An Affair to Keep

I’VE been having an affair for seven years.

My wife of 16 years –we celebrated our anniversary October 22– has approved of it, most of the times.

I’m lucky since I married a woman who not only has an impeccable taste in cute things –none of which relates to me– but also was blessed with the patience of a monk.

A monk’s patience was also required for me to enter this affair that began in 2003 with a phone call from Arnold, who was then a reporter covering the central bank beat for the Manila Times.

The call arrived as I was waiting for a squid to turn brown on a grill under a makeshift canopy in the middle of the dessert. That’s how I describe that field between a cemented subdivision and the tree-lined hill in Zambales, the province inundated by volcanic ash from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

That call started my affair, not with Arnold, now the Times’s business editor, but with journalism, the Philippine version.

It’s been said that journalism hasn’t been kind to marriage.

I’ve heard stories of couples who broke up because the journalist spouse spent more time chasing a story and out of the home than on a chaise lounge watching romantic TV shows like The Walking Dead.

I’ve also heard stories of fathers missing their children’s important activities in school.

I recall being out of the country when the school principal called my wife to an urgent meeting because a bully mistook my daughter for a wimp. My wife dutifully chided my daughter for using an expensive Parker pen in stabbing the bully‘s arm. As her punishment, my wife cut short their usual 2-hour-long dinner in our favorite pizza place.

I agreed she could’ve used a cheaper pen.

The pizza, and of course, time with my family, is one of the high costs of this affair I have with journalism.

I want to emphasize this is the Philippine version of journalism because the affair requires high costs. One of these costs is the price of beer, which increases in reverse proportion to my ability to pay during trysts with those also having their own jealously-guarded affairs with journalism.

Yes, there are also people like me who have maintained affairs with journalism but kept their marriage and the sanity of their spouses intact.

For some, doing so was as easy as PAG-ASA predicting a typhoon.

For my part, I never allowed my affair with journalism get the upper hand of my better half.

Like journalism, I learned it’s better to seek out and bare the truth –being true to my life partner, than allowing lies to cover up other lies.

Oh, there are arguments, over my inability to fend off the attraction of creditors, for one.

But being truthful has kept us together everyday for nearly a decade now.

That’s why this affair with journalism, the Philippine version, is something I intend to keep.


  1. I agree. She could have used a cheaper pen. Next time, tell her to keep a pencil handy. So she can leave splinters behind. Hehe.

  2. Ouch! Will keep that in mind. I have another daughter, younger and wields a pencil like a baseball bat. Hehe.

  3. Ohh Dennis, you're so lucky to have a wife like that :)

  4. Heh. What can I say. I only attract the brainy beautiful best. Ooooh, so cheeky.