When LOVE Conquers All

Can a mere mortal stop death? Before last week, I didn’t think so. But after hearing the best & most romantic love story ever, I’m a believer that LOVE really conquers all. Yes, even death.

This is a continuing story of tito Bani, and his battle with death.

January 2016, Kap noticed that tito Bani hadn’t been coming to the court as much as before. Tito Bani loved badminton & the usual kwentuhan session after each game. Unless abroad, he & his wife tita Dolly would play regularly, at least 3 times a week.


Just some of iito Bani’s second family. <3

But not this time. With concern, Kap inquired around & found out that tito Bani had been suffering of late from a severe allergy resulting to open sores, which we later on learned to be a manifestation of a low immune system.


So severe was his sudden onset of allergy that he couldn’t even touch his dog Linus without breaking into major hives & sores. Now if you know tito Bani, he & Linus are like father & son. He dotes on him like a real child, so it was quite painful for both of them to have to be “not-in-touching-terms”.

Just early March, tito Bani was still able to go Japan with tita Dolly & their youngest daughter Bea for a leisurely visit -with no known ailment other than the allergy. They made their usual rounds. Nothing extraordinary happened the first few days, until tito Bani came home one day after a trek of his own, drenched from being caught in the rain. That same night, he had a high fever but he was able to shake it off after a couple of days.


Enjoying the sights, with the Osaka Castle behind them.

He was still able to enjoy the rest of his trip but felt feverish again & opted to stay in the remainder of their Japan adventure.

Upon reaching home, he was still feeling poorly & had labored breathing so tita Dolly decided to take him to the hospital the very next day. Tests revealed pneumonia so he was given strong meds to combat the illness. Unfortunately, he suffered a lung embolism a couple of days in & had to be intubated and sedated to help him breathe. He never regained consciousness after that & things went downhill pretty quickly.

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of an artery in the lungs by a substance that has traveled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain particularly upon breathing in, and coughing up blood. Signs include low blood oxygen levels, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, and sometimes a mild fever. Severe cases can lead to passing out, abnormally low blood pressure, and sudden death.

His doctor gave him 24 hours to live, which amazingly stretched to 12 more days. Unconscious & breathing only with the assistance of a machine, it was touch & go. The family thought each day would be the last. But tito Bani held on strong & steadfast.

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Tito Bani even touched his doctor’s life. That’s just how he is. <3

On the day of tita Dolly’s birthday, March 28, his pulse was already very very weak & the family was just waiting for the inevitable. It was like he was just sticking around to spend his beloved’s last birthday. There was no other medical reason for him to stay alive that long.


Friends from all over came to visit on tita Dolly’s birthday. But how do you celebrate death? :'(

Meanwhile, tita Dolly’s friends gave her a surprise birthday fellowship at the cafeteria of Asian Hospital mid-afternoon. They got her balloons, cake, and some gifts. Midway, their daugher Bea who stayed behind in the ICU called her mom to say tito Bani’s pulse was going even lower & to come back up immediately. Tita Dolly was on speaker phone, on her way up, and told her husband meaningfully “I love you very much, Bani”.

After that short but heartfelt declaration, tito Bani expired. He just waited for tita Dolly to celebrate her birthday, albeit simply. For her to blow her cake & be sung to -just forget about her worries momentarily. After that, after 12 days being told he wouldn’t last another day, tito Bani’s soul left his body to be with Christ.


1 Thessalonians 4:13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.



1 Corinthians 15:35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.



1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 55 “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

As the family was telling this story, my hair stood on end & I mused out loud to Kap: Now THAT’s true love. Defying death & delaying the inevitable just so you can hang around & celebrate the birthday of your beloved. If that doesn’t spell out love & devotion, I don’t know what will.

Always considerate of others, he didn’t “choose” to die in the morning because that would totally ruin tita Dolly’s whole day. No, tito Bani waited for her to celebrate it, however bittersweet, before he finally went home with the Lord. He must really be favored by God to be granted this amazing gift.


Tito Bani had always been the more showy & affectionate between the two. He always made tita Dolly chortle & laugh, and their love & happiness is just contagious. This is what we, his friends, will miss seeing the most.

To suffer the pain of drowning in your own bodily fluids, not just for a day, but for TWELVE whole days, fighting for your life with each passing minute, and most of all, asking God for an extension & successfully getting your way. Wow. Just wow. That is an amazing love, that even God conceded & delayed tito Bani’s death.

Mayroong forever. I believe that tito Bani & tita Dolly’s love story has a continuation up in the heavens above. It doesn’t end here on earth. With a love so strong that even death can be stopped momentarily, how can it end? It will surely go on.



It’s definitely NOT goodbye for these 2 lovebirds, but “see you someday, my love”.. </3 TRUE LOVE DOESN’T HAVE A HAPPY ENDING. BECAUSE TRUE LOVE DOESN’T END.

At first, I thought that tito Bani’s passing on his beloved’s birthday was such a sad & untimely thing. But now I see that his departure on tita Dolly’s exact birthday is actually a supreme act of love. Something that should be celebrated, not grieved. Tito Bani DEFIED science, medicine, and death by choosing to spend one more birthday on earth with his wife 12 days after the Doctors gave him a death warrant! What more proof of his everlasting love can be more evident than this?

So today, exactly 5 days after tita Dolly’s natal day, I can finally greet her a belated happy birthday with a light heart. Ang haba ng hair nya. Tito Bani’s love for her is so amazingly powerful & so much larger than life itself. Ilang babae ang pwedeng makapagsabing minahal sya ng ganyan ka-labis? It is indeed a happy birthday, for each year that passes will only be a reminder of how much she was loved & cherished by her one true love & soulmate.


Ikaw na, tita Dolly. Ikaw na. :) Forever Prom King & Queen. :-*

1 Corinthians 15:55 New International Version (NIV) – “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Godspeed, our dearest tito Bani, our love for you lives on. :-*


With love from some of your original San Jose badminton group.


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(Note: Most of the photos above are not mine and were taken from the couple’s Facebook pages.) 

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