FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN... AND AGAIN
Manila, November 23, 2002 (STAR) By Wilson Lee Flores - When the country’s highly-efficient rumor mills started churning faster than our antiquated sugar mills regarding the recent wedding of twice-married 48-year-old actress Elizabeth Oropesa to 25-year-old gym trainer Joel Valdez, and also the forthcoming nuptials of widower Congressman Jules Ledesma to the much younger actress Assunta de Rossi, the first thought that came to my mind was: Will love be better for them the second or third time around? Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the beautiful film Sleepless in Seattle reminds one of the possibilities of a second marriage, with Hanks playing the role of a widower. Singer Jennifer Lopez seemed to have failed relationships, too, and has recently announced her engagement to actor Ben Affleck. Will she find true happiness now, or is this not possible in the cynical world of Hollywood?
The country has a long, long list of political and other who’s who with two or more tries at marriage whether due to death, annulments or other reasons. Sometimes the old and new marital configurations are very fascinating, affecting even political, economic and other events. The late President Diosdado Macapagal first married the sister of actor Rogelio de la Rosa, then after two kids and becoming a widower, he remarried a doctora, Evangeline Macaraeg, and they had two children, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and talented yet low-profile investment banker Diosdado "Buboy" Macapagal Jr. The late diplomat and writer Carlos P. Romulo was also a widower, when he married writer Beth Day.
At a recent interview of New York-based lingerie entrepreneur Josie Cruz Natori in her Shangri-La Makati Hotel suite, an interruption came with the surprise visit of her former sister-in-law Georgina "Gina" Vera-Perez de Venecia. The latter was once married for 12 years to contruction prince Felipe "Philip" Cruz, Jr. with whom Gina had two children now grown-ups. It is amazing how Gina was fortunate to have remarried Joe de Venecia Jr., who himself was once previously married to a daughter of the late Speaker Eugenio Perez and had his own kids too. Their second marriage was not only marital bliss which was blessed with two kids of their own, it seems that Gina has blossomed as a remarkable politician’s wife and entrepreneur, while de Venecia has also gotten a new lease on life after suffering major business reversal and he reached the apex of his political careeer as Speaker of the House with Gina as his loyal partner. Philip Cruz has also happily remarried the beauty and brains Ching Cruz.
Among widows and widowers, the more prominent names whose kids are open to the idea of their remarrying include ex-President Cory C. Aquino, ex-First Lady Imelda Marcos and Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte. Among the possible 2004 presidential contenders, Senator Loren Legarda Leviste is on her second marriage to ex-Governor Tony Leviste, who was also once previously married as well. Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson’s wife was also a widow. Sharon, Vilma, The Possibility Of Divorce?
Two of the most credible names in Philippine entertainment are women who seemed to have blossomed in their second marriages – Sharon Cuneta has found peace and happiness by remarrying lawyer and now Senator Kiko Pangilinan, Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos has found happiness and entered politics after remarrying younger man and now Senator Ralph Recto. Are the examples of these two women, are their successful second marriages compelling reasons for Congress to allow the legalization of a divorce law in the Philippines so that other people can have a second chance at wedded bliss?
During the brief Japanese military occupation of the Philippines, various couples of the political and socio-economic elite reportedly took advantage of the new legal system to divorce their spouses and remarry again. The high costs of the annulment of marriages in the Catholic Church are said to be beyond the reach of most people, thus it has been proposed that divorce be legalized but safeguards must be ensured to prevent its abuse and from threatening the sanctity of marriage.
It has been argued that the current situation of no divorce is biased against women, since many of the husbands in failed marriages have no hesitation in entering into new relationships. However, married women find it harder to enter into a new relationship without the benefit of a divorce.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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