16 going on 60: The May-December romance of Freddie Aguilar-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
By Mina Paras-Morales
WHY are we even talking about this? What with the PDAF and DAP-related problems of the country, why are we besotted with the romance of 60-year-old Freddie Aguilar of "Anak" fame with 16-year-old "Daisy" from Oriental Mindoro? That is the gist of what I had just read from an interview of Karen Davila with Aguilar.
Granted, 44 years is too big a gap to be bridged, and it is up to Freddie to try and bridge it (he admits to a lot of adjusting) because the sixteener, no longer sweet, is too young, too immature, to even grasp the enormity of the gap. As of the moment, "Daisy" is deeply infatuated and probably awed by her "fiancé" and his fame and wealth though not of the caliber of PDAF-endowed politicians, who've been (secretly) pouncing on nubile girls.
A high school student — according to Freddie — "Daisy's" biggest dream is, quote unquote (from the PDI story) "to be a beauty queen." Does that mean she’s a real beauty? Did she idolize and now wants to emulate Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj, who if memory serves me right, comes from the same side of the boondocks? She does have a supportive husband-to-be who has told her it takes more than looks and a killer walk to bag a title; how you talk and what you have in your head matter a lot. Daisy thus has more chances to be Mrs. Aguilar (the nth, as he’s been married and divorced many times) in the near future, because even if the Church or the law doesn’t agree, the stipulation being that girls can only legally marry at 18 and above, Freddie, who’s a born-again Christian, is thinking of renouncing his faith and becoming a Muslim. (Trivia: Senator Loren Legarda's ex-husband Tony Leviste, who’s in jail for murder, turned Muslim to be able to marry Loren. They were previously married to other people.)
Again, why are we even talking about this? Sixteen was almost "old" in the days of the Tudor dynasty (all those Henrys and Richards), when girls were "bedded and wedded" at 13. According to the book "The Red Queen" by Philippa Gregory (who penned the series of historical novels in this era), Margaret Beaufort had the future King Henry IV (or V) at the age of 13, and she almost died in labor. The first Boleyn girl whom the infamous Henry VIII bedded but not wedded was only 14 when she had a boy also named Henry. Mary couldn’t be wedded as she had already been married then. Based on the books — The Other Boleyn Girl (Anne, who became queen but was beheaded), Katherine of Aragon (the first wife of Henry VIII whom he divorced to marry Anne), Lady of the Rivers, The White Queen, et al — the standard age for marrying then was 14, and 18 was "too old".
Not to be sidetracked, in the earlier eras of our grandmothers, there have been known cases of 14-year-old girls being married, whether by choice or duty. Sometimes nubile girls are offered as "payment" to the powerful landlords. And there’ve been girls who were bedded by lecherous friars, as we learned from "Noli Me Tangere" and real-life stories of the descendants of such affairs.
The statute for the legal age pegged at 18 was a recent law included in the Family Code starting 1988.
Now I'm not for, nor against, Freddie Aguilar wanting to marry the girl. As he said, if the family only wants his money — though it definitely helps, as the family belongs to the poorest of the poor — so be it, he shrugs. "It's my money." In the end, whatever happens, the girl will at least have a college education, and the family will be better off. The DSWD can write them off their "poorest" list now.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on November 04, 2013.