Footnote to Us

Jose Garcia Villa’s Footnote to Youth tells us about the life of a seventeen year old boy named Dodong. Dodong at a young age married, believing that he was man enough to enter adulthood. He was full of conviction, no doubts, not even a single ‘what if’ entered his mind whenever he thought about marrying the girl he always dreamt of. With his parents’ consent, Dodong and Teang married each other. Unlike Dodong, his father had second thoughts as a strange helpless light in his eyes was visible according to Jose Garcia Villa. Why is it that he didn’t make any objections in Dodong’s sudden declamation about marriage? As for Dodong and Teang, their sweet young dream got even sweeter as their first child, Blas arrived. Dodong, being a first time father, no wonder felt afraid but eventually, he got through it. As Blas grew older, Dodong and Teang had more children as well. It may sound cliché but history repeats itself, Blas came up to his father asking his approval to marry Tona. Though he had objections, Dodong agreed.

The first time I read Footnote to Youth, I honestly thought it was just about youth getting married at a young age and finding themselves full of repentance. But I guess there is more than what you think there is. Behind the not so ‘shallow idea’ of marriage at a young age, I think that what Jose Garcia Villa’s footnote to us is to be brave enough to accept our mistakes and make a change. Dodong and his father accepted their mistakes but failed to correct it. Many of us are full of conviction specially when we believe in something but when life gets a little harder, we give up. It’s not that I approve on marrying at a young age but maybe since it’s reality I have to agree to the idea of Jose Garcia Villa. Sometimes we are too brave that we forget to think about the possible consequences we might face and when it comes, it will shock us to the point that you would just want to surrender. For me, he wants us to start strong and finish stronger.

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