Gugma sa Bukid
Contrary to what mushy teen flicks would have us believe, you don’t just stumble upon a promising romantic relationship while running late for class or chance upon it in a random elevator ride as you clock in for work.
Like a seed planted on fertile soil, a good relationship blossoms, over time.
It blooms to be healthy and steadfast when a couple decides to nourish it with unwavering affection, loyalty and devotion despite life’s shifting weather conditions.
This realization struck me when I chanced upon Jun and Elvie Zamora, during a CDN field assignment in the upland village of Bonbon, Cebu City, three days before Valentines.
While looking for a rose farm, I happened to pass by their humble home along Sitio Limogmog.
We pulled up right outside their house while they were preparing dozens after dozens of flowers for delivery to Carbon Market.
The Zamoras have been growing flowers like roses, chrysanthemums, baby’s breaths and golden yellows in a 1,000-square-meter garden for about 20 years now.
The business has helped provide food on their table and education to their three grown-up sons.
Jun, 48, and Elvie, 46, have been married for 30 years.
Drawn together by fate, their paths crossed in the mid-1980s when the then teenagers’ families temporarily lived in Barangay Busay.
“Didto na mi nagkaila ug nagkauyab unya nagpakasal dayon mi pag-1987 (There, we became friends and sweethearts. We tied the knot in 1987),” the soft-spoken Jun told CDN.
While listening to Jun and Elvie, I couldn’t help but liken them, in my head, to a spoon and a fork, a pail and a dipper, or a pillow and a blanket — completely different objects that complement each other very well.
Jun was the reserved one while Elvie talked endlessly.
In quick succession, Elvie explained that she trims the flowers, cuts off unwanted edges and puts on tiny nets to preserve the blossoms until harvest.
Jun, she said, does the scruffy task of segregating the blooms according to their kind and hauling them from here to there.
Despite their busy schedules, Elvie and Jun always keep the health of their relationship in check, making sure that they set aside enough time to pamper themselves and bond with their children.
“Kung ang rosas mawagtangan nimo og usa ka-adlaw nga wala nimo maduaw ug wa mabubu-i, pagkasunod adlaw, inig balik nimo lain na na og porma. Mao ra na og tawo (If you let even a day pass without checking on your roses, taking the time to water them, they will wilt. The same holds true with people),” Elvie mused.
“Ang ilang kinabuhi naa sa pag-atiman. Sama sad sa mga tanom, kinahanglan sad ta atimanon (Their lives depend on how well they are taken care of. Just like plants, we also need to be cared for),” Jun added.
And just like the roses in their garden, relationships have peak and off-peak seasons, said Elvie.
“Usahay magkahinay ang buwak. Mao ra sad na ang relationship sa tawo. Kung magpadala ka sa kaluya, mawala na nimo. Ingon-ana ra na ang tanom ug ang tawo,” Elvie said.
(Sometimes the demand for flowers is weak. It’s the same thing with human relationships. But if you let those moments dampen your spirit to make things work, you will lose the relationship.)
As way to bond, the couple would head off downtown and pop bottles of beers or have a videoke session by themselves.
This is also how they plan to spend Valentine’s Day with their children.
A good night out is to their relationship what a fertilizer does to their roses.
“Bonding ang abuno sa love. Sama sa tanom, naa sad fertilizer ang love sa magtiayon (Just like plants, a couple also has this fertilizer through bonding to nourish their love),” Jun said.
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