Wednesday, September 16, 2009


65 years ago today, my parents who were so in love with each other decided it was time for them to be solemnized as husband and wife. He was 21. She was 19. That was exactly on September 16, 1944, amidst the turmoil and destruction brought about by the war, two people were planning their future.

In her book 'Myself, Elsewhere,' Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil makes mention of my mother and father's controversial wedding at the Ermita Church. She writes, "The Americans kept to themselves in reverse ghettoes. Those who attended the Episcopalian Cathedral of St. Mary and St. John on Isaac Peral or the small Methodist church on San Luis and went swimming at the YMCA faced a social barrier. Ecumenism was yet to be thought of. There were some exceptions: Nenita Caballero, daughter of Don Felipe Tuason Caballero married Ariel Bocobo, Protestant and Mason, son of Dean Jorge Bocobo of the U.P. Their wedding, solemnized at a side altar of the Ermita Church, as decreed for mixed-marriages, is still recalled half a century later by the groom, now a retired journalist, with tears in his eyes."

My father and I returned to Ermita Church some 2 years ago. Walking to that small room where he married my mother in simple rites witnessed by Father Blas, the church's parish priest, and officiated by a certain Archbishop O'Dougherty courtesy of my mother's cousins on the Monserrat side, he recalls how that day was so special for him. It was the day he would marry his one great love. Today, a widower since 2001, memories of the past may appear not as clear anymore as before. At 87, many things tend to be forgotten. But not this one. Not their wedding day 65 years ago.

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