I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart. Anne Frank

The aftermath of the Best Friends Forever Reunion left me in a contemplative mood for days. Friends remarked that I was quiet, conservative and feminine in the past so the revelation of “a true confession” caused jaw-dropping looks. At a high school reunion, I laughed when former teachers thought I was Lorna, my elder sister. What a forgettable student I was! I don’t blame them. It was true anyway. Looking at myself today, I don’t recognize the person I once was. Still, I thought of checking out that forgettable person and affirm the good that is happening in my life today.

Best Friends Forever Reunion 2009

I unearthed my “baul”, a box full of treasured memories like old photos, memorabilia and diaries written since I was 10 years old. During the reunion, I confessed to the ex that I still kept the diary during the years we were together. Horrified, he told me to dispose of it. I shrugged. It was the past, nothing incriminating and everything written was pure and innocent. For some reason, I should have thrown it when I got married. I dumped all the letters, gifts and photos in the trash bin but I kept the diaries. Now I know why I didn’t throw the diaries. No, it was not to reminisce the memories of first love and that of my ex-boyfriend now my husband.

I pulled my diaries out from the cobwebs of the musty “baul” and began to leaf through the pages, now yellowed after 34 years. For the next few days, I poured over the poignant memories. I’m not a very profound writer and I scribbled about things I did that day or week with my family, my boyfriend or my groupies. Both things of significance and not. My diary detailed the life of my family when we were still complete. My mom, already sick of breast cancer in 1975 suddenly came alive in the stories I wrote about her. My departed siblings, Oscar and Ruben ,the clowns of the family and my dad sprang to life as I read the “Dear Diary” entries. I felt a tugging in my heart,a deep longing for my departed loved ones as I got transported back to 1975. For one brief moment, images of their smiles and antics kept me in a cheerful mood.

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The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley

UP College Cebu , 1974

My mediocre grades in high school were not enough to qualify me to the UP Diliman Campus. I was determined to take up college in Manila to gain independence from my sheltered life in Cebu and of course, get the BS Food Technology that was only offered there. I studied in UP College Cebu (UPCC) in 1974 for one year before moving to UP DIliman campus in my sophomore year where I finally got a 1.75 grade to qualify. I look back to my freshman year with a smile and a soft spot in my heart. Indeed a memorable year for me because it was the first time I gained a little freedom to be with friends and to socialize with guys after graduating from an all-girls school since kindergarten. I felt I finally belonged to a group that truly cared and loved me and by fate (via Dicoy’s Cupid machinations), my best friend became my first boyfriend, my first love for the next 3 or so years.

Reunions are inevitable and I declined the invitation just as I did with my high school reunions. My attitude towards reunions changed in the recent years after I evolved into a better person. I then became curious of my friends. What had become of them? I felt something missing in my life and wanted to reconnect with my past. This change of heart did not augur well with my husband. He didn’t understand why I needed to see my old friends (when he himself does not attend reunions) and in the process, “meet” my ex-boyfriend. Hugging my husband, I reassured him that it is all in the past. I cannot help it if he was my classmate, part of my barkada but I am there for my other friends. For goodness sake, it’s been like 31 years? I rolled my eyes as “Batman” retreated to his cave.

Freshman Year, UP College of Cebu 1974. Guess where I am?

I know it sounds like a cheesy Sharon Cuneta movie, but our group coined “Best Friends Forever” as the group name for the UP Cebu College 1974-1978 alumni.
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