Love and politics
By Jun Velasco
”To recall Rizal’s attachments with women is to open another window into his soul and allow us to glimpse the man who, like everyone else, struggled to overcome human frailty.” –Pablo S. Trillana III
ON Valentine’s Day our prying eyes are riveted to the “love lives” of great men and women who at one time or another “fell from grace,” if you’d call it that, on account of romantic love.
But there are luckier ones— we call them “survivors” like our own national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal—who were able to survive the love sting or Cupid’s arrow and sustain their covenant with history.
The love bite may not be seen or reflected on a man’s life for reason of his appropriate social decorum, but nobody exactly knows his or her torment that social grace conceals.
Probably Rizal’s good karma is his boundless love for country, nay, humanity and so his human foibles did not pull him down the river.
We can’t say the same thing on Bung Ferdinand whose flawed decisions in his twilight years were blamed on his beloved Imelda.
Talk about our well groomed Senate President “Don Juan” Enrile who has proven his staying macho power with his beautiful secretary, the former Gigi Gonzales, daughter of our late friend and Manila Bulletin boss Pat Gonzales.
How about the women who considered love and passion as the ultimate in life? We are reserved on this account as a gesture of gallantry.
Yesterday, PDI had a page 1 story in Enrile country, Cagayan, about a lawyer, Edmundo Macarubbo, 58, who was disbarred 10 years back for marrying 3 women.
But in a surprising turn of events, the Supreme Court reinstated him in the roll of lawyers for having “sufficiently shown remorse and acknowledged his indiscretion in the legal profession and in his personal life.”
Up with love, people.
In our daily lives, rare if not impossible is the macho man who doesn’t have a love story to tell. But we doff our heart to him—or her—who is able to elevate his/her quintessential love to spiritual heights such as…the love story of the poets Robert and Elizabeth Browning.
Behold her poem, “How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways. ” Elizabeth wrote, “…and if God choose, I will love you better after death.”
A poll in the U.S. says many marriages are failures not due to financial issues—but to unfaithfulness by either of the spouse… a bitter lesson for those who thought love—true love, that is—is replaceable.
Our knights of Rizal brother, Sir Pablo Trillana III, former supreme commander, told us over lunch at a Katipunan Avenue restaurant that the Rizal-Leonora Rivera love story is a classic. He showed us a melancholic episode in the book he authored: “The Loves of Rizal.”
Wrote Trillana: “…unlike that of Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra… the Rizal-Leonor love story turned out to be the most abiding and saddest in both their lives.
The promise Rizal and Leonor made to each other was so binding that memories and images of each other seemed enough to span distance and separation.”
In one of Rizal’s letters to Leonor, he moaned: “Can I forget you? Many times I seemed to hear the sound of your piano, and the accents of your voice…”
But true love would turn awry. “Leonor eventually married but never loved the English man Henry Kipping…Rizal unashamedly cried, felt he was going mad, and was deeply sad upon receiving Leonor’s last letter telling him that she still loved him but was breaking their engagement in order to marry Henry Kipping upon her mother’s supplications…”
“The marriage took place in June 1891 in a ceremony without joy or good omen. Leonor, dutiful to the end, bore Kipping a son but lived only for just another two years. She died on 28 August 1893, still yearning for Rizal.”
A tear jerker? Happy Valentines!
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NOTES: Basista’s politicians are having a tough time invading Congressman Pol Bataoil’s bailiwicks. We told Councilor Bernard Doria, LP chair, that Pol’s track record is unbeatable. If you ask the local media, Pols is a “gubernatorial timber.”
Which brings to mind former Gov. Victor Agbayani’s resignation as LP Pangasinan campaign manager, a big setback to Nani’s gubernatorial ambition.
The prognosis is that 2016 in Pangasinan’s gubernatorial equation would involve Victor Agbayani, Pol Bataoil, Nani Braganza (win or lose in 2013) and Mark Cojuangco.
Fearless forecast: If Guv’nor Spines survives this litmus test imposed on him by his political foes, he’d be a shoo-in for the senate. Unless, if he decides to go back to his Bautista farm.