we’ll live to tell!

touching base with high school friends after years of separation is one of the moments i love experiencing and witnessing.

for me, it’s a strong affirmation that these people have valued whatever friendship you have with them and in spite of distance and lapses in communication, they had stuck with you as your true amiga/amigo, kaibigan, pal, mate, ally, bosom buddy, and friend. 
clearly, this was the intent of gladys nuas (fondly called dadette/dette), who’s in the country for a visit, when she decided to meet up with me at mall of asia yesterday. this was facilitated by another very good friend/kumare ging mendones, who texted me last saturday, june 8. it was the perfect date, time and venue.
prior to that news from ging, i was already scheduled to go to gsis (government service insurance system) to pay the monthly amortization of our house. her informing me that their plane’s arrival from bicol would be around 10 in the morning guided me in budgeting my own time travel to manila. calculating their trip from the airport, we would finally have that most awaited reunion between gladys and me after 27 years around noontime. 
IV-courtesy class picture buhs 1986
IV-courtesy class picture buhs 1986
IV-courtesy seniors' night  buhs 1986
IV-courtesy seniors’ night (taken: march 1986)
good fortune was with me when i arrived at gsis past 10:30. i was able to make the payment in a nanosecond since there was no long queue yet. i glanced at my watch and was satisfied with the update on time. after tarrying for a few minutes in the building, i decided to proceed to moa via a taxi cab which made me arrive there hassle-free and fast. 
then, the first call from dette and ging who informed me about the delay of their touchdown came. after a quick talk, i knew what i had to address: my hunger, which i wrote about at https://wanderingjouster.com/2013/06/10/tosh-and-i-back-in-each-others-arms/
past an hour, my date had not still arrived. an sms, serving as an explanation and an option for me, appeared. the choice was that of not waiting anymore because ging thought i had to go back to my work. she was only relieved when i informed her that she didn’t have to worry since i was free. i even kidded her that i could wait until evening for them. 🙂 what is hours of waiting compared to years? 
alone at tosh, i wasted no minute while i excitedly anticipated ging’s third phone call that they were already there. 
the reunion scene was directly lifted from a viva/regal-produced flick as dadette and i saw each other in the flesh. almost running, she went out of sm hypermart door as i bridged the short distance between us. hugging, cheek kissing, hugging again, holding hands, hugging again, laughing – these were the flashes of movements as friends nonverbally expressed how much they had missed each other. 
in mann hann restaurant, where they finally had their late decent lunch (i just had my dessert there being full from eating at tosh), dette and i began our almost endless updating and revisiting of our carefree days in bicol university high school. ging allowed the two of us to catch up and cover a lot of grounds. it was understandable. dette and she had theirs already for a longer period and more opportunities unlike us who had to make do of the available few hours. 
our first picture together
our first picture together
three's company (image source: http://www.facebook.com/ruby.mendones?hc_location=stream)
27 years after, we call ourselves WOMEN! (image source: http://www.facebook.com/ruby.mendones?hc_location=stream)
three's company (image source: http://www.facebook.com/ruby.mendones?hc_location=stream)
three’s company – dette, wj and ging (image source: http://www.facebook.com/ruby.mendones?hc_location=stream)
with ging and dadette's girls -  karla and alex
with dadette’s girls – karla and alex – and ging
from mann hann, we dropped by two more places before settling at mcdonald’s where our topic shifted to a serious one – on parenting. it was at this point that dette and i exchanged notes as mothers while ging, having also played the role indirectly, openly shared her thoughts which reflected her intellectual capacity, disposition and character. it was a productive discussion of three women whose encounter with life’s adversities and our victory over them had molded us into resolute and astute individuals. 
at canon shop
at canon shop
supporting ging's craving for coffee from a dunkin donut stall
supporting ging’s craving for coffee from a dunkin donut stall
drinking iced coffee to beat the humidity
mistaken as sisters, drinking iced coffee to beat the humidity
our last stop-over for more stories
our last stop for more stories
at 5:30 p.m., it was parting time for us. dette, her daughters and ging had to go back to atrium hotel where they were billeted for the night before facing today’s itinerary. tuesday was set aside for dette’s reunion with manila-based relatives. afterwards,  i knew they would be flying back to legazpi city. 
what an effort on dette’s side! i was deeply moved by her gesture so with ging’s. acting as dette’s “girl friday” :-), she had to accompany our good friend despite her very tight schedule. it made our meeting complete and more meaningful.
i am blessed. this i silently told myself as i started walking toward the bus stop. my friendship with dadette and ging might not be that extraordinary to others, but to me  no adjective has been discovered to describe it.
promise, i will gladly look forward to our twilight years when we will continue to have this get-together and untiringly remember the way we were.
mmmmmmmm…
please sing for us, barbra. 🙂 

wjs-coat-of-arms3

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