US Diplomat weds Joloana beauty, Mithi Aquino PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00

In a solemn wedding matrimony, former US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Tomas married  stunning beauty Mithi Aquino from Jolo, Sulu last March 15 at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Manhattan, New York. Their close relatives and friends who attended the blissful ceremony felt true love and romance was on the air.

Mithi carried her bridal bouquet made of beribboned roses where the photos of her parents and her two children from a past relationship, who could not attend, were stapled. “They may not be here with me but I know that they are walking down the aisle with me,” she said. For health reasons, Mithi’s parents missed this day but they wished them well. Her children were busy in school. Daughter is graduating. They know Harry and are happy for their Mom. Close friend, New York-based businesswoman and philanthropist Lin Bildner escorted her to the altar.  Bildner and daughter Angela Laskoff organized the wedding in less than three weeks.

The newly-wed couple met three years ago when Harry served the Philippines as an Ambassador from 2010 to 2103.  It was at a luncheon hosted by Holland America Line in Manila for its VIP clients last March 5, 2011 where Harry first saw Mithi. She was working then as a front desk trainer for Holland’s training unit UPL.

In an interview, Mithi narrated that they met again months later when Harry was invited to UPL’s training center. Smitten by her charm and pleasant personality, he invited Mithi for dinner which she declined because she was “nervous.” It was only in August, they agreed to meet for lunch at the H20 Hotel near the US embassy, and their love story began.

Harry and Mithi got engaged on March 30, 2013 in Bohol where he proposed a marriage during a romantic dinner. He took out a ring from his pocket and asked if she would marry him. “Of course I said yes,” Mithi said coyly. It was a second chance for romance for the lovers.

57-years old Harry is a divorced father of one daughter, Casey, 25, while Mithi, 36, is a divorced mother to Emmanuel Miguel, 17, and Zoe Paulyne, 16. Love and trust is what binds them.  They have embraced and have adapted to their cultural differences. Harry can understand Tagalog and loves to wear Barong Tagalog. “Suwerte ako” (I am lucky), Harry posted on his Facebook on his wedding day. She describes Harry as a very nice, down-to-earth, funny, and a very romantic person, saying I love you all the time.

Mithi’s father, Mantanggol was an Army officer assigned in Jolo where he met Mithi’s mother Zenaida, a pediatrician, in the 1970s. They had three daughters with Mithi as the eldest born there. My son, Dante, became a close friend of Dr. Zenaida “Nanay” Aquino in the mid-90s whom he covered the area as a medical representative. Dante remembers meeting Mithi and her two equally lovely sisters, Mutya and Mayumi, that time. The family later moved to Manila when they received kidnap threats. Mithi earned her Business and Management degree at Manila Central University.

Mithi’s simple yet striking wedding gown was made by Philippine’s Prince of Beads and a close friend, Amir Sali, who also hails from Jolo.  It was a floor-length gown in blush whose bodice glowed with beadwork. “I like that I can wear it even after the wedding. I don’t want my wedding gown to just be stored in the box,” she said. Hair and makeup artist Victor Palmos made her a radiant bride. 

The couple will return to Arizona where Harry will resume his work as the State Department’s diplomat-in-residence for the Southwest and where Mithi begins her life as the ambassador’s wife. The photos here are by Cicero Oca,Bing Branigin, Katherine Garahan, and Vincent Adams.

By Tita Corteza