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A very special day

A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2021 - 12:00am

It seems that I cannot allow the month of February to pass without writing on another topic aside from my usual subject about judicial cases decided by the Supreme Court. The reason is really quite obvious, especially to romantic people who do not forget to celebrate this month as the month of love or, as repeatedly mentioned in social media, the month of “Febibig.”

Indeed, so many posts appear in the internet, especially on Facebook and Instagram, about the romantic events and experiences of netizens. Apparently, this is my reason for writing in my article for today something else than the Law as explained in the cases decided by the Supreme Court.

Over and above and aside from the fact that this is the month of love, this particular day in the month of February is the birthday of my beloved wife for almost 58 years, Josefina “Josie” Sampedro-Sison. I first met her at a party of one of my Ateneo law school classmates right after the Bar exams, when our schoolmates were gallivanting around and relaxing after the grueling Bar exams we took.

I noticed her right away simply because she stood out among the group of girls in her table, with her matured, dignified and attractive look which was hard to ignore. It is like looking at a photo on Facebook with a “friend request” to accept. I really tried to find ways and means so I could meet and talk to her. And that golden opportunity came when I was able to convince her to dance with me to the tune of a slow but sweet and romantic song. That first dance was indeed memorable as we got acquainted with each other and started our frequent dates.

Eventually I stopped seeing the other girls I had met before. I just saw and fetched Josie at the Far Eastern University campus where she worked as the dance directress of the University Dance Troupe which had just toured Europe, presenting Filipino folk dances denominated as “Portrait of a Filipino as an Artist.”

Initially, I just brought her home almost daily by rushing to catch jeepney rides along Central Market in Quezon Boulevard. Upon arriving at her home we would engage in small chats to get more acquainted with each other, then I would go home.

Later on, when my parents allowed me to use a bantam car, Josie and I would go to some attractive places in Manila and spend time there getting more acquainted with each other, particularly at the Rizal Park and Manila Bay walk. Then we would occasionally eat lunch or early dinner at the iconic Aristocrat Restaurant on Dewey Boulevard.

Actually, these occasions and meetings were our period of courtship which eventually became a whirlwind romance as we agreed to get married after just seven months of getting to know each other. So after meeting her in May 1964, we got married in late December of the same year.

The May-to-December romance was not, after all, a hasty affair that would be considered a mistake. After our marriage on Dec. 26, 1964 up to now, I became more and more convinced that I made the right choice. While we encounter some unavoidable marital spats which are really part of married life, our marital bond grew stronger through the years of being together. I became more and more convinced that I married a good, loving, faithful and ideal wife.

At the start, we were both working to earn a living. But when our marital love started bearing fruits through the birth of our children, Josie decided to give up her job and devote her life to being a mother and housewife.

As a mother, she primarily took care of our six children (one girl and five boys), making them God-loving, physically strong, healthy and wise. Of course I also help in the rearing of our children as head of the family, but I could not have done my duty without her full cooperation, especially when the children were still babies. Indeed, I can confidently say that she had done her best as a mother, not only as a wife.

From day one of our married life, we improved and strengthened our marital bond by joining organizations that promote and preserve strong marital relationship with God, the “third party” involved in our union. We joined organizations like the Christian Family Movement (CFM), Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) and the Marriage Encounter Movement (ME). There was even a time when we served as chair-couple of the Marriage Encounter Weekend, where married couples are trained on how to relate and communicate with God and with each other more effectively in order to strengthen their union.

And so today, as I reminisce on the events of my life with my wife Josie, I am really so thankful to God for giving her to me as my wife and lifetime partner. She does not mind that other people will know her present age of 81 years because she looks only like 51 years old and she appears to be as capable now as before, when she was conceiving and giving birth to our six children.

Happy birthday, Josie! May you and I have a happier, healthier and longer life together.

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Email: js0711192@gmail.com

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