Jams and Me by Ellen M. Hagedorn

Edward and I eloped in August 1966, moving to Manila. We lived with Tia Dely, Edward’s aunt. Edward wrote to my mother and father promising he wouldn’t hurt me. My parents didn’t reply because they were so angry about what happened and they really didn’t approve of him. They couldn’t understand why I chose Edward over all the other prominent suitors I had. I decided I wouldn’t go home until I gave birth. I thought that it will be easier for them to forgive me if I brought my baby.

What Edward doesn’t know is that even while I was pregnant, Mama would send me money.

The day of reconciliation came when Petikay was four months old. As soon as I landed in the airport, Aling Juaning (Mother of Mrs. Lanzanas) and Uant Pining Palancetook Petikay and brought her to my mother.

In the meantime, I came across Nyde Dacuan, who told me that my father was still very mad at me. I was scared, but I remembered what Mama had told me: my father was no longer angry. When I arrived in the house, Mama was carrying Petikay under the coconut tree. Mama told me that she was surprised to see Aunt Pening with a baby. She even told her that the baby looked like my daughter. That was when Aunt Pening cried and told her that the baby was indeed my daughter. She told me that that was the “Call of the Blood”

Papa didn’t know that we were coming then. He was in church when I arrived. When the word reached him that I was home, he suddenly went to Tagburos. Manong Peping Valencia, Papa’s closest friend, was the one who helped Papa forgive us and accept us again. Mama asked him to help reason with Papa. Papa and Mama took turns crying while they held Tikay. Tikay was the peace offering.

Edward as a husband

Co-existence is the simple explanation to the strength of our relationship. He never minded doing household chores. He did laundry, ironing, cooking, and used to pull the hair on my head whenever I had a migraine, because this relieved me. He also said it was the only time he could get back at me. He also sang to me at night until I fall asleep.

Like most couples, we had our share of problems. We almost separated because of women. He rarely drank and hardly gambled, but he was really a magnet for women. The good thing about him was that once I caught him, he said goodbye to the women, even if it was just a rumor, he wouldn’t so much as look at the other women anymore. That’s why we’re still together – because I’ve proven his loyalty to me. I know his style when he has other women, so I catch him easily.

Another problem that we have, though, is he is very loyal to his friends. He would die for them. His friends would sleep over and eat in our house and practically live there. We don’t have maids, so it’s hard for me to clean up. It’s a good thing he’s the one who cooks.

We have opposite tastes in a lot of things, but that’s never really an issue. I guess it helped that we were friends first before becoming a couple.

He’s a very good provider, even if sometimes, we’ve had to pawn some of our things so that he could help others. He’s able to get the things back, anyway. One time I cried when I saw our refrigerator being carried away to the pawnshop because someone needed help with the operation of his mother.

Edward as mayor

Our relationship didn’t change much when he became mayor. He was still the same husband who hugged me and kissed me. We just had more issues to debate about because he was already in politics, but the sweetness was still there, such as the way he would massage my back so I could fall asleep, although he couldn’t do it as often anymore because of his work.

He still didn’t like it when I was mad at him because it made him lose his concentration. One time when I got sick, he said he lost his direction and was only able to sleep for two hours out of 24 hours that day.

Edward as a father

He acts as a Santa Claus very Christmas. He really wears the costume, which fits him very well. He sings and carries all the kids. He tried not to speak so that the kids won’t recognize him. We have to dim the lights so they won’t see him leave, and when the lights open, he would be out of his costume. We do that every December.

When we got a house in San Pedro, he handpicked all the things Petikay needed for her room. He knew Petikay’s taste, even if she was a girl. It was the same for Klink. Every detail of Klink’s room was Edward’s idea.

Edward also became the architect, engineer and carpenter of the whole house until it was finally finished. He loves the kids very much! But he doesn’t spoil the. He doesn’t scold them. When they do something wrong, he talks to them with a really soft voice. He treats the kids as if they were his friends.

When the kids are sick, he takes care of them because I get migraines when I stay up too late. He reads books while watching over them so that he wouldn’t fall asleep.

Am I his inspiration?

I think he wouldn’t reach his position now if I didn’t support him as much as I did. I can certainly say that even though we went through a difficult time when he had so many cases, it never crossed my mind to leave him no matter what people said. My family were the only ones on his side then.

I had my temptations then as well, but I never gave in because Edward was the only one for me.

This is my chance to thank my officemates in PEDC and Governor Socrates because even of I couldn’t concentrate on my work; they were very patient with me. Even if I was never absent, there were times I really couldn’t on what I had to do at work because I was thinking about Edward’s cases.



I call him Jams because that was the code we used before. My parents didn’t like him so when he would write, he would say that it was from Jamal, the code for mahal or love. It was then shortened to Jams. A lot of people imitated us, but I wonder if they really know what it means.

We were married thrice. The first time was before we eloped. We went to Narra and were we by Mayor Ricardo Baldeviso. He hid our papers then because he was scared of papa. Then we were married again in September 29, 1974 by Fr. Garnica. Fr. Cosmilla was our sponsor. This is the official date that we celebrate as our wedding anniversary.

The third time was then when I went to the United States in 1984, because the embassy needed civil wedding papers. We had lost the first set of papers by Mayor Baldeviso, so we had to go through it again. We were married this time by Dr. Yangzon, the civil registrar then. I remember our sponsor this time was Rey San Gabriel. He was driving a tricycle then and was about to apply or renew his license so we asked him to be the witness of our third wedding.

Poor Edward, he really can’t get away from me.

Edward Hagedorn was born on October 12, 1946 in Paranaque, Rizal. His parents were Mr. Alexander Hagedorn and the former Miss Gliceria Solon. He is married to Ma. Elena Marcelo, and blessed with two children Eva Christie and Elroy John. He studied in San Sebastian College-Recoletos and University of the East in Manila. He was elected mayor of Puerto Princesa City in 1992. And at the same time served as Representative of League of Cities of the Philippines, Region IV; Member of National Executive Board of Boy Scout of the Philippines; and Assemblyman of Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. With the overwhelming support of the people of Puerto Princesa, he transformed the city as a major eco-tourism destination and model in environment protection. It became a Hall of Fame Awardee for being the cleanest and greenest component city in the Philippines. And has been generously given national and international awards and recognition for various innovative programs and projects – a proof of seriousness of purpose and magnitude of success. Right now, the City Government of Puerto Princesa is busy executing economic development programs…And the man leading its direction is Mayor Edward Solon Hagedorn.....