by Jullie Y. Daza
THEY were in love, he said, with the intensity of a typhoon signal No. 5 until other men entered her life and the lovers’ quarrels became so regular that a breakup was inevitable. It petered out to a signal No. 1.
He was so jealous that it hurt, because he had loved her with a love pure, true, and deep – “dalisay, tapat, at wagas” – but what she gave in exchange was not what he desired. Specially when, almost at the end of his rope as the manhunt forced him to hide in a hut in the hills, she turned a deaf ear to his pleas for help.
Do you still love her? asked a nosey congressman. “Hindi na po,” no longer, he said with a straight face. He was, admittedly, “not as handsome” as Warren the motorcycle cop. “Nawalan ako ng amor” (the love was gone). At one point he taunted her, “Uubusin mo kaming mga security ninyo” (translation impossible). After what they’d been through! She had given him more than R2 million to build a house, painted orange, in his hometown in Pangasinan. They lived “like husband and wife” in Parañaque but like the hired hand that he was, he obeyed her every instruction without prying into the secrets of her professional life. This despite their sweetness when they were alone together, free to address each other “Love.”
Had he taken advantage of his lady love’s “frailties”? “I fell in love with her first,” within two months of his employment as her driver and bodyguard. The affair was to last seven years, although in a confession aired on television days before he was arrested, she had counted only “a few years.”
The chairman of the investigating committee described loverboy as “poging-pogi” (very good-looking) after a haircut, some sleep and food. Indeed, he looked rested even if he was still in pain due to arthritis. Certainly he had to look better than the physically exhausted fugitive who was on the run for three months, but all the time that his interrogators and the chief of police surrounded him for the obligatory picture-taking, he could not help looking dumped, dejected, defeated, deflated. Is that what the end of romance does to a man? Somebody teach Ronnie Dayan quick, looking good is the best revenge.