I met Charm in January 2013 on my first big project after starting LAStools. She was one of the staff members of the DREAM LiDAR team that I was training on my software. She would eventually became a mentor herself and teach LAStools to other scientists across the Philippines. Over the years we became friends and when the LiDAR project completed in Cebu 2017, we started a romantic relationship. We had many amazing adventures exploring the many beautiful islands of the Philippines and other parts of Asia. In October 2019, Charm’s PhD move to Ireland brought our relationship to a new phase. During our Christmas road trip in Ireland our love and commitment levels were peaking. It was then that I decided to propose to her in late 2020. I was planning a surprise trip to Apo Reef hoping to ask her to marry me on top of the little white light house, where we it all began.
Suddenly the pandemic hit and trapped me far from Charm in Costa Rica. The virus stress triggered my long dormant bipolar condition into a manic episode. Alone and under lockdown in small village far from friends and family there was nothing that could stop my mania. It spun out of control and lasted about a year. Charm suffered for many months seeing my manic alter-ego doing crazy things and eventually decided to give up on our relationship. I cannot continue life, knowing that it was my very own brain that – completely out of the blue – destroyed our beautiful love story that had grown so strong over 8 years of mutual respect, trust and responsibility.
I am in a place now where my mania cannot hurt the people I love. I am sorry for all the pain I caused.