Amid the pandemic, a couple pledges to love and be loved

Jan Andrada and John Lane met in March 2019 through a close friend. Two years later, they got married.

By Cristina DC Pastor

At a time when most people were keeping their distance and divining a future amid a global pandemic, Jan Andrada didn’t realize she was about to restart her life.

Jan, the treasurer of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations of New York, wed U.S. Navy veteran John Lane of Arlington, Virginia in October 2020, two years after they met at an awards ceremony where her best friend was being honored. The best friend, Celia Lis, had matchmaking plans for the pair. It was love at first sight for John.

At her wedding held at Lyon Village in Arlington, Jan wore Celia’s white lace serpentine-style gown. John looked elegant in a Barong Tagalog borrowed from Celia’s husband. The florist was “heaven-sent,” gushed Jan. She made the beautiful bouquet of big lilies and button-size roses Jan clutched as she walked toward her groom.

“Life is short,” Jan told The FilAm. “Just when people were postponing their plans, we went on and did our thing. Hail to the brave who make things happen!”

The wedding ceremony was followed by a weird set of circumstances: The couple’s photo shoot at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., coincided with the Annual Commemoration of the Battle of Sibuyan Sea (BOSS), a historical project close to Jan’s heart.  Wearing her wedding gown and a mask and socially distanced six feet apart, she joined a queue to pick up her wedding cake. After the photo shoot, the wedding party had to cross the other side of the Washington Monument — on foot — because that’s where John’s car was parked.

For the couple, ‘forever’ starts on the day they declared, ‘Life is too short.’
The wedding party.

“People were so nice and they were celebrating with us. I’m liking being a married man,” John said to his bride. “I feel like a celebrity.”

The couple did a lot of selfies as they made their way to the car, but then Jan lost the other pair of her borrowed heels! To save time, Jan stayed behind to look for it, while John continued to walk to where his car was parked.  They later met at the American flag pillar of the monument.

“It feels weird waiting for my groom standing alone in front of the Washington Monument,” shared Jan as she recounted more hilarious anecdotes from her wedding day.

The reception followed at Guapo’s of Georgetown, where the party of six feasted on Nachos, Fajitas, and similar dishes with overflowing Margaritas and Cervezas.

“All along that I have been doing some historical engagements in Washington D.C., he wasn’t on my mind, nor did I know that he was a Navy veteran,” said Jan. “He proposed at a time I was on a reset.”

She said, “Yes! Why not!”

“Life is too short,” she would tell friends who were mostly stunned by the quickie nuptials. “In these times of uncertainties, I was certain I was ready to get settled.”

John was born in Washington D.C., the son of an Assistant District Attorney for the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals who passed on in his 60s. John has remained a bachelor as he took on the responsibility of looking after his widowed mom. He works in financial services. “It’s worth the wait,” his mom said.

“He is very kind and has a big heart. He is always positive, very friendly, very calm and respects the opinions of people and doesn’t discriminate based on race and gender,” said Jan of her husband.

Jan is a community leader in New York. One of her advocacies is for the 1944 Battle of Sibuyan Sea to be given more importance in history books. Jan’s three adult daughters were happy to hear their mom has found love anew. “They are happy when I’m happy.”

The couple believed the pandemic has brought them together.  At a time when most people are being kept apart by a deadly virus, Jan and John found closeness that gives their “shared destiny” both balance and bliss.

© The FilAm 2021

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