MANILA – Love finds a way, even for people in a dire situation. This was the case for Rodelio "Dondon" Lanuza, who found his love while in detention in Saudi Arabia, thanks to social media.
Lanuza has been in jail since August 2000. He was sentenced to death in 2001 by qissas or beheading for killing a Saudi national. He was pardoned after the victim's family signed a tanazul or letter of forgiveness after receiving blood money amounting to SAR 3 million.
The efforts of family, friends, and supporters to generate funds for Lanuza's blood money on social media caught the attention of "Liv", not her real name.
She decided to join the campaign to raise the needed money for Lanuza's freedom.
"Everyday, nakakapag-usap kami through chat, updates on what we could do to help raise the funds. That's how we became friends, I came up with ideas," she said.
Their friendship soon blossomed into a special bond. This year, the two officially announced their relationship even though they have yet to personally meet.
But the long distance relationship, and the unpredictable situation that Lanuza was in, only strengthened their love for each other.
"Nung sinabi na he loves me, so parang doon siya nag-start. Tapos ako, I felt the same way. Never was there a time na parang hindi nya pinaramdam how he felt about me. Talagang nage-effort sIya," she said.
Liv is excited and at the same time a little nervous about their soon to be reunion when Lanuza finally comes after after his 13 year ordeal comes to an end.
"I'd probably tell him how happy I am for him that he's finally here. I'd probably give him a hug. Ang una kong sasabihin pag uwi niya his life is a miracle. Parang sobrang hopeless na ang case niya pero God made a miracle," she said.
Once Lanuza is settled back home, the two plans to help other Filipino workers on death row. Report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News