Sunsets and Friendships

Sunsets come and go… But friends stay forever. 

I saw that as caption to a photo posted by a Facebook friend. It was a picture of five people in silhouette, watching a beautiful sunset by the beach. 

The picture was truly breathtaking… and the message equally inspiring.

It made me think of my high school friends and all the sunsets that we shared together — as well as all the times we waited for the sun to rise. 

If there are people who know me the most, these would be my high school friends. I can say this because we practically grew up together. And growing up together entails knowing each other’s quirks, each other’s habits and hobbies… It means meeting all your friends’ love interests, both the good and the bad ones, and they meet yours, too… Through the years, you share life’s ups and downs… You know what buttons to push to irritate or compliment the other…

It’s about knowing their life story — and accepting and loving them just the same.

My high school friends are the ones who call me Gorgeous, instead of calling me by my name.  They can also proudly and boldly call me vain and narcissistic without me being the least bit offended.

They have seen me at my best and still loved me at my worst. 

Like I said, my high school friends and I don’t just watch the sunsets… we share sunrise, too…

hs-1997

January 1, 1997

Taken almost 20 years ago, First of January, 1997. Coming from the house of another friend, we waited for the sun to rise and had this picture taken in front of St. James church in Alabang.

The night before the photo above. New Year’s Eve, 1996. 

And 20 years — and pounds — later… we still do Christmases together…

hs-2015

Christmas Get-Together 2015

hs-2016

Post-holiday 2016 Get-Together

I don’t always get to see my friends much. I know I am partly to blame because I allow the busyness of every day life to get in the way.

Yet whenever we do see each other, it’s like no time has passed. We are still the very people we once were. We just easily pick up where we left off. We update ourselves with the things we missed, we celebrate each other’s successes. 

And as we got older together — and hopefully more mature, we know that we are done with petty things. We still tease each other, yes, but we don’t bicker. We now talk about serious stuff… our families, our fears, insecurities, goals and achievements, even our mistakes. And we can still laugh at shallow, silly things (and people) — just like when we were 15. 

My friends and I are secure in the knowledge that we accept each other for who and what we are and were. Each of us with our different moods, strengths, flaws and all.

Because that’s the thing about true friendship. Neither time nor distance can change how you see the other person, nor how you feel about them.

With real friends, you can never lose the love, the respect and that feeling of being home.  

hs-2014

With three of my high school besties, Jeg, Liesl and Sandee. Homecoming 2014.

I originally captioned this, “Mean Girls,” but they objected. They said I was the only mean one. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

Sunsets come and go… But friends stay forever. 

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photos from the ’90s — which I grabbed online — i think came from our friend Joel.  All other photos are mine!!

Them. In no particular order: Jeg, Liesl, Sandee, Kokoy, Myla, Patrick, Manny and Joel

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Think before you speak

speak no evil…

People do a lot of talking. 

Because of the freedom of speech, some people have the tendency to just talk and talk, unmindful of the repercussions.  Some people don’t even pause to think about what they are saying… they just fire away… not considering the fact that they are being hurtful or insensitive.

I believe that if people will stop and think first about what they are going to say before they actually say it, then there will be less arguments.  Two people may not always agree with each other, but it doesn’t mean they cannot respect each other’s opinion — or at the very least, show respect for the other person.

It is the manner of how one says his or her piece — and the content, as well — that can make or break relationships, even friendships.

So think before you let the words come out of your mouth… because once it’s out there, you can never take it back.

 Or better yet,  if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything.

***

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” 
-Psalms 34:13

Have a blessed week ahead!

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photo via clipart

Learning from sports

Veronica, Archie and Veronica

“I don’t sweat, I glow”
I simply adore her!!

I was never the athletic type.  I grew up being more of a stereotypical girly-girl… meaning, I walk slow, I move slow, I don’t like perspiring  (I don’t sweat, I glow), I always made sure my hair is not in disarray  — which would be difficult to avoid when you’re running or  doing any kind of physical activity.

Back in high school, you will see me spending more time in the library than in the gym.  I preferred doing mental calisthenics.  I studied about sports, but I didn’t DO sports.  I simply didn’t have the drive.

If I had a girl, she would probably be like me.  Most likely shopping and walking in the mall would be our best form of exercise together.  THAT I can do so well, even with eyes closed!   However I was blessed with a boy.  Good thing his father is super sportsminded so my son has someone to emulate.

And so, early on we introduced my son to various sports… Sports for him to love, to spend time on and to learn important life lessons from.

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Let’s play ball!

Playing a sport teaches one about the value of discipline, hardwork, perseverance.  If it’s an individual sport (like golf or tennis), you learn to trust yourself more — because you have no one but yourself to depend on.  If it’s team sport, you learn about teamwork.  You learn to rely on other people — your teammates.  You play the role or the position given to you and you learn it well… and you trust that your teammates will do what is expected of them.

Sports should teach one about respect — for your coaches, your teammates and your opponents, as well.  Sports teach one about winning and losing.  Sports shape one’s character.  What one learns in the basketball court or on the baseball diamond can be applied outside — in the real world.

In fact, it’s a two way thing… you learn values from sports experiences which you can apply in real life situations — and you also bring into your games the kind of person that you truly are… whatever values you have grown up with.

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Ideally, sports should shape a child to become a better person.

I encouraged my son to do baseball not only so that he can meet new people, gain new friends, but also because I wanted him to learn about discipline, hardwork, teamwork, respect, among other things.  He may not be the best baseball player, but we constantly remind him to just give his best ALL THE TIME.  He may make mistakes, fumble, strike out and may not hit a home run.  What we expect from him is to always attempt, to run as hard, to respect everybody on the diamond — umpires included, and if he’s going to strike out, to strike out swinging.

We don’t expect our son to be the Superstar baseball player but we expect him to give his 100% all the time.  Greatness would follow.

***

champion, #1, winner

What does it take?

It is sad, though, that not everybody shares the same sentiments.  There are people who are after nothing else but the win.  Of course we all want to win.  Yet there are those whose battle cry is — Win at all cost!  Never mind that you don’t show respect for the opponent — or even your teammates.  Never mind that you quarrel with the officials along the way.  Never mind that you manipulate people or events, just so your child can play in all the games you want him to play in.

There are parents who think that their child is the Superstar and everybody else is just there as an entourage.  Of course they choose their child’s teammates because their child should play only with strong players, lest they don’t form a winning team.  And unfortunately, there are coaches who let these parents meddle.

Sadly, there are people who think that winning is dependent on what the scoreboard says.  Somewhere along the way, the very essence of sportsmanship is forgotten.

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Calvin and Hobbes, tantrums, temper tantrums

let’s throw a tantrum!

As a parent of a sportsminded young man, I have seen all kinds of people in and out of the playing field.  I have seen boys having tantrums in the middle of a game.  I have seen parents throwing tantrums while on the bleachers.  I have seen coaches shouting expletives at the officials after a questionable call.

Sometimes I ask myself, am I doing the right thing exposing my son to these kinds of people?  Is this what he is learning when he plays baseball?  Isn’t he supposed to be learning about respect??

Honestly there are times when I want to either tell some people to just shut up OR to pull my son out of the game and tell everybody that they can all go to — wherever.

It really can get to you.  Most often than not, game situations inside and reality situations outside the field become a test of MY character.  Do I stay and keep quiet, or do I walk away and leave my son to play his game regardless of whatever’s happening around him?

***

cheerleader

I am more than just a cheerleader.

If I try to intervene and tell some parents off  — or in extreme cases, coaches —  then I guess I am no different from them, right?  I think the only thing that is within my control is my son…how he perceives things, how he will take things, and how he will react given certain situations.  Perhaps at this point he still needs my guidance as a parent.

When it comes to baseball skills-building, I know he won’t learn anything from me.  But if we’re talking about values and character building, I do believe that the parents should still stay involved.

Children are very impressionable.  Teenagers are prone to succumbing to peer pressure.  Parents should all the more be vigilant.  Moreso, parents should be the mature ones and act the part.

I choose to stay present during my son’s sports activities so that if I see that there are outside factors influencing him to shift to the wrong path, I can be there to direct him back.  Time will come when he’s old enough to decide for himself and he won’t need nor want me anymore to tell him what to do.  But until that time comes, I intend to try and do the best I can to lead him towards the right path.

I try to be the mature person that I am supposed — and expected — to be.  I don’t quarrel with other parents, I don’t berate the coaches or the umpires.  I try to teach my son that rules are meant to be followed and that people of authority should be respected.  I also remind him that the players — both teammates and opposing team, alike — should be treated with the same respect and dignity that he expects himself to be given.

This is what playing sports is all about.  It’s not just about winning games.  Because on the field, one is only as good as his last game.  But in the real world, one is and will be remembered for the kind of person that he truly is.

Train a child in the way he should go.  Even when he is older he will not depart from it. —  Proverbs 22:6

*****

photos via google images and clipart.

bible verse from the Holy Bible, New International Version

Friendship is…

my kind of friendship

Spent the most part of my Monday morning chatting on the phone with one of my best girlfriends.  Somehow the minutes just seemed to tick away so fast, yet the topics seemed endless.

We talked about baseball (yes, baseball mom she is!)… we talked about upcoming tournaments… we talked about my son’s school, then we talked about her son’s school… we talked about interfering and overbearing parents (yes, that’s gossip)… we talked about our plans for our sons’ future (which didn’t only cover baseball, but their lives in general)… We pretty much covered a lot of things in just one phone call.

That’s our kind of friendship.  We talk a lot.  We share our thoughts, our experiences… we dissect them and we try to find answers to questions together.  We talk and we also listen.  It’s not just a one way thing.

***

I met her because of baseball.  She was a veteran baseball mom of sorts when my son was just starting and she took us under her wing (she was team manager then).   I didn’t really expect that we will end up being good friends, but through the years, situations and experiences (hers and mine) paved the way for us to get to know each other better.  Our values are the same, we pretty much think alike, and during those times that we don’t exactly agree on something (which is pretty rare), we still respect the other person’s views.  We don’t judge nor force our ideas on each other.  At the end of the day, it’s still about respect.

no need for a pinky swear…

What strengthens our friendship is the fact that we both know that whatever happens, we will stand by each other and we have each other’s backs.  And we have proven this to each other on different occasions — she was there to listen and support me when some people were being mean… and I was there for her when she was the one being attacked maliciously by people who claimed to be her friends.

***

There’s more to friendship than just the label.  You can address someone as your “BFF” (Best Friend Forever) or “SFF” (Super Friend Forever) or whatever other adjective you want to put before the FF… But I believe it doesn’t work that way.

To me friendship is about trust and respect.  It’s about knowing that whatever happens, the other person will stand by you and will help you fight your battles.  A real friend listens and doesn’t judge.  Sometimes he or she may not understand, but the willingness to do so is always there.

Friends may argue but in the end the relationship should be strong enough to withstand whatever differences they may have.

Personally, I’d rather have a few real friends than a lot of flaky ones — those who will drop you like a hot potato the moment they find out that you are in trouble, or worse, when they realize that you are not of any service to them.  Meaning, user-friendly people — and boy, are there lots of them!

So, maybe I choose my friends.  I know I am not ‘friendly’ with everybody.  I choose the people I call my real friends.  An acquaintance to me is still just that — an acquaintance.  There is no depth to the relationship.  But I put great value on what I have with people I consider my friends.  I know that I will fight with them and for them if need be.

Whether I talk to my friends two hours a day, three times a week… or we only get to talk for five harried minutes, once a month… I rest on the knowledge and confidence that our friendship stays the same.  It is a relationship backed by beliefs and values, experiences, history, love, trust and respect.

you just know that they are there

Friendship to me is more than just a label.

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all photos via google images

 

Facebook friends…

...and then there was Facebook

Sometime last week, a good friend of mine told me that she was “unfriended” on Facebook by someone she had a falling out with.  I don’t really know if  ‘unfriend’ is the right term or it should be ‘defriend.’  I’m sure you know what I mean, though.  It’s the process of removing someone from one’s Facebook friends list.  

When I asked her how she felt, she said that in all honesty, she didn’t mind that her name was removed from the friends list.  What pissed her off (pardon the term) is that the other person did it first… even went to the extent of blocking her — meaning she can’t view the person’s page.  Not that she wanted to view it, she said, but somehow she wouldn’t know if the other person’s posting something about her.  Oh, the power of the posted word.

Of course it’s also different when you’re the one who did the unfriending and the blocking first.  It’s much like getting dumped.  Wouldn’t you rather be the ‘dumper’ than be the ‘dumpee?’

***

Really now...

Honestly,  I never took Facebook friendships seriously.  Yeah it’s nice to reconnect with old friends… nice to find out what’s happening in other people’s lives.  Sometimes it’s like watching a soap opera… every post, every status update, gives you the feeling of being part of a person’s life story.  You don’t really have to be with that person, but you know enough about him or her.  It can be addictive, too.  You can’t help but follow the drama when a Facebook friend is sharing her sob story to the citizens of cyberworld. 

But a lot of times I ask myself how many of my Facebook friends are truly my friends in real life?  I have 553 FB friends at present.  Sometimes I wonder, should anything happen to me, will all 553 of my friends run to my rescue?  I wonder how many of them will lend me money if I’m in dire need.  Probably 5 of them… or 10 at the most.  And maybe half of that would be my relatives. 

I don’t talk or chat with all my FB friends.  Yes I follow some of their posts — sometimes I even stalk some of them.  Randomly.  When I’m dead bored.  But then if they post updates and photos and it’s there for the world to see, would that still be considered stalking? 

Anyhow, the question is, if I lose a FB friend — like, if for some reason I get blocked or deleted from his or her list, should I feel bad about it?  Do I feel insulted?  Should I even care?  Funny, would I even know that I was shunned? Probably not. 

***

To continue my friend’s story, several days ago she received a text message from this same person who ‘unfriended’ her, asking her something.  Then the other day when they happened to see each other in one event, this person even called out to her and again asked her something.  My friend remained civil and replied to the question. 

But there was a thought balloon looming above her head that says “Why the h$@# are you talking to me when I know you were ranting about me and even went as far as blocking me from your FB?”  

I said maybe it’s the other person’s way of reaching out. 

Her reply:  “Nah, Facebook says we’re not friends.  And I believe Facebook.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of a friendship. 

So be careful what you post… and who you make friends with… or who you unfriend.  Basically, think well about how you view your Facebook friends.  Because not everyone in your FB friends list is a REAL friend.   Friendship entails honesty, sincerity, understanding,  acceptance and respect.  Friendship is a relationship.  You don’t switch it on and off on a whim.

Friendship, I believe,  is more than a status update. 

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photos via weheartit.com