Finally, I'm here in this place where my parents started their lives together as husband and wife. I have always wanted to visit Zamboanga because of my fascination over the love story of our parents. Mama and papa met in Negros during their high school days. I don't know how long they had been together, but apparently, the relationship displeased mama's family. They sent her on exile to this city, where mama lived with her relatives.
Undaunted, papa went after her. Though Zamboanga was a strange place for him, papa went out in pursuit of his lady love. For one year, he went around Zamboanga looking for mama. It could be nothing less than true love that drove papa to brave an unkown land. He knew mama was brought to Zamboanga, but he didn't know exactly where. So on and on he went around and looked for her. Finally, one Sunday afternoon, his prayers were answered. He spotted my mother in Pasonanca park. He then ran away with her and refused to leave Zamboanga until they were able to convince mama's family to let them marry.
Of course, they didn't exactly live happily ever after. There were hard times especially during the Martial Law years. But they loved each other so much. They were the happiest married couple I had ever seen. I almost never saw them quarrel. They remained ever sweet with each other even after almost 25 years together. (Unfortunately, mama died before their 25th anniversary.)
When I was younger, I always wanted to have a marriage like theirs. Though not perfect, they were contented and happy. They braved the storms together, still standing up because they had a deep foundation -- their love for each other. Though I haven't really gone around the city, I can smell the sweet aroma of Zamboanga -- the sweet aroma of love