(Day 4 – Your Parents)
They were known as the Prince Charles and Lady Di of Batch E. They had the looks, the grace, the elegance and the love story to compete with the then popular fairytale couple. But though the aforementioned royal pair’s wedded life ended in a tragedy of divorce and death, Joel and Ma. Azucena’s did not. Twenty-six plus years later, their marriage is still strong, still becoming sweeter as the years go by.
The dashing Baguio boy and breathtaking Cebu girl met during their undergraduate years at the Philippine Normal University in Manila. They became college sweethearts. They graduated, got physically separated, but they battled it out for love nonetheless. Finally, on December 22, 1985, Joel and Ma. Azucena tied the knot. The pair got married in Visayan territory before moving and settling in Cordilleran terrain. Three years later, a siopao-faced daughter came into their lives, followed by a soyfee-hued son one-and-a-half year later.
They first lived in a closet-sized home affectionately called as the “sultan” during the “early years”. By the time Siopao Face turned one, they had however moved into their new home – the second floor of a former dormitory for students.
A framed picture of a brick abode with the words “A house is made of brick and stone but a home is made of love alone” hung on their house’s door. In actuality the residence was made of wood and metal shingles but with l-o-v-e saturating the rooms, it was indeed… a home.
When Siopao Face and Soyfee Hue (aka Mari Anjeli and Quantum Yuri) were old enough to listen to and understand stories, Ma. Azucena filled their nights with tales of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin, Mowgli and Shere Khan, Kangaroos and Rainbow Snakes, of the King Shahryar and Sheherazade.
Joel in turn filled their skill bucket with the basic things they needed to survive life – bikes and bike-riding, balls and ball-catching, bridges and bridge-crossing, dishes and dishwashing, eggs and egg-cooking.
Together they taught the children about honesty and generosity, about patience and diligence, about dreaming and persevering. They were good parents and, though the two kids have almost grown up, they are that way – good – to them still.
And speaking of teaching and parenting, Joel and Ma. Azucena, through years of firsthand parenting, spent time being second parents as well. Both have become established in the craft of educating and inspiring college and post-graduate students. They taught them math, statistics, physics, and everything else in between.
Now, both have reached the golden years but are still filled to overflow with love. And, though their wedded years have just gone pass silver, they’ve still more affection to give out.
Cheers Papa and Mama! Here’s to the many more love-filled years to come! And so I attempted to spin a fairy tale of some sort given the handful of information that I have about your years together. I shall write a much, much longer one, when we sit down together and you share more stories with me. Love you!