Before we decided to conquer the universe, we were just college kids who were always up to something good. We generally cut class to study for the next class. Whenever someone dropped a course, it was with our parents’ permission. We didn’t really get into a lot of trouble and the only thing we did in copious amounts was sleeping in the library, eating junkfood and taking notes. Some of us even volunteered for World Youth Day. Wild times.
And I had so much fun.
This year we celebrate 22 years of an easy yet deep friendship.
We just spent five days in Bali, a trip which took years in the making. And you can imagine the effort to bring together nine girls who are coming from four different countries to set aside priorities like children, husbands, work and other things. In the end, 5 out of the 9 showed up and that’s already short of amazing.
As in any group dynamic there is usually that one person we call “Jackpot,” who takes advantage of the rest of the group’s outstanding contributions. In this group, I am definitely “Jackpot.”
Without question, the trip would not have been possible without Quelly’s impressive organizing skills. We watched Bali’s beautiful sunsets in the coolest places and had dinner in the best restaurants. Gi kept the rest of the world posted about the trip, Pinky was the official timekeeper, and Abi took charge in organizing Quelly’s “surprise” birthday activity.
And I took this really great photo of my fabulous girlfriends.
Just for posterity, let me recall some highlights: (Pero bilang Jackpot ako, I really didn’t take that many photos so I will just steal from their photos. )
It’s always handy to have a copywriter around…
Riding on a funicular, sitting by the edge of a cliff while a DJ is on top of a huge rock while everybody waits for the sun to set. Rock Bar is fun times.
I cannot wait for more fun times in 2016!
That’s also 525,600 minutes, which is also 365 days of your days here on earth.
And every second has been a revelation not just about you but about myself, your father, our friends, our family and just about human beings in general.
A staggeringly beautiful and fascinating person becoming right before my very eyes.
Happy birthday, babe.
(Note to babe: This photograph was taken today as you celebrate with your playmates and your yayas. You spend so much time with them we thought of giving them a small merienda treat and bubbles for the kiddies.)
I say it’s worth a note to remember your first 200 days (which was yesterday). It’s about the time where I still notice your every rash and coo and poo.
- You’re not quite the crawler yet. To move from one point to the other, like the Mad Max of rolling pins you roll from side to side. And when you do resemble what could be close to crawling, you look like a snake, using your head and your shoulders to move.
- You just started eating solids four days ago. And when I say solid, I actually mean just mashed brown rice with some of my milk, which just looks like milk with stuff. Sometimes you like it, most times you just look confounded and proceed to spitting half of what goes in your mouth onto your onesie and my lap and my face.
- You just grew your hair back. There’s like a couple of months where you have this D.O.M. look because you lost all your hair on the top section of your head.
- You’ve been sticking your tongue out and putting the tip of your tongue behind the bottom part of your toothless gums. This may be the start of the teething phase. I fear for my boobies.
- There are times when I’m feeding you, when you’re about half asleep, that you tremble ever so slightly for about 10 to 20 seconds.That’s a little freaky.
- Just when you’re about to sleep, you like scratching your face and your ears like a madman. This drives me crazy because it makes your ears bleed and your forehead all scratched up.
- You love textures. Your favorite toy is this long rainbow-colored silk that your lola gave you. She bought it in Bangkok a long time ago but never really got around to using it.
- It’s so easy to make you smile, but boy, can you cry. You got those powerful lungs that could howl and howl loud.
- Your father recently discovered your tickle spot. A generous zerbert aimed at the right side of your waist sends you into giggles.
- You enjoyed your first beach trip, but maybe not as thoroughly as you’d want because I didn’t let you taste the sand. All in good time, babe. You’ll have plenty time to do stupid things when you’re all grown up.
You’d have teased me all the time. Bouncing my baby up and down like a ball. That’s what mom said you used to do with us and it would drive her to tears for fear you might drop us. As that would drive me mad too.
You’d be so happy I’m sure. And maybe I’ll allow you just this once, now that he just turned 100 days old. Which in my opinion, is worth the celebration. Mom is all over the little man. She calls him GS, as he would be trained to call her GM once able. (In that case maybe I should make the boy call me simply M. Not!)
Six years to the day. And although it happens so rarely now, when I do miss you, I miss you like I’m missing an arm. I miss you like I swallowed a rock. I still miss you like before, like I swallowed a frog and my throat is stuck with something awful. Now that I’m starting to have my doubts about the afterlife, it’s become difficult to imagine you as a conscious being above the clouds, ethereal. I think of you more as energy that floats around. This idea doesn’t make it harder for me, fortunately. I think it’s okay if you don’t exist anymore as an entire being. I don’t need that consolation. Because it doesn’t matter. Whether you’re rubbing elbows with St. Peter or reduced to fertilizer, the fact is you’re not here anymore. And that’s that.
You walked this earth and that’s enough of a life to make a world of difference to me and everyone you knew.
Accomplishments thus far:
Burps like a potbellied over the hill athlete.
Smiles like an angel.
cries like a pro.
moves like a Harlem shaker.
Sleeps much like a cat.
I turn beet red after 3 gulps of beer; my allergy to alcohol I don’t miss. But that never stopped me from from drinking before. Because I do enjoy a little buzz–my voice gets a little louder, my eyes get sleepy, and jokes sound funnier.
Unless I want the little man to slur in his cooing and get him drunk, I’ll have to remain alcohol-free for as long as I am his faithful cow.
People let’s get drunk on my birthday!