Saturday, September 5, 2009

Loving the same woman the third time around

"Loving the same woman the third time around"
Sun.Star Davao, Sept. 5, 2009

Just like Ninoy Aquino’s touching poem to his dear Cory, “I Have Fallen in Love with the Same Woman Three Times, Bert Dakudao not only fell in love but married his wife Ellen (nee Arceo) three times during a span of 60 blissful years.

Back in 1947, 24-year-old Bert stood as the best man of his cousin Espedito Pison in Bacolod City when he got married to Conchita Arceo. Eighteen-year old Ellen, Conchita’s younger sister, was the maid of honor.

So smitten was Bert with the beautiful Ellen that he would regularly visit her in Bacolod from Davao City where he was living and working at that time.

Two years after the long distance courtship, Bert asked for Ellen’s hand in marriage from her oldest brother Bert Arceo and her oldest sister Nena Arceo-Ramos.

On September 3, 1949, Bert and Ellen were united in holy matrimony at the Bishop’s Palace in Bacolod City at 6:00 a.m., the only mass schedule in 1949. Fr. Anton Arceo officiated the solemn ceremony. A sumptuous breakfast reception followed at the University Club of Bacolod City where around 150 guests attended the affair.

After their wedding, Bert brought his lovely wife to Davao City where they settled and raised their family. They had four children, Bobby, Inday, Vicky and Binggoy.

Even if the Dakudaos were preoccupied with their real estate and agriculture business, Bert always found time to dabble in carpentry and Ellen developed her culinary skills as their family grew. Together, they enjoyed the game of golf and forged most of their lasting friendships on the fairways and greens of golf courses all over the Philippines.

For their 50th golden wedding anniversary, Bert and Ellen celebrated this important milestone at the Marco Polo Hotel where the renewal of vows was concelebrated by Monsignor Guillermo “GG” Gaston, Fr. Rodolfo Malasmas, S.J., Fr. Renato “Ning” Puentevella, S.J. and Fr. Patrice Pickart, PME. After the mass, more than 300 guests from as far as the U.K. and the U.S. enjoyed cocktails, dinner and, of course, ballroom dancing, one of Bert and Ellen’s greatest passions.

Ten years after, close family and friends from Davao, Manila, Bacolod, Bicol and Cebu gathered again as Bert and Ellen renewed their marital vows for their 60th diamond wedding anniversary held in advance last August 15, 2009. The intimate affair was held at the family residence and officiated by Fr. Ning.

The following day, a grand dinner reception was held at the Marco Polo Hotel where the Dakudaos’ most cherished family and friends came in full force to be with the well-loved couple.

Top wedding planner Annie Lim elegantly decorated the ballroom with exquisite flowers, lanterns and impressive ceiling works while All About Cakes’ Tanya Rabat-Tan whipped up the three-layer fondant wedding cake with the initials D and A as the topper.

In lieu of gifts, the Dakudaos requested guests to donate to their chosen charity, the Davao Welfare Action Foundation, Inc.

Bert and Ellen opened the dance floor to the tune of “You Belong to my Heart”. They were then followed by the Dakudao children and guests.

Over 200 guests were treated to good food and non-stop ballroom dancing which lasted until the wee hours of the morning.

That night, Bert and Ellen “felt extremely blessed to be in the presence of their children, grandchildren, great grand children and friends whom they have made through the years”.

“With God’s grace, the secret of our 60 years of marriage is that we have a true partnership and our marriage’s foundation is based on love, trust and respect”, Ellen reveals.

Still as radiant and ageless as the day he met her in 1947, no wonder Bert fell in love and married this same wonderful woman three times!
We share photos of the happy occasion by Imagine Digital Fotofun.

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