Karisia Acuña Bitong and Peter Yatco Gatmaitan talk about every detail that led to them exchanging vows at Santuario de San Antonio.
Tell us how you met. What were your first impressions?
We were set up on a blind date by one of my best friends, Lexi Schulze Testa, and our mutual friend, Ana de Ocampo, in 2015. We had dinner at People’s Palace and went for drinks at Blind Pig. It was a seven-hour first date! I thought he was a bit serious but quite interesting and very smart. I liked that he was so tall—I was wearing three-inch heels and he still towered over me.
What do you appreciate most about each other and about your relationship?
I love how Peter instantly became a part of my family. He got along with everybody right away—my nieces and nephews took to him instantly, and that was a definite plus. Peter liked that I’m very close to my family and he says that’s one of the reasons he fell in love with me. As cheesy as it sounds, it probably had a lot to do with timing and destiny. I always thought I would know when I was finally with the right person—it was the third time I saw him (he had ordered a cake from me) when I thought, “It’s him.” I think it’s because we both knew what we wanted and weren’t playing games anymore. We are able to talk to each other about anything and everything, which is so important. We make each other laugh and we make it a point to always go on date nights.
How did he propose?
He had been talking about getting married, but I always pushed it aside as I decided I wouldn’t think about it until he asked me. It was my nephew’s baptism that day and we were having merienda at Cirkulo. My mom and I arrived together and when we entered the function room, my nephews and nieces rushed to hug and kiss me. I looked around and saw my whole family and all my best friends, a little bit confused. It was when I saw Peter’s dad that I started crying. Peter had prepared a video, and when it was over, he made a speech, got down on one knee, and gave me his mom’s ring. It was perfect.
Favorite moments from your wedding?
My mom and I decided to hold hands while walking down the aisle as that was what felt right and most comfortable. I remembered to walk very slowly and tried to look at everyone who was there. It was very emotional as I saw the people I love most so happy for me. Later, Peter surprised me with a song number, Alamid’s “Your Love.” I was speechless. I also loved dancing with my nieces and nephews and my girlfriends.
Vicky Lauchengco, Lexi Schulze Testa, Steff Bitong, Bea Tenchavez, Rorie Manzano, Ria Bitong Attaway, Karisia Bitong Gatmaitan, Kit Gordon, Lorena Liamzon, Nature Calderon, Sabina Bitong, and Alessa Bitong
Ella Bitong Attaway, Avery Bitong Attaway, and Eliana Bitong
Jun and Menchu Lopez; Andy and Asuncion Gatmaitan with Jerome Gatmaitan
RJ Bitong, Rodrigo Bitong, Jerome Gatmaitan, Koy Martinez, Peter Gatmaitan, Vince Bitong, Tommy Bitong, Matt Attaway, and Von Totanes
Lito Camacho, Karisia Bitong Gatmaitan, and Kim Camacho
Offie Recto, Marla Cimma, Citoy Lopez, Eva Abesamis, Margarita Sison, and Benjang Alvendia
Standing: Cristal Bagatsing, Gianina Dayrit, Karisia and Peter Gatmaitan, and Trina and Paolo Yupangco. Seated: Teresa and Charlie Rufino with Jay Jay and Ana de Ocampo
Nora Bitong and Karisia Bitong Gatmaitan
This story was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Town&Country.