Ten years had passed…
A lot of things changed from my beloved country. The beauty of the place is still a sight to behold; yet, the continuous progress is never amiss by the city-dwellers and foreigners.
How nice to be back in my motherland! After two years of constant travelling into different sides of the world with my husband, we finally decided to settle down in the Philippines. I, as a romance/science-fiction/thriller novelist and a restaurant owner, had finally bowed down to my husband’s wish to start building our own family. So we decided to live in our home at Castillejos, Zambales where our restaurant is near– It is actually located at SBMA, Olongapo City which is about twenty-five to forty minutes away from our home.
While I am sitting in my favorite spot in our garden, sipping hot coffee while looking at the sparkling stars above, sense of nostalgia flooded my heart. As I look at the stars, I remember those people who have been part of my life – my family, relatives, friends, best friends, classmates, batch mates, professors, work mates and those who simply became a part of my luminous life. I started to laugh when my husband saw me and joined me with my reminiscence. Once again, I tell the tales of my past where my beloved and most valued people greatly influenced and taught me some valuable life lessons.
I remember how I’ve met Khatrina Bonagua during our first year in the University of the East. Who would ever think that she is a best friend of my former classmate in Polytechnic University of the Philippines when I was still a Tourism Student? What a small world, indeed! After knowing that we are quite connected, we started hanging out together. However, it stopped when she dropped our NatSci class and got really busy from our school publication, Dawn. But during our third year, we started to get along again and until now…she’s one of the best of friends I’ve got. And hey, she had settled down too with his long time best friend-slash-boyfriend. She also managed to be the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine, which remains as the number one women’s magazine of the country. Aside from being the ed-in-chief of the prestigious magazine, she’s also working in an advertising agency and sometimes accepts event organizing jobs when she finds time.
Speaking of organizing events, Miriam Joshua Fulgencio or commonly known as Josh (She doesn’t really like to be addressed as Miriam), is a really well-known event organizer who specializes in weddings. Josh, also one of my best friends, is such a romantic and God-fearing gal who really loves organizing parties. However, her specialty turns out to be weddings. She just found it out after the grandest and one-of-a-kind wedding she organized – her own wedding. She married a well-known photographer whom she met in one of the parties she organized. It was actually a whirlwind romance but turned out to be a very romantic and strong relationship and their wedding became talk-of-the-town for a year (She and Khat had organized my very own dream wedding by the way)! She’s the first one to get married in our batch but still became successful as an event organizer and as an editor-in-chief of Metro Wedding Magazine.
Meanwhile, Carina Amor Claveria or simply Amor (Mylabs to me) chose a different career after five years of working as a journalist in the Philippines. She had realized that her calling is not really to be a writer. She lost her interest in writing after seeing the dirty side of Journalism and preferred to be a model so she goes back to Paris after losing several pounds and attained the “hourglass” body built. She’s still unmarried because she enjoys her independence so much. She often seen partying in the most prestigious clubs in Paris and dated some well-known personalities. She’s actually still looking for the special man whom she would spend her life with and the one who would make her fall in love ‘’truthfully and wholeheartedly’’ because she just always thought she loved the person but in fact, she’s just in love with the idea of love.
And oh! How will I forget Jonalyn Mae Antonio? Jona, also one of my best friends, has a lot of admirers during our college days but the numbers of her admirers doubled (or even tripled!) as she always mingle with athletes and extreme sports enthusiasts. As a sports writer, she always goes to different places and countries covering Olympic Games and the like. She’s seen with different gorgeous athletes or sports enthusiasts – basketball players, car racers, football players, soccer players, skaters etc. Despite of her elfin and innocent look, she’s far from being so fragile for she is an adventure-seeker and a sports enthusiast herself! She’s not yet married as well but in a steady relationship with her six-footer businessman boyfriend for two years. They’re actually planning to tie the knot on this coming December which is another event organizing job for Khat and Josh.
I also thought of Melissa Cruz or Mel to her friends. I would also never forget her since her laughter is really contagious! We just really got along well during our senior year in the University. I guess we’re quite the same in terms of dealing with people. We’re not that easy to open up. We’re quite shy or quiet at first but became so bubbly and even unbearable after some time. By the way, Mel is now an owner of a Pet Shop-slash-Parlor where we always go to help us on the proper grooming of our three cats and one dog. Mel is such a pet lover so she decided to build her own Pet Shop-slash-Parlor while being a freelance writer on different magazines in town. She married a veterinarian who’s also her business partner. She and her husband were even featured in magazines and talk shows as they are both advocating for the protection of animals. They are trying to prevent or minimize the used of animal’s fur in creating coats, bags, shoes and the like.
Meanwhile, Jose Paolo Gaborni, an outspoken and liberal-minded guy in our batch, applied into a fine arts school in Italy after three years of experience as an investigative reporter. We all thought that he would continue studying in law school. However, his love for sketching became so excruciating to ignore so he enrolled in an arts school somewhere in Italy to harness more his skill in sketching. He left the country with a promise to be a well-known painter after a year or two of studying. After few years, his hard worked had finally paid off. He was noticed by a gallery owner and asked to do an exhibit of his surreal-themed paintings. Until now, he regularly does an exhibit in the very same gallery he worked first. Aside from painting, he also writes poems and short stories which he usually compiles and submits to a publication he’s affiliated. As of now, Gabo is having the time of his life in his new career so he never really thought of settling down for at least a few years.
The other guy classmate we have, Kuya Brian, is also someone whom I wouldn’t forget. Brian Anthony Montaos’ life had been in grave danger once. It is God’s glory that saved him I believed. Thanks to God, his family, friends and doctor for making it easy to cope up. After graduating, he started to focus on losing more pounds and bringing back his lean body built. Though this time, muscles are clearly visible in his body for he regularly goes to gym to maintain his body built. He actually became conscious with his weight and the food he ate. And because of these changes, his lifestyle is quite different today. He even became a health buff and became a contributor in Healthy Lifestyle Magazine while devoting some of his time writing suspense and action-filled novels. He is also happily married to a nutritionist whom he met in FEU Hospital.
As I slowly reminiscing the past and present events of my friends’ and batch mates’ lives, I can’t help but remember those professors who greatly contribute in our lives. Those who shaped and taught us every knowledge they knew and learned in their chosen field…one of those brilliant minds who helped us reached our goal is Sir Alex Maaliw. Sir Alex is like a father to us. He kept on reminding us of our duties and responsibilities. He’s been a teacher for a long time and had also experienced working in few international organizations. However, he got tired working and started to yearn in cruising around the world. With his new found love, they navigate the wildest forest to the deepest oceans and seas; visited the wonders of the world; and even explore the cultures of various countries.
It’s been ten years… Ten long years had passed. We might grew a little older, became matured and a lot responsible than before, but the memories we had during our younger years will never be in oblivion.