Best Friends forever

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I am in Cebu City right now for an overnight business trip. It feels great to be home. Well, not exactly at my old home. We sold our family home a few years ago because none of the siblings live in Cebu. Home is where the heart is or my hometown, where I spent the first 16 years of my childhood. Part of my agenda entailed a meet up with my grade school best friend, Rowena. It’s been 34 years since we last saw each other. Yes, the last time was at our high school graduation. I’ve never forgotten her though. The problem was I didn’t stay long enough in Cebu to reunite with high school friends whenever I went for my semestral break or vacation. Memories of high school popular cliques and my mediocre school performance made me want to avoid any reunions. But whenever I was in Cebu I often wondered what became of her.

Six months ago, I received a text message from Rowena. I was happy to hear from her, of course. Her reaction surprised me even more “I’m crying that we finally talked to each other”. I was thinking Did we have a fight? is that why we drifted apart?is that why she is crying? My heart remembers the love, the camaderie, the laughter and the innocence we shared as kids. She told me that I often gave her roses and cake for her birthday. Was I that sweet? Did I really sneak out those roses from my mom’s rose garden? Did I “steal” cake from our bake shop just so I had a gift for Rowena? I desperately wanted to remember how I was as a young me.

Rowena and I finally met in the hotel I am currently staying. I had difficulty at first adjusting to the Cebuano dialect. Sure, I can comprehend conversational Cebuano but her words were so deep that I often asked for the translation. Besides, I remember that we spoke only in English. During those days, our school encouraged us to speak English to each other. (My school slapped a fine of 5 centavos per Cebuano word. )

I couldn’t help but ask Rowena the nagging question, “Did we fight?”

I wanted to know if I was a mean friend. haha.

She said “No. we just drifted apart and developed new friendships in high school”

I heaved a sigh of relief then added “why would we fight? We were quiet kids.”

Oh so I was quiet.

Rowena heard that I got honors in college which surprised her because I was an average high school student. Yes, I told her that high school life was not a happy experience. Being in college, away from high school and the popular cliques brought out the best in me.

Not contented with dinner, I brought her with me to my hotel room for some good old girly talk. Oooh, how fun it was as we laid down in bed and reminisced our sweet childhood memories. Our lives and interests have totally changed yet I still feel the bond we once shared. We might not be the best of friends now but certainly best friends in our hearts forever.

Do you still keep in touch with your childhood bestfriend?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • My best friend of 17 years went back to live in Cebu 2 years ago and we are still very much tight. And even though I sometimes spend one night in Cebu when I travel for business, I always, ALWAYS find the time to be with him. And even though I travel so much, we still keep in touch and almost don’t go a day without checking up on each other.

  • KK

    It’s great to hear you reconnected with your childhood best friend Ate Noemi. It must have been surreal to look back during those days.

    I still keep in touch with my childhood every now and then. It’s always great to reminisce the good old days when we had alot of fun hiking Camp John Hay.

  • It was hard for me to “keep” friends because my family moved around a lot. I had to transfer from one school to another. But I still keep in touch with some of my very good friends in grade school and high school. Note: Only some. 😉

    I certainly can relate to this: Being in college, away from high school and the popular cliques brought out the best in me.

    When I studied for a year in Baguio, I never would have thought that I’d excel academically. Now that I’m in Diliman…well, that’s another question. Hehe.

  • Yes, my high school best friend. Elizabeth. We reunited in 2000. And she remembered how I “left her behind” so I could pursue college in Baguio.

    When we graduated in high school, we made a pact not to be separated from each other, and that we would attend a local college together. And how she cried when she learned I was leaving her. Haha! Funny how she did not forget that.

    Until now, we see each other. Actually, we had a fun trip to Vigan last January with another balikbayan high school friend. It’s fun, and heartwarming to be with friends of our youth. I’m happy for you Noemi that you have reunited with your grade school best friend. I can imagine how much fun you had! 🙂

  • @aileen- it means you are still in tune with each other. I guess me and my childhood bestfriend drifted apart because we became different.

    @KK- reminscing really brings out our inner child and it also give me a sense of gratitude of who I have become. Of course, a better person than before

    @shari- i really excelled. I got out of my comfort zone and even ran for the college council. Imagine a shy me in high school. I was nominated for some officer position in my third year and i got only 3 votes. It vindicates me that I garnered a lot of votes in my college council. High school was one popularity contest.

    @rhodora- yes fun. the kind of childlike fun which we forget from time to time.

  • I do. Dennis actually stayed last Saturday night into Sunday morning as he ransacked my CD collection for CDs to burn into his iTouch. He was a groomsman at my wedding.

    It surprises me that I still keep in touch with my grade school friends – Dennis being one of the closer ones – but I think it helps me stay grounded. Knowing someone for more than 20 years and keeping in touch with them, after all, can really jolt a person back to his roots on a regular basis.

  • my grade school bestfriend is in Friendster. we just found each other months ago. I should really get in there and keep in touch with her. thanks for this reminder Noemi.

  • I’ve known my GS best friend since we were five years old. We attended different HS but we were roomates during college although we attended different schools. We keep in touch even if we are on different parts of the world. I visited her in NY just recently.

    I also have a HS bestfriend. She was my maid of honor during my wedding. I don’t remember having a single fight with her (also with my GS best friend). Unfortunately, she had a tragic death almost two years ago.

    I have few close friends (from school and previous work). I see to it that I keep in touch with them.

  • My oldest friend is one I’ve had since Kindergarten. Yep, we’re still “barkada” to this day. I also have a grade school bff and we are still very very tight. And I have a college best bud who is probably my true soulmate and ninong of my kids too. I guess it’s pretty obvious that I like to keep my longtime friends for keeps 🙂

  • lemon

    I don’t know if it’s the coming holidays or what, but my oldest best friends have been re-surfacing and nothing beats the feeling when we re-connect. One of them found me through Friendster and we’re planning on a girls-only trip next year when she comes home from abroad.

  • ann

    hi! it’s so nice to hear you have communication again with your old bestfriend. nakakatouch yung story niyo. kahit ilang years na yung lumipas, you still found each other and become friends again. i hope the same thing can happen to me too. 🙂

  • hi noems! greetings from L.A. yes, I think about my grade school best friend a lot. in fact, i am praying that I find her here on this trip. she dropped out of sight and the last time i saw her was ten years ago, here also in L.A. it would certainly be a miracle if i finally found her again. glad you and rowena hooked up!

  • My closest friends have migrated abroad and its been decades since we saw each other. I have developed new friendships through the years and I have learned to cherish them. Blogging has also given me very good friends and we do get together from time to time. But the best friend I ever had is my wife. Now nothing beats that.

  • I keep in touch with my best friend mostly through sms since she is in Chicago and very busy working as a nurse who doesn’t have time to send email. With my elem and HS classmates, we have an online group for photos and announcement purposes. We also email each other through that site.

    Thank you for sharing your story about your best friend Rowena.

  • I am in touch with only one bestfriend in grade school (when I saw her during my college ojt) and 3 of my high school chums. Now, because of yahoo groups and friendster, I came to interact again with my college classmates who I now consider my friends. Way back in college, we’re not really close. I only keep few trusted friends back then.