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Friends and lovers

A week ago my parents celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. They've been together for 30 years, including the seven-year relationship they had before getting married. Crazy.

I guess it's safe to say that almost everything I know about love I learned from them. I grew up in a home of only three people: mom, papa, and myself. We lived in a compound, and almost all our relatives were just streets away, but inside our house it was just the three of us. It wasn't at all a story-book set-up -- both my parents worked the whole day, and most of the time I was left with my lolas (or yayas). Sometimes I didn't see my papa when he gets home. I cried every time my mom left in the morning. But it was a happy, simple set-up. We shared our food, we told each other stories, we kissed each other good night.

If there's one thing I'm incredibly grateful for, it's this: my parents taught me that loving someone is being their friend. I can never stress how happy I am that they both raised me not only as their daughter but also as their best friend. I grew up listening to Sergio Mendes, The Carpenters, and The Beegees playing over breakfast on Sunday mornings. I knew all about their friends and more-than-friends. Likewise, I shared my secrets with them, and told them all about my days, both good and bad. I couldn't let a day or week go by without telling them a random anecdote about anything, from a professor's advice to a movie I just saw. I think deep down, despite our quirks and idiosyncrasies, we genuinely like each other enough to treat each other as very good friends.

Perhaps that really is the secret -- to love someone, you have to really like them. You'd be surprised at how difficult that can be for some people. Some people fall in love with people they don't even like - strip away the tension and they're left with nothing to make them want to say they're actually okay with being with that person. But I guess, when you like each other enough, when a person is more than just an object of your affection, but a person you share everything with and like being around, it's not so hard to choose to stay and love them even more. It's more fulfilling, even, to know that at the end of the day, all you need is a this person and a good chat, and everything will be okay.

(Belated) Happy anniversary, Mommy and Papa! Thank you for being the best set of friends - to each other, and to me.