Power cou­ple Jeff and Melanie Oyas team up to run the day-to-day af­fairs of Rico’s Le­chon, voted as the best le­chon in the SunS­tar Best of Cebu 2016 Peo­ple’s Choice on­line poll.

Mel and Jeff share their recipe for a re­la­tion­ship that works


THEY say that true love is sim­ple: when it is meant to be, ev­ery­thing just falls into place. Such is the case for Jeff Walther Oyas and Melanie Grace Dion­son-Oyas. Attraction came grad­u­ally when the two first met. But what they didn’t know then was how their worlds were more in­tri­cately wo­ven to­gether even be­fore they knew each other.

Jeff and Mel met when they were both work­ing as vol­un­teer nurses at the Sa­cred Heart Hos­pi­tal. Ini­tially, Mel didn’t bother with Jeff. To her, he was “su­plado” and a snob. Un­til such time, Jeff got around to talk to Mel, but only to ask if she could pair him up with some­one to date.

Mel, who had a boyfriend that time, in­tro­duced Jeff to one of her best friends. “But my best friend wouldn’t go out with him if I wasn’t around, so if they went out on dates, I would chap­er­one them,” Mel said with a laugh.

Dur­ing their last date, Mel’s best friend got sick, so they ended up be­ing alone to­gether for the first time. That was the start of their “get­ting to know you” stage. Mel had al­ready bro­ken up with her boyfriend, and her best friend, who was happy for them, moved on with an­other guy.

Even­tu­ally, Mel and Jeff got of­fi­cial and found out that their fam­i­lies ac­tu­ally knew each other from way back.

Jeff’s fam­ily used to own a mango juice fac­tory in Talam­ban, right be­side Mel’s house. Rico Dion­son, Mel’s fa­ther and founder of Rico’s Le­chon, used to work for Jeff’s fam­ily as their fam­ily driver.

“When we went to their house for the pa­man­hikan, so many peo­ple from my fam­ily wanted to go. Usa ka barangay mi didto nga na­malay. The re­sult? They talked to each other more than they talked to us,” Jeff said fondly.

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