FRIENDSHIP is not about whom you’ve known the longest but about who came and never left.

Well, I am blessed because I know this lady who came to my life when we were in Grade 2 and that’s a pretty long time ago, really, and who never left!

That’s Maria Angeles (I don’t think many know her by that name here in Bacolod) popularly known as Linggay Luz (of the art world) Coscolluela and now married to Vic Magalona (son of Pancho Magalona (and if you are too young to know who he is, he is a brother of Francis Magalona and uncle of Frank, Elmo, Maxine and Saab).

Linggay and I have been BFF (best friends forever) since we were grade school. When I went to study in Manila for Grade 7 and onto high school and college, our friendship remained solid, hard and steadfast as a diamond.

It is of the quadrillion brilliance and quality as well. It shone through the years despite her distance, when she migrated to the States.

Distance and time can never sever a good friendship. And Linggay does not have a few friends. She has legions of them from classmates, peers, cousins, and extended families. She is totally loved because she is a beautiful person inside and out.

For a brief family history, Linggay is one of the 13 children of Tita Tentay Luz and Tito Carling Coscolluela. The eldest daughter of the siblings, she is the proverbial Manang to all the younger kids to this day—respected and cherished. To the elder brothers, Linggay is the glue that cements the bond amongst them.

To the nephews and nieces, and theirs is a big tribe, Tita Linggay is the choice of Ninang usually. That shows her close relationship and intimacy with most.

To her husband, Vic, Linggay is his world. In the few occasions that I stayed with them in their home in Vegas, I had first-hand witnessing of this. And Vic welcomes and embraces us, Linggay’s friends, whenever we make these visits.

Their home is the hub when her siblings (myself included) visit the U.S. She is an exemplary host and who enjoys everyone’s company!

Linggay’s work ethics have been admired by her bosses. She is entrusted a very delicate job of risk management. That department oversees that their establishment is customer-friendly at all times.

In an environment that thrives on lawsuits even from minor falls, Linggay sees to it that these occurrences are close to nil. And who faces all these complaints, if ever? Linggay, of course. She was with MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. That hotel managed to weather the recession with unending conventions and seminars and you can imagine the probability of accidents from the ebb and tide of the people. Although freshly retired from MGM, she has a job awaiting her in the same line of expertise.

Linggay is in town. I had the great chance to see her in Manila but couldn’t stay longer for a big bash thrown by her family last June 12, which is her birthday. The theme was red, white and blue—colors of freedom and independence—and all siblings and relatives came. Some friends from Bacolod even flew in.

There were reunions with classmates as well who were in Manila. The reunions, the birthday party and other get-togethers were all fun and everyone loved having the chance to see Linggay!

BFF—Best Friends Forever! I believe Linggay and I will grow old together and will always love each other even when will be in our rocking chairs—still talking about our silly adolescent escapades and the fun trips and stays in Las Vegas!

It’s good to have you home Gay even if it is only for a holiday!