Life is all about stories.
Every single person you meet has a story to tell and as a writer, I have been fortunate enough to both share my tale and share that of others. For me, life is one big interwoven storybook filled with characters from different walks of life. Another amazing anecdote is the fact that at one point or another, your story may have been interwoven with someone you have never even met. As you can tell, I can be quite a romantic and hearing stories about real, triumphant love in a sometimes dreary world is one of my absolute favorite things in the world.
Such is the story of Ana Amigo and William Antonio. Having known them for over ten years, the story is deeply personal, one that I am more than happy to share. Ana Amigo, one of Metro Manila’s prettiest faces, has long been known in both the fashion and TV industry, having spearheaded several businesses under her belt while at the same time also taking a dip into modeling, TV hosting, and even commercials. But what draws people to Ana is not just her good looks but also her joy and positive aura that simply radiates. William, on the other hand, was a former basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association playing for teams like Pop Cola Panthers, Coca Cola Tigers, and the Powerade Tigers. Their love story began when common friend and also former basketball player, Ali Peek, introduced them.
Ana recalls, “William and I don’t really have a romantic story except for the coincidental way we met. William was having dinner with Ali and he mentioned how he was tired of the dating scene here in Manila. He wanted to meet someone who he can settle down with and after he described the person he wanted to meet, Ali said, you need to meet Ana. Would you believe that as Ali and William were talking, I was just walking outside the restaurant?”
The cute meet story, along with William’s persistence to win Ana over, led to a beautiful almost fifteen year marriage that is blessed with two equally gorgeous children: Raine and Cyrus. Their marriage, though solid, was not without challenges and in the past year alone, they survived one of life’s biggest challenges thus far.
Once vibrant, healthy, and full of vigor for life, Ana became seriously ill to the point where she was taking life one day at a time and praying every night that she would be given the gift of another day, “I went from a seemingly painless life to a very painful one. From a life where I was having happy journeys here and everywhere to a life bound to a hospital bed and not even able to walk on my own.”
The sickness without a doubt rocked their union but that only made it stronger, “As in any marriage that goes through life’s biggest challenges, ours have evolved. We were not prepared for this game changer, it hit us blindly, we really had to dig deep within our love for each other and for our children.”
And while Ana admits that she struggled with guilt of being a burden, both her and William decided to sit tight and plow through, “We decided to continue to live as if everything was normal because we knew this was the new normal. You can’t stop life from going on as long. So we accepted our fate.”
Despite this, Ana, who has always been a positive woman, refused to give up and instead looked for the treasures in her trials, “I quickly learned that everything has a reason. I learned that through the darkest tunnels, we discover the brightest of lights. I learned the world is full of angels, some even in disguise. I learned that what you sow is what you reap. I learned to sort out what and who is most important. I learned what the real treasures in life are. And most importantly, I learned that through persistence and prayers if asked earnestly and faithfully in God’s perfect time, He will answer.”
And true enough, Ana got her prayers answered and is on her way back to pristine health, she also dreams of one day sharing her story in her own words by writing a book about her experiences. William, on the other hand, has found a new passion in painting after retiring from playing basketball professionally.
With all the dealings in life that we encounter on a daily basis, we sometimes forget to be grateful for the joy found in simply waking up each morning. Ana and William’s tale reminds me to look beyond life’s little annoyances and believe in the good that both life and people can offer. It also made me believe that despite of life’s biggest and most treacherous storms, miracles can still happen everyday. Sometimes all it takes is a little change in perspective.