Before we got married, I made arrangements with a co-soldier, Pedro Tameray, who was a Corporal like me, for us to live with him and his wife in a small house on Loreto Street, Sampaloc, Manila.
The house consisted of two elevated rooms and a kitchen. Pedring and Remy, his wife, occupied the dining room, while Pat and I occupied the living room.
Our toilet and bath were in a separate, dilapidated shack on the ground.
Pat and I slept together on my steel cot bed, good for one person only. Although it was summer time (April, 1941) we did not mind the heat at all.
Our first night after our wedding was in the Rainbow Hotel in Sampaloc, near our house. I had a hard time going into Pat, who was a virgin.
My biggest joy and surprise was to see the body of Pat above her legs as light-complexioned as my upper thighs. I always had a liking for light-complexioned girls! Praise the Lord.
We ordered breakfast, two eggs each, with bread and coffee, after we left the hotel.
The house we rented was not a sturdy one, such that every night it seemed as though when we put off the lights, there was an “earthquake.”
Later on we were joined by another couple who just arrived from the Province of Cagayan. They were PFC. Daniel Adams and his wife, Enciang. They were both mestizas, or light-complexioned. Like us, they were newly married. Dan’s father was an American. Enciang’s father was the Canno family.
The “earthquake” at night time became of the highest “intensity.” But we didn’t mind at all. It was part of the game of love, sex!
Remy, Pat, and Enciang, all beautiful ladies, were asked to participate as Elenas in the Sampaloc Santacruzan or May Festival. But they declined the offer, being married.
Pat continued her studies, and I continued mine. Pedring and Dan and their wives were not going to school.
We all had good times together, sharing our food or what-have-you with each other.
In June Enciang’s mother, sister Coching, and Rashon, her brother, arrived from Cagayan to enroll in college. We were then packed like sardines in the small house!
I looked for another place to transfer and have more privacy. Pat started to have “morning sickness” also.
Fortunately, we had a friend and co-soldier, S/Sgt. Juan Aquias, who offered us a newly built house in the first Housing Project of the Philippines in Kamuning, Quezon City. It was a beautiful chalet and only Pat and I lived there, next door to the house of Sgt. Aquias. We paid only ₱15.00 rent a month.
When I left Pat to go to work in Manila at 6:00 in the morning and arrived back home at 10:30 in the evening, she felt very lonely.
A newly married couple, Mg. Cenon and Mg. Sencia, co-rented the house with us, thus making Pat more secure and happy after I went to work.
The house was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Llanesa of Bangued, Abra, having been bought for them by Sgt. Aquisa. They were a rich but childless couple and they lived in their own house in Bangued. Mrs. Llanes was my arithmetic teacher when I was in grade VI.
On weekends Pat and I walked up to Cable España Extension (now Rodriguez Avenue) to Christ the King Seminary, the only building there in that area. We picked flowers along the sidewalk, mostly sunflowers, and made reed flutes out of rice stalk, as there were then rice fields along the way.
Pat was getting heavy with our first baby and she needed the strolling exercise. We were then both very happy together, until the war broke out and I had to leave for Bataan, with my rank as Sergeant, Hq. Philippine Army.
Before the outbreak of the war I continued my studies in the Quellams Law College in the Walled City of Manila. I took the last Bingaret Auto fine (BAL) bus at Plaza Lawton for Kamuning, arriving home at around 11:00 p.m. It was quite a sacrifice, but I was happy and did not mind the hardships at all. I was inspired by Pat and sustained by God!
Praise the Lord!