Rotary Club of Tagbilaran
November 12, 2014
At the End of the Rainbow
In Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” a love-struck pair (Lorenzo and Jessica) elopes, unmindful of the repercussions of their impulsive act. Stealing and running off with her father Shylock’s gold ducats, she intends to convert to her sweetheart’s religious affiliation, albeit the acidic contempt her family would spew unto her. Traversing with unladylike contortions through a miniscule of a window, she surreptitiously tells her handsome lover waiting below: “…Love is blind and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit,” echoing the bloody tragedy poignantly essayed in “Romeo and Juliet.”
That youthful unbridled passion oftentimes turns tragic is a highly probable adage. The ever-increasing incidents of teen-agers going berserk and repudiating generations-old value systems, in favor of spur-of-the-moment bohemian pursuits, is a vogue. Yet, comparatively, filial affection binding the Filipino family is still a norm despite the onslaught of westernized intrusion into the Asian mantra.
In Pinoyland love is still “alive and kicking,” if by it is meant the responsibility of well-adjusted individuals who know how to love. There are those who courageously confront the foibles along the uneven path the heart is heir to, especially that that particularly intensely hyperbolic and unnerving feeling (infatuation oftentimes perceived as love in the exuberance of youth) can derail the less suspecting (rendering the affectionate lover blind in sardonic overtones), thereby murking the ability to sheave affection and reason in their right perspectives, amidst a kaleidoscope of seemingly chaotic confusion. There are well-meaning couples who know that life is never a bed of roses; consequently, they can immerse themselves through some disillusionment in the journey for the sake of the purposeful destination.
Like Rotarians Tony (+) and Nena Dohig. For now it can be told, their’s may not be a perfect marriage (there is no such wonder) , but a union blessed in heaven; for they survived the trials and tribulations sown along the road they have chosen. Life is a matter of choice. They may be scarred but not scared, shaken but not obliterated in cataclysmic surrender. They braved through some gruesome and uncharted seas, but their love endures, even in his physical absence.
The young Engineer and the indefatigable teacher learned early in their marriage that they held their future in their own hands. Her brief teaching stint in Mindanao was part of the ordeal. Her determination to go a notch higher in the professional ladder burned her midnight candles; so she could earn her Master and Doctorate degrees, making her a top-notch educator; while Tony put up a machine shop from scratch.
I am not really that privy to the life of Tony and Nena, although Nena and I used to be with good old Divine Word College, and Tony, when he was the President of the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran, invited me to join the organization (which was aborted because I cannot make my Wednesday noons free). He was then a City Councilor and for endless years was the Barangay Captain of Poblacion I; and I emceed numerous election campaign sorties and programs of the City and Provincial Government, thus the affinity.
A package-tour in Bangkok (Nena was then the Secretary of the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry), with her and her children and an in-law, made me witness first-hand a family bonding that, in my perceptual field, was scintillatingly exceptional. With her as the ever-gracious and forever patient mother hen to her broad, she stood as a bulwark against irrationalities who never lost her cool; but everybody toed the line in classic joie de vivre. I was amazed.
If Rotarian Nena Dohig is an epitome of concentration and sublime spirituality when she leads the Invocation in the Wednesday Rotary program (or in anything that occupies her time), it’s because of a Godliness that she and her husband found in the pursuit of their dreams. If she exudes that aura of fulfillment and happiness today, oblivious to the gnawing emptiness caused by Tony’s absence, it’s because she already knows what life is. Their’s is a kind of love tested by all the bromides of existence, until they found their cornucopia of gold at the foot of the rainbow.