September 30, 2023

Merry Christmas to all!
When one is feeling nostalgic during the Christmas season, one remembers friends who have made an impact in his/her life. One may not see them all the time, but somehow, they remain in one’s heart and in one’s prayers.
I have three, Ligaya, Becky, and Gems. I shall not mention their last names but they know who they are. Ligaya has been my friend since my early tourism days. We were both single and we both enjoyed our work. We would go to work together with a happy heart, entertain and tour VIP guests, and enjoyed each other’s courtships and weddings. We even scaled Mt. Pulag together. I had a stomach ache and she had a sore toe from the descent wearing brand-new shoes. We even got promoted at the same time after the People Power revolution, with each one heading a different office.
Ligaya was my BFF even before the term was coined. During my simple house wedding, she braved the typhoon which closed Kennon Road carrying my bilao plates and wedding cake. We had a kamayan-style reception. Unfortunately, the cake fell and only the box arrived. Her mother Ima cooked our handa for relatives and some friends. After I gave birth, with no house help, she stayed with me for a week, cooked our meals, washed the clothes and diapers of my baby, and even cleaned the house. I am just sorry I was not able to reciprocate what she did for me when she gave birth herself. We would argue to high heavens. Nagsosolian pa ng kandila. But we would return to each other’s comforting arms when the other needed help.
When she got married in church, we, with tourism friends braved the rugged mountains of the Cordillera, so we could be with her during her precious wedding day. We did not even know our driver was just learning how to drive. I saw my friend marry like a queen. The whole province came and celebrated with her and her spouse. With the tradition not to try your wedding dress, she found out, the dress did not fit her. The waistline was far below her waist. With the something borrowed phrase, I lent her my old kamison and secured the dress to her waistline. I was her neophyte photographer who tried to catch the wedding kiss, only to find out the film was not properly loaded. Hay!
She is ninang to two of my children and a loving friend until now. We might have grown older and wiser, but we still love each other very much, only best friends would know and feel.
My other friend Becky was my rock when I got sick and during my healing days. She would visit me when I did not want to entertain friends, bring me healthy milk drinks and financial help. I would tell her my woes and secrets. We laughed at each other’s jokes.
She would bring me to spas and never forget to bring something for special occasions. And of course, she invites me to her special occasions.
The last is Gems. She is my sister, my daughter my faithful friend. Minsan matigas ang ulo pero madalas super efficient. She knows me like a book and I depend on her a lot.
My three friends have hearts of gold. This Christmas, I pay tribute to their great friendship. I wish you all the best this Christmas and the years to come. Merry Christmas!