high school buddies

Friends from High School. Christmas 2004. Davao City.

“Friends never part; they’re glued at the heart.”

(-J.A. Wing, third from right)

I know, I know—we look like the cast of a chinovela! Hehe. This pic was taken after we watched Mano Po 3 (how redundant!). Had fun bashing the actors’ fake accents—which were much, much worse than mine! Interesting how watching the movie with classmates brought back memories of sweaty, traumatic days sitting in Chinese class and praying—with all the faith I could muster— for the bell to ring, before Tan An Bin (me!) would be called to recite. Whew.
Has it really been a decade since high shool senior year? It’s amazing how the girls have blossomed into (more) beautfiul ladies (one of them is getting married this March). The guys, well, we’ve grown heavier, especially around the mid-section (ok, Joseph, except you; but you’re not a classmate. Hehe).

the surprise

Tomorrow is my mother’s 64th birthday. Last night my sis and I, chatting over Yahoo Messenger, toyed with the outrageous idea of me making a weekend trip to Davao to surprise our Ma . Surely, it would be the ultimate surprise for her in recent years.

We debated on the feasibility of the Surprise. I had heard that an airline was offering big discounts on flights to Visayas and Mindanao. But a quick visit to its website revealed otherwise. Either the promo period had already elapsed or they’re not publishing the promo rates online.

Me: May kilala ka ba sa Cebu Pacific?
Sis: Si Lance Gokongwei, pero di nya ako kilala. Hehe.

I had to decide quickly. The online reservation process stipulated a lead time of at least 48 hours before desired departure; otherwise the normal (read: more expensive) rates would apply. So I began doing arithmetic to assess my capacity to finance the Surprise. It could be done, my mental spreadsheet proclaimed. Sis offered to shoulder part of the cost but demanded that I arrive on Friday, the day of Ma’s birthday, instead of my proposed early Saturday. (Impossible to take a leave from work on Friday as I had scheduled important, long-oeverdue meetings.)

More exchanges on YM. ‘Smilies’ galore—frowning, grinning, guffawing, raising eyebrows….

We agreed that my showing up at the front door barely a month after the December holidays would definitely be something that our mother—queen of prudent spending and certified no-nonsense haggler—would find surprising, largely in its impracticality. I suspect that the minute I rear my pimply face at the front door—all-smiles and possibly peeking through a bouquet of flowers—the initial reaction of my mother would be to generate a mental list of 101 more practical ways to spend the money I dished out for airfare!

In the end, practicality prevailed. I would have loved to pull off the Surprise, but instead I have now decided to use the money to help my sis get Ma something useful: a digital blood pressure reader. It won’t be as fun as the Surprise, I know. But I really hope it will say the same thing to her:

“Ma, we love you todo-todo. Happy Birthday.”