A Lesson for Valentine’s Day…
The Enduring Love
of Linda (Salvacion) and Gil Carolino
By Apolinario Villalobos
In marital companion ship, compatibility is crucial to make it enduring, in order for it to resist the threat of various temptations that could erode the relationship. Following the Chinese feng shui of relationships, both parties cannot be positive or negative. Either should be positive and the other, negative so that continuous motion is assured. The companionship should not be stagnant and this is is possible if the two “forces” are pushing or pulling each other. The forces are necessary for the couple to move on. But, it does not necessarily mean, that while one of them is good, the other one should be bad. What is meant here is the aspect of “giving way” to the other every time there is an uncalled for clash.
The test for the endurance of relationship also comes in times of needs – financially and physically. Some couples call it quits when they find difficulties in maintaining their affluent ways if one, or worst, both of them lost their job. There are also stories of abandonment when one of the parties got sick with incurable disease.
What happened to Linda and Gil is one for the record of marital relationship. Both seem to be on the right path as they reaped success after success since the time they started to build a home for their happy family. Gil began his career as a young CPA in Philippine Airlines, to become the youngest manager of the said airline. Linda was also a CPA but did not stop as such for she pursued her other love – Law. Despite their having three children, she endeavored to finish the course and being intelligent, passed the Bar with resounding success. Her feat gave her a a distinct mark when she worked for the Supreme Court where she was given an award, “Outstanding Award in the Practice of Law” for having won cases three in a row. A researched material that she completed was also used by the Philippine Senate against the former Chief Justice Renato Corona that led to the latter’s impeachment.
On the other hand, Gil was having a heyday with his smooth sailing along his airline career. From being a Manager of a Division that handled planning and marketing, and later product development, he moved up to become a Regional Vice-President, particularly, of Southeast Asia. It was at this point when Linda was already showing signs of weakness that was thought to be just an ordinary ailment. Meanwhile, their children grew to become successful in their own chosen career.
Millicent (Miyen), a successful CPA, married to Elmer Lobusta, and both blessed with children: John David, 15; Anna Therese, 13; Mary Catherine, 10. Miyen and Elmer are chapter Heads of Singapore Couples for Christ, while their children are members of Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ….the whole family serves during the Mass.
Kristine, married to Joseph Eric Mendiola, a computer technologist and team member of Japan’s hybrid car program, and blessed with children, Karmina, 16, who can read and write the Japanese Hiragana and Kanji alphabet; and, Jose Enzo, 12, an American citizen for being born in America.
April Ann, married to an Indonesian, Denny Han. April is a product of the Philippine Science High School and Ateneo from where she graduated with the course, Management Engineering and had an initial stint in Indonesia where she met her husband during one of the assemblies of the Singles for Christ. Their children are Tala Elizabeth, 5, considered a miracle baby being born prematurely at six months, thereby spending almost 3 months in the Neo Natal ICU…now a bubbly child, she attends nursery in Singapore with no trace of the harrowing experience as an infant. The youngest is Yumi Gabrielle, 17 months.
Despite her deteriorating health, Linda, did not show any trace of discouragement, especially, with the constant encouragement from the family. It came to a point, however, that she had to stay in bed more often, and during such crucial moments, Gil showed his resolve to stay by her side to attend to her needs. He finally resigned in 1998 as trips to the hospital had become frequent. In October 2009, Linda became totally bedridden after being diagnosed of degenerative nerve syndrome that affected her other organs.
Hospitalizations and medicines practically depleted the financial resources of the couple. Whatever savings they had were spent for the frantic desire to save Linda whose days were cheered by their children and their grandchildren. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, Linda gave up her struggle on October 10. Despite her emaciated state, her face is still a picture of graceful beauty without any sign of pain. Both Linda and Gil endured the challenges by hurdling the obstacles that they encountered along the way, as witnessed by their children and their husbands…lessons that they have surely learned.
Worth quoting from Gil is his life’s guiding inspiration as it makes him believe that …”we draw strength from everyone…and what keeps us going is also our strong and unwavering faith in the Lord….that we keep the trust, knowing that HE knows best….that we might be beset with problems and trials almost endlessly, but we never should never despair because we know that God loves us…we should try our best to fend off anxieties…as, God is our shield”.
Asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, “I would like to be remembered as someone who will sacrifice my own comfort to be able to give happiness to others”. He further added, “… people see me as “kuripot” (tightwad), but they just don’t know that I try to save every centavo I can because I want to give something to anyone whenever they come to our house for help. I don’t want to see them unhappy – poor relatives, poor neighbors, poor parishioners, poor countrymen, who got struck with calamities year-round. Had I not sacrificed my own comfort, I would not have had anything to give them. And, I could not have managed my beloved Linda’s monstrous medical needs – as I would not want our children sacrifice for us…for as long as I can still manage it.”