I was cleaning my dresser and noticed the framed collage. It has photos of me and friends at work that was given to me by Mads on my last birthday. I decided to remove the glass and wipe the photos clean. And then I stared and started recalling the moments when the photos were taken.
The photo with Mads and my pseudo-Japanese friend Ate Riza was more than a year ago. We came from Ortigas and we were headed to Sambokojin in Quezon City, where we were supposed to meet another source. It was July, I believe. We were feasting over good food when Tito Vic got annoyed at the waiters who kept on singing “Happy Birthday.” It could have been fine, but they did it a lot of times so it sounded more like a noise. That same day, J’s lola passed away. The good conversation faded. It was time to mourn. Leaving my beatmates to accompany him on the way home even crossed my mind.
There are two photos with my friends from the Energy beat. One was from a karaoke party at Red Box, Greenbelt to celebrate Myrna’s birthday and “despedida” for Ms. Amy who was set to transfer to another beat. Looking at the photo now, it was funny because of the five of us – only me and Ms. Alens are still covering the same beat. Paul crossed the border and went to PLDT to do PR works; Richmond and Mads shifted to other papers. While I still see them occasionally, it was kind of sad thinking that most of the people who welcomed me to the beat when I was raw and lost were already gone. The friendships are still here, I know. But sometimes, I just miss being with them.. as one beat, one family.
The other photo also includes Mads, Ms. Alens and Paul. Richmond was nowhere in sight, but Iris took his place. This was one dinner date in Larry & Mau in Eton Centris. We were having delightful meals, when power suddenly went out. Couldn’t have been more thankful that I was with them because we worked together to gather information and to come up with our late breaker stories. We worked outside a yogurt place – while getting a dose of yogurt, taho and coffee.
One photo has Mads and me on it – one January night while we were talking by the poolside. We were at this resort in Batangas and we just lied down, tried to look for stars and talked a lot about life, love and friends – and took this photo. It was nice, relaxing. Looking forward for more of this.
Three other group photos came from one night coverage at Makati Shangri La. There we were – Jerome, Mads, Me, Miguel and Krista. All so happy. It was a nice night during the coverage. After work, Jerome went home and then the rest of us grabbed some fries and coffee at McDonalds – Centris. Couldn’t remember much about what we talked about, but I’d say this was one of the nicest moments. Just having them there. Another support system. People to whom I can talk about stuff without them judging me.
Things have changed so much. If only I could gather them all and hug them right now.
On to another not-totally-unrelated topic because it’s still about work. I just celebrated by second anniversary last Wednesday. Now I have to face the truth and start considering if I really want to stay longer. So many things at home base bother me a lot right now. I am so uncertain about my feelings when it comes to work. One day I’m happy, the other day, all I could think about is to resign.
Anyway. I celebrated it with Mads and Daryll, another really good friend who was there to witness and bear with my fuck-ups. To be perfectly honest, I would’ve celebrated it with a lot of people but I chose not to. Miguel, who was always and all ways ready to discuss work (and who has been constantly there to pacify me the past couple of weeks) was so busy [with other people] this week, he couldn’t commit. Krista was not feeling well, which was totally understandable. It could’ve been nice to have them there. But what do people say? You cannot always have what you want.
It wasn’t less fun, though.
Mads and I went for some “retail therapy” before meeting Daryll. Actually, it was her idea and the usual shit happened – I shopped more. I really believe in the power of shopping now. Probably because this time, I am no longer spending my parents’ moolah. (or probably because I never actually liked shopping – except grocery shopping – back when I was a student.)
It was a good dinner, I must say. Even though Manam (formerly our beloved Namnam) no longer serve my favourite lamb adobo. The food, nonetheless, was great! We got rice for six, so you be the judge.
We also somehow “converted” Daryll after he promised to stop drinking for a while after a terrible hangover last week. We went for crepes & milkshake (for Mads) at Cafe Breton and we talked and laughed endlessly. The “converted” thing is another story altogether, I’d rather not talk about it here. 🙂
After reading Mads’ blog about friendships, I couldn’t help but agree at some points. While I’d rather not dwell on them here, I’d just say I feel so blessed to have really good friends. Besides the ones mentioned here already, Betti and Mikha will always make the cut. They join Daryll in my WhatsApp support system. There was a time earlier this year when we’d always wear dark-colored stuff. We called ourself “Rebel Group”, “Team Feelings,” but now we kinda settled with “Team Bilibid.” Of course, the Sunvarians (Bworld alumni) who are always there to make us feel at home.
Outside work, the “to-go” people are Gel and Franz, always. Probably one of the best things that college let me have was them, because we are still together.. as the dramas of our lives unfold. It feels so good to have them around and to feel genuine happiness whenever you see them happy. As an example, Franz’s blooming love life makes me smile a lot – because it was so nice. Gel and I actually feel like he’s so in love and he’s on the top of the world.
Anyway, whatever I am talking about right now.. blame it on the weather.
P.S. The flood outside earlier today was intense. My first time to experience such. It was above five feet. But since our place is kinda elevated, it didn’t reach our door. Thank God.