FL’s no ‘open sesame’ to successful marriage

FIRST Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos says it’s important for couples to find time to go on dates. | photograph courtesy of FB/louiselizaaraneta

For First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos, there is no magical command like the one used by Ali Baba, to summon or produce something that unfailingly results in the desired outcome in marriage.

This is a secret that the First Lady, commonly referred to as FLLAM, unselfishly shared to 2,023 couples who exchanged their vows in a mass wedding ceremony in Bacolod City on 11 March.

FLLAM, who has been married to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for almost three decades and blessed with three good-looking sons, including Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Sandro Marcos, offered marriage tips.

“We’ll be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary next month, on April 17,” said Araneta-Marcos, who was the guest of honor of the event held at the Bacolod City Government Center grounds.

Having no magic formula to make a marriage work 100 percent, she said each couple is unique.

“Since there’s no magic formula, allow me to take this opportunity to share three lessons that I learned from being married to your President for almost 30 years,” she said.

First on FLLAM’s list is that couples should “make sure that the courtship continues” by having time for a regular date night with their spouse.

Secondly, she said couples should take care of each other, and be their spouse’s “biggest supporter and ardent advocate.”

“Remember the saying happy wife, happy life. The real saying is happy spouse, happy house. Let’s make our house a happy haven for our loved ones,” FLLAM was quoted as saying.

To conclude, she wished the newlyweds “all the best as you embark on a beginning for the rest of your lives.”

Coming from the First Lady, known to have a happy and fulfilling married life, it was a most welcome statement to the couples who can only take her advice at heart.

Not a few among the audience, especially her townsmen, recalled that Liza’s relationship with BBM began with a knock on the door of her New York apartment in 1987.

Expecting a friend and classmate from the Ateneo Law School, Helen Teodoro, she had run to the door in anticipation and found out it was someone else.

It was Bongbong. And behind him hiding was Helen. Thus were the two introduced in the most casual and unexpected way.

No, the First Lady would recall, “it wasn’t love at first sight. I was too old, around 27, when I met him. We were no longer teeny boppers.”

What followed was a series of getting-to-know-you meetings, this between the future president attending to the numerous problems of his family.

But it was their maturity that prevailed, as they took precious time to decide “this is it,” and thus did the most eligible presidential son propose marriage to the charming, smart, and no-nonsense Liza. Liza by then had known Bongbong well and, yes, he was the right guy for the girl, feisty and forthright that she was.

Theirs indeed was a marriage of two hearts, souls, and minds who knew that if love were to prevail, it would take persistence, respect, commitment, and acceptance, among other traits and virtues not easily found among modern-day couples. All these advantages would manifest in a wedded bliss that is now going on to its 30th year.

Who said one could not fall in love with someone you didn’t expect to meet at your front door?

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