My parents imparted on us the seriousness of marriage. As the old saying goes, "Hindi yan tulad ng mainit na kanin na pwede mo na lang iluwa" (It's not like newly cooked rice that you could just spit out). Your love should go hand in hand with commitment.
I never saw my parents fight when I was growing up. The only time I saw them not talk to each other was after their golden wedding anniversary. For three days they did not talk to each other and refused to say why. I panicked and called up my siblings to let them know. It was a bizarre experience. And then on the third day they just started talking again and explained that they had forgotten about what they had argued about. My Mom explained to me later after Dad passed away that they would fight, but agreed to never show it to us.
My parents were great role models for me. I had stumbled a couple of times along the way, but my Mom always reminded me that when I find a spouse he should have the same values as we had. I remember making a very long list of the ideal guy. The only item that Sweetie didn't get was to have straight hair (haha). Finding the right one is another story I will tell on another day, but here's a list of bilins from my parents before I got married and some stuff I've picked up from them.
1. Put God at the center of your family.
2. Always settle your differences before you sleep.
3. Give and take. Negotiate.
4. Talk, always. Laugh everyday and be playful.
5. Be on time all the time. Follow the 5Ps.
6. Be happy to be in each other's company and do things together. (My parents rarely went out and were always together).
7. Share your friends!
8. Budget very wisely.
9. Live simply.
10. Family first.
My parents lived a very simple life. We lived on a bungalow with lots of space which took my parents 15 years to pay. We rarely took out of the country family trips (only 3) and usually stayed with relatives. Their idea of a family vacation was taking a rode trip to go to our hometown in Bicol where we'd live in a nipa hut by the beach. Our home was also like a mini-farm. We had fruits and veggies growing in our backyard and had chickens, quail, kuhol, dogs, cats, birds, fish etc. as well. Eating out was a luxury. We were simply just together all the time.
We are far from being a perfect family, but my parents strong marriage always kept us together. Their original wedding date was supposed to be January 2, 1960, but because of a very strong typhoon they had to move it the next day. Their marriage may have started from a disaster, but their resilience and their commitment made it strong and a love that is forever.