It's a storybook romance. Charmaine Magbuhos and Ma Yibo met online when Yibo hired Char as his English tutor. Char, a citizen of the Philippines, was living in China. Yibo, a resident of Qingdao, was accepted for master's studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.
Their relationship survived both physical separation and COVID disruptions. They eventually united in Beijing, where Char enrolled in the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University and Yibo became a doctoral student in architecture at Tsinghua.
On October 2, the next chapter of their love story was written in Qingdao as family and friends gathered for their wedding. A historical footnote: Char became the first GBJ student to be married during her studies at Tsinghua.
Congratulations to Char and Yibo and best wishes for many years of happiness!
"In the warmth of their shared smiles and the promise of forever, Char and Yibo's wedding was a tale of two hearts becoming one," said their friend Valeria Kokits, a master's student at Renmin University of China from Belarus. "Today, they start a new chapter, and in the simplicity of 'I do,' they've written a love story that will last a lifetime."
"I'm so happy that Char has been able to find someone who can be her friend and lover, whom she can depend on and who can depend on her," said Nguyen Ha Linh, a second-year Global Business Journalism master's student from Hanoi, Vietnam. "I hope that Char and Yibo will have a very happily ever after."
Global Business Journalism student Michael Ma of the United States said he was moved by the personal challenges that the bride and groom have overcome on the way to their wedding.
"The video that documented everything Char and Yibo had been through brought tears to many guests," Michael said. "As Char's classmate and close friend, I'm honored to be a part of their journey and as a witness during their wedding."