One good thing about having your block mate as your significant other is that study sessions can substitute for dates. Photos by Denise Sales

It’s in the stars: Crissel Tamondong and Torc Torcuator

What do you get when you put together an obsessive compulsive, soft spoken girl with an outgoing Mr. Popular who’s friends with everyone? Sounds like a recipe for disaster and an epic clash, right? Sorry to disappoint, but Crissel and Torc are the exception to the general rule.

Crissel and Torc started out as English and Literature classmates in the Loyola Schools. As their English and Literature class was like one big high school class, Crissel and Torc got to know each other more because of their frequent class bonding. The “hugot” pieces they read in class also helped them realize and express their feelings for each other.

Although they started out as normal classmates, they became closer during the preparations for the debut of a common friend wherein they were both part of the cotillion. At that time, Torc already knew he liked Crissel. He sends “group messages” with Crissel as the only recipient. Torc would also tend to borrow the required books for their class from Crissel with her unaware that this was just his ploy to see her and that he actually has his own copy.

Torc eventually confessed his feelings to Crissel through text (!!). In his defense, Torc explains that he had actually planned a date where he would confess to Crissel. However, the day before the date, Torc was browsing through his horoscope on Facebook. Upon checking the relationship aspect of his horoscope, it said that, “Today is the day to start something new. Relationships you start today will be a long lasting relationship”. Confused as to when he should really confess, Torc also checked his horoscope for the next day. With regard to his originally planned date, his horoscope stated, “Now is possibly the worst time to start a relationship or start something new with a fling”. Following the advice of his horoscope, Torc texted Crissel and confessed.

As for Crissel, she was still unsure at that time about her feelings for Torc. She decided to take things slow with him, given that they just ended their respective relationships and they wanted to abide by the “three-month rule.” They eventually got together and the rest, as they say, is history.

Looking back, they both agree that a lot has changed in their relationship ever since they entered law school. They admit that they used to fight over answers to exams when they were still freshmen. However, they realized that they are in law school with the same goal—to become Atenean lawyers. Hence, instead of dwelling on the competition, they focused their strengths in school organizations and in their academics. Torc and Crissel make reviewers together with their friends. Crissel assigns the work and organizes the reviewers, while Torc bugs people about their deadlines. This power couple was also part of the 2014 Freshmen Orientation Seminar (OrSem) committee, with Torc being the TnT Head and Crissel being the Secretariat Head. They also admit that while being block mates can be a bit of a hassle whenever they fight, being block mates also force them to make up immediately. Torc would normally give Crissel, who happens to be his seat mate, “sorry notes” during class.

Their advice to other law school couples: never lose your identity in law school. At the end of the day anyway, you are not just ordinary block mates but partners–and that your relationship is beyond the confines of this institution. As for those who have yet to find their significant others, they advice them not to look for a partner just because you are lonely or because law school is stressful. The goal must be to find someone you can be happy with while doing something you love. Fortunately for Crissel and Torc they have found that someone in each other.

Despite being polar opposites, these two make it work through compromise and understanding. It also helps that they have been together since college and have seen each other through the different phases in their lives. Differences aside, Crissel and Torc gel together because they share the same perspectives.

I can’t help but notice that all though out the interview, Crissel’s answers seem to complement that of Torc’s and vice-versa. That, I think, is the secret to Crissel and Torc’s strong relationship—their ability to set aside their differences and become better… together. P

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