Friday, May 8, 2009

One Flesh, One Life

The social life among the Hanunuo Mangyans living in southern part of Mindoro island centers on the family. The girls marry at an early age, unlike this friend of mine. During courtship, the groom-to-be convinces his future bride of his intentions through reciting an “ambahan” (a short Mangyan poem) and in between, he plays his small guitar called “subing”. The wedding planners are both parents and the dowry is decided by both of them. The actual rite is very brief but the highlights are advises and admonitions given by the “magdadaniw”, a kind of minister (usually a tribal elder). From the mountains, let us go to a certain lowland marriage to be held the Christian way.

At 10:00 AM tomorrow,- May 9, 2009, a close friend of mine will be exchanging “I Do’s” with her special someone at the Saint Joseph College Seminary Chapel, here in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. The event can be summed up in two (Latin)words that we hear only during Holy Week : “Consumatum Est”. She’s 37 and he is 36. At last, our long wait,- as “by-standers”, will finally end Saturday.

This one is from “Gaudium et Spes” : “Christian marriage is an institution confirmed by the divine law, receiving its stability, even in the eyes of society, from the human act by which the partners surrender themselves to each other.” In a broader sense, marriage is not only a juridical act by which spouses exchange rights for specific things, but also the free and deliberate entrance of the spouses into a covenant of a whole life. This is one of the many things I have learned from the book written by Rev. Fr. Hermogenes E. Bacareza, SVD, our Judicial Vicar, entitled “Psychological Incapacity : Gift From Heaven?”.

Written in their in invitation card is this lovely poem : “It all started with a smile…/a few words…/a friendship…/a love affair…/and today../We begin sharing/not just love../but LIFE.” Cute isn’t it? And it reminds me of my own wedding 16 years ago.

This is an example of "ambahan" for courtship and marriage:

"Tuda Pagbugtong uman
No sa kangko itungpan
Payi mamabunlagan
No buntag di tukawan..."

(This nice and beautiful girl
if one day she should be mine,
I would never separate
as long I would be alive...)

Indeed marriage is not only becoming “one flesh” but more importantly living “one life”. St. Thomas of Aquinas once said, “Marriage is not essentially the carnal union but rather a certain association of the husband and wife.” For him, what makes marriage is the consent to marriage itself, not just carnal part of it but the whole of marriage...

No matter how long we have waited!

Congratulations and best wishes, Dante and Thess!


  1. Congratulation to them two! May God enrich still their companionship.

  2. Maligayang bati kay Tess at Dante! (MS)

  3. ikakasal na pala si thess!!! pakipa-abot na lang ang aming congrats at best wishes sa kanilang mag-asawa...

  4. langya... si dante ba 'yan!!! congrats sa inyong dalawa -- gin at marlboro ang sa 'kin!!! -eunice