December 1, 2023

Dear Manang,
I am suddenly afraid to get married because my observation of couples separating after marriage is so common. My husband and I heard about the September 28 mass wedding under Mayor Benjie Magalong’s office and we decided to join it because it is free except for the requirements. We are thinking of our two kids and their future. I have also seen many children who have difficulties with their birth certificates because of the difference in the used names and they realize this when they take the board exams or apply for a passport. But I am still worried that we might separate.
Lovina of Lucnab, Baguio City

Dear Lovina,
The marriage certificate is truly a piece of paper for the children’s security and identity. This helps their self-esteem. Beyond the wedding, the registration of their births must also be checked so that all their certificates will be ready when they will need it. Congratulations in advance because this is your moral obligation. Forget about the separations that happen after, that is the course of life but who said you will be one. You might just be the exception.

Dear Manang,
I noticed how some grown men gang up on a person. It is so childish, but this seems to be their normal behavior. It is funny how we advocate anti-bullying for children and adolescents but do not see it practiced by adults. I believe that even gossip is a form of bullying. We pick on someone’s life and speculate on it but never bother to fact-check. To have someone continually badger you about a project or plan is annoying, what’s more, to have no one assist in the implementation just to make you look pathetic is also too much. I wonder how in my own way; I could do something about this.
Paz of Naguilian Road, Baguio City

Dear Paz,
A bully needs to meet a bigger bully to tuck their tails between their legs. I am sure that you cannot be a greater one among the men. Sometimes, a comment can get them to stop. But you must compose the words properly to send the right message across. With gossip, be the devil’s advocate. Sometimes, when you present the other side of the coin, people stop and think about what they’re saying. Act that way the whole time that you listen to them, and just maybe they will stop gossiping while you are with them. That’s a paradigm shift for the moment.
Be witty,