September 26, 2023

Dear Manang,
I know that I am not the first woman to bear a son out of wedlock and not the first to believe that marriage is a piece of paper. My partner shares the same thoughts that our bond needs no paper and our son can bear his name as long as he signed the paternity acknowledgment in the birth certificate. Our bond is seven years going on eight. So far, so good. We are getting pressure from our mothers now to get married because our son is in a Catholic school and will not be allowed to receive Holy Communion. We want to move our son to a non-sectarian school, if it is a choice. But family peace seems to be urgent.
Armeni of Monticello, Baguio City

Dear Armeni,
Family peace is of primary concern. Nagging mothers are of the worst kind besides, if your love for each other is steadfast, why not get married. It is also security for your son and children-to-be to have a normal family. Mothers or parents have your best interests in mind. Agree to a simple civil wedding just to satisfy them. Go for it. On the other hand, if you stay as you are, you will not hear the end of it. Ear plugs are your next better friends. In addition to the right to support, a recognized illegitimate child shall also have the right to use the surname of his father (Sec. 1, Republic Act 9255), and the right to inherit from him through succession (Article 887, Civil Code of the Philippines). No fuss really.
Peace be with you,

Dear Manang,
I have the ability to feel negative energy. It is some kind of sixth sense. But really, I have a difficult time working in a room where tension and discord seem to be shared vibes. Is there a way to purify the air? Is it possible to zap the nerve-wracking system that runs in the office where I work? It is so unproductive to work with warring co-workers. Please help me find a way to work around it or despite it.
Porfiria of Magsaysay Road, Baguio City

Dear Porfiria,
Oh wow! Some magician, you think I am? Allow me to Yoda talk with this task you ask me to help with. A Catholic would suggest, have it blessed. A Christian would say, “Let’s pray over it.” A Buddhist would light incense and I would say, “Get out!” Kidding aside, how do you survive the nega stars? Team building is best but that’s foreign. There must be cliques inside your office. Find out who the leaders of the cliques are and analyze the source of their personal squabble and resolve that. I am sure it is a petty thing that they’re fighting about and they’re just looking for allies. In the process, they do not see the discord that they promote. I have a hunch that money might be the root. Why don’t you fish by trying to borrow money from the two perpetrators and check on reactions. Then just tell the person who owes money to repay it. But that’s work for a wizard. For your survival, if you don’t want to resign, set your mind to a dedma mode. Put music to your work or just keep thinking of happy things that happened to you. Life is really what you make it!
Smile is infectious,