After inspiring us with their love story featured in the latest episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya last Saturday, February 28, letter senders Roanne Carreon and Tina Boado caught up with host Charo Santos-Concio to further talk about their relationship.
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Just like any other affairs, theirs also underwent a lot of hitches and challenges. Yet they’re able to go through all of those and be at a better place now. As they decided to share their story and lives to the public, they admitted experiencing anxiety because of the slew of hurtful opinions from other people which were initially difficult for them. But they eventually learned how to ignore those and just focus on constructive criticisms.
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“Bilang parte po ng LGBT community, ‘yong mere existence po namin, meron na pong judgment ‘yong ibang tao. And no’ng nag-decide po kami na maging public ‘yong buhay namin, hindi lang din po para sa amin ‘yon. Kasi ang dami pong nagme-message sa amin almost everyday na nai-inspire sa story namin, nae-empower sa kung ano ‘yong love namin sa isa’t isa”, Roanne related.
When asked where they’ve been getting the courage to continue telling their story, both of them regarded the unwavering love and support of the people around them.
“Siguro kahit po mayroong mga negative comments or judgment about sa amin, personally and sa relationship po namin, nag-ooverpower pa rin po ‘yong love and support ng mga taong nagme-message sa amin na nai-inspire naming and nae-empower namin sa kung ano ‘yong mayroon sa relationship namin,” Roanne said.
While Roanne has been long accepted by her family and they’ve been very supportive of their relationship, their future plans as a couple, and everything that they do, it took Tina a hard time to gain the support of her conservative Christian parents. But, as what we had seen on the episode titled “Lie Detector”, they finally received their blessing and are actually living together with Tina’s family.
“Well, many years from now, we’d like to think na going strong pa rin po kami and ngayon po, mayroon din kaming mga bagong pinapasok, business ventures for example. We do a lot of things together and we hope to still do those things together in the future,” Tina imparted when quizzed on how do they see themselves many years from now.
Apart from their “unconventional” relationship, their story also tackled mental health as Roanne went through depression and anxiety in the past. Thus, when the conversation veered on that topic, she found it hard to hold her emotions.
She assured everyone with mental health problems at present that everything they feel are valid and they should never hesitate to seek help from other people – unlike what she did before. Due to inaccessible professional help and costly medications and therapy, she decided not to just take things on her own so that she wouldn’t be a burden to her loved ones. Having found a solid support system in Tina and her family, she was able to conquer it and had her last session with her psychiatrist in May 2019.
Roanne also admitted that she used to be completely dependent on her girlfriend, but when they broke up, she discovered that she could actually handle herself alone, be mature enough to own up to all her mistakes, and really grow up.
Meanwhile, when asked what she learned in their relationship, Tina revealed, “Kapag pumapasok ka sa ganitong klase ng relationship, kailangan talaga mahaba ‘yong pasensya mo and malalim ‘yong pang-unawa mo. And ‘yon nga po, marami rin kasing humihingi ng advice para do’n sa mga may partners who are suffering depression or anxiety.”
She continued, “Ang naging pagkakamali ko po noong una, akala ko kaya ko siyang iligtas. Akala ko I could save her from depression, which is not true. You can’t do that. Help comes from within and, of course, from a professional. You can’t be that person to your partner kasi maaubos ka rin.”
As the LGBTQIA+ community still facing discrimination in the society, they simply told them how they firmly believe that every story is unique and special, and authentic in its own ways. And the message that they want to bring is their authenticity and the authenticity of their love. They want to show the world that the kind of relationship they have is normal – messy, complex, and valid – and the feelings, bond, and love they have with one another are all real.
“Gusto naming iparating sa lahat ng members ng LGBTQIA community na nanonood nito na valid tayo, ‘di ba? ‘Yong nararamdaman natin, nagmamahal lang tayo ng kapwa [kaya] walang mali sa pagmamahal. And ‘yon, kasama n’yo kami,” Tina expressed.
To which Roanne added, “’Wag n’yo ring i-pressure ‘yong sarili ninyo na mag-come out kasi hindi naman siya mandatory and personal choice naman siya. Para sa iba naman na tao, wala rin tayong karapatan na i-out ‘yong ibang tao sa sexuality nila. Sila lang ang pwedeng mag-decide kung kailan sila magiging ready. So, respeto talaga.”
The MMK Kumustahan wrapped up with Charo reminding them to stay brave and true to themselves, as well as to stay authentic, in love, and happy.