Two of my closest friends are celebrating their birthdays this October, at exactly one week apart—Naya (today!) and Anwar (on October 10). We’re now all 23 (aha!). I haven’t seen Naya for the past week (she was probably too busy with her MA classes; but I was able to greet her a minute past midnight); Anwar for almost a year now. The last time I saw him was during the sembreak last year when I was about to begin working on my thesis. Before that meeting, we never saw each other for about four years. Four years!—and we were really good friends back in high school. He took architecture (the last time he texted me, he told me he didn’t enroll for this sem) in Lucena City, and I entered Ateneo. We were seatmates in first year high school (his last name is Reyes, and his father’s name happens to be Efren, but not the magician; although later in high school, we’d be addicted to billiards and cut classes to hangout at Kevin’s among other things), and got along really well. When I entered college and joined Heights, I easily became close with Naya. I always feel uncomfortable to speak about friendships, but now I feel that the best gift is always that which cannot be given by anybody else, like this admission: most of the things and confidence that I can only do and share with Anwar before, I am able to share with Naya now; I treasure both of them.
Some other friends are also celebrating their birthdays this October: Paolo (12), John (20), Vim (23), Giewelle (24), Aaron (30), and Tom (31). Mommy, PM’s (also one of my best friends) mom is celebrating her birthday also on the 12th.
In the ten years that I studied at the Liceo de San Pablo, October meant praying the rosary every morning after flag ceremonies (really: less 15 minutes for the much needed—especially for those who did not work on their assignments the previous night, meaning almost the whole class—homeroom period). Now that I’m teaching to college students, it means heaps of papers and tests to be checked, and final grades to be computed (this sem for five classes!), before that much wanted and needed sembreak. (Now the Eraserheads’ song begins to play in my mind... Naaalala kita pag kakain na, naalala kita ilang bukas pa ba bago tayo ay magkita, sabik na masilayan ka—ha-ha-hah!)