Wenceslao: Monogamy

Wenceslao
Wenceslao(File Photo)

The Philippines’ concept of a relationship has long been shaped by decades of Spanish colonization. Partners, whether their relationship is heterosexual or not, are supposed to stay loyal to each other “until death do them part.” Thus there has been a lot of furor over the split of reel and real couple Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla or Kathniel.

Like in Aldub, the pairing of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, fans’ perception of love teams transcends reality. Richards and Mendoza were never a couple. Aldub was a “kalyeserye,” meaning fictional. Thus when Mendoza fell in love with actor (now also a politician) Arjo Atayde, eventually marrying him, many fans continued to cling to the fictional Aldub.

The difference with Kathniel was that the reel love team became a real one. But that didn’t mean that the couple would end up getting married in real life. Both Bernardo and Padilla are celebrities, and that puts so much strain on a relationship at the courtship level. Even older celebrities who are already married to each other have split because of the strain of staying married while being a celebrity. The temptation is everywhere.

This is the reason some conservative theorists in the US have linked the diseases linked to freewheeling relationships as having pushed us back to where we started: be monogamous and be safe. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases are products of an “unhealthy” lifestyle. I remember basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson talking in the past about a lifestyle that led to him eventually acquiring the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. It was the result of having one-night stands in places where National Basketball Association arenas are.

Padilla is a celebrity and a “looker,” so he needs to always carry with him buckets of morality and a good dose of self-discipline to be able to stay loyal to Bernardo. He obviously was not prepared for that, thus the split. One positive thing here is that the couple is still in the “courtship” stage. The other is that at least the relationship lasted for 11 years. What would have happened had Bernardo gotten pregnant in Year One and then gotten married to Padilla? Consider how the child would have suffered.

The split is thus the saying that “the glass is either half-full or half-empty” all over again. One can see the glass as half-empty and feel depressed, or one can see the glass as half-full and look for lessons they can learn from the experience. It would be wrong, of course, to laugh off the split as being merely a “bakya” crowd concern. One cannot take the split lightly because there are lessons to be learned there about love, courtship and marriage. It is from high-profile splits like this that ordinary people can find the correct way of doing things — maintaining a married life, especially. The showbiz world might be glitzy, but it is but a microcosm of the real world actually.

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