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Rappler Hangouts: #LoveFromAfar

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What are the challenges of long-distance relationships? Listen to these couples' stories.


MANILA, Philippines – Keeping a romantic relationship alive is always a challenge. But when the lovers are oceans apart, it may seem near-impossible. How often can they talk to each other? Can they trust each other despite the distance? If they have children, how is that managed? Countless questions come to mind in such a tricky situation.

With many Filipinos living overseas, the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship are common issues in the Philippines, and the couples who manage to make it work certainly have stories to tell. Hear their stories below:

On Tuesday, February 11, Rappler’s #Balikbayan brought together couples in long-distance relationships – one half in the Philippines, the other half in a different, distant land – just in time for Valentine’s Day. They shared their secrets to staying together even when physically apart. 

Our first couple was Paul Rojas and Michelle Dumbrique. Paul is a Field Engineer who is based in California while Michelle is a Change Engagement Manager at Deutsche Bank here in the Philippines. They met on Facebook and they’ve been together since October 2013.

Our second couple was Gian Gonzales and Lara MaigueGian is taking up his masters in Cello Performance at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. Lara, a classically-trained singer and songwriter, is studying at the University of the Philippines. They’ve been together since May 2013.

Moderating the Hangout was Rappler columnist Ana Santos. Ana is the woman behind Sex and Sensibilities, a site which advocates reproductive health education in the Philippines.

Alongside the Hangout, we held a conversation on Twitter about long-distance relationships. Many of you shared your thoughts with @rapplerdotcom using the hashtag #LoveFromAfar.

Want to share your own long-distance love story? Email #Balikbayan via –

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