INSPIRING: These UP Graduates are #LongDistanceRelationship goals!

Love is about motivating one another to achieve greater and bigger heights. No matter how near or how far one is, the road to that dream continues – so does love.

Fresh University of the Philippines Baguio graduate Ludwig Dasalla took it to his Twitter account how he and his significant other were able to achieve their academic goals – both together and apart. Dasalla’s girlfriend, Allanah Jeune Belen, is one batch higher than him and is now in the United States to pursue work in the medical field.

Dasalla’s recent commencement exercises were emotional since he and Belen were together during the latter’s last year, while he missed her physical presence when his turn came this year. In fact, Dasalla was the one who pinned the sablay of Belen, as seen in the photos of the tweet below.

Although it’s been difficult since it has been a little over three months since Belen took off for California, Dasalla has been grateful.

He tells WHEN IN MANILA that even if Belen wasn’t around, she still felt her presence on the day of the ceremonies – her mom and brother showed up to support him and give him gifts from Belen!

The couple of three years (and counting!) shares to WHEN IN MANILA their life as a long distance relationship couple.

WHEN IN MANILA: How long have you been dating? How did you guys meet?
Ludwig Dasalla: To begin with, we’re not batch mates. She’s one batch higher than me. We’re both from the University of the Philippines Baguio and we both took up Bachelor of Science in Biology.. I met her around the summer of 2015. I know her face, but I do not know her name. One time, I was in the school cafeteria with my block mates sitting in one of those chairs. She arrived in the cafeteria with her friends and took a seat. She slowly removed her cardigan and she started to bun her hair. That moment was in a total slow motion. A friend of mine and I talked about our campus crushes one time. I mentioned about her but I only described her—only to find out that she and my friend were block mates. I felt all the ‘kilig’ because she’s from BioDos (Biology Block 2 of the BS Biology Batch 2013) and I am from BioDos too (Biology Block 2 of the BS Biology Batch 2014). The rest was history.

I am just so lucky to have her as my girlfriend. Even though we’re not batch mates, we were able to be classmates in one of our electives, one General Education (GE) subject, and one PE class. I am not sure with other universities, but in UP you can choose your GEs, aside from the Revised General Education Program (RGEP) and play with your subjects — on when to take them as long as you passed the prerequisites.

WIM: What’s the story behind the tweet?
LD: At the start of our relationship, she already mentioned to me the possibility of her leaving for California but everything was uncertain back then. During her graduation, we were so happy and we took those photos. Being a batch older, she mentioned to me those words I quoted. We were both looking forward to recreating those photos when it was my turn to graduate. That really became my inspiration to do good on my last year.
Allanah Jeune Belen: We both took [BS Biology] in hopes of becoming doctors and up until the time I graduated which was in June 2017, that plan was set in stone. We were both going to go to the same medical school together, chasing our dreams at the same time. I was positive we would remake those photos in one year when he graduates. But in just less than a year, everything changed. The situation was out of our control and we had choices to make. What’s wonderful is that despite these changes, we still choose to keep each other. We are aware of how hard LDR can be but we took the chance. I was very devasted to not be there for him as he was for me last year but in the small ways that I could, I tried to be there in spirit. We are both looking forward to the day when we will be able to recreate what couldn’t for now.
LD: We did not know what was going to happen next so we lived on a day to day basis like how we did before. It was in January of 2018 when everything became clear. She was bound to leave on March 10, 2018. At that moment, I was so sad because I know she’s not going to make it on my graduation.  I marched without her physical presence thus, there came these photo [on Twitter].

WIM: How’s LDR life like?
AJB: No denying, it’s hard. Number one is the time difference. I am 16 hours behind so songs have it right that I say good morning when it’s midnight back in the Philippines. This cuts down our communication time to only small windows throughout the whole day. It’s hard if you’re the clingy type. That is one of the many sacrifices we have to make. There’s a lot more but what we hold on to is that we are in this situation for a reason and if we keep the trust and faith, time will bring us back together when everything is right.
LD: LDR sucks big time. It is just so sad that you can’t do anything most especially when I miss her but I guess this is life. I just have to accept whatever happens. The good thing is that we’re both well adjusted with the time difference. However, it is still sad.

WIM: What are your dreams together/for each other?
AJB: It’s funny that our dreams for ourselves as individuals are one of the main reasons why we are in a long distance relationship in the first place. He will continue on with our dream for him to become a doctor. As for me, I am also working on my own personal goals in another country. In the end, all we really wish for each other is to be successful as individuals and with that, we can finally work on our conjugal dreams together. We are both still young and we still have the great privilege of having the whole world of opportunities right in front of us. I’m proud to say that we both are mature enough to realize that being in a relationship at our age, we can’t make each other the center of the universe. Our lives cannot revolve around one other alone. We won’t be the type to hinder each other from opportunities that come our way. We might end up with regrets and hatred if we do so. Instead, we support each other all the way in all ways. We guide each other and that is what makes our relationship work.
LD: Our dreams for each other is to become successful in the paths we are about to take. We took this sacrifice for a reason and that is to have a good life in the future.

WIM: Any relationship advice you could share, particularly for those in a long distance relationship?
AJB: Being in a long distance relationship comes with a lot of sacrifices. The key is to be mature. It will definitely not work if the two of you argue for the smallest of reasons. You cannot be petty if you want to keep the relationship intact.
LD: Couples should not close their worlds to their partners. They should always remember that they still have to grow as an individual in order for them to have a better future and that is very important.
AJB: We are lucky to be in the age of technology and connect in an instant. What really keeps a relationship going for me is having something to work on and look forward to. We plan to work hard and study well to keep us busy so that before we know it, we’ll be seeing each other again.
LD: Another secret to a lifelong relationship is to keep a constant communication and that trust should never be broken.
AJB: Lastly, love should be found in the little things. Those matter the most to me. The little quirks that only you two know about, they are what keep you going. Hold on to those and hold on to each other. LDR is hard but it is not impossible to keep up.

After the interview, Dasalla tells us that he plans to visit Belen in the US hopefully next year.
“As of now, only time can tell when we’ll be able to see each other,” he quips. “But I believe all that’s happening is leading to the right direction.”

Congratulations to the both of you! We can’t wait to see you fulfill your dreams as individuals and as couples!

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: does not own any of the images above. Credits go to Ludwig Dasalla and Allanah Jeune Belen. 


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