(Editor's note: Here is the fifth installment of Spin.ph's WAGS [Wives and Girlfriends] series]
IT started out as a simple dare for a lunch treat, but ended in a fairy-tale wedding.
That is the story behind the lifetime union between Rain or Shine stalwart Jervy Cruz and Catherine Ong.
Back when she was a sophomore student at University of Santo Tomas, Catherine met her future husband in one of her classes. Jervy, however, did not stay long and eventually dropped out of the subject owing to his grueling practice schedule with the Growling Tigers.
An Education major, Catherine was later challenged by her friends to ask for Jervy’s mobile number in return for a lunch treat.
The charming lady readily called the dare, not knowing that it would be the start of a beautiful love story.
“Sabi kasi ng mga friends ko parang player (si Jervy), kasi matangkad ganyan,” recalled Catherine. “So sabi nila, ‘Sige nga, kunin mo number niya,’ at ang kapalt ililibre nila ako ng lunch.”
Giggling in between, she added, “Eh ako naman, sabi ko madali lang naman kumuha ng number eh, kaya um-oo ako basta sabi ko sa kanila libre nila ako ng lunch.”
She got his number, they had their lunch. Mission accomplished.
But Catherine later felt ashamed of what she did that when he crossed paths with Jervy inside the campus the following the day, the lady said she couldn’t look the cager straight in the eye.
The King Tiger felt uneasy with the cold treatment from her that he wondered whether he did something wrong to her.
Little did she know by the time, the soft-spoken basketball player has already developed a crush on her, but was stifled by the fact that Catherine, a half-Chinese, was in a relationship.
“Noong time na `yun meron nang naka-kasundo sa kanya, kaya di ko siya niligawan,” Jervy recalled.
But fate had other plans for them.
Months after they exchanged numbers, their friendship blossomed as Jervy became the focal point of the Tigers’ campaign in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
A ferocious player on the court who would later win the UAAP MVP award, Jervy was soft spoken in person, but finally found the courage one day to ask Catherine if they could go to the next level and be more than friends.
“Isang araw tinext ko siya. Tinanong ko kung may boyfriend pa siya. Noong sinabi niyang wala na, ayun niligawan ko na siya at ako na ang pinili niya,” the Rain or Shine star proudly said.
Now the two just celebrated their eight year and ninth month anniversary last March 11.
Catherine, who once swore she will never fall in love with a basketball player, remains thankful to her friends who dared her to get Jervy's number years ago.
“Buti na lang nagkaroon ng lokohan na ganoon `yung mga friends ko,” said Catherine with a laugh.
“Thankful ako sa kanila at kay Patrick, na friend ni Jervy, na nagpakilala sa amin. Kasi most probably kung hindi dahil sa dare nay un iba ang buhay ko ngayon.”
But it was Jervy who’s more thankful for that dare.
Not only did he get to know Catherine, but the moment also got him convinced that the lady is indeed `The One’ for him.
“Siguro malas siya kung di ako napang-asawa niya,” kidded the 6-foot-4 power-forward.
But seriously he said, “Syempre pareho kaming swerte. Swerte ako na siya napang-asawa ko, nagkaroon kami ng anak, at masaya kami ngayon.”