Some find love the moment they see it. Others find it, luckily for them, even in a hopeless place. But there is that kind of love that has destiny’s heart-stained hands marked all over it. And such is the fairy tale unearthed only after 30 years.

Lolita Fajardo and Marie Zoleta tied the knot on 27 April at the Moonee Ponds Bowling Club. This is an excerpt of their story inscribed on their wedding program. 

Lolita and Marie's wedding

Lolita and Marie’s story started way back in the late 1970s. They met in high school in Manila, but apart from the occasional school corridor ‘hello’, they didn’t know each other well. They graduated high school and life took them in very different directions. Marie moved to Australia and created a career and a life in Melbourne. Lolita continued to build her life in her home town. 

Thirty years later, in a new century and a new millennium, destiny stepped in…and Marie and Lolita opened a new, unexpected chapter in their story.

In December 2007, Marie travelled back to Manila for the 30th-anniversary school reunion. It was a night that both Marie and Lolita each didn’t really want to attend, but thought they should. Marie was going through personal difficulties at the time, and Lolita went along because she felt obliged. Neither of them had any idea that that night would change their lives, for the better, forever. 

Love has a way of turning up in the most unexpected of places. Marie, feeling troubled by what she was going through, left the party to seek solace in the company of God. She sat in quiet reflection in church, and found the strength to return to the reunion. She stepped in, and so did destiny – in the shape of a beautiful woman…a woman whose smile lit up the room. She walked straight up to Lolita and said (jokingly) ‘since you’re still single, how about you and I get together?’ Marie had no idea where this courage came from – it was divine intervention that spoke those words through her. God had answered her prayer for love, a prayer answered in the form of the beautiful Lolita. 

Never in her wildest dreams did Lolita think she would cross paths with Marie again…nor did she imagine that Marie would become her everything. 

But ‘happily ever afters’ don’t always come easy. 

Lolita and Marie’s wedding

Marie and Lolita’s test of resolve happened a few months after Lolita arrived in Australia.

Their journey moved from joy that they were finally together and about to start their new life in Melbourne, to fear and sadness when Lolita was diagnosed with breast cancer. But Marie and Lolita passed Destiny’s trial – yes, they truly wanted this and yes, they would fight together.

Marie realised how much she truly loved Lolita and was not prepared to lose her…Lolita had given herself completely to Marie, leaving her home and everything she knew…nor was she ready to let go. They approached this challenge the way they approached everything – with courage, optimism, faith in God and enduring love for each other. This test of love drew them closer, and they came out the other side victorious, even more willing to embrace love, give thanks for every day and live life to the full.

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