Closing the Distance

Most of you already know our LDR(long distance relationship) story, I even wrote about it on our previous blog site already. I’m going to share it here once again though, since our old blog is no longer working and this is one of the very few posts that I actually have a draft of on my hard drive. If you’ve been following us already, this story will likely be familiar to you.

Photo by N.Y.N.P. Studio
Photo by N.Y.N.P. Studio

It started as it often does – with a message on Facebook. I’d seen him around in a Facebook group that we were both members of – “The Official 9gag Fan Group”, which has since been disbanded. I was living in Olympia, Washington in the United States of America and he was more than 7,000 miles away in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

His name was David. We’d been friends on Facebook for a while already but I didn’t really know him, I just recognized his name and face from the group we were both active members of. At the time, I was obsessed with the Facebook Poke button, and so I sent a few pokes his way along with everyone else on my friend’s list. We poked back and forth for a while and then after just one poke too many, he eventually sent that first message right on Christmas Day, “Dafuq? Happy holidays! :)”

Dec2012happyholidays

We started chatting on a regular basis after that first message. We found that we had a lot in common, from our twisted sense of humor to our deep love for animals. We talked more and more every day until we were even sending each other messages from school and work. We just couldn’t get enough of each other.

Our relationship progressed very fast, especially if compared to our past relationships, but it didn’t seem like it was “too” fast. I feel like the connection was a lot deeper because there was no physical stuff going on(although I won’t lie, I found him extremely good looking from his photos 😉 ), we were connecting purely on an emotional and intellectual level. There was no way for us to hold hands and make out, all we could do was talk and get to know each other, so talk we sure did.

He was the perfect listener, a sweet and caring gentleman and all I could think about was how much I wished I could meet someone like him “in real life”. Even though we talked a lot, at the time I wasn’t sure if he was really into me or if chatting with me was just something to waste time, and the idea of being in a long distance relationship was not something I had ever considered before. But one thing led to another, very soon we were on Skype with each other every day and then one day I just decided, to hell with it, I want to be with this guy, I don’t care how far away he is. I was falling in love with David, hard and fast. So I asked him if he wanted to be in a relationship with me, and he said yes.

From that point on, things continued to progress very quickly with us. I love yous were soon exchanged and I was absolutely elated. We were Skyping with each other every minute that we were both at our homes. He was sleeping during the day in his timezone just so he could be awake before I left for work or school every morning and chat with me all day. We left Skype on while we were asleep so that we would be the first and last thing each other saw before and after sleeping. We really could not get enough of each other.

We loved every day that we were “together”, even with the distance. We sent each other packages with personal items like our favorite t-shirts and I even tried to be old-school romantic and sent him a lock of my hair(looking back on it, that was pretty creepy!). He wrote a song for me, Making Love Through The Computer Screen. We sent each other love letters, birthday gifts, Valentine’s Day gifts, we stayed up all night watching movies “together” and talking about how much we wished we could be in each other’s arms.

Valentine's Day Serenade!
Valentine’s Day Serenade!

The distance was really hard some nights. I often cried because I wanted to be with him so badly, I was craving his touch, needing his comforting arms around me, but there was nothing we could do. The Philippine Islands and the United States aren’t exactly within walking distance of each other.

Then suddenly, back in my “real life” I was faced with some choices. One of which was the fact that house I was currently living in was being sold and I had to find a new place to live.  Faced with some big decisions to make, I decided, to hell with it all. I’ve got to move anyways, why not move all the way across the world? That’s the goal of a long distance relationship anyways, to close the distance, is it not? I had the ability to do so already and I didn’t see any reason to postpone being together.

So I did it. I applied for and got my passport. I bought a one-way ticket to the Philippines. I sold all of my stuff and found a new home for my beloved kitty Stitch.

One of my last snuggle sessions with my beautiful girl
One of my last snuggle sessions with my beautiful girl

I saved up as much money as I possibly could, giving up my weekly sushi splurges and taking the bus everywhere instead of driving.

Then in August 2013, I got on that 18 hour flight and crossed the Pacific Ocean. I landed at the Manila international airport with three suitcases containing all the belongings that I had left. I exited the airport and finally locked eyes with David, for the first time not on a computer screen. I dropped my bags and ran into his arms like they do in all those romantic movies and we finally had our first kiss. I was all sweaty and tired from spending more than the last 24 hours on board the plane and at the airport, but I didn’t care, our first meeting could not have been more perfect.

He helped me with my bags into a cab, being so sweet and gentlemanly to me. The sudden climate change was a bit of a shock, I had never experienced so much heat and humidity before, but David had it covered. He kept gently wiping my face and neck with a cloth to cool me. I just kept staring at him, I was so amazed that I was finally here with him and he was everything I could have ever hoped. We finally arrived at the hotel, relaxed for a while and then he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring. He asked me if I would marry him, and without even needing to think about it, I said yes.

2013engagementring

I have no regrets and I have never looked back. You may think what I did was crazy – and I have to agree, it was. I packed up and left my home country for a man I’d never even met in person before? All I have to say is, as cliche as it is, when you know that it is right, you know. We’d spent every day throughout our relationship on Skype with each other and I knew he was the perfect person for me. I knew without a doubt that he would always take care of me and treat me with respect. I knew him inside and out – a perk of being in an LDR is that you really truly get to know the person you are dating, because there is nothing else the two of you can do.

I’ve been living in the Philippines here with him for almost 2 years now, and I love it so much. We lived in Zamboanga City for a while, which was quite an adventure, in September of 2013 there was a month-long war that broke out when a rebel Muslim group(the MNLF) tried to take the city as their own. There were hostages taken, bombs going off, people being killed and I didn’t leave the house for the entire month for fear of my safety. David was finishing up his Bachelor’s degree in Zamboanga however, so we had to stay for the time being.

As soon as he graduated, we moved to Manila, where he had grown up. There have been a lot of adjustments for me since I moved to the Philippines – the heat, the culture, the language and hot showers being non-existent, among other things. I have survived war, typhoons, and daily power outages in Zamboanga for up to 12 hours a day. I have eaten many unusual foods and fruits that I had previously never heard of. I have held a crocodile and shaken hands with a monkey. I have met so many amazing people and had so many amazing experiences that I never would have had from the comfort of my hometown.

I have finally gotten to experience all the things with David that we couldn’t do while in a long distance relationship, little thinks like being able to look into his eyes and say “I love you” every day, cook meals together, play board games, hold his hand while we go grocery shopping together, cuddle up to him while we watch a movie, all these simple little things that the distance previously between us has made me appreciate so much, though most couples take these things for-granted. Even after living together for almost 2 years already, I still fall more in love with him every day. We got married a few months ago on January 8th, 2015 and nothing could have made me happier.

DSC_7152

If we can make it through the distance, then together we can overcome anything. I’m a firm believer that the most important aspect of making a relationship work is deciding that you want it to and putting forth every effort to make it happen. We’ve already proven our ability to do that despite there being more than 7,000 miles between us, and I’m confident that we’ll continue to do so together well into our old age.

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3 thoughts on “Closing the Distance

  1. Wow. Just recently just saw this site and what sounds like a fairy tale. I am also Filipino but living in Canada. I got to stay you might have been I guess lucky since you found a Filipino from Philippines and not a Filipino-American, they`re not the same breed. Your kids would look so cute. Happy Holidays. Also if you want somewhere slightly mild like Denver,Colorado, go to a place up North called Baguio City. It`s the summer capital of Philippines , lots of forests and trees. By the way how old were you when you was living by yourself and when you decided to move to Philippines? Did you tell your parents after ? How do you find looking for a job in Philippines? Your story is very fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Chad! 🙂 I was 18 when I came here to the Philippines. Yes, my parents know I’m here, although they shun me and have cut contact with me due to their religious beliefs.

      I am actually working as a full time writer for an Australian webzine now. I got really lucky, I started out writing for When In Manila, a popular blog site in the Philippines. It’s unpaid work, but it gave me something to do while I was still a tourist and couldn’t legally be employed here. One of the WIM editors was also an editor for another online website, Modern Filipina, and invited me to write for them as well. I began doing freelance work for them as a paid writer.

      Now, I write full time for MorningLedger.com. The editor I work under saw my articles on other websites and invited me to apply for an opening they had, and I’ve been working for them for about a month and a half now. I got pretty lucky because I wasn’t even really looking for work at the moment, but the job turned out to be perfect for me, especially as my husband and I are now buying a house(rent-to-own) in Cavite, so the extra bit of income is really helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello there. I can truly relate to your story. I have an american boyfriend and we are planning for him to come live with me in the Philippines. But the thing is, we don’t know how he can stay here without travelling back and forth so much. And as I’ve read your previous post, it takes 2-8months for an NSO marriage cert to come out and spouse visa would take months after that too. So, may I know how you were able to spend 2 years here in the Philippines before you got your permanent resident visa? Thank you and hoping for your fast reponse.

    Like

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