Boots Anson-Roa ready to become a June bride

When their respective spouses passed away, Boots Anson-Roa, 68 and lawyer Franciso ‘King’ Rodrigo Jr., 74, didn’t expect they will fall in love again.

Boots wasn’t looking for a new love and King was still thinking of his late wife when he first met Boots on the 96th birthday of his mother three years ago.  But fate has a way of changing things.

Last November 2013, after months of seriously courting her, King finally decided to find out where he really stood. They just came from a trip to Subic, and King told Boots he would press his suit, even if it means kneeling right before her.

It was then that the would-be bride said, “Sige, ayusin mo na ang lahat ng plano mo.”

It was supposed to be a yes, but King wasn’t that sure.  When a longtime friend, who was waiting for him at the ground floor of the condo unit asked how everything went, the dazed would-be groom replied, “I think she said yes.”

He gave her an engagement ring two days after.

Manila, Philippines - Boots Ansan Roa wearing her engagement ring. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA Images)

Only a few days ago, King and Boots agreed to tie the knot on June 14, 2014,  King’s 75th birthday.  The venue is a toss-up between Archibishop’s Palace and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish in, New Manila, Quezon City.

“Our first choice is the Archbishop’s Palace. Pero ang problema, rainy season. The ground might be muddy. So our Plan B is the Mt. Carmel Church.  It has a big social hall at the back that can accommodate 250 people,” King said.

Wedding preparations

The couple plans to meet with Archbishop of Manila  Luis Antonio Tagle no less and his staff on January 10 to discuss the wedding.  Two days after, the excited groom goes on, he and his 99-year-old mother (the widow of senator Soc Rodrigo)  will go to the house of Chiqui Roa-Puno, Boots’ daughter, to ask for her mom’s hand in marriage. The occasion is also both families’ chance to get to know each other better.

Top couturier Eddie Baddeo,  who created his first gown with Boots as the wearer, has volunteered to make the bride’s gown and the groom’s attire, for free. Another friend,  Elaine Villar, is taking care of the flowers, gratis et amore as well.

King’s son will be his best man, while Boots’ maids of honor are her daughters Leah and Chiqui. Her sons Ben and Joey will escort her to the altar.

Boots and King knew each other because they were family friends. King even knew Pete Roa, Boots’ late husband, because they were high school classmates in Ateneo.

So, when they became engaged, the couple went to their respective spouses’ grave and, out of respect, informed them about their decision.

Boots Anson Roa and Atty. Francisco "King" Rodrigo Jr. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA IMAGES)

Signs from above

It was not a spur-of-the-moment decision.  Boots, a St. Therese devotee, didn’t tell King at first that she  asked for signs to help her decide about the relationship.

“A white rose would mean I should encourage the relationship.”

She got not just one white rose.

“It was my late wife’s birthday,” King recalls.

“There was a bouquet of roses under her picture.  I pulled out a white one and gave it to her.”

Boots completes the story: “I attended a church service and I was given a bouquet of white roses. Then, I was in a concert when someone gave me a white rose. Finally,  a sister from the Daughters of St. Paul came to us and handed King a white rose during the mass for the Ateneo class reunion.  King kissed the rose.”

Boots Anson Roa and Atty. Francisco "King" Rodrigo Jr. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA IMAGES)

It was a far cry from what happened three years ago when his friends were playing Cupid to the unsuspecting widow and the widower  (Pete died six years ago, while King’s wife passed away five years back).

“Dinala nila si Boots sa lamesa where I was  seated,” recalls King. “ I just said hello and stood up.  My younger brother noticed and asked why I was that rude. I told him I wasn’t. I was just not ready at that time because I love my (late) wife.”

Serious courtship

Years passed. King’s bosom friend decided to organize a meet up with his (the friend’s) special someone in Serendra. The other couple in the dinner date was King and Boots.

That was when King told Boots he can’t court her seriously at that point because he had to focus on his then dying daughter.  But he promised to go back for her.

Boots’ reaction, recalls King, was, “I don’t know how to react to that.”

After he cremated his daughter, King approached Boots at the viewing room and expressed his intention of seriously pursuing her.

“My daughter passed away July 17.  I spoke to Boots end of July. Tuloy tuloy na from there.”

Because he now has a muse,  King picked up his pen again and wrote love poems for Boots every other day.

The lawyer who always wears slacks  agreed to check out maong pants after Boots asked a saleslady in Subic to show samples of maong pants to her fiancé.

He saw a fashion show for the first time, watched a movie and a concert after so many years because Boots invited him to them.

That’s because, cheesy as it seems, he loves Boots, warts and all.
Boots Anson Roa and Atty. Francisco "King" Rodrigo Jr. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA IMAGES)

“When you love a person, you love her entirely. If I tell you I love her eyes. kung lumabo na ang mata, pano yon?”

No words can sound as sweet. For Boots and King, they’re proofs that yes,  there’s such a thing as second chances.


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