A Filipino couple based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands as living proof that in love, ‘age doesn’t matter.’ Charito “Chat” Garcia, a 50-year-old based in Dubai, and Alvin Adano, a 35-year-old residing in Sharjah, opened up about their their love story in an exclusive interview with The Filipino Times.
Their journey as a couple started in September 2022, while working inside a Sheikh’s palace, setting the stage for an unexpected encounter that would reshape their lives.
“We met sa palasyo after we came back from travel; he was new in the palace. It was love at first sight, I think, for both of us,” Chat reminisces, recounting the spark that ignited their romance.
The initial attraction between the two is sparked by Alvin’s curiosity upon spotting Chat in his boss’s house.
“He saw me inside the house of his boss, then I heard him asking the other staff, ‘Who is she?’ I looked at him, and sabi ko, ‘Ang pogi naman nun,'” Chat recalls.
As their connection grew deeper, Alvin took a bold step, offering to be Chat’s chauffeur once he had a car. He also asked for Chat’s number through the driver.
“He asked my number sa driver kasi siya na raw maghahatid sa akin next day. Then he told me crush niya na ako the first time he saw me,” Chat reveals.
Despite her initial reservations coming from her being a widow and thinking about her age, Chat was won over by Alvin’s sincerity and perseverance.
“I’m okay being single. Then he asked me out, ayun na kami na daw,” she says, marking the beginning of a journey.
Their love story continued to unfold, culminating in a heartwarming proposal at a Filipino fast-food chain on May 1, 2023, with the restaurant crew doubling as impromptu videographers.
The couple tied the knot on June 19, 2023, sealing their commitment to each other in the face of skepticism and criticism.
“Ang dami critics kasi nga matanda ako eh,” Chat acknowledges the challenges they faced due to the significant age gap.
Chat reflects on the criticism they faced, from insinuations about her well-maintained appearance to assumptions about Alvin’s motives.
“One time kumakain kami sa resto, may isa kabayan sabi ‘sana all’ kasi super sweet siya sa akin, sinusubuan pa ako. Ako ‘yung naiilang talaga. Ang daming mga criticism like pag well-maintained ka pala makakakuha ka ng baby boy, sugar mommy at kung ano-ano pa,” said Chat.
Yet, their love endured, and their resilience only grew stronger.
“He doesn’t mind what other people say about us,” Chat states with conviction, emphasizing the unwavering support they found in each other.
Alvin, in response to the age-gap scrutiny, shares his perspective. “Sakin wala naman yun kasi feeling ko same lang kami ng edad lahat naman ng bagay na gagawin naming. Tsaka kahit kalian, hindi ko kinahiya ang asawa ko kahit sa madaming tao kasi alam ng puso ko at buong pagkatao ko na siya na ang mamahalin ko habang buhay.”
Their love story has not been without its share of challenges, including social media attacks. However, Alvin remains resolute, cherishing the moments they share and the love they’ve built together.
With children from previous marriage in the picture, Chat acknowledges their acceptance and happiness for the couple. “Ang importante sa kanila, basta hindi ako sasaktan at lolokohin. They were happy for me. Same as his family and his children.”
Alvin echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the depth of his affection for Chat. “Ang katangian na nagustuhan ko sa Asawa ko yung mga tingin nya sa’kin na lalo nya ako na aakit sa bawat sulyap nya. Lalo pag tinititigan ko siya, lalo ako na-iinlove.”
As they navigate the complexities of blending families and overcoming societal judgments, Chat offers advice to those seeking love. “Do not look for love; let love find you.” She emphasizes the importance of surrendering to the journey and trusting in the divine plan.
“I always put God in the center of our relationship. I surrendered everything to him. And I am thankful na ang asawa ko, he is not giving up kahit madalas I am pushing him away,” Chat shares, highlighting the role of faith in sustaining their bond.
In the eyes of Chat and Alvin, their love is an uncharted adventure, with each day bringing new discoveries and challenges. As they defy age-related stereotypes, their story stands as a testament to the enduring power of love—proving that, indeed, love knows no age.