Love Story

Apaul and Daniel are Latin dancers from different backgrounds. Apaul was a dance competitor and choreographer and Daniel was a social dancer.  They first saw each other in a dance studio in October 2012. One day they attended the same social dance event.  And while they danced, Daniel looked into Apaul’s eyes and told her, “Your smile makes my heart melt.”  Apaul reacted with laughter.

Daniel started attending Apaul’s dance classes.  During one of her classes, there were not many female dancers. Apaul apologized to Daniel, but he responded with “My main reason for taking this class is to see you.”

At one of the social events, Apaul coincidentally found out that Daniel was a computer engineer.  Apaul had two computer courses during Christmas break. She politely asked Daniel to help with her projects. He responded, “You came to the right guy.”

When it was time to meet for their first project session, Daniel asked Apaul to meet him at a TGIF restaurant.  Apaul was a bit surprised but she arrived with her backpack and computer. Her first study session turned out to be a dinner where Daniel introduced her to his co-workers.

Daniel’s house became the project working area every weekend. Apaul felt comfortable with Daniel’s gentleman behavior and the serenity offered by his home. She described Daniel’s house as a better and more peaceful place to work compared to the coffee shops in hotels and the library of her university. Apaul accomplished her school project and they became close friends.

While working on Apaul’s project, she discovered that the couch in Daniel’s house was her favorite comfort zone. As close friends, Apaul visited Daniel more often and established his couch as her therapeutical zone to help her deal with the pressures of a rigorous academic schedule. Daniel respected her space and invited her to come as often as she needed. Daniel felt comfortable with Apaul that he took a chance and gave her a key to his house.  Jokingly he told her “You hold the key to my heart.”  Apaul was quite surprised by Daniel’s gesture and responded with laughter.

Apaul and Daniel spend more time together and started get to know each other more personally in terms of what they like and dislike. But more importantly, what values they shared. In a simple conversation Apaul told Daniel, “While I was walking in K-mart and saw men. I only saw your face.” Daniel reacted with tender smile.

Over time they develop feelings for each other and Apaul was confused as to the direction of the relationship.  She asked “What are we?’  And Daniel held her hands and asked “Will you be my girl?” Apaul responded with a great big hug.

A little over a year later, Apaul graduated from the University of Guam and started working full time, while Daniel often traveled for his work. Daniel would deploy to Japan for six months every year, and then eventually relocated to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apaul decided to pursue master’s degree education. She moved to mainland and studied at the Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. The extended years of separation presented them with an opportunity to develop a deep level of trust in each other.

The time and distance did not deter Daniel and Apaul from maintaining their relationship. They communicated via webcam or phone every day.  And even though they were on the opposite side of the world, they cooked together, had dinner and breakfast together, celebrated holidays together, and even would stay connected while they slept.  

Daniel had planned on attending Apaul’s graduation, but the Covid pandemic hit the world.  Everything had changed.  Traveling became very difficult and even Apaul’s school graduation ceremony was postponed and the date became “to be announced.” The possibility of an extended and challenging separation had become a reality.  Daniel and Apaul could only pray for guidance and help from God.

During the pandemic, UAE was very strict on who they would allow to enter their country. God had answered their prayers when Daniel became aware that there was a small window of opportunity for Apaul to travel to UAE.  Daniel called Apaul and told her to “Get on a plane tomorrow” because the UAE was about to shut their borders to all travelers. He also asked her to bring a small box with a gift he had previously bought to give Apaul as a graduating gift.  The following day, Apaul and Jiearra traveled to UAE with two suitcases for each of them and a small box of unknown content.  As soon as Apaul and Jiearra landed in UAE, the government stopped all travel into the UAE.

Once things settled down, Daniel had been thinking about Apaul’s dedication to him and their relationship.  He also thought about the big risk she took coming to UAE. One day after his work, Daniel came into the room and knelt down in front of Apaul.   As he pulled out the little box and before Daniel could say a word Jiearra yelled “He is going to ask you to marry him!”  They all reacted with laughter and tears of joy.  After things settled down, still on his knees, Daniel asked Apaul “Be my wife and I promise to love you for life!  Will you marry me?”  Apaul replied “Yes!”

 About a year later, Daniel was informed that he would have to relocated to Japan for work.  So, they traveled to California to prepare for the move.  Because of the regulations, Daniel and Apaul had to be married to travel to Japan.  And because of the short notice, they traveled to Nevada and had a civil wedding in Las Vegas Nevada. Two months later, they relocated to Japan as a married couple and began making preparations to have a Catholic wedding in the Philippines.  Apaul had always wanted to have a Catholic wedding with her grandmother in attendance.  This December, Daniel and Apaul will fulfill her dreams at San Antonio De Padua Parish Church in Tagaytay, Philippines.