Timesman | Where am I on April 15

AFTER 46 years of married life with Virgie and five children, God took her back from me and this fulfilled her vow on our wedding day on Apr. 15, 1968, (an Easter Sunday) “Only death will separate us from each other.”

I didn’t expect that she will go ahead of me because I was two years older than her then. But God seemed to have a plan and chose me to stay and let her go.

Our 46 years of union may not be a bed of roses and like other couples, we also had its ups and down. But we survived and kept the family intact living under one roof until the children left one by one, except for the youngest.

Four of our children have finished college and two are now living comfortably abroad with their families while the youngest is yet to graduate from senior high school at Ateneo and my only companion in my retirement years in the new house.

While I am not saying that I am a perfect father and devoted husband to my wife when she was still around, my only daughter Tala, now working abroad and still single, said in her welcome address during my Diamond Year celebration held at Mandaya Hotel that “My brothers and I wish to be like our Papa who gave everything to his family, a comfortable life that he never enjoyed while still single.”

Upon the death of Virgie on Nov. 9, 2014, I stopped counting the years every time our wedding anniversary comes believing that there’s nothing to celebrate anymore but only to remember those years when we were still together with the children.

Even her birthday on March 1 was only remembered by offering prayers and flowers on her grave. Her children and I wish that she is happy where she is now.

This coming April 15, a Sunday, is supposed to be our 50th year, a Golden Anniversary, but like the past four years, I let the occasion pass with just a simple visit to her grave at a memorial park in Matina just to let her know that we still remember her.

But Tala has a surprise for me. She called by long distance the other day informing me that she already reserved an eat-all-you-can dinner exclusively for us six – my eldest son Jojo, daughter-in-law Maricar, only son Jacob and Joannah, (Jojo’s daughter to previous marriage), Jin Lorenz and me – in a popular restaurant at SM Lanang Premier on April 15.

The occasion coincides with the 21st birthday of my eldest apo Joannah who is now staying with her dad Jojo here after living with her mom Dina in the United States for more than a decade and where she finished her high school.

Since I may not enjoy much the food at the restaurant because I eat a little and to think beer is not served in the establishment, the expense is too much for the food we will consume.

Anyway, since it’s a gift from a loving daughter who also insisted that “it’s for a change” and to temporarily shy away from patronizing my suking carenderia, I accepted the offer even without a bottle of beer. CHEERS!

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Brazil’s Supreme Court rejected former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s bid to delay a 12-year prison sentence for corruption in a ruling that could upend presidential elections in Latin America’s biggest country.

Former South African president Jacob Zuma is to appear in court Friday on 16 corruption charges over a suspect arms deal that dragged much of his rule before he was ousted in February.

Our justice system in the country is weak and is not as harsh as those in Brazil and in Africa where former leaders were being prosecuted for their crimes while still in power.

Here, we never heard former presidents being prosecuted and sent to jail for corruption during their times.

We even let them enjoy their loot and allowed them to assume government positions as if they never committed a crime.

President Duterte is different from his predecessors because while only at the middle of his term, he is now regarded as a living hero by many community leaders for raising the integrity of the Filipinos. Ipagpatuloy mo, Mr. President!

Mr. President, one of these days baka maimbita kita sa party ko. Am not kidding!

Posted in Opinion