65 years and counting

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Monday, July 7, 2014


THESE days when many relationships barely last a year, or marriages not surviving the so-called seven year-itch, theirs is truly an inspiring story.

Meet the couple whose marriage has reached 65 years last month, and counting: Juan Destacamento, 85, and Arcadia Dela Torre-Destacamento, 83, of Broce Extension Barangay 4 San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

To celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, the couple renewed their vows at rites at the Bishop's Palace in San Carlos officiated by Bishop Gerardo Alminaza and Fr. Jesryl Intes last June 24, and attended by family and friends.

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She was 18. He was 20. Somewhere in General Santos City, just four years after the Second World War broke out and just when the nation was rebuilding its lost glory, they tied the knot and started their family.

Now, after more than six decades and with nine children, 23 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren and still counting, you still rarely see them apart – they are a constant couple.

She is his Cadiang, he is her Juaning. She is his companion everyday, besides cigarette and beer. She doesn’t mind.

She isn't perfect, either. With she gets mad at him, she has the harshest words for him, too, and and when that happens, he better not mess with her.

She puts up with him, he puts up with her. Give and take.

He would drive her to the market everyday to buy the freshest catch and without missing, the lowly malunggay as part of their daily diet.

At 83, she can memorize the name of all her 23 grandchildren (even their husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends) and would know exactly who the mothers and fathers of her 14 great grandchildren.

She would easily give up “teleseryes” for any basketball game and would explode in her “hoarsest” voice whenever there are uncalled for fouls and impossible three-point shots. No doubt, when asked for her favorite team, it’s always the winning team of the season.

He, on the other hand, is the best story teller. He can sit with you all night, a bottle of beer in hand, and tell you any story under the sun. He would sit down with sons, grandsons, and friends retelling his stories as if telling these for the first time.

He would tell his antics in the farm as truck/tractor driver, mechanic and later as service driver loyal to his “Senior” and “Nyorito” (who happens to be now Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson) with vivid details and listening to him your imagination would bring you to the farm yourself.

He would tell her stories, too, as a fish and fruit vendor and, of course, their stories on how they were able to send nine children to school.

And even when we celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary, we are already looking forward to their 70th. (Easter Anne Doza)

*****

The writer is the granddaughter of the couple.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 07, 2014.

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