CLAD in an intricately designed gown and barong surrounded by friends and family was how alumni Preciosa Marielle “Cheezey” Dulay and James Adriel Santiago Bañez celebrated their wedding day at the UST Santisimo Rosario Parish on Nov. 6. 

The couple’s wedding photos went viral online after receiving appreciation from the Thomasian community.

For James and Cheezey, having their wedding at UST was non-negotiable.

May choice naman kami to look for other churches para lang matuloy ‘yung kasal pero gusto namin sa UST talaga,” James said in an interview with the Varsitarian


The ceremony got postponed twice due to the pandemic, but instead of going to other churches, the couple waited until they could finally tie the knot within their alma mater.

Ngayong tapos na, naisip ko, hindi ko siya ma-imagine na sa ibang church kami eh,” James said.

“Important masyado ‘yung UST sa relationship namin,” Cheezey added.

But their love story was not without hurdles.

James and Cheezey met in 2007 as third-year accountancy students with the same group of friends, but James confessed that he always found it challenging to pursue a relationship with her.

Sobrang hirap kasi mag- hirap magka-jowa sa accountancy kasi. Kasi made-debar ka talaga dun ‘pag inuna mo ang boyfriend-girlfriend eh. So nanliligaw na ‘ko nun, third year to fourth year pero ayokong bumagsak so parang hindi consistent,” he said.

James said that he would often accompany her to Santísimo Rosario to pray after examinations and joked that he felt he was being “friend-zoned.”

“‘Di ko talaga napapansin si James, wala akong romantic feelings. Pero kasama siya sa friends. Tini-treat ko siya na friend,” revealed Cheezey. 

Cheezey graduated and passed the certified public accountant (CPA) boards in 2008. She attended a celebratory party for the passers and is where she last saw James, who graduated and passed the boards a year later after getting delayed by a semester.

Although they saw each other during various events and gatherings over the years, it was not until October 2013 that James and Cheezey finally pursued a relationship together.

They got engaged on Dec. 29, 2019.

Looking back, the newly-wed couple said that they used to think it was “corny” for couples to marry in the University. 

Pero ngayong kami na ‘yung nasa other side of the coin, ang saya pala at tsaka wala namang students no’n so parang since walang face-to-face classes, walang mangja-judge sa’tin,” James said. 

The couple’s wedding photos were uploaded by UST alumnus Law Tapalla through his photography page on Facebook and received admiration from the online community, especially Thomasians.

“I think ‘yun ‘yung ultimate na blessing siguro na it reminded all other alumni at UST community na why don’t you go back sa school kung saan tayo na-develop as people, as Christians? So pag nagbalik kayo, parang homecoming,” James said.


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