Long-distance relationships “LDR” is a big part of the Filipino culture. It requires hard work from both parties but may still lead to failure. In some cases, the time difference can affect the relationship because work and livelihood do not match each other’s schedule. The struggle of communicating among themselves can cause a breakup.
Fortunately, it is a different story for Olivia Pangilinan and Nikko Aranas. Olivia and Nikko were childhood friends in the Philippines. “My family knows his family and vice versa. I’m also friends with his sisters. I used to hate the guy, he was so arrogant,” Olivia mentioned in an interview with the Point of View show.
Nikko moved to Canada after high school but they continued their friendship throughout the years. He lived in Canada for 8 years before visiting the Philippines in 2014. Since then, Nikko would visit the country every year. Olivia occasionally hangs out with Nikko whenever he is in the country.
By 2017, Nikko graduated from college and temporarily moved back to the Philippines for 6 months. That same year, Nikko confessed his affection towards Olivia. When he got back home, he hinted that he wanted to take their relationship to the next level which is a long-distance relationship. “At first, I was hesitant because I am not a believer in long-distance relationships but then again, I told myself -sure, why not? There’s nothing wrong with trying it.” Olivia shares. Nikko eventually moved back to Toronto, Canada and they started their long-distance relationship.
A year after their consistent exchange of video calls and messages, Olivia was hired to work in the United States of America. She moved to San Francisco in the middle of 2018. This made it easier for both of them to continue their romantic relationship. Nikko regularly visits Olivia every month in the United States and vice versa. They save up each time and meet up in Buffalo because it is closer to Canada. “You get excited when you get to see him. There are always butterflies when he picks me up from the airport,” Olivia says. At one point, Olivia couldn’t find a flight to Buffalo and the only available flight is New York City. Nikko drove down to New York City just to pick up Olivia at the airport.
Consequently, Olivia decided to go back to school but she realized American colleges are very expensive. They both decided that it is more reasonable to move to Toronto and continue her studies. After years of not being together as a couple, they finally reunited for good in Toronto. “It was actually hard to be together after a long-distance relationship,” Olivia explained. Whether long-distance or not, Olivia and Nikko agree communication is important in every relationship. “I guess our greatest strength in our relationship is communication. We are not straightforward but we learned along those years of being apart and then being together, the importance of right communication” Olivia added.
Nikko and Olivia are a testament that long-distance relationships can work when both parties really work hard for it.