By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 12:54 AM February 15, 2020
They were not born rich, but just enough to make both ends meet. But they were taught, every blessing comes from God and that you have to be good to deserve such blessings.
Ian Kim Cambangay, whose parents are from San Miguel, was raised in Cagayan de Oro, until he decided to try his luck in Manila.
Born and raised like a Boholano, Ian knows the value of hardwork, one that he keeps as an ace in his sleeves. And being a Boholano, one must be a jack of all trades, he added.
Working in a factory in Manila, he met a girl who would fancy his dreams.
She was Sheila Sevilla. Born from Cavite and was also working in the same factory that Ian was engaged, both steadily grew as friends. And then the chemistry worked, the zing that came in was more than enough to know they each had forever in near embrace.
It did not take long before they decided to live together.
A year later, they sired a baby girl, whom they would later enthrone as the Queen. That bundle of thrill whom Ian would come home every day was named Queen Cambangay, born August 31, 2009.
But, that was in Manila: a place where you would lie in bed with curses reverberating in the neighborhood, and wake up to exactly that same curse every street smart Manileño would dish out like an ordinary expletive.
It was just like that and you could get used to it, but with a baby, I would never imagine exposing her young mind to such, Ian, who thought Manila is too harsh for growing a baby shared.
That same though eventually had preoccupied Sheila, it is just that she had nowhere else to go while Ian was busy providing for their young family.
It was a cursory invitation, it was fiesta in Bohol and I wanted to let them see my parents in Bohol, I was surprised when they agreed.
“Sure, why not?” she said and we packed light for the brief visit, he recalled.
What was supposed to be a quick meet and greet Ian’s relatives turned out to be one that would change their lives.
“The moment I saw Bohol, I was immediately in love with the place,” Sheila said, while feeding an infant from a small milk bottle.
The baby is their fifth, or fourth in their tenth year in Bohol.
What was initially a short vacation turned out to be a decision to finally settle here, she added, not really sure if the will survive with Ian out of work.
But, Ian, or Iam Kim Cambangay was born to a business of making garden statues, animal figures, concrete decorative flower pots and has been into the family’s garden plants business.
The beginning years were slow, but then I realized I was only against a single competition in the entire island, so I did what I know would help me in the long run: persevere.
By 2012, we were blessed again with a boy, this time we named him King when he was born August 17.
Then the business slowly picked, but we had to see to it that the kids’ needs are met, and you know how it is with very young kids, he confessed.
Now also actively involved in church services, Ian and Sheila made sure their weekly schedule also involved their children.
As members of the Church of God International, having a support system in our church members also worked well with us
By July 7 of 2014, the couple again had their blessing in a bundle of Joy they would later name Elsa.
We were a little bit settled, and business was running well, but we still need to put up a bit more for the kids and so, formally marrying was out of the priorities. Until we realized, all our efforts could lay waste without the proper blessings of marriage.
In December of 2019, the couple again had their biggest surprise: Sheila gave birth to twins.
Elisa and Elaysa were born December 19, 2019.
The family’s plans of marrying finally had to be moved back.
The costs of having a bigger family and filling up the table took a toll on Ian, despite having only one worker in his business.
Then in January, Mayor John Geesnell Yap put up in his facebook page the announcement for the city-sponsored mass wedding.
“I saw it on facebook, you know, we are friends on social media with Mayor Baba, so I told Ian about it and he immediately agreed,” Sheila recalled.
Sheila, the bride now added, “It took us a while to comply with the requirements for the mass wedding, but, Ian’s perseverance was beyond stopping.”
Both Sheila, 32 and Ian, 38, were among the 42 couples whose marriages Mayor John Geesnell Yap solemnized at 10 AM on February 14, love day.
That day, both also invited Ian’s relatives in Bohol, and church members for the 12 slots which were part of the packaged that the City Government arranged as freebie to the couple.
Round tables with green table cloths, complete with sparkling china in a fine dining setting, silvers in folded table napkins and a two tiered wedding cake plus two bottles of sparkling wine and two boxes of gifts which form as the mayors and his wife Jane’s wedding gifts adorned every table.
A red carper was rolled, and the aisle was bedecked with babe’s breath and photographers commissioned by the city crisscrossed and table hopped to capture the momentous event for the 42 newly weds and their families.
While Sheila, demure in a laced wedding dress guided a kid to a nearby buffet table and their church members guests took turns in swaying the other infant to sleep, Ian, still in his black slacks and neat while long sleeves
“Salamat gyud kayo sa City Government, ug kang Mayor Baba ug Maam Jane [para] niining nindot kaayo nga adlaw sa among kinabuhi,” said Ian, who carried Elaysa in his arms said, while two more kids were properly seated and partaking of the buffet.
“Dugay ra ming nagplano nga magpakasal, pero wala pa itugot sa kahigayunan, mao nga sa among pagkahibaw nga nay libreng kasal, wala na namo palabya ba,” he added, while feeding their infant, dressed in laced pink dress, too young to celebrate the day, winked and dozed off to sleep again.
The mass wedding also happened in time for the Civil Registration Month, the formal wedding now makes it easier for their Queen, King, Elsa, Eliza and Elayza to be legitimized and finally be growing like any legitimate children, away from taunts on school.
All they need to do is file a petition to be legitimates in the office, said City Local Civil Registrar Virginia Incog.
And for Ian and Sheila who has everything they ever wished in life now, they have just made a full house, not by luck, but by choice.