She was working next door as a baby sitter. I see her every time I come home from school. I asked her name, she said she kept it inside a treasure box. So I told her, maybe she should bring it with her the next time I see her.
Then I saw her again, I asked her if she finally brought her name or else it would be disrespectful to pass by a beautiful woman every day and I couldn’t greet her by her first name. Finally she told me her name. Her name was ANA. I noticed her watching me while I was studying at our window. You know women during the time when they like you; no matter how much they try to hide it, you just know. 
I remember my brother told me once when I brought Ana home to use the phone

“If you’re going to marry soon, you have know that you can’t stay here, you will have to stand on your own feet and support yourself.” 



 I didn’t know he was also courting her. I was 16 years old.
I invited her to have lunch with me once but she wasn’t allowed to go anywhere out so brought her food at their house. 

We had amazing conversations that I forgot about the time. 

In the evening, she was shouted by her employer and I knew she felt embarrassed because I saw her from the window so she left her job.

She was friends with my aunt so she asked her if she could stay there for a night. One night after they have been drinking with my cousins and one of them tried to sleep with her while she was asleep, she got scared so she ran to my house crying. She told me what happen so I went with her there pretending I was her boyfriend and talked to my cousin. I told him what he did was wrong and disrespectful to women.

The next day, I asked her if she likes me and told her I didn’t want to waste my time because it’s going to end up there anyway so there was no use of courtship. I’ll just court her whike we’re together. She told me it was okay with her. 

“I’m still studying but we can get our own apartment.”



We rented an apartment for only 20 pesos then we bought 50 cents for a kilo of rice during the time. I went to work while studying and earning 350 pesos monthly salary for being electrician. I wanted to prove my brother that I can stand on my own feet. I saved money to start a small restaurant.
It was August when we had our first baby. We got married and had our baby’s baptism the same day. I finished my school, then afterwards we had 3 more children.

 I and my brother applied as a Seaman. After few days, the employer called me to discuss about the salary. He said he was going to pay me 350 pesos a month. I asked him if he could push until 550 but he only approved 350. 
I went home to my wife and told her about the job and that I’m leaving soon. She cried to me. She had no idea that I was just kidding. I wiped her tears off and told her I was just making fun of her. I didn’t want to leave to earn three hundred fifty pesos. 
Then my brother told me I should work abroad to save money because my children are growing fast. I grabbed the opportunity but first I asked my brother to spare me 10 more days before I go.

 “I need to teach my wife what to do.” 

I couldn’t watch her while I let her do things with the kids alone. I told her to rest while I’m away and watch after the kids and I will take care of everything. We closed down the restaurant.
I worked in Saudi for 12 years until all my children finished college. I bought us ‘house and lot’ and also a Jeepney for a source of income then I came back home. I never smoke and drink. I spent my sleepless nights talking to my wife. 
I saw my friends dating other women. I was there to remind them about those reasons why we where there.
 Our goal why we ended up abroad? It’s for the family right? I asked them how could they trade their family for an entertainment?
“Temptations are only visible if you give them attention.”

“Remember that once the trust is broken, it’s forever going to leave a mark. 

Think about your children, they are going to remember what you did to them.”



When you’re married, you need to keep an open mind, self-discipline and lots of patience and utmost respect for each other. Never ever shout or hurt your wife. It’s normal that sometimes you give her reason to be sad but there should be more reason for her to be happy. Think of the words before you speak. 
And before you get married, you have to make sure you know where you’re putting yourself into. If you do everything from the heart, then know the right things to do.   
 If you’re just going to stay at your parent’s house, better not marry at all. You’ll never know how it feels to become parents. You will never figure out what your family needs the most. You must learn how to create your own home. It’s the an amazing feeling to become a father.

 
 “I never hurt her. I still court her every now and then. She always laugh whenever I came home with flowers. When I’m at work, I call her to tell her I miss her. And when she’s angry, I give her time, I listen and then I will go for a walk and when I come home, she says sorry then embraces me.”

  “We’re together since we were 16 and she was 15 years old. 45 years of marriage and I still ask her out for dinner from time to time.”



 RICARDO, Makati