PM's Birthday

PM celebrated his 23rd birthday last Saturday. PM is one of the closest friends I had in high school. I would call his parents mommy and daddy and they’d call me “anak,” while his two younger brothers, PJ and Fritz, would also call me “kuya.” Every year, the realizations remain the same: We’re getting older, no matter how sentimental we become, it is a matter of fact.

Seven years ago, we celebrated PM’s birthday at the Enchanted Kingdom. We commuted from San Pablo to Sta. Rosa, all first-timers, but there was the fun of it. We didn’t get lost going there, but we found it very hard to find a ride back to San Pablo. It was hilarious doing several kinds of stunts along the highway so that we could get the attention of passersby. I already forgot how we were able to finally catch a ride (was it a busride? Imagine, it was only seven years ago! But being 23, seven years seem too long). All I remember is that it was a fun day, we enjoyed every second we were together. I can’t help but be romantic: Pure friendship seems to come when we were younger, when we didn’t know anything about real friendship at all.

Ever since college, calling each other on his birthday becomes a routine. “Kumusta na?” “Kailan ka mag-aasawa?” “Kita tayo minsan, kailan ka ba uuwi?” Will we ever get tired of this?

How much have we sacrificed so that we can cope with the demands of this world? That “enchanted kingdom” of our youth was very real, but we all needed to let go of it to pursue our own dreams, believing in our hearts that the magic is there—in the future we can only always look forward to, aspire for, but never inhabit.

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