February 5, 2023

There are untold blessings in this Covid-19 pandemic, even in the postponement of weddings. We never knew what would happen when the world came to a grinding halt. It must have been an ordeal to have come so close then uncertainty struck and the marriage between two young doctors was suspended with no sandglass to measure time. Even the parents were quarantined in Canada until recently. In these pandemic times, the wedding finally got an outpouring of blessings with the opening of the checkpoints to welcome family from everywhere. The dream came true for Paul Justin Belvis and Margarette Martin on Oct. 12 with a nine seconds kiss to seal it.

Rev. Fr. Vic Munar officiated the most touching and intimate rite at the St. Joseph Parish Church in Pacdal, Baguio City.

Reminiscing the excitement of Justin and Margarette when they asked if he could join them in matrimony on April 21,he said he was overjoyed when they saw him again to ask if he could bless them. It was he who said that the wait and the final moment to declare that they were one should be the longest kiss because it took them more than nine years to walk down the aisle and make a promise to God that they will love each other forever. He said unless they fulfilled this, he would not sign their contract.

“What is meant to be, is meant to be,” said Fr. Vic during the homily. He joked that even the storm could not stop the ceremony with the basketful of eggs offered to St. Mary. Indeed, with the principal sponsors, groomsmen, bridesmaids, parents, siblings, and a handful of friends, the church protocols allowed less than a hundred people in to witness the rites, replete with fashionable face masks and face shields. Even the troop of photographers had their white personal protective equipment.

He noticed that most eyes were tearful before and during the wedding. To this he said, “Tears are a kind of prayer that only God understands.” For the couple, he encouraged them to transform themselves totally because they are to build each other and live in each other. To fall in love with each other non-stop, to take care of the roots if they want their tree to continue bearing fruits and build their love where people love them, were the other messages.

In his vows, Paul Justin said that Margarette had made him into “a better version of himself” with the kindness she had shown him since they were together at med school. He said he knew that she was the one because “the happier you were, the happier I was.” He promised, “To forgive and console, now we are whole.”

Margarette said that Paul used to sit in front of her at the laboratory and now he was standing in front of the altar with her. She said, “I am certain that you will be a great partner to fulfill our dreams.” She added she will support the gaming sessions only during their free time but most of all, “I promise to be a safe place.”

For the fulfilment of love in these Covid-19 times, patience has had its best test. The long wait of six months finally started a life together after the long kiss that lasted more than nine seconds to mark the next ninety or so years that this ceremony will be remembered.