Diamonds are forever


FREMONT — When was the last time you attended a 75th wedding anniversary? Five years ago? Ten years? Fifteen years…?

Last Sunday, January 28, 2018, Atty. Rufino Ortiz, Sr., 103, and wife Maxima Pajatin Ortiz, 96, renewed their 75th wedding vows at Marriott Hotel in Fremont, California with Rev. Fr. George Moreno of the Order of the Preachers officiating.

It was attended by their eight children and their families, relatives, and friends from as far as the Philippines, San Diego, Los Angeles, Fremont, San Jose, Milpitas, Chicago, and other cities.

Fr. Moreno, who flew all the way from the Philippines to officiate the renewal of Atty. & Mrs. Ortiz, Sr. wedding, in his homily said: “I am blessed to officiate this very rare opportunity… by renewing the marriage vows of these two wonderful persons, 75 years ago which is an affair to remember, a friendship that bloomed to a wonderful relationship… Love has prevailed despite ups and downs, Sa hirap at ginhawa. Natalo pa nila ang love teams nina Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, Guy and Pip, Rogelio dela Rosa and Nida Blanca, Romeo Vazquez and Amalia Fuentes, at marami pang iba”. He then ended his homily by reciting a special prayer he prepared for the couple with a gist of “valuing one another’s strengths and weaknesses in order to grow with Christ”.

Atty. Ortiz Sr. was born on July 19, 1914 while the lady of his dreams Maxima Pajatin was born on April 8, 1921. They met in a moonlight night dance during the town fiesta of Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Philippines in April 1937. She was still sweet 16 at that time and a high school student of Pangasinan Eastern Academy in Tayug, Pangasinan while Atty. Ortiz Sr. was already a high school graduate pursuing his college education in Manila, the seat of the Philippine government.

Rufino Sr. earned three college degrees: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), major in Accounting; Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE), major in Social Studies and Minor in English; and Bachelor of Laws (LLB).

On the other hand, Mrs. Ortiz earned the following degrees: Elementary Teachers Certificate (ETC); Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEEd); and Master of Arts in Education (MAE). She passed the Junior and Senior Teachers Examinations.

Mrs. Ortiz retired from teaching in Urdaneta Central Elementary School and Atty, Ortiz, Sr. stopped practicing law and endorsed his cases to other lawyers in order to immigrate to the United States in June 1981, in Chicago first and then settled in Hayward later.

They have eight children: Myrna, Bernadette, Gilbert, Mimi, Rufino, Jr., Francisco, Lilibeth, and Ann Margaret. The couple has 23 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. All their children and grandchildren are in the U.S. enjoying the American Dream. (Elpidio Estioko)