By Jel Santos
Before he dies, a man bedridden with colon cancer has fulfilled his heart’s greatest desire—to marry his live-in partner of 10 years.
On Dec. 20, days before Christmas, Darwin Belardo, 47, and Haide Duron, 55, tied the knot at a simple wedding ceremony officiated by Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro at the couple’s home in Barangay Tumana.
Belardo was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago and the disease has visibly weakened him.
The mayor said that it was his first time to wed such a kind of couple, with a very heart-breaking tale.
“Ang lahat ng dahilan ng pagpapakasal ay pag-ibig. Aaminin ko ito ang unang pagkakataon na may ikakasal ako sa bahay (The reason for marriage is always love. I will admit, it is my first time to officiate a marriage in a house),” Mayor Teodoro said.
“Ang nangyari ay hindi aksidente, lahat nasa tadhana. May mawala man pagdating ng araw, palagay ko sa ala-ala ng inyong anak ang araw na ito ay mananatili (What happened is no accident, everything is destiny. Even if someone passes on, I think this day will remain in the mind of your children),” he added.
Darwin, hooked up to an intravenous drip and lying on his reclined bed, said his vows to Haide, promising to love her until his last breath.
This made everyone who witnessed the wedding even more emotional, with some even breaking into tears.
The bride vowed to love him in sickness and in health, until death parts them.
Darwin, in tears, made a touching speech to his wife and children.
“Dadamayan kita kahit anong mangyari. Nandito lang kami lagi. Salamat, Mamu, dahil kahit na hirap na hirap ako nandiyan ka sa tabi ko. Salamat sa lahat ng tulong mo sa akin. Sana maka-survive ako, sana madagdagan pa ng marami yung birthday ko, ‘yung buhay ko.
“Gusto ko pang gampanan lahat ng gusto ko, obligasyon sa aking pamilya sa anak ko, sa’yo, sa magulang ko, kapatid ko. Nagpapasamalat ako kay Mayor at nandito po siya,” Darwin said.
(I will support you whatever happens. We are always here. Thank you, Mamu, for always being by my side in the midst of my suffering. Thank you for all your help. I hope I can survive to have more birthdays, to have a longer life. There’s still so much I want to do, my obligations to my family and child, to you, my parents, my siblings. I thank the mayor for being here.)
“Matagal ko na ‘tong kagustuhan na makasal tayo. At salamat sa bunso ko nandiyan lagi, alam kong mahal na mahal ako. Hayaan mo, anak, lalaban si Papa kahit anong mangyari, humaba lang ang buhay ko para sa ating lahat. Kahit na ganito na ‘yung sitwasyon ko hindi pa rin ako gumi-give up. Kahit walang-wala na tayo, lumalaban pa rin ako,” he added.
(I have long wanted to marry you. Thanks to my youngest for always being here, I know they love me. Don’t worry, my child, Papa will keep fighting, whatever happens, to keep on living for all of us. Even in my condition, I’m not giving up. Even if we’re tapped out, I’m still fighting.)