BELLI, AN ENTREPRENEUR, AND KARIS, A BANKER AT GOLDMAN SACHS IN SINGAPORE, TIED THE KNOT AT MANILA CATHEDRAL, IN THE HEART OF THE WALLED CITY OF INTRAMUROS.
Isabel Recto Jalbuena weds Karis Sese Napa.
WERE THERE SPARKS WHEN YOU FIRST
MEt? I was fresh out of college in 2008 when I joined my colleagues and their friends for happy hour. Karis sat beside me and introduced himself, and I left shortly after. Whenever I ask him about that night, he says I seemed uninterested in small talk. I never told him this, but I had watched him enter the room and took mental notes of every detail. We exchanged only three or four sentences, but I already had the impression that he was different—a cut above the rest. We didn’t see each other again until 2013, and for some reason, there was this feeling of comfort and joy when I saw him. my shoulders relaxed, and I was smiling from ear to ear, almost as though my body was saying, “finally!” This time around, we connected, and it was so unlike the very first meeting. I found out that he had been
based in Singapore since 2011, but that short encounter immediately turned into constant communication and countless Skype calls and weekend visits. WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT EACH
OTHER? Unconditional love is a term tossed around quite often, but Karis has made this real for me. Coincidentally, Karis says that what he appreciates most about me is that I make him feel loved every single day. God is at the very center of our marriage, and this is the biggest factor to our relationship’s success. Another factor is our mutual respect for each other’s identities, beliefs, and ideas. Unconditional love, respect, and a lot of laughter make up our relationship! HOW
DID KARIS PROPOSE? We were in New York and had been dating long-distance for some time, so this 10-day trip was the longest we’d spent together in the same country. We had been talking about the future early on and knew that we wanted to get married eventually, but I never expected the timing. Our itinerary was filled with scheduled shows and restaurant reservations, but Karis managed to trick me into a little boat ride in Central park. his proposal was perfect—a beautiful setting, super romantic, and only ours. No photos, no witnesses. my only wish is that I had given myself more time to bask in the moment. I was so surprised that my answer to his question was, “Yes, but did you ask my parents?” WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST ENJOYABLE IN YOUR NEW LIVES AS A MARRIED COUPLE? We love being partners in everything and being together in finding meaning in this life. Before we were married, the moments that defined our relationship were the big gestures like visiting each other in Singapore and manila. Now our defining moments are the ones that we share just between us— the inside jokes, waking up next to each other, the way we show support for one another’s endeavors, and taking turns picking up after our beloved corgi, hamilton. We look forward to more milestones together and making many more of these meaningful moments, big and small—like raising a family, visiting new places, starting new projects, and of course, more laughter along the way.