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Sunday Lifestyle

Overstaying Bachelors

- Wilson Lee Flores -
Why this phenomenon called "overstaying bachelors"? Is it due to the pressure of too much work, the fear of making a lifelong commitment to a woman, the temptation of remaining perpetually free and unattached (therefore socially and legally free to have many girlfriends, whether one at a time or simultaneously), one’s very exacting and high standards in choosing a wife, possible ambiguity in gender preference or other special reasons? Are some overstaying bachelors in this condition due to passion or addiction for "plenty" of sex with different women?

Through the centuries, a lot of overstaying bachelors had also sought escape from social pressures to marry by entering the Catholic priesthood in the West or the Buddhist or Taoist monkhood in the Orient. The Catholic Church requires its priests to be in this state of "single blessedness," and so do other religious orders.

I have no quarrel with people who prefer this option, but I personally believe that nothing could be more blissfully blessed than a romantic partnership with the woman/man of your dreams. In fact, maybe church authorities should rethink their policy of requiring Catholic priests and nuns not to marry. I believe that it might be physiologically, psychologically and even emotionally unhealthy to be forever completely celibate and unattached to a loved one.

"Somehow a bachelor never quite gets over the idea that he is a thing of beauty and a boy forever," American columnist Helen Rowland wrote in 1922 in A Guide to Men. In 1951, this same lady writer said, "A bachelor gets tangled up with a lot of women in order to avoid getting tied up by one." The 19th-century English author Samuel Butler said with wry humor, "Home Sweet Home must surely have been written by a bachelor." Anglo-Irish clergyman and writer Jonathan Swift said in 1738, "Bachelor’s fare: bread and cheese and kisses."
Mar Roxas And Manny Pangilinan
Are women sometimes to blame for the predicament of overstaying bachelors, because some of the fairest single ladies of the land like talk show host Kris Aquino seem to have a penchant for married guys, leaving available bachelors out in the cold? Highly intelligent, eloquent and vivacious Kris Aquino has been linked to two of the country’s most eligible overstaying bachelors, but it is unfortunate and frustrating that she always ends up in the embrace of married guys like Phillip Salvador and Mayor Joey Marquez. Recently, when this writer attended the wake for Philippine STAR entertainment editor Ricky Lo’s mother, award-winning scriptwriter Pete Lacaba was starting to introduce me to Kris when she smiled and said, "Yes, I read the column of Wilson Lee Flores even though he is sometimes nasty to me. Di ba, you even wanted to match me with Mar Roxas in your New Year column?"

If I were Noynoy Aquino, I would try to pair his sister Kris with certified overstaying bachelor Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel "Mar" Araneta Roxas II. That would certainly be a political match made in heaven. Both have political blood in their veins, both their fathers having been stalwarts and comrades in the pre-martial law Liberal Party. Also, both their mothers are from the country’s traditional landed clans – the Cojuangcos of Tarlac and the Aranetas of Cubao – so no social or cultural clashes there. Kris Aquino as a future First Lady would outdo Imelda Marcos in terms of charisma, public relations and energy, and even in terms of showbiz flamboyance and exuberance. In fact, Kris might even be like a Hillary Clinton to Mar, helping push him higher towards political success like what Hillary did to Bill Clinton. However, if rumors are to be believed, Kris may not be Mar’s type. Mar has been romantically linked by society gossip to mature society women, a former beauty queen, and even sexy starlets.

Then there were rumors that another overstaying bachelor, PLDT president Manuel "Manny" Pangilinan, was having a Long Distance love affair with Kris Aquino. It was reported in gossip columns that Pangilinan once sent flowers to Kris. Unimpeachable tsismis sources said that it was Kris Aquino herself who fanned the buzz of speculations by openly talking about her "platonic friendship" with this very wealthy and eligible bachelor

Another overstaying bachelor who was linked to Kris – in a non-romantic sense – was the late award-winning playwright and banker Bienvenido "Boy" Noriega. Unfortunately, Boy died of cancer at the prime of his life, thus having no chance to start a family of his own. He was the creator of the phenomenal play entitled Bongbong at Kris, which romantically paired off the then overstaying bachelor and playboy Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos II with Kris. The latter would have been like our local version of Romeo and Juliet, with ill-fated lovers from two warring families – the Marcoses and the Aquinos. The play was a box-office success. Coincidentally, one of Boy Noriega’s notable works was a film on the theme of overstaying bachelors entitled Soltero, which won awards for him. Before his death, Boy Noriega intimated to this writer his fond wish of being able to start a family, and of retiring early from banking so he could devote the rest of his life to his passion for writing.

Joining Roxas and Pangilinan are many other prominent overstaying bachelors like Tarlac Rep. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, Batangas Governor Hermilando "Dodo" Mandanas, economist and Opus Dei leader Dr. Bernardo "Bernie" Malvar Villegas, National Historical Institute (NHI) head and top historian Ambeth Ocampo, former Finance Secretary Jesus "Jess" Estanislao and Rep. Miguel Zubiri. The late industrialist tycoon and media mogul Hans Menzi was also a very well-known overstaying bachelor of Swiss Jewish descent.

Former Presidential Spokesman Jerry Barican and former Pangasinan Vice Governor Ranjit Shahani are overstaying bachelors, too. In the Department of Tourism, there are two overstaying bachelors: Director Ting de los Reyes of the Bureau of International Tourism Promotion and DOT National Capital Region director Reynato L. Chua. The reason they have remained single, according to Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab, is that they are both so hardworking they’re practically married to their jobs.
Gay Or Playboy?
One of the hazards of being an overstaying bachelor is being typecast as either a playboy or gay – never mind if you’re just waiting for the right woman and the right time to get married. Notoriously eccentric singer Michael Jackson severely damaged the reputation of overstaying bachelors worldwide with his alleged sexual molestation of teenage boys. (And later married Lisa Marie Presley – maybe to prove his manhood? Although the tabloids didn’t buy this stunt for a minute.)

Perhaps the world’s most famous celebrity rumored to be gay is phenomenal singing superstar Ricky Martin. In local showbiz, guys who have remained unattached include Piolo Pascual and Diether Ocampo and overstaying bachelor Eric Quizon. Technically speaking, King of Comedy Dolphy is an overstaying bachelor because he has never married, though this ladies’ man has sired more than a dozen children.

Many overstaying bachelors have remained so due to their endless pursuit of beautiful women, without the pangs of guilt brought about by marital or parental responsibilities. Here’s another hazard of being an overstaying bachelor: Women have this suspicion that these guys are incorrigible playboys who will become future incurable philanderers. Fact is, in order to dispel tsismis that they’re gay, some have over-reacted by going out of their way to live hedonistic playboy lifestyles. Two overstaying bachelors in politics had playboy reputations before they finally settled down with very beautiful wives: US President John F. Kennedy and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, both of whom married quite late at 36. Although it is absolutely not true that overstaying bachelors are condemned to become future philandering husbands, it was a coincidence that both Kennedy and Marcos were notorious for cheating on their very glamourous and beautiful spouses, Jacqueline Kennedy and Imelda Marcos, with their many extramarital affairs and flings.

What are the advantages of this exciting and sometimes melancholic condition of being an overstaying bachelor? At the very least, one is free to be close friends with women, to be legally and socially free to be a connoisseur of women. One can spend the nights out with friends or barkada and go home very late without worrying about what the missus would say or do. One can go on extended travels overseas or vacations without worrying about the family back home. Overstaying bachelors can also take comfort in the fact that some of the greatest men in world history were also certified overstaying bachelors, like the greatest Filipino who ever lived, Dr. Jose Rizal, the greatest writer of the English language William Shakespeare, and the brilliant world conqueror Alexander the Great, and Jesus Christ.
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Please send comments, suggestions, jokes and – for single ladies – your cell phone numbers to this romantic bachelor at [email protected] or P.O. Box 14277, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

A GUIDE

ALBAY GOVERNOR AL FRANCIS BICHARA

BACHELOR

BACHELORS

BOY NORIEGA

KRIS

KRIS AQUINO

ONE

OVERSTAYING

WOMEN

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