I met Dondon and Margaux in this youth group called Luke 18. Our ties with each other continued way past that though.
Dondon’s sister, Booboo and Margaux’s brother, Boogie are two of my best friends. Dondon was my boss for a few years and Margaux and I are currently business partners. We chose them to be our godparents for our wedding and I’m godmother to two of their daughters (Tala and Gaia) as well.
Needless, to say, I’ve been a witness and a fan of DonMarg from the start. (Walang- wala si JaDine :p) The way their love story played out was pretty epic – and I was elated when they finally got married.
The thing is, real love stories don’t end when people get their “ happily ever after.” Sometimes, the phrase “til death do us part” even seems more ominous than promising.
What I love about these two though is that they continue to inspire even after the initial warm and fuzzies. I’ve been around their family long enough to know that they’re no Brady Bunch. But what’s great about them is that no matter what they’re going through, their love for each other is just so real that it shines through.
Very excited to share with you their story:
MARGAUX: I don’t really remember much about my first encounter with Dondon. We met at a youth retreat when I was 13. The entire weekend was a blur. I was suffering from a horrible bout of diarrhea and couldn’t focus on anything else but the toilet.
I distinctly remember seeing Dondon from afar. He was the star of “The Prodigal Son” skit, and I recall thinking that he was cute – galing pang umarte!
A few days after, I got a call from Dondon – the first boy who ever called me! I asked myself, “Why is he calling me? Friends lang ba kami or does he like me?”
DONDON: Margaux was my first legit, real crush. Her boyish, carefree, “I’m-not-like-the-other-cutsie-patootsie-girls” charm attracted me the most.
I was however, very torpe. I didn’t really know how to deal with the attraction we both seemed to be experiencing. We would spend hours on the phone and write tons of letters but we couldn’t communicate on the same level when we were physically together. It was awkward for both of us. It was difficult to express our feelings loud and clear although it was pretty much mutual and assumed.
MARGAUX: Well, since torpe siya at pakipot ako, it was hard for either of us to admit that we liked each other.
We had this dance: I would count the days and the hours ‘til I see him. When finally, the day came, we would pretend to not really mind each other. And then we would awkwardly gravitate towards each other after some time, as if by accident. I could tell when he was approaching from the scent of his Eternity cologne, a scent that brought butterflies to my stomach.
Dondon was my first phone call, first penpal, first suitor, first love. But, like most young loves there was confusion, hurt, and a parting of ways. And so, he became my first heartbreak.
DONDON: Eventually it didn’t work out and we didn’t talk for 2 years. Summer before getting into college, I decided to gather the guts to approach her and start over. The friendship grew, the attraction rekindled… then for some reason, just when I finally proposed to her and told her how I really felt (which was quite obvious already since we would “date”)- she says she wasn’t ready.
I was devastated! I SHORTLY after got myself into a whirlwind, intense relationship with someone else.
This of course devastated her too, but I justified it by clinging on the fact that she was the one who had “dumped” me. Our friendship quickly fell apart, naturally.
DONDON: Years passed, both out of college and working, our paths crossed once more. We found out we were both working in the same vicinity and decided to car pool. Our friendship grew much deeper than ever.
Now wiser adults, it would have been the perfect time except for 1 problem- she was in a very complicated, and I might add, dysfunctional relationship. She was at her most vulnerable too.
I did not have the heart to complicate her life even more and remained just a friend and a shoulder to cry on. That was most difficult for me. I was a gentleman.
Then… sh*t hit the fan and her life just got even more complicated. I receive a call one day – she tells me she got pregnant and was forced to get married against her wishes.
My heart bled. But deep down I knew this was not the end – somehow our souls still had business together. I just don’t know what form it would reveal itself in the future.
I remember in one cheezy “breakup” letter I gave her back in high school, I told her that “I don’t know why I know I will always love you”. CHEEZ!!!… but true. I knew it then.
And to make things even cheesier, on her wedding day, right before she walked down the aisle, I hugged her tight and as she let go, I told her “I’m not done with you…” I’m sorry but it just popped out of me! (Thank goodness she didn’t hear it. That would be mean.)
Even on the day that I was supposed to lose her for good, my heart and my soul knew it wasn’t over. Destiny will bring us together even if my mind says it is over.
MARGAUX: What happened after that would require another article and a Maalalaala Mo Kaya episode. To summarize, I survived a lifetime – I became a 22-year old single mother with a broken marriage.
DONDON: And so our lives moved on. She bore her child, raised her and we lost contact. ‘Til one day our common childhood friends found out that she had “left” her home. We started to hang out with our friends and did a great deal of catching up. It wasn’t too long when we got very close AGAIN.
MARGAUX: At that point, the saga of Dondon and Margaux began another chapter. The night when we had a reunion with our barkada, we just couldn’t take our eyes off each other. My heart would beat so fast every time he went near me.
Afterwards, we were inseparable. Maybe all those years of longing for each other but never quite getting there made us so unstoppable this time around. In short, nakabawi din kami.
It didn’t take long before we had our first kiss. If you can imagine, it was a kiss that was 10 years in making. The second our lips touched it seemed like poetry, like 2 pieces of a puzzle finding each other- a lingering feeling that still makes me feel kilig.
DONDON: It is quite obvious what our “trial” was. She was still freakin’ married with child! Separated- but technically still married. We were however, drawn to each other like magnets. I screamed at the universe, “WTF?! How could you bring us together AGAIN and once AGAIN, punish us?! That’s so unfair!”
So, I told myself, this time, I will let things unfold and will not resist and see how far the universe takes us. One thing led to another and we started dating.
MARGAUX: Although I was separated from my husband, it was not legal. Therefore my relationship with Dondon was deemed wrong in the eyes of the law and the church. Our relationship had to go through the roller coaster of trying to stay away from each other, and failing to do so- as I went through the long, tedious, expensive and emotionally taxing process of my legal and church annulment.
DONDON: Much as I couldn’t care less about anything, there are external factors that did matter – one of which were our parents. Although they have always liked us and believed in our relationship, they will not stand and watch us “live in sin” – especially since my parents spent their entire life being strong advocates of marriage and have counseled countless couples. They can’t have their son get involved with a “married” woman.
It was pretty clear what we had to do. We had to be apart once more. This time however, with a clear plan and a goal. She needed to sort out the loose ends of her separation and begin the process of annulment.
The case started progressing. And as our families became pretty much secure that we were serious, they could no longer stand in the way of our love.
Finally, the stars aligned. The universe connived to clear the path for us… and since then, nothing could stop us.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
MARGAUX: Having a daughter could have been a great trial for our relationship, but Dondon made it a point that it was not so. He was the most amazing support system a single mother could ever ask for. His gentle and playful way of building relationship with Tala without pushing the daddy role left no question in my mind that he would love her as his own.
After 5 years of a wild ride, we had reached that peaceful calm in our relationship where we realized, “who are we kidding, we totally want to spend the rest of our lives together!”
I remember when it first came up. He drove me up the driveway of my parents’ house. We were talking casually about us – looking back at what we had gone through together. We simply smiled at each other and laughed lightly as we admitted how we imagined ourselves growing old together in our matching rocking chairs. It was a picture that we had imagined before, only now, the vision was less sugar-coated and more authentic – eyes wide open, as they say.
DONDON: The decision to get married was a no brainer for me. I was just waiting for the papers to get fixed.
Margaux was the love of my life and I love her for all that she is- including her daughter. I saw a future with her, I saw myself getting old with her. I saw myself laughing and having long chats with her when we are old and gray. That’s how I know I could spend the rest of my life with her.
MARGAUX: A few months later, we were on a beach trip with his whole family. It was a beautiful, clear night. Dondon and I we were walking along the shore with my daughter, Tala.
To my surprise, he turned to Tala, and asked her gently if she would mind having him as her daddy. She was jumping in delight and gave him an enthusiastic “yes”. He then brought out a necklace and placed it around her neck.
He turned to me next, got down on one knee with a ring in hand, and asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. With tears in my eyes, I embraced him and whispered my “yes” in his ear.
As we went back from our walk on the beach, I was again surprised to be greeted with applause by his whole family – they all knew about the proposal! I was overwhelmed, and as Stevie Wonder put it, “overjoyed”.
DONDON: I was never an advocate of “waiting for the right time” if it meant waiting for the right life circumstance, the right job, the right amount of income, the right whatever.
I believe that both of you have to decide to create the right time. You work together to get the whatever both want for your life with each other.
We didn’t have the house we wanted, the income we wanted, the exact circumstance in our life yet… but the minute we decided that we BOTH will work at it, then our marriage became great tool to achieve our life circumstance… it became the right time.
2nd PART OF DONDON AND MARGAUX’S STORY TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT BLOG POST..