Hellos & Goodbyes

My mom’s sister and her family live in Virginia, USA. I remember when we were very young, their family would come and visit the Philippines every two years.

I also remember babysitting my two younger, adorable half-Italian, half-Filipino cousins E and GP, whenever they were here. From teaching them nursery rhymes when they were very little, to bringing them to arcade games… I would truly spoil them to their young hearts’ desires.

As we got older — when they turned teenagers, and I was already a young working woman,  I would always tag them along, bring them with me to my office. We would walk around the mall, hang out at Starbucks during my free time.  

We were always happy just hanging out. Most of the time, E and I will make fun of GP (because he is the youngest)… Or we would all make fun of everyone else — like other relatives, strangers, etc. Yes, we could all be pretty immature when we were together.

We saw each other grow up — grow old — well, every two years.  But I can say that we always made the most of their time here, however long or short their vacation may be.

Goodbyes were always, always difficult. 

I remember when I was much younger, I would lock myself inside my room and cry my eyes out the moment my cousins say goodbye. I would cry until I start feeling sick from crying. Maybe that was just part of my teenage drama, but I really hated goodbyes.

It was just so lonely and whenever they left, it felt like they also left a hole in my chest. Though I knew that they would be back in two years’ time, I still couldn’t help but feel bad.

Nobody likes saying goodbye. Nobody likes being left behind. 

In time though, I have come to realize that people do come and go. Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes… and hellos once again. I often say that friendship knows no distance.  I believe more so with love.

I have not seen my cousins in quite awhile. One has gotten married and is now residing in China with his lovely wife, while the other is in Virginia living la vida loca.

We may be living in different continents, but I know that the care, the love will always be there. Our shared history and stories bind us.  

I do miss them dearly, but I know that when we see each other next, it would be like no time has passed. We would hang out, have coffee, reminisce. They would still be my adorable little cousins and I will always be the cool — and gorgeous—  big sister that they never had. 

And we would still be talking and making fun of everybody else…. Because we are immature like that. 😉 

With GP then & now… 

I got older — he just stayed adorable. 

For some reason,  I couldn’t find a photo with E… But I am sure he knows that he has always been my first favorite… 😉 

Photo with baby GP from my treasure trove of memories. Photo with adult GP taken about three years ago… 🙂

Friends bonding over sushi

Several blogs ago, I talked about my high school friends and our annual Christmas or Post-Christmas get togethers (see Sunsets and Friendships). Last Saturday was the latest one. No, we didn’t watch the sunset together — nor did we wait for the sunrise…

This time, we bonded over lunch. And like what one of my friends said, “We do lunches now… Does that mean we are getting old?!” Maybe they are. Hahaha.

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Friends for a lifetime

So there we were, four ladies and a gentleman. Now that sounded old. Let me say that again…

So there we were, four girls and a guy, chatting our hearts away over sushi. When you have four girls and a lone guy in a group, guess who will monopolize the conversation? The lone guy, of course! We were hanging on to his every word.

Nah, I was kidding. We all took turns in talking and listening. 😉  I wasn’t kidding about the ‘We were hanging on to his every word’ part, though. Because we were. You see, we don’t get to see lone guy that often since he doesn’t reside in the same area as the rest of us.

Clearly one of the most brilliant minds from our high school batch — heck, I think it is safe to say that he may very well be one of the most brilliant Filipino males from our age group in the whole country, of course we will hang on to his every word (with hopes of having some of his intelligence rubbed off…)!  I am sure all four of us were mighty proud of his achievements (Which are truly out of this world… literally… believe me!).  

But then despite being Mr. Biggie in his field, he still is the same guy we grew up with… Mild-mannered, unassuming, not a single, tiny trace of arrogance. All the more reason for us to be proud.

Or maybe he is really just smart enough not to cross his female friends who know and can use his high school secrets against him! Haha. Now that was shallow.  

It was one interesting lunch that we had.  Too bad I am not allowed to share the juicy details. 🙂 

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Time and again I say that when you are with old friends, you can talk about anything and everything. Somehow you have a treasure trove of memories that seems bottomless. 

As we took turns filling each other in about what has been happening in our own worlds, I thought to myself, Wow, we all sound mature. Life’s experiences and the passage of time have somewhat made us calmer,  more grounded and less petty. 

And then the conversation shifts to high school memories (and certain personalities)… Did I say earlier that we sounded mature? Hmm. I take that back. 

So we reminisced, exchanged notes, laughed and gossiped away.  I believe our collective memories showed that our high school life was indeed good and fun. A major factor that made it so was because we had each other.

It is nice to remember the person you once were before you became the person you are now

When I am with my friends, I get reminded of my 15 yr. old self — the perfectionist, vain yet nerdy drama queen. 

Old friends help remind you of how you used to be. Maybe you were more brave, bold and fearless. You remember qualities the young you possessed that time had somehow tempered. You remember who you were then, giving you the chance to bring those forgotten qualities back.

And as you continue to share life experiences, you also realize how much you have grown through the years… You get to appreciate how far you all have come. 

Okay, now my musings are making me sound really old!

Bottomline is, in the company of your lifelong friends, you are the sum total of YOU, both past and present. There is simply no denying that. 

Plus, they also hold a treasure trove of your secrets… there’s no escaping that, either! 🙂 

1994

From a treasure trove of memories… all blackmail material… because we know each other well!  🙂 

Here’s to more lunches with all of you!

Our anthem from the 90’s… How very apt!

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Credits: Photos are from my O+ phone… Music Video of Friends theme song “I’ll Be There for You” via Youtube ❤ 

Gorgeous’ Friends (in no particular order because I don’t play favorites): Jeg, Sandee, Liesl, Kokoy, Patrick, Joel, Manny ♥

That ’80s Music Blog

what’s playing?

Ahhh, Friday…

There are so many reasons to love Fridays — last day of the work/school week,  Friday sales at the mall, prelude to the weekend…

One of my favorite radio stations plays nothing but ’80s music every Friday.  How can I NOT love that?  I am an ’80s girl (okay, there goes my age) so listening to ’80s music never fails to lift my spirits up or put a smile on my face.

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I know I promised I will try to avoid reblogging old posts… but I can’t resist doing it (again) this time.

I wrote the following blog post back in the day– in another blogsite, when my followers were just my cousin and another friend (both of whom I always had to pester to check my site just so I’d have hits for the day).

Sharing this ’80s blog with you while  Madonna’s Where’s the Party blares in the background.  How can I resist?!

… Welcome to my world!

*PS. Feel free to comment.  If you grew up in the ’80s, share your thoughts, please!!

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Tuning in to the ’80s

Music, indeed, has the magic of transporting you back in time.

I was sitting in front of the computer this morning when I heard the radio blaring from the neighbor’s lot.  There’s an ongoing construction and it seems the workers are hard of hearing that most of the time, the radio is in full volume.  This particular morning they were playing mushy love songs from the 80′s.

Ricky Martin rocked my world!

Before long, I found myself humming along to Menudo’s ”If You’re Not Here.”  Okay, I admit, it was more fun belting out the song.  Humming doesn’t do it justice.  And as if Menudo is not enough, the next song was from Air Supply.  I didn’t sing along anymore this time, but truth be told, I do know the lyrics to the song, as well.  Shame shame shame.

To the young ones reading this who have no idea who (or what) Menudo* is,  Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band formed in the ’70s but achieved success and became really popular in the ’80s.  Long before the Backstreet Boys, NSync and 98 degrees, was this boy band.  This was where the ultra hot Ricky Martin started (he was still a young and cute Ricky Martin then, though I always knew he had the potential…).

Going back to the main point of this blog, music does have a way of zapping you back to another time.  Sometimes when I hear certain songs, it feels like I’m back in time… at the same place, exact same moment.  Being an 80′s girl — I was in high school during the latter part of the decade — I truly get a certain sense of ’high’ whenever I hear 80′s music (mushy or otherwise).

80’s music rocks!!!

Allow me to share some 80′s songs that still transport me back in time and the reasons why…

1)  You to Me are Everything by the Real Thing.  “I would take the stars out of the sky for you…Stop the rain from falling if you ask me to..“    How can you not like that?

I remember our school fair, sophomore year.  My friend and I requested this song to be played for this senior guy I really, really liked.  In secret, of course.  Senior guy saw me sitting on a bench while the song was playing, walked straight to me while singing along.  I was on cloud 9.   I was 14… and I thought I was in love.

2)  Upside Down by Two Minds Crack – One morning after a marathon telephone conversation the night before with senior guy, I woke up and heard this music playing on my radio.  The weather was cool, the day showed so much promise.  It was a moment I wouldn’t mind reliving.

3) Take On Me by A-Ha.  Loved the song. Loved the video.

4)  Melt with You by Modern English –  My sister’s anthem. Because of the number of times that I heard her playing said song over and over and over again, of course it stuck to me.  Recently I saw again on tv the movie Valley Girl (where the song was played).  Couldn’t believe that it was Nicholas Cage who starred in said movie!

5) Borderline and Crazy for You.  One word: Madonna.  Along with Like a Prayer, favorite karaoke songs ever.  No shame!

6)  For Just a Moment (Love theme from St. Elmo’s Fire).  “We laugh until we had to cry and we love right down to our last goodbye…”

I remember one afternoon in a house in San Diego, my best friend/person and I were in a room and we were singing this song.  I remember one of us holding a piece of paper with the lyrics (so we can do it right).  I think I was about to leave in a few days.  We were both teenagers then.  Fast forward twenty years, we are still the best of friends.

lookin’ for the love getaway…

7)  Love Shack  by B52′s.   ”I’m heading down the Atlanta highway, lookin’ for the love getaway…” 

Moment in time: Me singing and dancing to the song… while someone on the other end of the phone patiently waits — and listens.  Best guy friend I ever had.  Still holds a soft spot in my heart ’til today.

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It’s nice to reminisce.  It’s nice to sing and still know the lyrics of the song.   Whenever I hear 80′s music, I remember my friends… I remember my growing up years… I remember having fun.   I think about the people I shared those moments with and I am grateful that my friends then are still my friends up to now.  Well, at least most of them.  I remember about past loves and heartaches and realize that I have outgrown them all.

We hear these songs and we remember… and we relive the moments.  We smile, laugh, we cringe, we get embarrassed.  But mostly, we feel good… and the feeling stays somewhat.

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Note : *Menudo is also a traditional Mexican dish made with beef stomach in clear broth.  May also be the traditional stew from the Philippines made with sliced pork and calves’ liver (reference: wikipedia)

**Info on Menudo band from Wikipedia

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photos via google images