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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When Religion Met Reality

Sometimes, life is really, really good for a blogger. Especially when topics present themselves unbidden - and believe me, I appreciate it.

And I thought I would be having a quiet, relaxed breakfast after two hours of training sessions.

Digging in my vegetable omelet, I noticed - well, everyone else in the cafe did - a trio talking animatedly as they entered.

One was a statuesque woman, which is not to say unattractive, as is often associated with that word. Her face was rather flushed, and against her white flowing dress, it made the color stand out.

The two other people, a man and a woman, were dressed equally nicely, although in a much more conservative manner: the other lady had her hair pulled back, and her face framed with glasses that screamed "librarian". The man had an air of self-confidence around him, and he relayed this quite successfully without uttering a word. (Note to everyone: What you don't say actually says much more.)

As luck would have it, they sat in the booth next to where I was. Score.

Statuesque (S) begins: "Kaya nga, eh. That's the reason I called you here, I am burdened."

Conservative Man (CM) responds: "You know that we are here for you, sister. You can always count on us."

Conservative Woman (CW) quips: "You can call us anytime."

S: "I am so tired, honestly. Lagi nalang ganito kasi. He wants me to take care of everything while he is gone for months, and one time, even more than a year. Yes, it's work, but this is not what I signed up for."

CM: "But this is the vow of marriage." (CM smiles in a knowing fashion.) "For better or for worse, remember? Remember when you first met and made those vows. Remember."

S: "Naandyan na ako, OK? Don't tell me that, I made those vows so I know them. But does that give him the right to hit me when I am too tired to have sex?"

CW: "Language, please. There are people here."


(You could cut the tension in the air with a serrated knife.)

(Photo courtesy of

CM: "I think we're losing focus here. Let's regroup: You called us because you had problems in your marriage. Let's try to work them out. Lahat naman ng mag-asawa may problema. I think the popular expression is weather-weather lang yan. So, what do you think should be your next step?"

S: "I've tried everything. I reasoned with him that we are not working on our marriage...Paano namin gagawin yun, eh nasa ibang bansa lagi?"

CM: "But this is your life. The life you both built together. Hindi ba?"

S: "Again, I understand your point, brother. And siguro my fault is that I agreed to this. I wanted to work so that he didn't have to leave to support both of us. But he insisted, kesyo it is the man daw who earns, and the woman takes care of the home."

CW: "That is our assigned role."

S: "Teka...may asawa ka na ba?"

CW: ""

S: "Ayan naman pala. Eh, di tumahimik ka nalang, PWEDE?!?!?"

At this point, CW excuses herself. I suppose to pick up her face in the next store.

CM: "You didn't have to go ballistic on her."

S: "What do you expect? Alam ko naman ang papayuhin nyo, eh!"

CM: "Don't be so sure. Remember, I'm on your side: I only met your husband through you, we have been friends for a long time."

S: "Kaya nga ako lumapit sa iyo. I need some semblance of familiarity, as I feel like I am going into uncharted waters. I need an anchor, something to keep me sane and in place."

CM: "Why would you feel like you are swimming in waters like that?"

S: "Because I am going to the lawyers next week for an annulment."

CM turns quiet. He looks down, then faces Statuesque in grim determination. "Do not do that."

At this point, Statuesque begins sobbing, but manages to still speak audibly. "I can take everything, pati yung distansya at tagal, but not the beating. That is not negotiable."

CM: "It is wrong to have an annulment. You have to work through it, this phase in your life. It is just a hardship you are given presently, be patient. God will hear you and your pleas, you will be protected if you only..."

Statuesque stands up, lifts up her left sleeve to reveal a welt that would make Manny Pacquiao wince. "How will I be protected from THIS?!?"


Statuesque delivers her parting words: "I didn't ask for your help in order for you to judge me. OK? I came to you, I wanted a listening ear, a sympathetic touch, one that would say "I don't know what you're going through but I am here for whatever you need." Since we met up, you have been telling me God does this, God will do keep sidestepping the fact that I have been beaten repeatedly by my husband! Hindi kita tinawagan para husgahan mo ako!!!  Tapos may sinama ka pang iba, eh mas lokaret pa pala yan pag dating sa relihiyon!"

I don't know about you, but I just had a very fulfilling breakfast.

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