

We all know that nobody is perfect, thus, no relationship is perfect. But if each of us is willing to put aside our self-interest or satisfaction to give way and put our partner’s happiness ahead of us…then a perfectly happy relationship is possible. Real love is when you think of the other person’s happiness more than yours.

When you chose to love that person, you loved his/her good side and flaws as well. You cannot change one’s attitude or character (don’t even try to do that) but you can influence him/her to be better or even the best.

Love and respect must always be the main ingredients of your relationship. Love your partner as you love yourself. But love God above all and make Him the center of your marriage. Respect begets respect. Never ever abuse the love and goodness of your partner. If you do, respect will be lost and love will easily fade.

Misunderstandings and arguments may arise but you must learn to talk things over. Listen more, talk less and you will understand better. As the Bible says in Ephesians 4:26: “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Making up is the sweetest part. Do it before you close your eyes and call it a day.

May you have a blissful union all the days of your lives.


The couple would like to extend their gratitude to the following people namely…

Mommy Gracey of Index for Jena’s hair & make up, Babes & Larry for her gown, Metropolitan Hotel, Peter Palalon for the Video, Jenny Cajes for the Guest Book, Shahar Eruim for the wedding coverage and magnet souvenirs, DJ Alon of Perfect Eruim. Special Thanks to Rachel & Shmulik of MUSCAT Hall and of course to Avi Ozeri and Tita Elsie Sustiel for their big help to the couple.

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