Seventeen years ago I lost my youngest brother due to pancreatitis . He was thirty years old and full of dreams.
His death came unexpected ,his death left a huge hole in my heart . A hole that I have learned to co-exist seventeen years after his gone . Each year stronger than myself I would relived the journey that I have been through , our the last conversations and the emotions.. Seventeen years , I still felt that I have come short as a sister and a friend .Seventeen years.. I still have the “maybe if …I could have .. ”
I have admired the friendship that he have built with his friends seven years after his death Christopher one of the homeboys continue the passion that they all have . He would organize a basketball tournament among group of friends .
This is their way of giving tribute to a friend , brother , playmate .. Every year around this time .. when I would normally shed tears Randall’s cup is born.
Randall’s cup is an ode for my brother .. this is a manisfestion on how he was loved by the people that surrounds him .
At this time of the year . I would look at the pictures of these basketball tournament with a smile in my heart … I would look up thr skies and imagine that He my angel , my benjamin , my brother , my friend is smiling down at us ..
He is gone but never be forgetten .. I will love him till I will see him again
Happiness is a choice . It is being grateful on those little moments that matters most . It is the smile of the young man eating his favorite chicken curry ( in his taste pallet this is the most delicious chicken curry in the entire planet 🙂) Or knowing that the children that you have raised knows the importance of Please, Thank you and Sorry.
It is that moment that your child walked into the aisle to recieved his highschool diploma. Or just simply having a good conversation with people that matters while enjoying the sunset .
Happiness is cheap and most of the time it is free . It is at times overlooked by the shimmering things that this world offers .
Look inside you , smile , breath and choose to be happy no matter what the circumtances are .
Today is a better day than yesterday . Today is a day to be grateful for . Today we will find that pulse of joy in our heart
I will always celebrate my friendship with you . Regardless of time ,distance and age I will always embrace our fond memories .
Growing up with you , shaping our beliefs was easy because you were there to listen and share your uncensored thoughts .
How miss our “stair conversations” at your house years ago with coffee in our hands .. How you describe our love and differences . In your own words
” There is this two souls that are facing a cliff in able to continue with their respective journeys they must jump over the cliff to see the other side . The carefree holds the hand of her friend and asked her if would like to just jump over the cliff with her . Her friend said Carefree one just go ahead and wait for me at the other side . Without any second thoughts the carefree soul took the leap over the cliff and made the most infectious giggle while the other one stands there calculating that what are the possibilities that might go wrong .” You look at me and said .. “I sometimes love your lust of adventure ” and I answered ” I wish that I have your ways in handling situations logically. “
I know you love hearing my craziness it is a given ..I want to believe I somehow colored your life as you have mine in every single ways .
Manay , I am always grateful for our friendship and for allowing me to come home in every adventure .
Our friendship is beyond words , distance and time ..This is the rock that holds my heart. I love you Manay ..
This journey started back in Dec 2018 when a couple of my highschool batchmates came to Belgium and have a small meet up. Some of them I have already met a couple of years prior to this gathering while the others …. its was ages that we have seen each other and one in particular reaaaaally don’t know me . 🙂🙂🙂 ooh the good side of it is that she is now one of my good friends .. ( love you Viv 😘)
A gathering that I thought would only be a one time affair. As a private awkward person as I am. I have gathered all my social skills for heaven knows I am quite uncomfortable in these kinds of gatherings. One of the many reasons that I seldom attended a reunion.
To my surprise it turned out to be a very fun tapok . There was no moment dullness nor have I felt uncomfortable . So , at the end of this reunion we have agreed to try to do it yearly ..
Copenhagen here we come
2019 same month but with a much larger group. Three old aquintances joined the 2019 tapok .
Seeing Noel, Ralla , Jadine for the first time after all these years made me a bit of emotional . Getting to know the lovely personas of Roselyn , Bong and Reymund adds another shade of color to this gathering . Unfortunately some of us were not able to join Copenhagen but we have tried to connect through video chat .
I believe that Bong and Reymund were not as comfortble at the start of the tapok but at the end of the week both have become the Prince of this tapok .
We have explored the food markets, trivoli , christmas markets and of course visited the little mermaid of Copenhagen . While we ate chinese food at Malmo , Sweden 🙂
Like the in 2018 , there was no dull moment only memories were made and the friendship that has been build back then have become stronger . We can’t get enough , we have then planned the next travel gathering for 2020 ..
It should have been Bilbao
High from the Copenhagen get together we then planned for our next trip . 2020, we would explore the home of the golden beaches , Guggenheim museaum and delicious pintxos ( local tapas) . Yes! We were planning to explore Bilbao with a side trip to the culinary world capital of Donastia or San Sebastien .
Planning was on going until the unforseen circumstances came … COVID 19 rule the world and taught us to plan day by day .
We hang on and hope it would be over before our actual trip . By late September gave in to reality 2020 will be not our year to have a get together ..
We would wait up for this pandemic to passed and the world to reopen …
Taking our chances, Making memories in Santorini Greece
Santorini trip was so far one of the most personal get together that I have experienced . It was very intimate . We have lived in one house and did everything as one group for we must create one social bubble as one of the safety measures that we have observed during the 6 days gathering . We even share one shampoo 🤣🤣🤣
Only those who were ready to travel joined this gathering .. it was a very small group .It was here that I have developed a much more deeper fondness of both Jen and Ralla .
I love the Sim’s morning news ( covid 19 related ) updates , Viv’s coffee and who would ever forget the night that Liv prepares for Sim’s surprise party ( pre 50 party). The respect that we have for each others personal space and stories was admirable . I just know that I love cooking for these people for cooking is my way of expressing my love for someone.
Mini get togethers
Because we simply love the friendship that we have build . Each opportunity given to us we will always try to make the best of it ..
From Rotterdam shoppings spree , Ju’s grand fab 50 bash and Irelands st.Patty we bond we document and keep it in our hearts.
Where to next …
Keeping our fingers cross, end of this year we will be exploring the land of fire and Ice …One of the homes of Aurora Borealis and the legendary Blue lagoon . Yes Iceland ! And we are ready for it … We would be embracing the new one’s that would join us . This will be on on the 25th of November till the 1st of December ..
Here is what I know, in every place that we will be exploring , it will always be magical because of the connection that we build . To more intimate breakfast and dinner talks .. to the laughs that we will share … let us make memories together .
I read somewhere that in life’s survival we need to see the eight years old version of us and the eighty years old to guide us.
In my case I would like to reflect on that little chubby four or so girl who refuses to conform to what the society asked her to do .
I started early on going to school. At one point , I was not allowed to attend the classes because I was too young and there was not enough chairs for the legimate pre-schooler . But I love the free calamansi drink that the Protestant kindergarten school gave to their pre schooler that I have convinced my mother to buy me a chair . The following I walked confidently to the classroom bringing my own chair and a glass ( for the calamansi ) . There was no more reason that I was not allowed to attend those delicious and fun classes . For the next 4 years I have attended the kindergarten ( started as visitor at the age of two or something then nursery , kinder 1 and 2 )
Before my kinder 2 ends I have accompanied a cousin of mine who would take an entrance exam at a private elementary school .. at the end of the day I was accepted to joined the first grader for the following school year . I was five almost six I feel like I conquer the world 🙂
By March 1980, I was invited together with my parents to attend the recognition day since I was one of the top 10 in my class. My mother was still doing errands and I got anxious that I have to be late for the awarding ceremony that I took the matters in my hands I wore a green long dress ( I felt so pretty ) and wore my slippers ( not the fancy ones ) and halted a tricycle (a public transportation typical in the Philiplines) that brought to my school .
This is the typical me , I dont wait for things to happen .. as much as possible and if I can I will make it happen . You see me with my wide smile easy to talk aura and I would most of the time give in easily … But the one’s that I would say NO are non negotiable .
My bounderies have a clear cut if you step on it I would politely ask you to step back but if you persist…with a smile I am closing my doors .
At eight or so I have my own rules .. These rules that has guided me through the rough patches of my journey . When I would reflect the eighty in me I know I will have no regrets .
My heart is big , full of kindness and my trust is difficult to win .. But if and if I think its too much I have no second thoughts of taking people out of my life . For I believe that the last person that I should disappoint is ME .
I am scribbling randomly because I feel like it .. My way , my Rules ..
I remember the day that our universe collided . That day , I know you will be a blessing in my life .
We have both shared the sunny and rainy seasons of ourlives . At times, when a storm approaches us we would tearfully sit still , listen and hold each others hand with respect .
That moment when I got stuck in a hurricane of emotions ..I love your non judgemental ways telling me to just go through the whole process . No matter how hard that was , I never felt alone for you were there . Thank you for walking with me through the Hurricane .
You will soon be 50 … You are an Amazing person it is when you think you are weak and vulnerable that I see your strength , your determination to fight on the battles that matters most to you . People that you have choosen to be your friend are lucky for you cared for them with space, love , understanding and respect. These are one of the many reasons that I fell in love with you and value our friendship soo much.
Bff, may you ‘ ll be showered with victories in all the undertakings that you are facing. Just keep on moving , a step, a day at a time . Believe and it will happen ..