Core People

corepeople“Here’s something I realized,” G said, as we sat under that red umbrella, soon after the fan and the lights were turned off. It was late — way later than I expected to be up on my first night back at this country. I wanted to be in bed earlier for the long day tomorrow, but it was the only time we would be with R while I was there. In times like this, I learned that you must sacrifice sleep for things that may never happen again. So we sat there, the night dark and humid around us, with bottles of beer in front of us going along with our discussions. Over at the other bar, the band that was playing earlier had started packing up, and all we can hear were the noise of the people talking, laughing and drinking the night away.

“I realized that you don’t need to be friends with everyone,” she continued. I nodded slowly as I took a sip from my beer. “You just need a some people, outside of your family. I mean, you can be chatty and chummy with everyone you meet, but you only really need a core group of people. The ones I know and who know me and the ones I trust. And with them, I’ll be okay.”

“They’re the people you can run to anytime and won’t judge you.”

She smiled at me. “Exactly. And you won’t judge them, too. They’re the ones you would keep for life. The friendships you will put a lot of effort on.”

“The ones you’d call at three in the morning in the middle of a breakdown, or the ones you’d call first to celebrate with good news.”

“There’s one you’d call for financial advice, and another for love advice. And maybe another one when you have a stupid decision to do and they’ll remind you of the things you don’t need to do.”

“And they’d cry with you too. Or just let you cry until you’re all out.”

“Then they’d find a way to make you stop crying and make you laugh again.”

We laughed at this, because it was true.

“And they’ll be the first ones to tell you that you will be okay, even if you feel the furthest away from it.”

R, who sat on the other side of me, smiled. “My psych friend from college said that people don’t always need counselors or psychologists to help them feel better. Sometimes, all you need to make you feel better is a good set of friends.”

We sat in silence for a while as we let the words sink in. It was dark and humid, and the fan that whirred over our heads earlier that made us choose that table among the many tables in the bar had long been turned off. There were empty bottles of beer in front of us, some cigarettes (for them) and other knick-knacks (for me) from the day-long tour. It was so late into the night that it’s already considered early, and I was tired but also not so much. I sat there, thinking and feeling and being, and in a place 2,391.81 kilometers away from home, I smiled. Because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I already have my core people.

* * *

Good friendships are like breakfast. You think you’re too busy to eat breakfast, but then you find yourself exhausted and cranky halfway through the day, and discover that your attempt to save time totally backfired. In the same way, you can try to go it alone because you don’t have time or because your house is too messy to have people over, or because making new friends is like the very worst parts of dating. But halfway through a hard day or a hard week, you’ll realize in a flash that you’re breathtakingly lonely, and that the Christmas cards aren’t much company. Get up, make a phone call, buy a cheap ticket, open your front door.

Because there really is nothing like good friends, like the sounds of their laughter and the tones of their voices and the things they teach us in the quietest, smallest moments.

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist


Archers for a Day

Also known as: An archery lesson of sorts

I realize it’s been more than two months since this happened but I never posted about it. I think I need a little break from the serious entries here, so let’s talk about something fun and not that serious.

Last June, our book club discussed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Our venue was at Gandiva Cafe and Archery Range in Ortigas, this vegetarian restaurant and the only (?) archery range in Manila. We were supposed to try the archery but we did not get to because of time constraints and there were no lanes left for us to use. I wasn’t really that hot for archery, but when I saw a Groupon for archery + food in Gandiva a few weeks later, I told my friends about it jokingly. Turns out they were serious about it, so I got several coupons that we used a few months later.

I honestly had dreams that archery would be easy because it looks easy on TV. I’m not saying it’s easy-peasy, but it should not be that hard, right?

Well, I was wrong.

The Groupon I purchased came with food, so my friends and I had late lunch before the actual archery session. Once we were done, we headed over to the archery area and got ourselves oriented and then started shooting. Oh, wait I made it sound easy, but there were actually several things you have to remember with archery, and it’s really important to focus on your form so you can hit the target right. Apparently, we’re also supposed to be quiet, but of course, we weren’t. :P

Ahoy pictures!

The bows
The bows


Long Weekends

Also known as: Two long weekends deserve a post

I’ve long moved on from writing diary-type entries on my personal blog because I figure no one else really cares about it except for me. I mean, even I don’t read a lot of blogs that write their days in detail, so I figure who would bother to read that on mine, right? (Unless you’re a stalker. Or you have a crush on me. Or both. Erm.)

But anyway, since we just went throughtwo long weekends in the country, I realized I had reasons to blog about them. In an almost diary-like entry because..well, how else can I remember them? Normally long weekends just pass by like a blur. For other people, long weekends are a time to go out of town, but because I’ve never been lucky with booking cheap flights during long weekends, I never did that. I did have two full long weekends, actually, so instead of going out of town, I filled them with all sorts of activities (other than reading and sleeping). So let’s start.

Filipino ReaderCon 2012

I wrote about the event in detail in my book blog, so this will be more on my reflections on the event. I think I can sum it up in a sentence?

I loved every bit of it.

I knew taking on bigger responsibilities for the ReaderCon this year was a bit daunting, and I was kind of scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I was surprised at how it wasn’t that stressful at all. Sure, there were many times I was scrambling to write blog entries for the site and I feel like I wasn’t able to do all the things I should do, but overall, it was really my kind of thing for my kind of event. I loved it, and it made me realize yet again how much I love words and anything related to it. I had another one of those “I was made for this” moments while I was roaming around the venue during the event.

Don’t you love it when you get those moments?

With my fellow Filipino ReaderCon volunteers (photo c/o Danica Cervantes)

WYD 2011 Team Reunion

It’s been a year, as I posted a few weeks back, but our reunion almost didn’t push through because of so many conflicting schedules.But we had to, seeing as it was our anniversary and all. Thank goodness we pushed through, because it totally sealed my weekend.

It’s hard to describe why and how I became good friends with these people, especially since I only knew one of them when I joined them for WYD 2011. Of course, being with them for 2 straight weeks is enough to tie me to them. But I don’t know, I feel like our friendship is deeper than normal, and it’s not like I know these people that well.

WYD 2011 reunion! (Photo c/o En)

Perhaps it’s because our friendship does lie deeper, because we’re all anchored on that experience that is anchored on, well, God. I’m no stranger to friendships that were formed in church communities and while I haven’t been in touch with other old friends I met during my YFC days, I knew that the friendships I had with them were the real ones and they were the ones that made me grow in so many ways. And I guess my WYD friends count as that kind of friends, too — but I do hope I keep them for life. :)

I loved our how night ended with a prayer and how each and every one of us were prayed for. What was prayed for me, you ask? No, don’t bother asking. ;) But I really, really appreciate it, and it’s nice to know that I’ve got these people praying for that aspect of my life. :)