Jay and Linnel’s Celebration of Love
Pat Dy with Henry Vergara and Videographer Dan Mendiola were the official photographers at Jay and Linnel’s wedding, March 2nd, 2017. Although I (Jude Bautista) am a photojournalist I was more of a pesky uncle just trying to capture some memories for the family and THIS blog. I took photos trying not to be too intrusive to Pat Dy and his team. I took some snapshots as Pat, Henry and Dan art directed the portraitures of the couple and the entourage while some of the coverage during the wedding was my own. I insisted on shooting the photos you see here no matter how unsolicited. This is my own gift for their celebration of love.
And apart from writing a short backgrounder I discovered there were a lot of touching speeches from the bride’s parents Nelson and Lilibeth De Villa and the groom’s parents Timothy and Joy Bautista and other family members. Their speeches are included below in full.
Jose Yldefonso Bautista and Leticia Linnel De Villa were made for each other. They met through their JS Prom attended by students from Poveda and Xavier (their high schools).
Both of them were successful and highly competitive in sports. Linnel was already a Junior golfer who competed internationally when they met. Golf was a passion she shared with her sisters Lilet, Debbie & Angel who also competed abroad and even trained in the U.S. Jay on the other hand was a bemedalled swimmer since his toddler years through to college.
Their love grew as they pursued studies abroad. Linnel attended California State University San Marcos while Jay went to Fordham. Although in different coasts they kept up their romance, with shared summer and Christmas vacations with each other’s families. Both of them now live and work in New York.
This year would be their 12th year as a couple. The first wedding ceremony was on September 9, 2016 in New York City Hall. The date also happens to be Linnel’s birthday. Then a beach wedding followed in Balesin Island, Philippines March 2nd, 2017. Finally a reception for family and friends here in Manila was held at Conrad’s March 5th, 2017.
The messages below were delivered on March 5th, 2017 during the Conrad’s reception.
Nelson De Villa (Father of the Bride)
Jay and Linnel’s love story is one for the books. They’ve been boyfriend girlfriend for 12 years since their high school days, almost 12 years. I remember Timmy and Joy invited us for lunch. And we were kind of surprised to have photographers. Its kind of family pictures and they weren’t engaged yet at the time. So I was thinking what if they split up? We already have this pre nup arrangement.
After that get together even the parents felt they would get married. So this is a series of celebrations. First was in New York, where they were civilly married. We waited in a long line, more than the ceremony itself. Probably the ceremony lasted for just ten minutes. We didn’t have time to cry at the time.
Unlike in Balesin you will see in the video you will see me crying. Now in Conrad’s this is a bigger celebration. And after this is the best part, waiting for the apo. I wish Jay and Linnel many kids. I thank everyone for coming, new friends. This is indeed a very good celebration.
Lilibeth De Villa (Mother of the Bride)
For JY and Linnel I would just keep on repeating what I’ve been saying, the advice that was given to me by my mom when I got married: To love respect your in laws as your very own. That’s the same for JY as for all the lovable family. We would like to thank Tim and Joy for this celebration.
Actually I was kind of sad, I was thinking that this will be the last time after a series. We’re so happy we’ve met you family, friends and relatives of JY. When JY asked permission from us it wasn’t that difficult for me to say ‘yes’ because I know Linnel is so well loved by the Bautistas. JY is so well loved by our family too. He is and will forever be our favorite son in law. We have four girls and one boy. He will always be the first son in law. We love you JY!
Nathan De Villa (Bride’s Only Brother)
Good evening everyone I am Nathan De Villa. I am the youngest and only brother of Ate Linnel. I am here to not only give my first speech at a wedding but also my first ever brother of the bride speech. I can tell you right now it is a weird, new but electrifying feeling. Let me start off by congratulating the newlyweds who finally tied the knot. So please give them a round of applause.
From Poveda, Xavier, San Diego and New York, getting married in New York, getting married in Balesin, finally we’re here at Conrad’s. On behalf of the Bautista and De Villa family I would like to sincerely thank everyone who came here who shared this memorable life event with us. Most especially thank you to the Titos and Titas, Ninongs and Ninangs and the rest of the relatives who flew all the way from around the world just for ate Linnel and JY.
Ate Linnel, growing up you know we were never really physically close to each other. when we both lived in the Philippines we studied in different schools. When I moved to the States, you moved from California to New York. I was in California so obviously we weren’t together. We never really grew up with each other. I felt like we were just side-by-side.
Over the years I realized how truly caring and loving you are as a person. For instance whenever ates and I, mom and dad, JY are trying to help you with a hectic problem in New York or just a simple chore at home, I notice how you always ask how we are doing first.
Building up to this wedding I know you were going through so much stressful things at work, New York, China or I don’t even know. Sometimes I can’t keep up with it any more. The point is whatever problem you’re dealing with you always message, snapchat and face time us, its like we’re the ones who have a problem.
All your life you’ve always been a selfless and loving person. That’s something you’re going to carry forward even more I guarantee it.
JY all my life whenever people ask me ‘how many siblings do you have?’. I have four older sisters, which makes me the youngest and only boy. But tonight finally that’s going to change. I’ve always wondered what it was like to have an older bro. You know with ate Linnel now God bless me would not just be an older bro but a confident, witty, hilarious and strangely amusing Kuya JY. I’d also want to give a shout out to Alfonso Bautista, where are you?
Set aside the times when you were overly competitive in FIFA and basketball. I am 99.9999 percent sure that you are the best man on this earth to best take care of my beautiful, loving, caring, selfless Ate Linnel. So I really do appreciate you JY. And I am so happy to be part of your humble and adoring family. Once again I love you Ate Linnel, JY another big congratulations.
Tim Bautista (Father of the Groom)
Before anything else, please allow me to make a clarification. There is no truth to the rumor that Mr. Jaime ‘Jimmy’ Bautista, President of Philippine Airlines is my relative. Fortunately through Nelson and Lilibeth, Jimmy is now Godparent to JY and Linnel and my kumpadre! Let’s please give a warm round of applause for Mr. Jimmy Bautista.
Good evening everyone and welcome to the post wedding celebration of Linnel and JY. Your presence tonight deeply warms our hearts and makes our families very, very happy.
Thank you so much to the relatives and friends of the De Villas you are now all of our friends too! Bigyan po natin ng isang masigabong palakpakan ang mga De Villas and their guests. Maraming, maraming salamat po to our guests sa Bautista side.
To all principal sponsors of JY and Linnel, to our dear relatives and friends who are based both here and abroad, To my bosses and colleagues at Cable Boss and OMI,
To all our friends in the Philippine Cable TV Association and program providers from HBO, Fox Network Group, Turner International, Vision Plus, MCI Outdoor, ViaCom, NBC Universal, A and E, I-Concerts, Thema, Sony and Cinemaworld
To our Mary the Queen parish Community, To our Jesuit Friends from the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, To our friends from the Christian Life Community and CBCP, To Joy’s batchmates from St. Paul’s College , To my batchmates from De La Salle University and St. Jude Catholic School
To Clara Roura, Che Carasig, Sig Aromin, the fantastic musicians, the management and staff of Conrad Hotel and all those who have helped us make this occasion enjoyable and memorable. And of course more importantly to the friends of JY and Linnel
To all of you our sincerest gratitude for sharing with us this beautiful day!
Joy is a very loving wife! She is an even more devoted and hands on mother to our only child JY. After spending over twelve years at Xavier School in Manila it was time for JY to enter university at Fordham in New York. Joy as expected, assiduously made sure everything was in order and accompanied JY to New York for the first two weeks of his studies. When Joy eventually returned to Manila, all her attention was now focused on me. (laughter)
I had to think of a solution, fast! So even if I did not like dogs I got her a cute and frisky Jack Russell Terrier. I soon loved that dog! I loved that dog so much I got Joy two more.
Let’s flashback to the day JY was born. It was around 4am when Joy’s water broke. After I brought Joy to the hospital and she was settled in at the delivery room. I went to the assigned room where Joy will recuperate after the birth. I quickly discovered that hospital beds could really be comfortable and soon fell asleep.
At around 9am, my mother in law woke me up, telling me excitedly my wife was about to give birth. I told her “Sorry Ma, I am not the obstetrician” and went back to sleep. My mother in law did not talk to me for two weeks. I did not know then whether to be happy or sad. I love my Mother in law, God Bless her soul.
I guess it’s quite a different experience to have an only child.
With greater seriousness we would closely observe every word and action of JY, especially during the first seven years of his life. We hoped that we could somehow get glimpses or clues on what qualities this boy will have. Early on we knew that JY will be a survivor. The first word that he spoke was “Mama”. I really thought his second would be “Papa”. It was “Milk”. JY gave indications that he would be ambitious. At age threehe was asked what he wanted to be when grows up. He said he wanted to be Batman.
JY was four years old when he joined his first swimming competition. He proved he was a team player. He was way ahead of the other swimmers when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the pool. We were all wondering why he did that until we saw him swim again when his team mate caught up with him. He later told us he really wanted to finish together with his buddy.
When the car of JT, my brother in law broke down while parked in our home, JY gave us a hint that he was a resourceful kid. He was five at that time, He asked JT what was wrong. JT said it won’t start. “Uncle JT I will help you. Let me call my dad.” “ Why is your dad good with cars?” JY answered “ No, he does not know anything about cars! I will ask my dad to go with me to call our neighbor who knows how to fix cars!”
JY was six when he was a ring bearer for a wedding. He showed signs that he will be very self confident and creative. During the rehearsals, he followed instructions to the letter and he walked formally and with cadence with the music. On the day of the wedding, when it was his turn to walk he went jogging instead towards the altar. We asked why he did that. He said the whole thing seemed boring and he wanted the event to be more exciting.
JY always wants to be prepared. Fast forward to time when JY was about fourteen. He told us he that wanted to play the guitar. I asked him, “Why are you courting somebody?”. He said, “No, not yet but I soon will.”
The following year he told us that he needed money for golf lessons. We asked if the girl he is courting was a golfer. He said, “Not only is she a golfer, she plays for the Philippine JunGolf Team and she has made a hole-in-one”. I took out my wallet and gave JY double the amount for a lot more golf training.
And true enough after about a few golf lessons Joy and I met Linnel for the first time. From hindsight I don’t think JY inherited too much of my genes. Obviously he has a little bit more hair than I have. Whereas JY is tall dark and handsome, I am pale skinned, not so tall but handsome too.
Fortunately, JY got the most important trait that I could ever pass on to him. We both know how to choose our perfect partner for life. JY, your mom and I are so proud of the man you have become. Please know that you have given us much more happiness than whatever we have shared with you.
Through the years Joy and I have grown to realize and appreciate why Linnel’s name is so appropriate for her. She possesses the best qualities of both her parents, her mom Lilibeth, the ‘Li’ in Linnell and her dad Nelson the ‘Nel’ in Linnel. Obvious ba?
Linnel is charming, beautiful, extroverted, meticulous, thoughtful and caring like her mom, Doctora Lilibeth. Linnel is goal oriented, business minded, purposeful and kindhearted like her dad Nelson. Like both her parents, Linnel is God fearing, religious, athletic, humble and family oriented.
Joy and I look with happy expectation that JY and Linnel will have a long and blissful life together because they always laugh out loud in unison and they zestfully laugh at each other.
And I know for sure Linnel will be a great daughter in law.
You know why? Because she always laughs at my jokes. Sometimes, even when they are not so funny.
As parents all we want is the best for our kids. Linnel and JY, as you begin this next exciting chapter of your lives, please be assured of our unwavering love and support.
As you learn both the pleasant and challenging realities of living together and raising your own kids, always place our good Lord at the center of your family and never take each other for granted.
As your love for each other grows, please continue to keep your hearts open to generously share your talents and blessings to make the world better than when you first entered it.
Finally and most importantly in your relationship with each other be patient and persevere. Expect that things may not always turn out the way you want them to and cheerfully accept the fact that your partner may be right sometimes.
And when all else fails buy dogs for each other maybe even two.
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