My Life of Love series continues! Last week, I told you about the rather shocking questions I got at the Government Seminar which was required for marriage. I sure was happy to get that over with!
We had to attend one other required Seminar, the seminar at the Catholic Church. I believe that the Catholic Church requires such a marriage seminar worldwide, if I am not mistaken.
It was a Sunday morning, before Church services when the Seminar was scheduled, and we showed up on time, I believe it was scheduled for 8 AM, if I remember correctly. There was a dozen or so couples there to attend the seminar. After we arrived, we waited, and waited, and waited some more. The teacher was not there! Finally, at about 10 AM, 2 hours late, the teacher showed up. He was in a military uniform! He introduced himself and told us that he was a Colonel in the Philippine Constabulary!
Funny thing was that our seminar was being held just a couple of days after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. At that time the world was really in a state of shock and anticipation of what the USA would do about the invasion. There was a lot of talk that US President George H.W. Bush was going to send troops to Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia, to try to put the invasion down, but nobody was sure! When the Colonel walked into the seminar, he started talking about the Kuwait invasion and talking about what role the US would play in the whole thing. He went on for almost 2 hours about this. Problem was, based on what he was saying, I could not tell if he was pro-US or anti-US. I asked Feyma if she could figure out if he was against the USA, and she also could not tell.
After going on and on about the war, he suddenly switched to talking about marriage, the topic of the seminar. He turned to me and addressed me:
Mr. Martin, here in the Philippines, we do not believe in Divorce!
I replied that I also did not believe in divorce. I told him that I had never been married before, Feyma would be my first and only wife. I also told him that my parents had been married for more than 30 years. Still, he kept coming back to me, seemingly against me, trying to make me look bad.
After the seminar, we went to him and asked him to sign our papers. The seminar was on Sunday, and our marriage was scheduled for Thursday. He told us that the seminar took two sessions and the next session was not to be held until the following Sunday, so he could not sign for us! Well, without his signature, we could not be married in the Church, and Feyma’s parent’s required that we had to be married in the Church. What would we do.
We explained the situation to the Colonel, and he just laughed, and laughed hard! We were sweating it, because we thought our marriage would have to be cancelled. After a while he told us that he was just giving us a hard time. The seminar did indeed require two sessions, and there would be a second session before our scheduled wedding. But, he told me that he liked Americans, and he liked me in particular, so we did not need to worry. He signed our paper, stating that we had completed the seminar (even though we had not), and we were official!
I never saw that Colonel again. He scared me with his antics… but in the end I learned he was a good guy.