When we were kids, Papa fondly shares with us how he used to watch Mama bathe naked under the rain (Ooops! Hold that filthy thought!). He was 14, Mama was only a year old.
4, 838 days apart. He was born August 20, 1943 and she was born November 17, 1956.
Their love story was a puzzle that, up to now, they can not piece together. Every time we ask Mama, “Why Papa?”, she will only say “Ambot! (I don’t know)”. And when it’s Papa’s turn to answer, he only smiles sheepishly.
He came from a well-to-do family and was a known “chickboy” and “tambay“. Imagine Erap Estrada and FPJ in their movies, that’s his image in our town – Hari ng mga Tambay. Everyone thought that he will never get married because he was an epitome of a happy-go-lucky person. Never was there a hint that he’d want to settle down. He just didn’t give a damn.
She came from a family of fishermen who tried so hard to make both ends meet. They maintain a small sari-sari store just a stone throw away from the bay. She was one “angry” lady as others say. She quarrels with almost everyone about almost everything. She was a “siga” in her own rights. The boys know better that cross her path.
Papa used to hang-out/tambay just across the sari-sari store that Mama is tending. He buys candies from time to time just to catch a glimpse of her, while she was repulsed by the sight of him.
Perhaps, fate played with them. They ended up together…happily together.
He was 35, she was 22.
It is indeed a funny story and a “kilig” one as well. Together, they made a perfect team!
But don’t get me wrong, it was not always rainbows and butterflies. They fight. Actually, they fight a lot. But the thing is, they don’t just fight with each other, they also fight for each other.
There were times when the fight gets so ugly. Papa would leave the house because Mama won’t shut up if he didn’t. And my siblings and I would cry so hard, afraid that we won’t be able to see Papa again.
But then, like a movie with a happy ending, Papa would come home and Mama would take him back. It was always like that. The fight. The walking away. The make up. Played on repeat.
It was an endless loop. But what’s important was, we always got our happy ending.
They remained happily in love. And we saw it. It made me believe that true love does exist.
Papa said goodbye to us last September 10, 2010. It was a very sad time. But I guess, more than anyone else, it was most difficult for Mama. She lost her partner in life, her friend, her one true love.
Papa may not be able to love Mama for the rest of her life, but he did love her for the rest of his.
A love story…indeed.