When Kristelle and Conrad asked me to preside at their wedding, I immediately said “yes” because I usually like taking credit for marriages made in Xavier School. But the first time Kristelle and Conrad met was not even in our school, but in another one, where they found themselves in the same class off campus when they had to take 18 educational units in preparation for their licensure exam.
Their paths hadn’t exactly crossed in Xavier because at that time Conrad was still assigned to the high school, while Kristelle was working at the opposite end of the Xavier School universe as a member of the Grade 1 Team of the Early Education Unit.
In class, Conrad struck Kristelle as a quiet and serious person, which just proves that first impressions can be very misleading. For Conrad, on the other hand, it was crush at first sight: Kristelle was attractive, intelligent, serious with her studies, but slightly snobbish. To make things worse, she was always with this male teacher from the Grade School, who, much to Conrad’s relief, turned out to be just a good friend of hers, Eric Perez, our Mass commentator today.
Conrad’s relief was, however, short-lived. After that first meeting, the moment he got back to work, he did a background check on Kristelle by tapping his one-man spy network (also known as Melvin Gallardo). He was dismayed to find out that as he feared, Kristelle was no longer available since she had a medical student boyfriend at the time. So, so much for that.
But as fate would have it, Conrad was transferred to the Grade School next year. Thanks to over-concerned Xavier colleagues eagerly in search of vicarious romances, a frenzy of matchmaking with all sorts of single female co-teachers followed, but Conrad could not forget his attractive, intelligent, but still unavailable classmate. One day his friend Gel Domingo informed Conrad that he had found the perfect match for him, who of course turned out to be Kristelle. When Conrad told him that she was no longer available, Gel, who by the way is the head of our GS Campus Ministry, told him, “So what?” From then on, Gel always made it a point to invite Conrad to the Grade 1 outings and get-togethers, if only to create opportunities for Conrad and Kristelle to get to know.
But unfortunately, no amount of exposure to Conrad changed the fact that Kristelle remained unavailable.
Anyway, that summer Conrad found out that Kristelle was commuting to the Ateneo for her M.A. studies. At that time, Conrad had just received his secondhand car from his parents, so he volunteered to take him home from the Ateneo. I guess Conrad’s idea was if you can’t be Kristelle’s boyfriend, kahit driver na lang. As we can guess, God decided to reward Conrad’s generosity because one day Kristelle informed him that she had broken up with her boyfriend.
And the rest is history.
I asked them both to describe their relationship to me. Kristelle said that the deep friendship that has formed between them strengthens the connection between them. Working in Xavier School five days a week helped them to get to know each other better, including one another’s flaws. They saw how each one related to kids and how each one reacted to stress.
Conrad likes the way they can be both spontaneous and cerebral with each other. It’s probably because they already feel so much at home with each other and they feel free to be themselves. They’ve actually spent some of their best times together on their ride home from work where they’ve had their deepest and most open conversations, including the most interesting mini-debates, with each other.
What Conrad likes best about Kristelle? Her perseverance, her genuine care for others, and her sheer dedication to the things that she values. Conrad, whom Kristelle ironically calls “Con,” is an honest person. He is capable fo telling you the painful truth without sugarcoating at all. Other people would call this tactless, but for Kristelle, it’s honesty.
Conrad is also a very generous person. He would surprise Kristelle with very thoughtful gestures and gifts that were guaranteed to make her fall and stay in love with her. For example, when Conrad was still courting her, she woke up very early one morning to find him at the door with a dozen roses which he had bought and “styled” himself. At work, Conrad never complained about waiting for his self-confessed workaholic girlfriend to finish all her work at school, even willingly changing his schedule just to accommodate hers. Once when he had to stay in school overnight, he sent her a long text message saying how worried he was about her commuting alone. When he was leaving for Guangzhou to accompany our students for a 6-week overseas program, Conrad made sure to give Kristelle a bottle of pepper spray. Finally, while he was in China, Conrad spent all his allowance on clothes for Kristelle.
Hearing about their story, I couldn’t help but note the crucial role that their friends played . Conrad and Kristelle, it almost seems that your friends have conspired to bring you together. But that is only part of the picture. The truth is, God conspired to bring you together. It has always been the Lord Who has wanted you to end up together. And if you commit yourselves to Him and make room for Him in your life, you can be sure of His commitment to you as well. And likewise with your friends. You can be assured of all our prayers and support as you begin your married life together.