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A Wednesday night with friends and lovers (and pizza)

Tonight, our high school barkada (and plus-ones!) "surprised" our two birthday girls, Trixie and Mikka. I say that in quotation marks because (1) Mikka was actually informed and (2) Trixie received a text about it from Mikka. Haha! But the real shocker, I guess, is the fact that almost all of us got to go on such short notice. Considering our group's history of being such sucky planners, it really was a surprise to everyone that we made it, and on a weekday, no less. All for the love of our birthday girls!

It's funny though how closer we've all become after college. In the last four years we rarely saw each other, and didn't really go out of our ways to meet up. There was always some excuse: an exam the next day, cannot decide on a location convenient to everyone, no transpo. But now that almost everyone is working (only Trixie and I are still studying; she's in Ateneo Law while I stayed in Diliman) it was easier for all of us to plan dates in advance. No more homeworks or school calendars to worry about. It helped that almost everyone worked in the Makati area as well, with some in Pasay and Ortigas - all quite accessible. There's freedom to spend a bit more too, and take ourselves to fancier restaurants, without much guilt over remaining baon. Ah, adulthood!

We had dinner at Amici, in Ayala Triangle

But the real reason behind our closeness now lies deeper than just logistics. In the last few years we've gone through some really tough challenges, as individuals and as friends. We've had friends who migrated, we've helped a friend battle cancer; we've had misunderstandings and long stretches of silence; we've each had our own failures in life and love. When you get to a point of complete and utter disillusionment, it makes you seek the things you've always found comforting. And in our case, it's each other's company. We like to tease each other that we're such a "boring" group - we rarely drink, we don't go out of town, and we still think the best place to hang out is each other's bedroom (or Trixie's pool, haha). Our idea of entertainment is making fun of each other and exchanging funny anecdotes. But our "boring" friendship got us through all the hard times. It was our endless talking during sleepovers, over random phone calls, and in long Facebook message rants that made us feel that at the end of the day, we had each other to lean on to, no questions asked.

Because that the truth is, no one else can know you better than the girls you shared shower rooms with in PE, and the girls you ate lunch with everyday for more than ten years of your life.

Lately though, we've been really enjoying each other's company more because we've welcomed new people into the fray. By some weird cosmic alignment, almost everyone became attached. It started last year (also for a birthday celebration) when one of our friends pitched the idea of bringing a plus-one, in an attempt to make our "boring" date a bit more exciting. At that time only 2 girls in the group were in long-term relationships (and whose significant others we've already hung out with). Fate was kind on all of us that time, I think, because we were all dating someone when the invite was sent. That night was such a riot; I don't remember having that much fun in quite a while. Everyone just got along so, so well. After that dinner, the plus-ones quickly became friends (and official boyfriends!), and suddenly it was impossible to plan anything barkada-related without including the "Boyband." :))

It's a nice new chapter to be in, after having stepped towards this direction - it's great to be surrounded with the people you love, and the people who love them. 

Left to right: Jumar, Mikka, Kaila, Tom, Jen, Nica, Hope, Tin, Joa, Trixie, me, Ludwin. (Whew!)

The truth is I've come to accept that life will always be surprising, both in good ways and bad. I think we've all grown up enough to understand that things are never constant: people come and go, feelings ebb and flow. But while there's no certainty to what the future may bring, at least the past and this present has made me believe that there are still people worth holding on to, people worth sharing all kinds of adventures with, "boring" or otherwise. 

After all, if there's one thing I've learned in high school, it's this: the most fun part of the field trip isn't the destination, but the bus ride going there. And the crazy people who sit beside you.


P.S. We missed you, Kassey and Inna!