“Every man has his own destiny: the only imperative thing to do is to follow it, to accept it no matter where it leads him.”
LOVE, the most powerful feeling a human being can ever encounter and perceive, tailored with happiness, acceptance and communication is what we’ve imagined LOVE can be even though a lot of stories are based on destiny and fate. As we read through a cyberspace love story that has been destined by fate, how can we say that it is not real?
We are aware of the fact that every single man and woman have yearned for the right love that could be found in various ways like friendships, families, employment and even the newest and powerful technology nowadays, the Internet. Can you imagine how love can spark between two persons that grew up in a wonderful city in the Philippines, lived at the opposite ends of the world and fell in love through the Internet?
Baguio City, considered the Summer Capital of the Philippines and a special place for Sonny Galia and Louisse Quinto, has touched our lives as it has been the bridge of how love triumphs between this two lovely people. The Internet has been a very special mode of communication globally and as a source, has linked its waves to one of the most inspirational love story that started in cyberspace.
It started in 1998 when Louisse, a Public Relations Executive working in Manama, Bahrain, got homesick and started surfing the web – trying to search for websites that may link back to her hometown. One of the sites she stumbled upon was Juny La Putt’s website of Baguio City. She started writing Mr. La Putt about how she discovered his website which made reminisce her past experiences of the city. After various correspondences from Mr. La Putt, he invited her to join his “Baguioweb’s email list”. With her homesickness cured, Louisse became actively involved with the group by greeting new comers, sharing her experiences, and corresponding with the other members.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, Sonny was managing the I.T. Department of a private college in Hayward, California. Little did he know that his bachelor status was about to change. He had also stumbled upon Juny La Putt’s website back in 1995 and has been part of the Mr. La Putt’s first email list, “Friends of the Hawaiian Webmaster”, which finally evolved to the “Baguioweb” email list on Onelist.com.
Impressed with Louisse’s independence, maturity and friendliness, Sonny decided to get to know her more. They exchanged emails on the list and also privately, sharing their experiences and exchanging thoughts of their families, life, love and commitments. Distance was not a hindrance to them as they enjoyed sharing their special experiences about the city that meant a lot to them.
Finally one day came when Louisse posted a message on the list about how upset she was about not being granted a vacation to go home to the Philippines on the month she expected because of some work related issues. She was disappointed because she had already made plans and was looking forward to seeing her family again. She started receiving letters from other members of “Baguioweb” which comforted her with notes of encouragement, support and prayers. Sonny also wrote long comforting letters that made her feel relaxed and ease about the situation.
Their relationship slowly grew as they started communicating through the phone. They spent hours of conversations getting to know each other while the feeling of warmth and affection started through the simplest means of communication. However, the “wings of love” was having a hard time taking off since Louisse was not ready for a relationship and Sonny was still enjoying his bachelor life. But the “Baguioweb” group knew that Sonny liked Louisse the moment he started writing her. Seeing her picture posted in the web just sealed his fate. They started encouraging him to go on with the courtship and pursue the girl that he has dreamed of to make his heart complete. And finally, he did.
In the meantime, Louisse’s relationship with Sonny grew deeper and deeper. One day she woke up realizing that she has fallen in love to the man she never expected could be her partner. She always asked for signs from God, not realizing that He has been showing her all the while. And there was LOVE.
Louisse was finally granted her vacation in July of 1999. As she left for the Philippines that day, she was inspired of the love she found in Sonny, and the care and support she received from the group. They were all there for her and she never felt anything like this, especially not from people whom she hasn’t even seen physically.
While vacationing in the Philippines, Sonny called her constantly. They built the foundation of their true love in spite the distance between them and having not seen each other physically. Then in August, Sonny decided to surprise her with a visit. Well, he did a good job until the week before the trip. He caved in and told her that he was coming. It still ended up as a surprise since Louisse didn’t really have time to prepare. Meeting finally face to face at the airport terminal, they felt LOVE, true love. Before that day ended, Sonny proposed to Louisse to marry him and for them to spend the rest of their lives together, forever.
A gathering of “Baguioweb” members took place at Sizzling Plate in Baguio City on August 14, 1999. At the same time, Sonny and Louisse announced their engagement to the group. It was a blessing since they were not celebrating only a gathering but also an engagement which made it more memorable to those who attended.
After a few months, Sonny finally persuaded Louisse to join him in America. They got married last March 2000 in a simple wedding. And now, they live happily ever after.
“Baguioweb” has been the second family for both Sonny & Louisse. They’ve shared a lot of joy, laughter, and even sorrow with the members of the group. It has been part of their daily lives to open incoming mails from this listing and correspond to some of them too. They have considered these emails very special to them since its like coming from a family member from a distance. Members have a special bond with each other. They organize gatherings in places where most of the members reside and be more acquainted with each other.
One interesting side note, although it would seem that the only thing Louisse and Sonny shared was having Baguio City. Later on, they found out that Sonny’s aunt and Louisse’s dad worked together at Brent School for a long time. The two families had known of each other already before then. Now, isn’t that a small world? This is what destiny has brought Louisse and Sonny. We wish them good luck and a happy life together, forever.