A FEW days before Christmas, I flew to Manila to be with my college BFFs. Yes. I braved the inconvenience of Manila Christmas traffic. I willingly allowed myself to experience the horrible gamut of holiday airport horrors in the form of multiple delayed flights to the chagrin and inconvenience of travellers like me, trying to get back home by Christmas Eve. I admit that the trip was daunting, by the time I was on my way home, I had developed asthma and contracted the flu. But, it was worth it.

We have not seen each other in uh, 26+ years. The last time we were clearly together was during our sophomore year. We were blockmates in the first sem who became classmates in most classes from then on, belonged pretty much to the same organizations and basically hung out together in between classes, during down time and on gimmick nights. You could say we were the typical barkada. We did everything together and had fun! We hurdled our school challenges together and survived being broken up when one of us chose to shift courses while the other concentrated on theater. Soon enough, we found ourselves further away, one moved to North America, the other to the Middle East, the third stayed at the University and became a much loved Professor/Author while I went home to my beloved Davao and became a doctor who also paints and writes. Normal progression of things, I guess. Our feet bring us to where our dreams and plans take us.

I’m pretty sure all of us have gone down this road. In our lives, we have met people who we click so well with when we were young.In those years, we spend so much time with them, enjoying our youth and making good memories with our experiences together. We gain new friends who become good friends that we can trust and turn to for advice and rely on as a partner in crime. Hehe. But time flies when you’re having fun so before we know it, time has passed, we find ourselves grown up and moving on to become what we wanted to be. We may lose sight of each other, but we really do not need to lose touch with each other. Right?

In this light, I am happy that getting in touch with friends has become easier because of the Internet. It has bridged gaps that would normally just grow wider and wider until you lose contact altogether. Oh but I’m not going to write about the wonders of modern technology. I want to remind you about the wonders of friendship.

So, after 26+ years, we realized that we were all going to be in the country. All four of us at the same time! What does that mean? Simple. Reunion!! Perfect time to have one! After all the planning and adjustments, we finally did have that reunion and, it was such an awesome thing to experience!

I am amazed how good friends, BFFs, can easily reconnect. Through the hugs and happy tears, you get that weird feeling that you had just last seen each other on Saturday. Laughter rings out and echoes true gladness that indeed, you are all together again. The dynamics, amusing. Suddenly, you become your young selves again, reminding each other of moments you remember from way back. Throwback ng throwback lang! And when all the reminiscing is done, you start updating each other about your lives, sharing both good and bad times. That’s how it is with old friends, you share laughter freely and shed tears unabashedly. It just feels good to be “home,” with people who know you when you were still trying to figure out what you wanted to do with your life.

We know that December is THE time of reunions. Opportunities to reconnect with old friends and update with the ones you hardly see on any given regular day. I did not care much for these get-togethers in the past but I will give it more attention from now on. Our small reunion has made me realize that old friends are precious friends. More than the history that you have together is the trust, love and appreciation that has stood the test of time, distance and even the lost years between then and now. We, the young once (ouch?) have come to this realization and appreciate the value of true friendships. To the young ones, choose your friends well. Treasure the ones that you know are good friends. You will treasure them even more as time passes.

Happy Sunday! :)