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The unlikely love story between a Japanese guy and a Badjao lady

Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho on Sunday, reiterated something we've long believed in: Nothing truly is impossible when it comes to love.

Hiro Matsuda, who hails from the Niigata prefecture of Japan, likes to travel and go on adventures. In 2014, he took a trip to the Philippines and reached Cebu. He thoroughly enjoyed his time, making a lot of friends that when it was time to go back home, he decided to stay.

Hiro became a volunteer for a charity program that led him to the Badjao community in Cebu.

There he learned how to fish, which makes him feel so alive. He decided to settle down with the Badjaos in Sitio Naba in Mambaling, Cebu, where Shaima Mokaddam lived.

At a local wedding party one evening, Shaima caught Hiro’s eye. “Sinabihan ako ng katabi ko, ‘uy Shai, yung Hapon laging nakatingin sa ‘yo,” Shaima narrates. But she didn’t really think anything of it.

At the wedding, guests were giving out panji, which Hiro gave Shaima because he wanted her to notice him.

Almost immediately, Hiro felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time. He decided to court Shaima.

Having come from a relationships, Shaima said she didn’t think she’d ever be with a foreigner But with Hiro, “unang kita ko pa lang, mabibighani ka.”

But as all great love stories go, a problem ensued: Shaima was about to move to Palawan.

“Inisip ko, ayaw kong umalis siya,” Hiro said. He thought about it and then thought about it some more.

After a couple of days, Hiro told Shaima he wanted to marry her, who couldn’t believe it.

When it the dust finally settled, after Shaima had a heart-to-heart talk with her mom, their wedding began.

The two ascribed to the wedding traditions of the Badjao, with Hiro giving Shaima’s family a dowry, the couple ascribing to the tradition of partying three days before the actual wedding, and participating in the Magba’tal ritual of the Badjaos.

It’s true what they say, nothing is impossible when it comes to love. — LA, GMA News