It started with ‘U and I’

By Herbert Vego

THERE is no question that marriage, whether successful or not, usually stems from a circumstance that may be interpreted as “destiny”. The successful marriage of two friends appears to be a good example, without which their five children, 12 grandchildren and two great grandchildren would not have come into this world.

In this wedding month of June, may I greet my two married friends for hurdling a long journey of 50 years?

This is all about Rolando “Bando” Dy Buco Sr. and the former Mariquit “Wakit” Bolaño – of Culasi and San Jose, Antique, respectively — who will renew their marriage vows to mark their golden wedding anniversary come July 1 at the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church in La Paz, Iloilo City.

To be featured during dinner reception at District 21 Hotel is a home video, showing “A Life of Harmony and Contrast”.

Expect to realize how lucky are the spouses who have prayed and stayed together for 50 straight years.

I myself could have gone “golden” a year earlier, in 2022.  So, call me “unlucky” for lasting only nine years of wedded bliss but… Never mind; you could be wrong.

It was on April 30, 1973 when the couple exchanged “I dos”. However, the solemn “re-enactment” would have to wait three weeks and one day from today in order for all of their scattered children (two of them in the USA), grandchildren and great grandchildren to be available.

Bando and Wakit, as friends fondly call them, are retired employees of Insular Life and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), respectively. I have known the lady since our high school days at the Antique National School, where she could not count her suitors on 10 fingers. Not surprisingly, since her beauty could only be matched by her operatic voice. She was our class’ entry to singing competitions.

I did not know then that Bando was one of her suitors.

But in several of our get-togethers, they would often travel back in time to recall those youthful years in the 1960s. Alas, I don’t have the memory to recall their exact words in Kinaray-a.  Suffice it to dramatize her narrative as short as possible.

It started at “U and I”, which was the name of the then small but famous eatery in San Jose, Antique.

“On a day I was snacking with my friends,” Wakit recalled, “this young man entered, looking at me. He occupied another table, listening to our lively conversation.  He would often laugh like crazy, as if he were one of us.”

To cut the long story short, on another day he introduced himself and competed with the other boys for her heart, and eventually won.

This time, he laughs like a conqueror whenever she retells their story.

Congratulations and best wishes, amigo Bando and amiga Wakit.



IT would be natural for a native Antiqueño to feel sad over the unexpected news on Antique
Governor Rhodora “Dodod” Cadiao, who faces a warrant of arrest by the Sandiganbayan for allegedly withholding payment of the benefits claimed by a provincial employee, thus violating Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

Cadiao had allegedly tried to transfer complainant Antonio Dela Vega from his office at the provincial capitol to a satellite office in Culasi town, a distance of 97 kilometers.

The complainant, then chief of the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO), had accused the governor of refusing to sign his daily time record (DTR), which caused the failure of the provincial accountant and provincial treasurer to release his monetary benefits.

It’s a serious matter that should not have been met with a “will die down” reaction.  But that’s how Cadiao shrugged off the attempt of the media to get her side.

The warrant would be served to her by either the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Of course, paying the ₱90,000 bail bond would be peanuts to the governor.  But the outcome of the forthcoming trial could send her to prison if she could not disprove the complaint.

It would be interesting to hear the reaction of NBI Director Medardo De Lemos, an Antiqueño who turned 65 last June 8. He could have retired in that retirement age. But the good news is that the President has extended his tenure on “co-terminus” unless terminated earlier. Congrats, Sir.

Hey, is that good news for Dodod also?

Going back to Dela Vega, his defeat has turned into victory.  I understand that, by order of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), he has been awarded the amount of ₱1.66 million, covering his withheld compensations.