Category: CENOMAR Stories


In Sickness.jpg

Nagkakilala sina Robert at Malyn sa Isabela. Nagta-trabaho noon sa provincial hospital si Malyn bilang isang nurse habang hinihintay ang resulta ng application niya bilang caregiver sa London. Si Robert naman ay sundalo ng Philippine Army at nasa Isabela para sa isang operation.   Sa umpisa pa lang ay inamin na ni Robert ang kaniyang trabaho kay Malyn; na hindi siya pirmihan sa isang lugar at madalas ay isinasabak sila sa mga military operations kung saan hindi sila sigurado kung makakauwi pa silang buhay sa kanilang mga pamilya.

Hindi nagtagal at nagkapalagayan ng loob ang dalawa. Bago natapos ang unang taon ng assignment ni Robert sa Isabela, ipinakilala na ni Robert si Malyn sa kaniyang mga magulang, pati na ang plano nilang mag pakasal kapag pareho na silang naka ipon.

Masaya ang naging pagsasama nina Robert at Malyn hanggang sa dumating ang araw na kailangan nang bumalik ni Robert sa Manila para sa bago niyang assignment. Mahirap para kay Malyn na mahiwalay kay Robert lalo na’t alam niyang walang katiyakan ang kaligtasan nito sa kaniyang trabaho. Nangako naman si Robert na madalas siyang tatawag at mag-email kay Malyn para ma-update niya ito sa kaniyang kinaroroonan. At pag may pagkakataon, dadalawin niya itong muli sa Isabela.

Sinubukan ng dalawang mabuhay na magkahiwalay. Si Robert ay na-assign sa Mindanao habang si Malyn ay patuloy sa kaniyang trabaho sa Isabela. Mahirap sa umpisa ngunit sa kalaunan ay nasanay din sila. Pareho nilang pinanghahawakan ang pangarap na balang araw ay magpapakasal sila at hindi na kailanman mag hihiwalay. Tinupad naman ni Robert ang pangako niyang regular na dadalaw kay Malyn sa Isabela kapag wala siyang assignment.

Isang araw, nakatanggap ng tawag si Malyn mula sa commanding officer ni Robert. May naka engkwentro ang grupo nila Robert habang papunta sila sa isang liblib na barrio para maghatid ng relief goods. Isa si Robert sa mga malubhang nasugatan sa engkwentro at ngayon ay nasa ospital. Dali-daling nag pasya si Malyn na bumyahe papuntang Mindanao para makita ang kasintahan. Abot-abot ang dasal niyang sana ay abutan pa niya ito at maka-usap man lang.

Laking gulat ni Malyn nang pag dating niya sa ospital ay sinalubong siya ng mga kasamahan ni Robert sa military at sinabihang magbihis ng puting damit na naka handa na para sa kanya. Inayusan siya ng mga sundalong babae, nilagyan ng kaunting make-up, binigyan ng bouquet, at nilagyan ng simpleng belo sa ulo. Nais daw ni Robert na makasal na silang dalawa sa lalong madaling panahon, habang buhay pa siya at nakakapag salita pa.

Hindi mapigil ni Malyn ang maluha nang makita ang kalunos-lunos na sitwasyon ni Robert. Halos hindi makilala ang kaniyang mukha sa dami ng sugat nito. Hindi din niya maigalaw ang kaniyang mga binti dahil sa isang malalim na sugat sa kaniyang balakang. Kailangan pa daw ng therapy bago siya makalakad muli. May tubig din ang baga ni Robert at hirap siyang huminga. Nalaman ni Malyn na sa oras na hindi na kayanin ng baga ni Robert ang kumplikasyon, maaari siyang mamatay.

Ikinasal ng commanding officer sina Robert at Malyn sa ilalim ng tinatawag na Articulo Mortis. Ginagawa ito para sa mga katulad ni Robert na nasa bingit ng kamatayan ngunit nais na tuparin ang kaniyang pangakong pakakasalan ang kaniyang kasintahan. Wala nang panahon para mag submit sina Robert at Malyn ng mga papeles para sa pagpapakasal tulad ng CENOMAR, Birth Certificate, at marriage license. Ngunit dahil Articulo Mortis ang kanilang pagpapakasal, hindi na sila required mag submit nito.

Dalawang linggo matapos makasal, binawian na din ng buhay si Robert dahil sa mga kumplikasyon sa kanyang mga tinamong sugat. Ngunit namayapa siyang masaya dahil natupad niya ang ipinangako niyang kasal sa babaeng pinakamamahal niya.

Lumipad na din patungong London si Malyn para mag trabaho bilang isang nurse. Pinili niyang gamitin ang apelido ni Robert sa kaniyang passport at iba pang dokumento. Dala niya ang mga masasayang ala-ala nila ng kaisa-isang lalake na minahal niya at minahal siya hanggang kamatayan.

Divorce sa Tate.jpg

Unlike other guys his age, Rey was never attracted to the promise of “greener pastures” in the United States.

He loved the laid back feel in the city of pines and he intends to stay after graduating from college. He has simple dreams of settling down in Baguio, to teach at the university where he is now majoring in Education, and regularly play with the acoustic band he formed a couple of years ago. He was looking forward to a quiet and uncomplicated adult life, a far cry from the one he had growing up in San Andres Bukid in Manila.

But as luck would have it, Rey’s long – time girlfriend, Beth, got pregnant a few months before they were set to graduate. When their parents found out, they were told to get married right away to “save face”; it was the classic “what will people say?” dilemma.

So in a haste, they processed all the necessary documents like birth certificates, certificate of singleness (CENOMAR), and secured a marriage license. Rey and Beth were married in Catholic rites at the St. Joseph Church in Pacdal, Baguio City. In less than seven months, Beth gave birth to a healthy baby boy they named Joshua.

A few months after giving birth, Beth, a natural born U.S. citizen, broached the idea of settling in the United States as soon as Joshua is big enough to be flown out of the country. Apparently, Beth was in the Philippines only to gain a college degree as this could be pretty expensive in the U.S. Her plan was to go back to the U.S. right after graduation; she was set to join her uncle’s software firm in Texas. Now that she is married with a child, she wanted to pursue her plans, with husband and baby in tow.

Beth’s suggestion did not sit well with Rey. He had his own dreams of settling down in Baguio and living the “simple, country life”. No one was ever going to uproot him from Baguio; not his young, idealistic wife and no, not even the promise of “greener pastures” in America.

It did not take long for the couple to decide on their fate. Beth will fly back to the U.S. with baby Joshua while Rey stays behind. They will try to raise their family apart and see if it will work. If not, Beth will file for a divorce so both of them would be free to pursue their separate lives.

Rey’s siblings were shocked to find out about his decision. While some would pay for a U.S. citizen to marry them so they can be granted a visa to legally stay and work in the U.S., Rey was practically giving his away. How could he?

Beth and Joshua left for Texas two days after Joshua turned one. Rey was devastated. There were days when he would ask himself if he made the right decision. He would spend hundreds of pesos on phone cards just to hear his son’s blabber from thousands of miles away. He thought he would never survive.

He saved up enough to buy a two-way plane ticket to be with Joshua on his second birthday. His son barely recognized him; Joshua kept crying for his mom when Rey tried to hug and kiss him for the first time in a year.

Rey’s visit helped him and Beth sort things out between the two of them. They both decided that the best way to get on with their lives and pursue their dreams is to go their separate ways. Beth promised Rey that he is free to visit Joshua anytime and that she would make sure to take their child on regular vacations to the Philippines so he could get to know Rey’s side of the family. Beth filed for divorce and had all papers signed by Rey before he left for the Philippines. Beth’s lawyer also requested Rey to sign documents to permit Joshua to travel alone with his Mom as his sole guardian in the U.S. Rey received the divorce papers eight months later.

Fast forward to fifteen years later, Rey met and fell in love with a fellow professor, Mia. Two years into their relationship, Rey proposed and asked for Mia’s hand in marriage. At first, they thought that Rey still needed to file for an annulment of his and Beth’s marriage in the Philippines in order to marry Mia. Their friends told them that Rey’s divorce in the U.S. is not recognized in the Philippines.

But Rey’s lawyer advised him of Article 26 of the Family Code; he only needed to file his divorce papers at the Regional Trial Court in Baguio City (where he resides) in order to get his PSA Marriage Certificate annotated properly. Turns out, he only needed to obtain a Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce Decree from a Philippine court in order to marry Mia. He did just that and in a few months, happily tied the knot in a civil wedding ceremony in Baguio City.

Rey and Mia have been married for three years now and are expecting their first baby. Joshua, Rey’s son by his first marriage, just recently turned 16 and will be traveling to the Philippines to visit his dad and hopefully, to meet his new baby sister. He is also planning to stay in the Philippines and study in the same university where his parents met 16 years ago.

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