Last Friday, a youngsters group aboard vans headed to Mountain Province, espied a bearded barbarian at Guerilla Saddle, barangay Caliking, Atok, Benguet, and stopped.
(History: Guerilla Saddle, Km., 26, in barangay Caliking, Atok, was where guerillas, alongside soldiers of 66th Infantry, USAFFE, fought Japanese forces during WWII.)
The group converged on and cornered the barbarian. A teacher from the group, strode forwards, stretched a friendly hand and beamingly said, “Daytoy ti al-alya nga nagrigat sirpaten. Maminsan, adda aniniwan na idiay Region 1, maminsan, ditoy Cordillera. Napan kami balay yu kem inpakaammo da nagbiyahe ka turong Halsema.”
The barbarian recognized the teacher, Baldovino Paluete, based in the lowlands. Warmly, they shook hands.
“You on assignment?” Baldovino asked.
“Well, yes and no. Just done visiting Halsema folks. About to go home to Baguio, decided to stop at Guerilla Saddle, for pictures,” the barbarian answered.
“Caramba! Truly a coincidence. I was riding on the first van; saw you immediately. “Baldovino revealed.
Baldovino was accompanying the group for research on Cordilleran marriage customs.
Thereon, started an informal discussion with the bearded savage to the group, on Cordilleran marriage customs. Ages of the youngsters ranged from 18 and above.
During talks, most of the youngsters averred they’ll marry someday; few were in doubt, while still a few knew not, about the future.
Discussion about to end, a lady shyly raised her hand. The barbarian acknowledged her.
She said, “Sir, I am Zuleika Damires from La Union, journalism student. My papa works in Baguio City. Whenever he comes home Fridays, he always buys a copy of Herald Express.”
Zuleika continued, “… reason I recognized you the moment Sir Baldovino asked the van drivers to stop. My family likes Daily Laborer column. It makes us laugh but doesn’t scandalize anyone. Often, I share copy of Herald Express to other journalism classmates so we can learn your different writing style.”
Deeply humbled by Zuleika’s statements, the barbarian simply said, “My privilege putting a smile where smiles be.”
Before the youngsters bidded farewell, they asked the barbarian to pen hilarious notes on being married/ unmarried, expecting to read it on Herald Express’s coming issue.
As result of their clamor, here goes their request, granted:
Oh! Matrimony’s bliss! The charming community, the tender friendship it affords. Without a conjugal friend, it’s not for a man or a woman to be happy.
Let the self-scraping bachelor or husbandless, goes on alone into the yonder in their solitary sulking!
Lordy, help the poor bachelor and husbandless, and bid both, good speed.
For, that’s not the travelling style of the man or lady who wants to get married.
Style of a man or lady who wants to get hitched says, “Give me a sociable, with a dear good angel by my side, the thrilling touch of who’s sweetly folding arms may flush my spirits into rapture, and inspire a devotion suited to the place: that best devotion, gratitude and affectation.”
Peks man! The sweetest drop in the cup of life is a friend. But where on earth is the friend that deserves to be compared if not an affectionate wife?
That generous creature, who for the man’s sake, leaves her father and mother, looks to her husband for happiness, wishes in the husband’s society to spend her cheerful days in his beloved arms to draw her last breath and fondly thinks the slumber of the grave be sweeter when lying by her husband’s side?
Marriage of such fond hearts, in one united, forms a state of friendship of all others the most perfect and delightful. ‘Tis marriage of souls, of persons, of wishes, of interests, and sometimes, of apa, (fight) where words erupt, like, “sina, nu sina!”
Yet, marriage is the only apa, where you sleep with the enemy, he-he, hoping tomorrow diminishes apa.
Is husband poor? Like another self, the wife toils and saves the better for their fortune.
Is husband sick? She, the wife, is most tender of all nurses, never leaving husband’s bedside.
She sustains her husband’s fainting head and strains his feverish cheeks to her dear and anxious bosom.
Aahh! Indeed! Indeed! How luxurious, siyempre, is being sick with such a companion!
Is husband prosperous? It multiplies your blessing a thousand fold, to share them with one, caring.
Are you in her company? Her very presence has the effect of sweet conversation, and her looks, though silent, convey a something into the heart, of which none but happy husbands have the slightest idea.
Are you going to work? She, accompanies you to the door. A tender touch, the fond look, – precious evidence of affectation – these go along, even for a good-for-nothing husband.
These steal across the husband’s memory, soothing his journey, while conjugal love, gives husband every glance at home, sweetening every nimble step of his glad return.
Soon, after the husband arrives home, who meets him but the wife – that’s to say the rightful wife.
Her voice is music, pressure of her arms is rapture, while her eyes, are heaven’s sweetest messenger of affectation, declaring the tumultuous joy that heaves her generous bosom.
She hurries the husband into the smiling and familiar habitation where the fire blazing, vestments warm, house neat, food simple but delicious, prepared by her doting hands, fill the husband with a joy too big for utterance.
Joy, yes, joy, of sometimes poking fun at the wife when she asks like:
Wife: “Lakay, i-translate mu man ti Ilokano daytoy, I drive you crazy.”
Husband: “Baket, nalaka laeng dayta. Kastoy ti Ilolkano na, siak drayber, sika bagtit!”
Compared with the life of a bachelor, or a husbandless? Merciful Kabunyan/Lumawig!
How disconsolate the condition of a bachelor. So we say to a husbandless beauty. How barren of joy!
Solitary, comfortless at home, the bachelor or husbandless strolls from the house to seek company.
Meeting with no tenderness nor affection to sweeten company, they soon tire, and with a sigh, get up, to go home again.
Poor bachelor! Poor husbandless! Their eyes are cast upon the ground, their steps, unsure.
Just like saying, “Kawawa mga single; cellphone lang ang palaging ka-holding hands.”
In reaching the house, alas and alack, it has no attraction.
They see nothing there but gloomy walls and lonesome rooms. Alone, they hunker down to eat, nobody to yak with, crawl to bed, and shivering, coil themselves up in cold blankets, sadly remembering, with tomorrow’s joyless sun, the same dull round begins again.
Ay sus, maryosep! Kitam! Of all the passions that have at times warmed human’s breast, that of conjugal friendship is in itself one of the noblest, originating in the most benevolent and profound of sentiments.
But for opting out from matrimony, ay, yay, yay, dat, op kors, is another story, with mayhaps, a bottle of hic, hiccup…, a bit of pulutan…hic… to spice it.