Update: Tinanggihan ni Annalyn ang isang engagement ring worth 80,000 pesos na binibili ni Dr. Allen para sa kanya. She settled for one worth only 2,000 pesos. Ang sabi ng aking ninang sa kanya, napakatanga mo naman. Grasya na tinanggihan mo pa. Sagot naman ni Annalyn, iyong malaking halagang iyon ay dapat sa kasal na lang nila gugugulin. Naisip ko naman minsan ka lang ikakasal, dapat marangya at memorable ito. At para sa bride to be, ito ang mahalaga.
Tama ba siya?
At forty, Annalyn had already removed the idea of marriage in her mind. After High School she was forced to work in the farm to help her parents raise various crops to support her family and send her siblings to school. When her siblings graduated in college and have found work, they asked her to take up any course she wanted. Her parents even suggested to her to take up courses in education just like two of her sisters who are now teaching in the public school. But she did not want to be a teacher, instead she enrolled in the seminary to become an evangelist. Her call for service to the Lord is far greater than anything else.
After she completed her course in Philosophy and Pastoral Ministry, she volunteered herself to work as a missionary with indigenous people in a remote and mountainous region in Luzon. Here she did not only share the Gospel to the tribe but also taught basic literacy education and health to the tribes children and their parents. She also taught them how to document their arts, culture, and literature. In short she was able to transform and impower the once ignorant tribe to be able to know their rights and to live in harmony with the teaching of Christ.
But soon she was relieved of her mission with the mountain tribes by much younger and well trained foreign missionaries. She was instead given an administrative function as a regional mission head for indigenous people. While she loved her new function, she did not stay her for long. Her father got sick and they asked her to take care of her father and to manage their farm. As a good and God fearing daughter she complied with the request of her parents.
Her professional growth and love for mission work ended in her home in the province to take care of her sick father. The other siblings in the family had their own family and even went abroad. It’s a forced stagnation on her part but she did not complain. Instead she made use of her free time to help also the local church in it’s social services and evangelistic mission.
Not for long her father died. She taught she could already go back to her mission work but things have changed. Policy and administrative style in her Church’s organization have changed. She no longer qualified to do a mission work not unless she could get private funds and support from friends and acquaintances in the local Church. Worse her mother asked her to stay with her in one of her siblings home. Again she could not refuse her mother. She loves her family that much that she could do anything to make them happy.
Her sense of mission is deeply engraved in her heart. She found a new Church and became active. The minister and her family were so impressed of her dedication and commitment in pursuing various functions in the Church which included teaching basic Filipino to visiting missionaries.
It is in the performance of this function which led her to meet her future husband. Dr. Allen came for a visit the Philippines. He stayed for more than a month with the Church pastor who is also his friend. Annalyn when not doing anything at home she usually spend her free time with the pastor’s wife cooking and even taking care of her only daughter Girlie. Learning of her background, Dr. Allen an able bachelor suddenly became interested with her. The Church pastor asked her to teach his friend how to speak Filipino fluently as they have a plan to reach out for the squatter families in their community.
The language teaching fell into a love affair. She fell in love with Dr. Allen, something that she never experienced before in her life. Dr. Allen already wanted to settle as he said “he’s not getting any younger.” But Annalyn’s mother was against her love affair with Dr. Allen. She objected it. But Annalyn insisted this time to follow her heart. It’s a good thing she found somebody to support her with her plan to marry Dr. Allen, the minister family and church’s officials.
“Hanggang kailan ka magtitiis Annalyn, it’s time to follow also the dictate of your heart. Huwag mong sayangin ang iyong buhay, ito na ang iyong pagkakataon. Nakapaglingkud ka na ng husto sa iyong pamilya. Hayaan mo naman na ang mga kapatid mo na ang siyang magaalaga sa iyong ina,” the Pastor said.
Recently Dr.Allen returned to the Philippines after he went to the US to tell his family he’s settling down in the Philippines. Together with the pastor and his family, Dr. Allen went to Annalyn’s sister’s house where her mom is presently staying to formally ask for her hand. Dr. Allen being oriented on the Filipino culture knelt down before Annalyn’s family and asked for their blessings to marry her.
The family could not do anything but say “yes.” The wedding will be on June and my mom will be one of the sponsors.