|Rem, Adel, Cecil and Au circa 2004|
|Cecile at our high school reunion giving a speech on being a cancer survivor 2009|
Finding out that Cecile, one of my best friends succumbed to cancer while perusing the news feeds on my Facebook account last Black Saturday, seems surreal to me. I am more of a visual person, hardly taking note of the written postings, more interested on photos and inane you tube cat videos. When I came across the condolences at her sister's page, I was reading but not really comprehending what those words meant. Realization hit me and I started mourning her death with copious tears.
We went to the same school in elementary and high school but only became very close when we attended a community college, hooked up with 2 other girls Au and Rem. I never imagined that it will be the start of fun friendship that anyone would wish they could have on their transition to adulthood.
We connived on lying about our age when we applied for a job as a Salesclerk, chose the same University to pursue our college degree and proudly declaring to everyone that we were working student. We had a brutal schedule, class from 7 to 11 in the morning, commute in an hour on a bus that even a lizard would suffocate during noon rush hour traffic to go to work for an 8 hour marathon of standing and hoping our supervisor will not catch us doing our class assignments.
We would stuff our selves with candies to ease the hunger, for lunch would be a 15 minute break at around 3 in the afternoon. Despite the time constraint, Cecile will always put on her makeup to perfection that even up to now I can not duplicate. But that schedule did not stop us for having fun that even a professional student with money and the time to boot would envy. Now I wonder where we got the energy to pursue these hustles but sure we did it, ahh the vagaries of youth.
These are some of the perky and crazy things that Cecile and I did all those 5 years while working and studying:
... watched 4 movies in one day in Quad Theater, after which our eyes were red as a vampire
....watched movie with boiled corn, green mango and bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) as a snacks, stinking the movie house, and movie goers shouting at us if we can be kind enough to share our malodorous food.
....she taught me how to read the traffic light so that I can cross Ayala and Makati Avenue safely when going to work. I thought they were just there for decoration.
.... going on a date with nice Taiwanese tourists on Nayong Pilipino with bad teeth from too much smoking (I guess)
.... taking a trip to Pansol, Laguna by a bus as slow as a pregnant slug that we reached the resort by noon, ate our packed lunch of longanisa and rice, swam for an hour or so then went back to the bus station for the trip back home
....have a beach party on a stormy and windy day in Cavite, ending up eating our food with sand on it
....enjoyed disco dancing in La Cueva (it was located in the now Greenbelt Park) after getting off work at 8 in the evening till the 3 in the morning , get up 7, attend class and do the same stunt the next day
....screaming at the top of our lungs when power goes out in our work and ask later on who are those crazy ladies that screams like banshees
.....devouring mega-serving of spaghetti cooked by my sister as if there were no tomorrow
Cecile you would be sadly missed but will never be forgotten..........