A LEAP OF FAITH, A WALK OF LOVE DOWN THE AISLE FOR KRISTOFFER WILDOER and SVIENNA SISALEUM
He whispered in my ear with the passion of a man in love, “Mom, I think I found THE ONE”. This was Thanksgiving, 2016, they moved to California in May of 2016, got officially engaged that June, had a Catholic matrimony in Chicago July 23, 2017, a civil ceremony in Los Angeles August 9, and finally, their destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico last October 22, 2017.
Kristoffer Wolfgang Pascual Wildoer was a chubby, bundle of joy, born to me and his Dad, Wolfgang Wildoer on April 18, 1986 in Pasadena, California. In the meantime, Svienna Sisaleum was born in Illinois as the eldest of three sisters named Malysa and Tanya, to parents Frank and the late Davone Sisaleum. Both millennials, “Toto” as we fondly called him, was destined to meet the “Ying to his Yang” at a time when they were ready to commit to someone they loved. As fate would have it, they met in downtown Chicago with friends that convinced them to join their after work ritual of letting traffic ease up before they all headed home. As recounted to me by my son, he knew there was something in Svienna that drew him to her, and the rest, they say is history.
They enjoy the outdoors, taking their pooches Kobe and Kooper for walks at their place in La Quinta, California. Kristoffer is currently the Director of Rooms at the Waldorf Astoria and Svienna is also part of the hospitality industry working at big events like summer’s Coachella or other promotional events around Palm Desert and the Los Angeles County vicinities. Perfectly matched when it comes to enjoying good food and modern libations of the mixology crowd, they take trips to visit friends back in Chicago or Arizona, Florida and Reno. Next year is a planned visit to the Philippines and a wedding in Bohol, as they both continue to navigate the path of married life with good humor and lots of ice cream.
Last October 22, 2017, all 97 of their family and friends came to the Riviera Maya coast of Mexico celebrate their union at the newly built Generations Resort. The gorgeous venue had swim up rooms overlooking the ocean, plus an eclectic array of modern restaurants and bars, pools and activities that appealed to the mixed group of wedding guests. The bride and groom made sure that they spent time with everyone that took time to join them at this momentous occasion.
From as far as Manila, my brothers and their families made the long journey to be with Kristoffer and Svienna, and from Chicago and other surrounding states, the couple’s family and friends showed up in Mexico in their honor. The newlyweds understand and know the importance of family and the value of true friendships which is why they chose to spend a few days with everyone, rather than just a single night as was the norm. As the mother of the groom, I was just happy to have witnessed it all, feeling grateful for my family and dear friends’ support through all the preparations surrounding their wedding, let alone three. To the Wildoer, Pascual and Sisaleum families, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Last July 23, 2017, when I watched my son walk down the aisle for the first time with his bride in hand here in Chicago, in front of family, nearest and dearest friends, Kristoffer and Svienna’s closest “crew” and the Sisaleum family members, at the ceremony officiated by Father Carlos, my heart was pounding with happiness and excitement for the little boy that has now become a man. This man was taking a vow to be responsible for another, the woman he has chosen to be his wife. “With love there is life” as Mahatma Ghandi once said, and on that proverb, I send good wishes, happy thoughts and abundant prayers for God’s special blessing and guidance now that they have “vowed to love, care for and cherish each other, all the days of their lives”.
Special thanks to my new “Kumpares” and “Kumares” , the “Ninongs and Ninangs”, Godfathers and Godmothers to my son and my daughter: Joe Mauricio and Veronica Leighton, Don and Flor Kramer, the late Rey Roxas and my aunt Dr. Pett Roxas, Dr. Angelito and Elvie Fernandez, Ed and Lolit Ranchero, Gil and Alice Sarmiento, Bernard and Au Pragides, Elbert and Elizabeth Regacho, Joe and Mabel Turtogo-Sacay, Dan Gawat and Thom Bierbrodt, Melody Rabor- Dizon and Mrs. Annie Sabadaszka, his uncles, Dr. Arsenio Pascual 111, Brent and Bently Pascual, Arsenio Ambrosio Pascual V11 and Kimberly Lorenzo. Along the way, they helped shape and influence the man he has become, even as his father, Wolfgang, continues to be Kristoffer’s ultimate role model.
To all the guests and witnesses to their union, Best Men and Women, Groomsmen and Bridesmaids, Ringbearer and Flower Girl, Veil, Candle, Cord Sponsors, Matrimonial Sponsors, attendees that took time and made an effort to come to one of their nuptials, sent them greetings and gifts, or even reached out to them on Facebook—SALAMAT!
The wedding of my one and only child to the woman of his dreams was indeed touching, exhilarating, even as I realize that a new chapter has opened for him, while a chapter in ours as parents, has just been added to. Until the next volume, we remain their supporters and cheerleaders to their love story, one that we hope will be filled with lasting and beautiful memories.