When A Man Loves A Woman: In Memoriam of Atty. Enrico Eric R. Castro
By N Mark Castro
She was a provincial lass every inch of the way who, at one point, was said to have taken the interest of an invading Japanase soldier who wanted to adopt her.
In a family of 12, she was the youngest and lived her life much like every provincial girl did: helped in household chores, studied in a local school, went to Church, played with her much older siblings, until, at last, when it was her turn, was sent to the city to further her education.
She took up education, hoping to teach kids back home in her province. She stayed home with her married sister during her temporary relocation to Manila, where she met a confident law student whose aunt owned the apartment her sister’s family was renting. Or so the story went.
After graduating from the university, she went back home to the province, which was roughly a 12-hour ride from the city back then. Though relatively pretty, she soon became an engaging personality back in the province, ready to attend local gatherings and welcome visiting guests. Her suitor from the city, smitten, wanted to pursue her further but was obliged to finish his law school. As soon as he was done, however, he followed her in the province, got off at the airport, and trekked a 4-km distance to visit the girl that took his heart.
There was no electricity then. It was a dark walk. It was in an unfamiliar territory, where other local boys looked down upon strangers from the city as arrogant bastards. He was determined. Day in and day out he would visit the girl, amidst her 11 other siblings, and the entire eyes of a disapproving village.
He declared his intentions. She was uncertain.
And then he made his promise. “If I pass the bar examinations, I will marry you.”
Back in the city, he prepared for the bar exams with much determination. There was no internet. Libraries were in disarray as this was just after the war. And on the day of the bar exams, on the fourth part, he fell asleep.
Dejected but hopeful, he informed his provincial girl of what had happened, of his fate, of the challenges that lay ahead … but soon the results came out.
He made it in the top ranking.
Soon, they both got married and started a family: one boy, two boys, three boys …
But with no girl that warmed his heart and helped his wife, they pursued some more.
Then I came.
Then the next.
There went the ballgame.
From being one of the prettiest girls in her village, full of hope and dream, she became the tortured woman of five devils: resented, rejected, ignored, rebelled at, screamed at, begged at, stood by, hugged, and loved.
I think her maternal and parental skills were never in question as to how her five boys turned out.
And I think his dedication as a father was never questioned …
We were, really, just the devils everyone thought we’d be, regardless of any woman from whose womb we’d sprung.
Atty. Enrico Eric R Castro
Perhaps it was the misalignment of the stars, the misfortune of birth, or the conspiracy of the Fates that dictated you spend the rest of your life caring for us … but …
Thank you, Papa … and know that you’ll always live in our hearts.