Family Portraits by Ryan Arbilo

Ronalyn Zapatero with husband Pierluigi Menara and children Daniel John, Dominik John and Diorel Maria
Torreglia, Province of Padua

I am a Filipina living in Italy. I am married to my Italian husband Pierluigi Menara and we have 3 beautiful children: Daniel John 12 years old, Dominik John 5 years old and Diorel Maria 2 years old. OUR LOVE STORY? Well, I used to work in an airline company before then I decided to enter the world of travel cruise. I worked in a passenger cruise ship lines before and then decided to try working land base where my aunt encourages me to stay and the country is of course… ITALIA!
Staying in Italy during that time was boring for me since I didn’t know the language yet, I don’t have much friends yet and I don’t have someone who inspires me. As days and months pass I got a job where I baby sit a cute Italian boy who happens to be the son of a Hotel owner in Abano terme. There I met the love of my life. Love at first sight was not a thing for me for during that time with my hubby now. I didn’t get attracted to him when I first saw him at the hotel where he works as a hotel waiter. It was one lunch time that I get to bumped into him and asked him if the cagiva raptor moto was his and he said yes and asked me if I wanna have a ride? Saying yes without an excitement on my side. Then he asked for my number and I asked him to give me his pen and paper. To my surprise, he said he DOES NOT have a pen and paper and I got turned off!!! A waiter without a pen and paper is like a military without a gun. He continued asking for my number and since I got turned off I did not give it to him so I let days passed before I gave my number due to his insistence. The same day I gave him my number he called that night to asked me out the same night (Oh boy this Italian guy is so fast I told myself). We just went to the park and talked and kiss (already!!!!). After he began texting me of how beautiful I am and how he liked me a lot. The next day he asked me out for a pizza dinner near his house and introduced me to his parents (Yes already!!!). I was touched when he told me that he is serious and he wants me to become his girlfriend and that he is not into an adventure type of relationship. We became boyfriend and girlfriend on May 21 and he proposed to me on December 24 the same year we’ve been together. And the rest is history from then til now our love story is still on fire. He is one jealous type of guy that sometimes he over acts as well but he melts me with his sweetness with words, touches and gestures that no other guy has ever done to me. He is a very responsible father to our kids and a husband to me. He is a one woman man and he values our marriage as what we have promised in front of God the moment we got married. I love my life in Italy and I love what God has given us. We are blessed with our beautiful family and we honor God for all the blessings he has given us. In good times and in bad times we thank God for everything because we know that he will not give us anything we cannot handle. And this is the love story of our lives.