JANUARY 26, 2013

The Bride and Groom


ang dyosa (goddess) - Judith was born and raised in the city of Malolos, Bulacan. She had a younger sister, Ria, who went back to heaven at a very young age. Hence, she was brought up as an only child most of her life. She grew up in a home which embraces a diverse choice of Christianity: Protestant, Catholic and Methodist. That gave her an open mind while maintaining conservatism, living in a rural setting. She has caught the travel bug early on, spending her childhood summers travelling with her family, discovering different cultures and eating different cuisines. She got the name "Budit" in elementary school from bullies who would tease her and compare her to a bear! They played with her name, replacing "J" with a "B". Kids can be mean, but the nickname grew on her. Bears are cute after all ;) She attended an all-girls Catholic high school in Malolos. That's where she found friends who would become her sisters for life. On her 18th birthday, her dad organized a party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati City because he wanted her to have a unique rockin' celebration! That, and because he couldn't bear the sight of his unica hija dancing and holding hands with 18 different boys for the 18 roses! She graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Interior Design. In 2007, a year after her dad joined Ria in heaven, she took her chances and moved to New York City. It was a significant change and it was to fulfil her dad's request, for her to never stop discovering the world. Despite a major career change, working for the United Nations gave her a truly rewarding experience - meeting the love of her life and soon to be spending a lifetime with him.



ang rakista (rock star) - John was born in Quezon City, grew up in Malabon and later on moved to New York in his teens. His childhood memories are consisted mostly of summer breaks spent with his kuya and cousins at home and in Meycauayan, Bulacan, black outs, piano recitals, his Papa coming home on vacation and endless jam sessions. He got the nickname "Pepe" from his cousin Sherwin, who got it from the name of a game show host "Tito Pepe". That is after he got asked what he prefers to get as a birthday present, "Kwarta o Kahon", which is inadvertently the name of the game show. He used to hate it, but later on thought it was sort of cool because it's unique. He has always defined himself as a musician. He took piano lessons when he was 6, learned the guitar when he was 8, took up the drums when he was 10 and learned the bass guitar when he was 13. That's a lot of time spent at home practicing, which shows that John is a bona fide introvert. Learning the bass had never actually crossed his mind. It was only after his dad's surprise home coming with a bass guitar in hand for him to learn. That's because Papa was a guitarist/vocalist and kuya is a drummer, so he picked up the bass and they formed his very first band ever, "The Violago Band". Little did he know that playing the bass would play a significant role in his life. In 2004, he met a talented musician named Jay. John became his bassexual bass player and they became good friends. In 2005, John graduated from Hunter College with a degree in Computer Science, just because he likes computing...and science. The difficult job market has led to John bumming around for months and just playing random gigs with various bands. Being in the United Nations was Jay's idea and would never have entered the picture without his help. That act of kindness has led John to where he currently is; happy and blessed to have met the most wonderful person he has ever known, whom he couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with.

Their Story

The first time that Budit and Pepe met was in April 2008 at a spring event of the UN Philippine Cultural Society. They were introduced by their common friend, Ria. It wasn't really love at first sight. According to Budit, she didn't like the way Pepe was rocking that "Afro" look and according to Pepe, he wasn't too fond of her "Dora the Explorer" hairstyle, complete with thick bangs. They would occasionally bump into each other by the elevators but just the usual "hi" and "goodbye". Plus, Pepe had to take a few months off from work due to some health issues. Then came Ria's birthday party in November and they eventually found the chance to actually talk. He was no longer sporting the afro, just the Super Mario mustache, according to her. It was then that Budit started to like him. Pepe, being the quiet listener, and Budit being an avid story teller, there was already a connection. Since then, they started to get to know each other better and began to spend time together more often: group lunches, after work hang outs, taking the same train to go home. "Pepe was not showy of his feelings, he was such a nerd", says Budit. But with the help of their friend, Monica, she was able get his number. She eventually asked him to teach her how to play the guitar. During the time she has expressed real interest in his true passion, that's the time he thought to himself that she is everything he's been looking for. Pepe's way of showing his emotions has always been through music. One time while they were hanging out during a guitar lesson, he showed her Moonstar 88's music video - "Migraine". Being the emotional person that she is, she took the song to a whole new level thinking that it might be the way that he is thinking about her. And it was. They went out one evening to watch random musicians in the Lower East Side. Little did they know that their future theme song will be sung by this great indie band, Shayna Zaid and the Catch. It was entitled "It's You". Their eyes were drawn to each other. Later that evening, their mutual feelings finally bubbled up to the surface. Since then, they were inseparable, until the summer of 2009. Budit left for a month long vacation which turned out to be longer due to a motorbike accident in Vietnam. Missing her terribly, he wrote a song for her and when she came back, they made their relationship official. Three years later, on the way to Cafe Fleuri in Boston for their seasonal Chocolate Buffet, Pepe finally asked her to marry him, one of the easiest decisions he has ever made. Of course, she said yes. Their love blossomed and now they could not wait to say their vows and continue this lifelong happiness.
April 2008

Copyright 2012 John & Judith Violago