Thursday is Feels Day on Lifestyle! And what better way to celebrate this than by featuring real-life couples who totally represent #relationshipgoals? Learn from our choice couple pegs on all things love and life!
The best relationships are the ones you never saw coming, and while we can all choose who we want to be friends with, who we fall for is really out of our control. And Chalk magazine editor-in-chief Elaine Carag and former Chicosci bassist. now MYXPH.com website manager, Calde Calderon’s five-year relationship is something that neither of them has foreseen. It was in June 2008 when the two first met in the offices of ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc (API). Elaine was a budding writer starting her career in the publishing industry as an editorial assistant for Chalk with Calde as their marketing officer. “Actually it was to him I was first introduced in API. On my first day as EA [editorial assistant] the other Chalk staffers were out so our then publisher said, 'O ipapakilala na lang kita kay Calde kasi siya lang yung taga Chalk na nandito," shares Elaine. But since they were both in a relationship back then, the idea of liking each other romantically didn't cross their minds.
Fast forward to present day, we sat down with Elaine and Calde to learn more about their love story. Read on as they teach all of us a thing or two about what it's really like falling in love with your best friend:
On the traditional ligawan. Ligawan is typically the stage wherein the guy basically tries to win the girl’s heart through different, often grand, gestures, but since Elaine and Calde are far from being the typical couple, they skipped the whole ligawan stage, they let things unfold on their own and what they really felt inside come out naturally.
She says: “Actually hindi kami ever nag-DTR [define the relationship], we don't have an anniversary, walang official date na naging kami, it can be this or that date, it was so unromantic pero ganun lang talaga, nilagyan na lang namin ng date which is December 8 because we figured it was around that time and also because 8 is my favorite number. But up until now parang mas best friends talaga kami actually best friend ko talaga siya.”
He says: “Hindi kasi ako nanligaw, walang formal na ligawan, wala din formal na o tayo na, parang we just realized okay we like each other, we love each other.”
Lesson learned: You don't always need grand gestures; love in its purest form will be enough.
On what is it that attracted them most to each other.
She says: “Calde is very caring. Ako kasi kunwari independent girl ako, but I find it cute dati kasi pag tinatawagan niya ako feeling ko ang special ko naman kasi tumawatag siya sa akin, kasi diba hindi na uso yung tawagan, text na lang so kinikilig ako na tumatawag siya sakin.”
He says: “Ok lang talaga siya kausap, like I’m just happy na may friend ako na kausap palagi. Madaldal kasi talaga ako e, usually nagkwekwento ako ng random stuff during the day, like right after something happens tatawag na ako sa kanya. May times na hindi talaga kami nagkikita pero sabi nga namin we don’t feel na hindi kami magkasama, kasi palagi kami magkausap and I don’t text eh, I call so tawag ako ng tawag.”
On their personal style. Being the style maven that she is, one would think that Elaine has a say on what Calde wears, but that isn’t really the case. As Elaine reveals, “Nowadays he makes his own decision. Baliktad na kami ngayon I ask him more for fashion advice than he asks me, kasi siya na-figure out na niya yung gusto niya, me sometimes I struggle.”
She says: “My work in Chalk greatly affects my style, but syempre hindi na ako pwede mag-damit ng super young. I’m still very casual parang from when I met him parang hindi naman ako masyado nagbago. Sometimes if I try something trendy he’ll be like 'Ano ba yang suot mo?” Although tina-try ko lang naman siya kasi nasa nature ng work ko to try it and live it just so I know how to write about it but other than that I’m pretty chill. I’m more casual and sporty than girly pero hindi rin ako mahilig sa sports, so casual lang sneakers dresses mahilig ako mag dress ganyan, I don’t like jeans, it’s not me."
He says: "Sobrang rugged ako kasi nga I used to play professionally in a rock band so medyo rock talaga yung style ko. Like street brand shirts and then jeans and sneakers pero ngayon due to old age and maturity, I pulled up my pants a lil bit, dati kasi low waist lang, nowadays buttondowns, medyo age appropriate na rugged.”
Lesson learned: Respect each other's preferences, but also be there to give advice.
On their love playlist.
He says: "Yung music kasi sa amin parang siya pagkain so parang I'm feeling like this right now so let’s listen to it. It really depends on the mood. Like pag umuulan for example meron akong specific type of music na gusto, ganun."
She says: "Magkaiba kasi kami ng taste, eh. Ako mas indie and pop, siya iba-iba kasi nga he likes music and he works with music. But we came up with a playlist na by the two of us. It has '90s to early 2000s alternative, basta it was both our playlist yung parang one night I think nag-start lang yun in the car because it was traffic I asked him about a song, then I saved it on a playlist and then we started looking for songs, hanggang tuloy tuloy na naging playlist na siya."
Lesson learned: The unplanned things can lead to beautiful surprises.
On what they normally do if time permits. With all the demands of their respective jobs, finding time for each other can be quite a challenge for the couple but when they do have the time, Elaine and Calde make the most of it by bonding over things that both love to do.
He says: “We prefer to stay at home. Punta lang ako sa kanila then nanonuod kami ng series.”
She says: “We like watching movies, especially the newly-released ones and kung kaya ng time we sometimes try to do something different, like we visited the National Museum once, we went biking in Marikina pero yung malalapit lang. I mean we don’t take a lot of trips together but we try to go on a trip at least once a year. We like trying places na tago, mga hole in the wall. We like cheap and good food, so mahilig kami mag-travel, yung mga gilid gilid na restos, yung legit na hole in the wall, something out of ordinary.”
Lesson learned: Don't forget to bask in the glory of life's simple pleasures!
Here are some additional pieces of relationship advice from Elaine and Calde:
1. “Just be your partner’s best friend, yun lang talaga, I think it will work wonders for your relationship.” – Calde
2. “Sobrang corny but communication and understanding, kasi I’m not very vocal, I don’t talk a lot about my feelings, it takes me a while to brew kung ano yung gusto kong sabihin, while siya nasabi na niya lahat ng gusto niya sabihin. So I say that communication and understanding kasi you really have to be honest like ako sinasabi ko talaga sa kanya na hindi ko pa kaya to verbalize yung nararamdaman ko and he understands that." – Elaine
3. “When you meet someone later in your life, think of it this way if you guys were high school classmates, do you think magiging magka-barkada ba kayo. Kasi it’s a telling sign na you don’t have to go out of your way to woo this person and you don’t have to put on whatever, it’s just you being naturally you. So just try to imagine it kasi it will really help, eh. ” – Calde
ALSO READ: Couple Peg: Hideo Muraoka and Fatima Rabago, Life Partners Conquering Pinoys' Hearts
Banner and inside photographs by Gio Vibar with additonal photographs courtesy of Elaine Carag and Calde Calderon / Artwork by Jana Jimenez / Makeup by BYS / Hair by Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon / Special thanks to Ogie Rodriguez