VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - As everyone counts down to the beginning of a new year, a Virginia Beach couple is counting its 70th year of wedded bliss.
It's not record-breaking, but definitely is rare. The 70th anniversary is platinum and, like the metal, the marriage of Ricardo and Beatrice Mendoza is strong and precious.
Ricardo has been sweet on Beatrice since the day he saw her working in a sugar cane field in the Philippines.
"I said to her, 'You're supposed to rest now, I don't like to see you working like that,'" Ricardo said.
Ricardo was 17 when he called on 18-year-old Beatrice at her parents' home. Their daughter, Josie Dabu, recalled the story of how her parents married just six months after meeting.
"Because he would not leave the house anymore, he slept there, and my late grandma said, 'You go home, you go home.' He wouldn't because he was so in love," Dabu said.
That love grew and grew - Beatrice and Ricardo have 11 children and 33 grandchildren.
"My husband always asks my mom, 'Mom, can you tell my wife the secret so she gets a little more like you?'" Dabu said.
Beatrice doesn't dole out advice much anymore as her mind is starting to wander, but her heart never strays.
When Ricardo when into the hospital for 10 days, Beatrice begged to see him every day. She sat at his bedside holding his hand. Ricardo says the two are never apart and they never fight.
"If I get angry I go in a quiet place by myself," Ricardo said.
He said it's quite easy when you're in love.
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