Older, younger… does it really matter?

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo -

• Michael Rendon of Makati City and other readers are wondering why the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Awards Foundation has picked Kristine Hermosa as Box-Office Queen of the Year (2005) when she only had one movie last year, Enteng Kabisote 2, the success of which is credited to Vic Sotto (chosen Box-Office King)? Rendon pointed out that the more deserving winner is either Angel Locsin ( who did two movies, Let The Love Begin and Mulawin The Movie) or Claudine Barretto (Nasaan Ka Man? and Dubai).

• Fresh from winning three awards at the recent Berlin Film Festival, Auraeus Solito’s Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros), along with American director Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson, will open the 35th New Directors/New Films series presented jointly by the Film Society of the Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Arts’ Film and Media department, March 22 to April 2. The two Sundance 2006 titles are among the 25 feature films and five shorts from around the world that will be screened at the Walter Reade Theater of the Lincoln Center and at the Titus Theater. In more than three decades, the ND/NF has introduced American audiences to major figures including Pedro Almodovar, Hector Babenco, Terence Davies, Wong Kar-wei, Spike Lee and Steven Spielberg.

• From Rev. Prester Artemio S. Luaton: I officiated the liturgy and the rite of the wedding celebration of Aiko Melendez and Martin Jickain. Just a little clarification: The liturgy rite that we used was an abridged version of the three-hour liturgical celebration that our brethren from all over the East, Europe and the Americas sings. The original language used in the celebration is Aramaic. This is the language of Palestine at the time of Jesus (Yaohushua) and his disciples, and is still the language used in our liturgical celebration. But in order to understand it, we use the English translation in our Saturday liturgical celebration except the Our Father which is in the original Aramaic language.
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They say that all is fair in love (and war), so does age, should age, really matter? Let’s hear it from three pairs:

L. Cesar Montano and Sunshine Cruz

The age gap between them is about two decades. They’ve been married for seven years. They have three daughters (plus two grown-up children from Cesar’s first marriage).

Being older, Cesar said that he’s the one who keeps a balance between their marriage.

"I have to be more understanding," he said.

"And more patient," added Sunshine.

"But I see to it that it doesn’t spoil her," countered Cesar in jest.

"So she wouldn’t abuse."

"He’s really pasensyoso," confirmed Sunshine who admitted being the jealous type but definitely not possessive.

Cesar’s two older children are almost Sunshine’s age, so she treats them like her barkada. They go to the mall and see their dermatologist together.

"Shine can be childish sometimes," said Cesar, "but I learn from her as much as she learns from me."

"No regrets that I married him," said Sunshine. "I love it when he treats me like a baby. He’s super-lambing. He wants us to wake up at the same time. Otherwise, if I sleep on, he’d do everything to wake me up – draw caricatures on my arms and legs with a Pentel pen or, if needed, strip me naked."

No seven-year itch between them?

"None," said Cesar. "Di na uso ‘yon."

No reason for Sunshine to be jealous (especially since Cesar is perceived to be ladies’ man)?

"He assures me that he may bark but he doesn’t bite," said Sunshine. "Otherwise, I keep telling him, if he plays around ako ang magba-bite sa kanya."

2. Alma Moreno and Gerald Madrid

"I’m not shy about my age," admitted Alma. "I’m 46."

And Gerald is 20, younger even than Alma’s eldest child, Mark Anthony Fernandez.

Doesn’t the 26-year gap get in the way of their relationship which in 2004 when they both ran in the elections in Parañaque City (she for mayor and he for councilor)?

They both lost but they felt like winners because they had found and fallen in love with each other.

At first, they denied their romance because, as Alma put it, "we were not sure about things yet." Besides, they didn’t want to hurt other people (among them Gerald’s estranged wife with whom he has two children).

"Being older," said Alma, "I’m the one who adjusts to him."

In the past, Alma was involved with older men, among them Rudy Fernandez (father of Mark Anthony), Dolphy (father of Alma’s son Vandolph) and Joey Marquez (father of Alma’s three children).

"When Gerald and I decided to go steady," said Alma, "the first people to be informed were my children. I didn’t want them to hear it from other people or from the media."

"I learn a lot from her," said Gerald. "She gives me all sorts of advice and encourages me. Ako kasi, madaling panghinaan ang loob."

When she’s not in a bad mood, he makes her laugh by warning her, "Watch out, you might get wrinkles!"

Do they plan to get married once, you know, the coast is clear?

The sweethearts who call each other "Honey" said no.

Neither do they plan to have a baby.

"All we want is to enjoy our every moment together," said Alma who stressed that she’s not living-in with Gerald. "If you’re happy, that’s what matters, di ba?"

3. Mark Gil and Maricar Jacinto

Often when they’re out (in the mall, etc.), Maricar is mistaken for Mark’s daughter (she being petite), but Mark has learned to take it in stride.

The 13-year age gap between them is made more obvious by Mark’s, well, widening forehead and the fact that he has children by three other women (Irene Celebre; Bing Pimentel, his first wife; and Jaclyn Jose). Mark and Maricar have one of their own, Stephanie.

"Once, when Maricar was heavy with Stephanie," recalled Mark, "we were at a restaurant when somebody asked, ‘Is she your daughter?’ Instead of being irritated, I was amused. I said, ‘No, the one inside her tummy is my daughter’."

A teacher at Gymboree, a school for children, Maricar herself has learned to laugh it off.

They were introduced to each other by Mark’s sister Marnie, her classmate at La Salle. Maricar was free and so was Mark (who had parted ways with Jaclyn several months earlier).

"At first," recalled Maricar, "Ralph (Mark’s real name) was conscious of and somewhat embarrassed by the curious stares everytime he would pick me up in school. But he soon got used to the situation."

Maricar was 19 and Mark was 32 when they got married.

"Am I okay with Ralph’s exes?" asked Maricar. "Oh, yes, I am. Am I okay with Ralph’s children? Oh, yes, I am. No problem in those areas."

In fact, Maricar and Mark’s exes and their children would find themselves under one roof on some occasions, like the birthday of a clan member.

Oh, well. The family that celebrates together stays happily together!
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