It was a long ride going to Manaoag, Pangasinan. It is inevitable that the whole family would talk anything and everything under the sun. Call it – quality bonding. Anyway, since Pangasinan is the home province of my father, it is impossible not to talk about family. One topic that truly amazed me was how my Aunt Lidya (eldest sister of Nengkoy) got married to Uncle Manong. It was all because of a bisikleta (bicycle)!
Pretty Lidya who had a boyfriend then was abducted by Manong, one of the manliligaw (suitor), using a bisikleta. Call it tradition, custom or idiocy but during the old days, when a lady will be tanan (abducted) by a manliligaw the lady would have no choice but to marry the guy – may the lady like him or not. This is to save the face, decency and reputation of the woman who already spent some time alone with a man.
Lidya was abducted by Manong using a bisikleta. He pedaled their way from Pasay to Luneta (now Rizal Park), which is only approximately 5 kilometers apart. The two spent the late evening in the park. The following morning, my grandparents had no choice but to arrange an immediate marriage between the two.
This episode would be hilarious and outrageous if it would happen nowadays. But talk about love and destiny, Lidya and Manong never got separated as a couple. True love eventually bloomed between the two. During the last breath of Manong, who spent his last years in Canada due to old age, Lidya was by his bedside.
Grabe! Ang haba ng hair ni Auntie! Pang-tanan material ang ganda!