'If you really want to get married, do it. What is important is to be with your loved one and receive God’s blessing'
By Misha Fabian
Hit by Cupid’s arrow, Pocholo Miguel Isaguirre and Anne Clare Baking met through a common friend in 2016. They began with simple “hi’s” and “hello’s” through text until Cholo finally asked Clare out. They’ve been together ever since. However, they admit that things haven’t always been that easy. Four years of their relationship was actually spent long distance.
Cholo became Manila-based because of work, while Clare continued to live in both their hometown, Davao. They managed their long-distance relationship by making it a point to visit each other monthly and video call one another often. New to the long-distance dating dynamic, the couple had to navigate the ins and outs of an LDR and making sure that their relationship grew stronger despite the distance. Distance made things like fights and challenges more difficult. But true love always prevails. On Clare’s birthday in 2019, Cholo proposed to Clare.
They planned to have their wedding in Davao City and at first, planning came easily to them. Clare decided on having a fairytale-themed wedding, giddy with excitement at how beautiful it was going to look once it was all set up. They hit a small speed bump in finding a church to get married in, but they finally found one after scouring Davao for a nice church. However, just as soon as they thought things were going well, the pandemic happened.
Cholo was not allowed to return home to Davao because of the strict protocols. Clare was retrenched when her company could no longer afford to keep all of its employees because of the pandemic. They had hoped things would improve later on in the year, but it didn’t. Clare recalls feeling very down, becoming very thin and grumpy from all of the stress that the year has brought her, but Cholo stood by her side through it all.
They then decided to go for Plan B: have a smaller, more intimate wedding in September. They got to work planning and getting ready again, but they hit another snag when the city’s regulations became stricter, causing them to postpone their wedding once more. Cholo still couldn’t come home, and Clare was devastated. So, the couple resorted to Plan C. Clare was going to Manila, and they were going to get married there.
It was unfortunate that their immediate family members and friends could not come with them, but the couple decided that they wanted to move forward and start their lives together. They planned it out to be very simple–have a simple ceremony in a nice church stripped down to the bare essentials, invite a few relatives and close friends from Manila to attend, and head to a nice restaurant for dinner. Despite all the challenges they faced, Cholo and Clare were both determined to get married. For them, there were only three important things: receiving the sacrament of marriage, having God’s blessing, and finally being together after surviving so much time apart.
Finally, the two tied the knot on the 20th of October, 2020 at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. One of the biggest challenges they faced was getting refunds from the suppliers they had booked with. They settled for a new contract, but they still lost a considerable amount. However, Cholo and Clare still want to celebrate in Davao with their loved ones as soon as the pandemic is over. Cholo and Clare’s story is proof that love prevails throughout all challenges.
Their advice to couples planning to get married during these trying times? Just do it! “It is normal to feel anxious and stressed during this time, but don’t get stressed with things that are beyond your control. If you really want to get married, do it. What is important is to be with your loved one and receive God’s blessing. For me, this is one love story I would love to tell my grandchildren in the future–love in the time of COVID,” says Clare.
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The Dream Team:
Photography & Videography: Nice Print Photography | Ceremony Venue: National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus | Reception Venue: Blackbird Makati at the Nielson Tower | Gown: Atelier Debbie Co | Groom’s Barong: Jun Artajo | Makeup artist: Nivien Soledad Paez | Hairstylist: Lhian Gancaico | Bridal Shoes: Zalora | Rings: Ijewelry & Goldsmith Davao | Earrings: Swarovski | Bouquet & Centerpiece: Iris Fleur Creations | Mask Chain Accessory: Delilah Ph | Invitations: The Wedding Artery