IT was in the early '90s when I developed a fleeting bond with Marjorie Barretto. It was AiAi de las Alas (during her happier times with singer Miguel Vera) who had taken me into their small circle of friends, including Dennis Padilla, then Marjorie's boyfriend.
I had personally known Dennis even way before he joined showbiz. His ex-girlfriend from Marikina at that time is my younger sister's close friend to this day.
One late evening, our "fivesome" (AiAi, Miguel, Dennis, Marjorie and myself) went up the hills of Antipolo looking for a cozy bar we could laze around and just be ourselves. We ended up settling in one of those four-cornered native huts spacious enough to fit us all in, overlooking Metro Manila that seemed like scattered diamonds at night.
Situated on the uphill highway, the hub which served beer in buckets came with a complimentary pulutan.
I remember having furtively shoved an old bottle opener into my bag, which I still keep as a constant reminder of my childish mischief.
With AiAi around, she made up for her teetotalism by regaling us with her stories, while Marjorie had remarkable life lessons to share.
Our topic meandered on failed romantic relationships. Marjorie had just then gotten herself out of her liaison with co-Viva talent Kier Legaspi, who sired her eldest daughter Dani.
I distinctly remember Marjorie having said: "If a guy leaves you, shame on him. But if you take him back, shame on you."
Although there was hardly any insinuation that Kier felt sorry and was wooing her back, Marjorie was generally driving home the message to other women to love themselves more as no one else would.
Much later, Marjorie bore Dennis's child (Julia), followed by two others (Claudia and Leon).
To her credit, Marjorie has since taken care of all four kids, including her youngest, by another father. Apparently, though, Marjorie has missed out on teaching her children (except the youngest) to instill the value of respect for their respective fathers.
Dani posted no Father Day's greeting for Kier in her social media account, neither did Julia, Claudia and Leon for Dennis in July. For any dad, that could be heart-wrenching, most especially for Dennis, who recently owned up to his shortcomings to Marjorie and their kids.
Does Marjorie's "shame-on-you principle" also apply to her kids for having no heart to forgive their fathers? Shouldn't Marjorie be the first to tell her children never to sow hatred toward their dads despite their iniquities, if there were at all?