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Elderly couple’s love inspires lady judge


BY JOSEPH PEDRAJAS


In a rare occasion on Wednesday, Caloocan City Judge Ma. Rowena V. Alejandria felt “kilig” (elated) and emotional inside the Regional Trial Court room.

In stark contrast from the normal ways during testimonies or cross-examinations, the Caloocan City judge said she was touched by the love affair of the elderly couple who finally decided to get married after 35 years.

That’s because she was the one who officiated the reaffirmation of their love to each other amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

CALOOCAN RTC Branch 121 Judge Ma. Rowena V. Alejandria video screenshot

She said the love affair of Eugene Te Tong, 70, and Rosemarie Tumampo, 56, is pure and inspiring.

According to Alejandria, who had small talks with the couple, “’They said, they don’t know what tomorrow could bring to them amid today’s uncertainties,’ so they decided to seek blessing for their 35-year relationship.”

“Super nakakatuwa kasi after 35 years, nagpakasal, kahit pandemic,” the judge said in an interview, “I told the wife that I wanted to hug them [after their wedding]. But I wanted to observe health protocols.”

While officiating, Alejandria said, she had to hold back her tears.

“Ang bagal ko magsalita kasi pigil ko luha ko,” she said.

The Branch 121 judge is used to officiating marriages. But, she said, it was her “first time” to do so for an elderly couple.

“Simple lang ang civil wedding. But I try to make it solemn and memorable,” Alejandria said.

Clad in yellow, Te Tong and Tumampo wedded in between plastic barriers.

Their three grown up sons and one daughter were also with them, said Alejandria, who shared her group photo with them.

And although they weren’t able to prepare their wedding ring, what’s more important for them, they asserted, was to get married.

“Love in the time of pandemic,” Alejandria said.

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