I Could Never Have Loved
By: Bill Elder
Isn't it funny that a person will leave the land of his birth, whether to work or travel and suddenly find the woman of your dreams?
Basically, that is what happened to me. I was a wet behind the ears sailor. I had a few semi girlfriends during my teen years. But something was missing. I had never run across an Oriental. I had seen them, but never had an opportunity to talk to them. Suzi Wong of Flower Drum Song, was the closest I had been to knowing what they looked like and their traditions.
Bingo! I land in the RP and suffer my first case of culture shock. Imagine seeing a land wherein the vast majority of people actually live in grass huts. No running water and definately, no toilet. A home with perhaps one bedroom (most of the time none) and would easily fit in even the smallest of homes stateside. Imagine seeing children half or even wholly naked running around and playing. Continue imagining roads that were considered major arteries that would only pass for back country roads in the land of your birth.
Now you'll understand how difficult it was for me (and others I imagine) to adjust.
We had arrived just following a Typhoon. The streets were generally flooded out and it took us nearly two plus hours to reach Subic Bay from Clark. Upon entry into the famous SIn City, we were greeted by an endless stream of bars and girls attempting to get you to come on in.
It took me a few months to realize that this was NOT the real RP. That the girls who stood outside these places, were NOT the real representation of most Pinays. Once I realized that, I actually began to accept your fantastic beauty.
They held an allure that had ensnared many a man in the past and would do so, well into the future.
One of those guys would be me.
For some reason (only God really knows) this lady had the right combination of attractive face and personality to capture this western mans heart. From the first time I saw her, I was snared.
I had met her at the so-called, Outdoor Theater at NAVCOMMSTA PHIL. It was located nearby the gas station and commissary. About half way between the Terminal Building and the barracks. I normally do not approach a lady upon seeing her, but Lita was different. I felt that if I did not approach, some other smart sailor would.
That initial meeting turned most fruitful.
Her being a domestic provided her with knowledge to deal with Americans. Plus she could cook. She spoke excellent English and unless you knew better, you'd think that she had at least a high school education.
Bottom line was, unlike other women, she never asked me to buy her anything. She did not believe in that. It was up to me to decide whether we ate steak or hamburger. I found her refreshing and honest.
Her laugh contagious. When she invited me to meet her parents, it was an indication that she cared for me enough, to bring me into the inner circle.
Bottom line, six months later, we were married.
Over the years, through all the trials and tribulations, we stuck together. I have said it before and I'll say it again. I could never have loved another woman like I love Lita.