Growing up, I was exposed to TV programs, movies and at times, columns and articles that make fun of mother-in-laws.
As a boy, I thought that was the norm — husbands bashing their in-laws when the latter isn’t looking or not around, while putting a nice, decent “front” when they are beside them.
But when I became a Christian and got exposed this time, to families that value respect, integrity and love for the elderly (including the in-laws), I realized that loving and respecting in-laws is still possible after all in a world where values are ever-changing.
When I started courting Ava in 2003, I make it a point to visit her in their house in Mandaluyong.
It was a two-pronged purpose — knowing the girl of my dreams by observing how she relate to her family, and at the same time, get to know Nanay (Ava’s mother) better.
In my many visits, I discovered a lot about Nanay, her passion for farming (I originally thought of taking Agriculture at UP-Los Banos, but decided to pursue Journalism), her love for her daughters (they were 7 girls in all) and her generosity towards a lot of people who seek for her help.
Today, Ava and I have been married for 11 years. And what I read, heard and and watched from the various media as a boy, were a complete opposite.
As a son-in-law, I am truly blessed to have Nanay, who is understanding, generous, supportive and whose faith in me never wavers.
Nanay has served as an inspiration to me and Ava and someday, when our kids grow up and have families of their own, we envision ourselves doing the same thing to our future in-laws.
Truly, more is caught than taught.
Thank you Nanay for being a shining example to us.
Happy, happy 66th birthday!