SCOTOMA is a dark or blind spot in the field of vision. The mind chooses what it wants to see. (This happens to the voters during election time.) What does the heart want to choose? For a normal heart (not the achy-breaky heart), the choice for love object is someone who pleases the emotion, magnetizes the eyes, and electrifies the sense of touch.

This has nothing to do with stupid Cupid. He is just impeccable. Don’t believe the Romans! They made the son of Venus and Mercury the god of love. The Greeks called him Eros. He is a naked, winged boy, usually with a bow and arrows. If he was born in the Philippines, he could be among our street children (really naked) begging for alms. Some politicians have cupidity (avarice, greed especially for wealth).

Here is my not-so-funnylicious valentine story. In-not-so-distant-past, I saw myself chasing a young, beautiful lady (my ex-girlfriend). I did not have the intention of having a girlfriend who is a teacher. A teacher-girlfriend is strict. She has the tendency to look at her trying hard suitor as a naughty student who is a master in making good excuse letters. She is grading me always (love letter with wrong grammar, no sentence coherence, a weak paragraph build-up and more).

I was in love so I tried to be accurate while being foolish. Instead of sending the usual love letter written in coupon bond, I bought perfumed, pink colored stationery, and started pasting it with love stickers. My love letter for her looked like a project of a high school student for his scrap book. I delivered it personally to her. That was effective because she would be sending back to me also her own version of a love letter, better and more attractive than what I have sent her.

Do I give gifts? No problem. My gifts are special but not expensive… guava, chico, santol, rambutan, indian mango, and bananas. They all came from the backyard of my Lolo Pedro. To overtake other possible suitors, I would start my visit in her house at six o’clock in the morning (Chinese style) and I would go home before eight o’clock in the evening (my style). That’s corny but I call it perseverance. Of course, I do it after I have befriended his parents, sisters, brothers, and relatives. My Saturday and Sunday visits are already known by the residents of her barangay.

I did Filipino courtship style. I made myself open to any conversation. Her father loved to talk about politics. That’s chicken. Politics is my forte. Her mother spoke of housekeeping (not my forte) but I told her that my mother loved housekeeping also. That makes two of them already. Before ten o’clock in the morning, her parents would leave the house. They got small business in the market. Her brothers and sisters would go out also to join their peers; or they just want to give us our moments to remember.

When the cats are away the mice are busy. We are not mice but just the same, we made ourselves busy… telling stories without plots, whispering sweet nothing, and testing our sense of touch on group dynamics for her classroom. The doors and windows were wide open for us to see and be seen. Sometimes friends would pass by to join us eating the fruits. By the way, she was teaching at St. John’s Institute for that school year.

In the following year, she taught at Cadiz City (in a parochial school). Sometimes she would spend her Saturday and Sunday there. I would go there Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. I befriended the parish priest, the sister principal, and her co-teachers. We explored the beaches in Cadiz and I enjoyed eating “buriring” (a member of the puffer fish family). I have learned one thing. It is nicer if we are away from home. No cats, not even lizards.

After the visit, I would always go home with my backpack loaded with assorted “uga” from Cadiz. My mother asked me, “Are you planning to have a dried fish section in our house?” Corny again. Those were the years of my adventures and misadventures. I could not forget them… including my ex-girlfriend. Where does my ex-girlfriend live now? She lives in my house. We are the grandparents of Nessy and Gave. We were married October 14… Valentine’s Day in October.

Marriage is a relationship between husband and wife in which independence is equal, the dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal!