The Biology of Love: The Hipolitos

“❤️ Life” — Ma’am Donna Hipolito captions their pre-nup photo.

“Nagtaka ako kung bakit ako lang ang isa sa tropa na kinagagalitan niya, kaya simula noon napapansin ko na siya mas madalas.”

It’s been a long-standing question among the lower years whether the two Hipolitos are related. To lay the question to rest: yes, they are related, and here is their story.

A love built from research

It was during their master’s course in UP Diliman when the two met. Ma’am Donna and Sir Ralph Hipolito were taking up MS Microbiology and were classmates for genetics.

“Nakilala ko si [Donna] nung nasa klase kami at sinabi ng mga kaklase ko siya daw yung sobrang galing mag-take ng notes. Kaya pag notes ang kailangan, siya ang pinupuntahan naming,” said Sir Ralph.

Given their course, the lab was the place they were most frequent around each other. It is also usually the hang-out place of the students after classes and activities.

At the time, Ma’am Donna was currently the research assistant for the professor of their class.

“Pag nasa lab kami, kakilala ko lang siya at bago pa lang ako tapos nagtatanong-tanong ako tungkol sa mga reagants pag may activity,” he continued.

It’s not hard to believe that all relationships start off as simple friends, but upon a single moment or event, you start to see someone a little differently from the others.

First Impressions

“Wala, nothing naman,” said Ma’am Donna. “Pero nakita ko na mabait siya at magaling siya kumanta,” she continued

Both parties insisted that they really were just friends in the beginning, but all good things take time-or in this case, a dance presentation.

“Yun nga nung one time, may dance presentation, at first time mag-present yung mga master students kaya di sila ganun ka-quality,” Sir Ralph said.

But the presentation had to be done and they needed someone to teach them choreography, and who else other than Ma’am Donna herself was chosen by the group to be their instructor.

“Pero yung thing is kaming mga ibang grad students, ayaw namin, kaya naasar siya sa amin,” Sir Ralph continued.

“Eh busy kasi kaming mga upper year nila ang dami kailangan gawin tapos yung gusto pa nilang i-present ‘Jai Ho,’” Ma’am Donna rebutted.

Eventually, the presentation happened but didn’t end well for some. In this specific case, Sir Ralph felt that something odd was happening.

“Pagkatapos ng isa o dalawang linggo, napansin ko na parang di na siya nagagalit sa iba, pero galit pa rin siya sa akin,” Sir Ralph explained.

“Kaya yun, mula doon parang nagtaka na ako kung bakit, at nasimulan madalas na siyang pansinin,” he followed.

Love you wouldn’t believe

Even as an action out of courtesy, you have to start asking some questions when a friend starts to occasionally text you “Nakauwi ka na ba?”

Ma’am Donna wasn’t quick to believe that Sir Ralph was already courting her. She would always think that Sir Ralph is just a wingman for one of their friends trying to get to know her more.

Back then when Ma’am Donna was a research assistant, aquariums of different fishes were in her care and had to be maintained constantly. Sir Ralph wasn’t willing to waste this information and took every opportunity there was.

“Mahirap palitan yung tubig ng mga aquarium ng mga tilapia noon eh hindi ko rin alam kung paano, kaya inaral ko na. Madalas na dumadalaw ako at sinasabi ko na pinapakain ko na rin yung mga isda,” said Sir Ralph.

But despite several hints and numerous teases from friends, Ma’am Donna still wasn’t willing to believe that he was courting her. And because of this, it made for a very adorable, yet awkward, first date.

On their first date outdoors, things weren’t in perfect conditions. Ma’am was sick at the time and was impatient to find out what the whole date was even about.

“Nasa restaurant kami noon at parang naiinip na siya at tinatanong na niya ba’t pa kami nandun at ano ba balak kong sabihin” said Sir Ralph.

Tensions rose in the air and since they were the only ones in the restaurant at the time it wasn’t helping being stared at by all the waiters waiting for what’s going to come next.

But eventually he did tell her finally that he wants to and is courting her. No matter how that date ended, they did so for another six years before they decided it was time to tie the knot.

Work and romance

“Mas maayos at maganda naman having the same workplace, dahil dun ngayon alam niya kung bakit hindi ako nakakarereply,” Sir Ralph said.

But the beginning wasn’t easy for them. They spent the first six months of their relationship in long distance, as Sir Ralph was teaching at the Central Luzon Campus and Ma’am Donna was teaching at Main Campus.

“Siya yung nagta-travel mostly papuntang MC para magkita kami,” Ma’am Donna stated.

In spite of this, they feel that lasting through the long distance is what makes their relationship beautiful as it strengthened their love and commitment to each other.

To keep the love alive, they both run on the same wavelength in microbiology which is their specialty and they share a lot of common interests. Having the same workplace also allows them to constantly date each other (if not everyday already).

“Lagi kami nakakapag-communicate kaya madali iwasan ang mga away, kahit magkagalit kami lagi namin pinaguusapan. Lagi rin kami kasama magsimba at pareho kami very close sa family namin,” said Ma’am Donna.

When asked on what advice they can give to young couples (and singles) out there in Pisay, they responded:

“Wag masyado excited magka-jowa kasi darating din yan sa’yo. Pero kung meron na, wag muna masyado seryoso at alalahanin na wag [patagalin] ang away. Lagi mag-usap kung may problema,” Ma’am Donna said.

On the other hand, Sir Ralph replied:

“Di lang naman yan sa paghahanap, pero kung naghahanap ka’yo, magpahanap din kayo. Wag kayo mag-expect na ang lahat ay magiging masaya. Kasi kung para sa isa’t-isa kayo, madali na yan.”

The Hipolitos have been together for more than six years now and are expecting their firstborn male this June.

Last updated on 16 February 2017, 9:03PM.

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