Last Sunday our 3-member barangay Lupon heard a case involving a man and his wife. Not unusual as we get to confront marital spats quite often.
Except that this time the couple was not on a fighting mode, raring to paw each other the moment they sat down facing our panel.
Except that last Sunday’s wife didn’t do all the talking, shrieking more like it, crying out loud how she caught her husband hunkered down between the quivering gams of their kasambahay.
Except that last Sunday’s husband didn’t do the retelling of the story being peddled by the usual barangay whisperers about the wife revealing her Victoria’s Secrets to some guy everybody but the husband knows who.
Except that it was not a tug-of-war between a young pair, barely out of their teens, over who gets custody of the child that came out from their trysts at Sogo’s.
Last Sunday’s couple simply wants to separate. In words devoid of drama, they told of their contrasting lifestyles which neither is willing to compromise. Their story is of the husband being the penny pincher and the wife the big spender. The husband being the toiler, the wife the party goer.
A mismatch, it seemed, between the frugal Ilocano and the extravagant Bisayan.
But cross region pairings do not guarantee living-happily-after marriages. No stats but just looking around shows it’s more of the same feather flocking together. They marry among themselves.
If ever the Ilocanos are likely to get hitched with somebody from other regions. Always in search of greener pastures or because of their being wanderlusts, Ilocanos are not apt to stay and die in one place. Reason why they are found in every nook and corner of the archipelago.
Unlike the Bicolano who can’t leave their spicy food laden with hot pepper and drowning in cholesterol-rich coconut milk. Who has a foot into the batten door of a seminary or a convent.
Unlike the Muslims and indigenous tribes in Mindanao who do not stray from the traditional circle they are hemmed in.
Unlike the Tagalogs who stay put in their places because their region is the ‘center of cultural and commercial life.’ They bask in the richness of their farms, thrive in their commercially viable rivers. Prone, OMG! exclaimed my barber, to live with their parents or in-laws even after marriage.
The genealogical and regional walls that divide us, however, may soon crumble. A.J. Jacob, editor at large at Esquire magazine, writes of a novel and quixotic (but aren’t swell things we are enjoying now started with dreams?) ‘turbocharging’ of family trees with a ‘collaborative Wikipedia-like approach.’ An uploaded family tree into one of several websites – WikiTree, WeRelate, MyHeritage – and merged with another tree that has a ‘cousin in common’ can ‘merge and merge again’ until ‘vast webs’ of ‘hundreds of thousands, or millions cousins by blood or marriage are created.’
Mr. Jacob was probably tickled pink finding Gwyneth Paltrow his kin a ‘mere 12 steps away.’ Surely proud his great-grandfather is King David from the Bible.
Exiting prez bsA a cousin of GMA just once removed.
Senate warlocks Cayetano, Pimentel and Trillanes, whisle-pfft!- blowers Bondal and Mercado, cousins of the little dark man Binay.
Mesdames Ferrer and Deles a couple of links from Igbal.
Sixto and Andy not surprisingly cousins, too, of the smart Venezuelan who has been ramming his machines down our throats.
Poe and Sereno just one link away.
Rich Mar being a cousin –what do you know! – of the just-scraping-by Yolanda survivors.
The 5 name-calling, mudslinging presidentiables finding themselves cousins pala!
Me, I wouldn’t mind or be surprised if the missus turns out to be a cousin, ha-ha.
It won’t be long, Mr. Jacob predicts, when we will have a World Family Tree ‘containing mostly all seven billion humans on Earth.’
We’ll realize then that cousins we are all. We will be family and hopefully we’ll ‘treat one another with more civility.’
Regional Traits, https://kwentongpinas.wordpress.com/2008/5/08
‘Are you my cousin?’ by A.J. Jacob, International New York Times, Feb. 1-2, 2014
Photo credits: www.unityspiritualcenter.org