Marriage is hard work. And while every marriage is unique, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to the experiences of other couples that might inspire you to commit yourself to making your relationship work and keeping it happy.
Take down notes as Anthony Pangilinan and Maricel Laxa impart their motivational yet relatable journey as husband and wife in this episode of Magandang Buhay The Podcast.
“Starting strong is great. But finishing strong – that’s epic.” Anthony and Maricel liken marriage to a marathon. There are ups and downs, rough patches and injuries, and mental and physical challenges. But as kilometers tick by, you only become stronger as a couple.
In this episode, the sweethearts shared nuggets of wisdom that they also included in their book “Marriage Is A Marathon” in which they drew amazing parallels between running a marathon and racing through married life.
“’Yung mga lessons na preparing for it, running it, and then recovering from it, nilagay namin dito. Hopefully, makatulong ito doon sa mga nag-iisip mag-asawa at saka du’n sa mga taong nag-iisip kung ano bang next sa buhay,” explained Maricel.
In a nutshell, their first advice is to not fight each other but to fight together, which boils down to choosing your battles and losing the argument sometimes.
And much like in running, you need a coach to cheer you on the sidelines, people who could help you resolve matters within the relationship. “Humanap ka talaga ng kasangga, ang Panginoon, o mentor. Isumbong sa isang tao na pwede mong takbuhan that you both respect,” said Anthony.
“Happy wife is happy life.” Learning not to sweat the small stuff, they wake up every day grateful for each other. As Maricel puts it, “Dati, tinitingnan ko ano kaya ‘yung kailangan ko i-correct. Ngayon, ano kaya ang kailangan ko ipagpasalamat. Ayoko nang makipag-away or humanap ng bagay na gusto kong baguhin sa kanya. Gusto ko lang siya i-enjoy, ‘yung ma little things, gano’n. ‘Pag we do that, ‘yung we make things a big deal, nagiging siyang points kung paano tayo kiligin. We look forward to each other.”
Marriage is like a marathon that has an endless route. There’s no definite finish line, making it the hardest and also the most rewarding race of your life. “It’s still being run,” mused Anthony. “It’s a decision, not just once ha, but everyday. Sa marathon, ‘pag nasa thirty kilometers ka na, thirty-five, forty, every step is a decision.”
As the couple runs miles and miles together, they have raised five beautiful children who are all respectful and thriving in their chosen fields. In this episode, they expressed their excitement for their eldest daughter Ella’s engagement to long-time beau Enrique Miranda, praising how the younger couple built a strong foundation for their relationship. Anthony remembers how Ella told Enrique to seek his approval first during their courtship period.
But then again, no parent could ever prepare the right training plan for such momentous events in their children’s lives. All they could do is trust and enjoy the journey. “Parang marathon ‘yan di, ba? Alam mo ‘yung nakapag-prepare ka at matatapos ka. Alam mo rin ‘yung, wala akong preparasyon,” said Anthony.
The couple was joined by their fourth child, Benjamin, who is now entering the world of entertainment as a singer-songwriter. Benj likewise reacted to Ella’s engagement and shared how his brother, Donny, influences his decisions as an artist.
In a fun segment, Benjamin played a game of who’s who, divulging who between his mom and dad is stricter, ‘marites,’ and more ‘makulit’ when constantly giving reminders.
Listen to this insightful episode hosted by Regine Velasquez, Jolina Magdangal, and Melai Cantiveros.