By Anthony Lim
I clearly remember a friend of mine last year. He was madly and hopelessly in love with a really pretty mestisa or simply put “Tisay.” He introduced Tisay to us feeling sooner or later she would be his girlfriend. However as the weeks passed by something disastrous happened. The girl of his dreams dumped him. Worse he was milked dry. He spent for the needs of Tisay’s family. It even came to the point where he would bail out Tisay’s nephew whenever he got into trouble with the law. We kept reminding him that she was merely taking advantage of his feelings and that there was no love; for as long as she knew how much he was enamoured with her then she would dig more into his pocket. This intelligent man became dumb with his foolish emotion. He would always reason out that she was just testing him. We wanted to confront her when we found out that she got his tablet and his new IPhone. Alas! It was useless this guy was hexed by this witch. Then finally something happened, she began having calls and sooner she had a picture of a young man on her mobile phone. So Tisay dumped him like a hot potato! After all his foolish efforts and wasted money he lost her. He suddenly got sick; he got himself bouts of drinking and crying spree. Love can be negative at times.
This reminds me of the love life of famous people in history. Let me begin with Jose Rizal our very own national hero. His first love is of course Leonor Rivera, believe it or Leonor was his cousin. He first met her when he was taking up medicine in UST at his Uncle Antonio’s boarding house – the Casa Tomasino. It was love at first sight. He was amazed by her beauty and intelligence. She was a well-rounded person. She could sing and play the piano. She would often entertain great people in their house. No wonder Jose Rizal was love struck. When Jose Rizal was practically forced into studying abroad his brother Paciano made sure he would not bid farewell to his mother and Leonor Rivera. Paciano knew that his brother, Jose Rizal would cave in if ever these women would shed tears on his departure. So Rizal’s departure had to be a secret. Unfortunately as Rizal stayed in Europe his relationship with Leonor hit rock bottom. It got worse when Rizal became famous with his controversial novels. The Riveras were afraid that anybody related to Jose Rizal may get into trouble. Leonor’s mother, Doña Silvestra, intercepted all the incoming letters of Rizal and bribed the postmaster general not to send Leonor’s letters to Rizal. Thus the lost communication prompted Leonor to think it was the end of her relationship with Rizal. She decided to marry an English engineer named Henry Kipping. However days before the wedding, Leonor’s mother became lax, a letter from Madrid came in through. Then Leonor realized that Jose Rizal was true to her after all. She confronted her mother about the letters. Doña Silvestra showed Leonor the letters of Rizal. Now Leonor was in a dilemma whether she would push through with her wedding since she was still very much in love with Rizal. In an act of supreme sacrifice she chose to push through with the wedding to avoid family embarrassment. (Engagements were announced a year ahead before the wedding date during the 19th century). She gave her mother certain conditions for her to push through with the wedding. She would never again sing and play the piano. She also burned Rizal’s letters and placed the ashes inside her wedding gown. On her deathbed Leonor requested that she be buried wearing the clothes when she first met Jose Rizal and that some remaining letters of Rizal be placed inside her coffin. I can say Rizal’s first real love was more hurting for his lover, Leonor, than to himself.
Monarchs too can’t escape the love bug. Here is King Edward VIII of England in the 1930s. The King had met an American divorcee name Wallis Simpson. During those times the Parliament had a say in the choice of the partner of the king because the reigning monarch is considered the Head of the Church of England. When Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin heard rumours of the secret relationship between Edward and Willie; he confronted the Prince. PM Baldwin warned him that marrying a divorcee would violate the constitution of the Church of England of which he is the titular head and would also create a parliamentary crisis. The Prime Minister gave the Prince three choices – give up the idea of marrying, marry against the wishes of the parliament or abdicate. So Prince Edward had to choose between her or his throne. Then in a surprising announcement he told the British public he would abdicate the throne for he could no longer serve the duties of a King and that he would marry the woman he love. Prince Edward abdicated his throne on December 10, 1936 and became the Duke of Windsor. On June 3, 1937 the Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson on a private ceremony. It was an unpopular decision for a well- loved monarch but admirable for some people. I wonder if anyone of us would be in his shoe what would you pick your beloved or your throne?