My dearest aRICCOmambo,
I was barely awake when I checked my phone and saw a Facebook message from a stranger that said you passed away the day before. I reread it, hoping that I was just having a bad dream, but it was still there.
I wept, thinking how could someone so young leave the world so soon? I wept, guilty because I did not get to see you when you were out of the seminary last Christmas. I wept because I just ate at El Chupacabra where you wanted to take me but I went there with another person instead. And I wept because we almost fought the last time we saw each other. And my tears were harder to stop when I remembered how we embraced and assured each other on how important our friendship was. I told you, “I love you” and you replied, “I love you more.”
It’s hard to believe that you, my underground bestfriend and platonic love of my life, are already gone.
I was asked by your sister to give a eulogy. We used to make odes and blog entries for each other (that’s how we took the mutual admiration society seriously) and then I had to make a eulogy for you? Ah, the biting reality of how life works. How could I find the right words? You were so good with words. You always had something to say that can entertain, encourage, and inspire. Your intelligence, humor and kindness shone in the conversations you had with me, your other loved ones, and even with people you just met.
I remember meeting you in one of the chatrooms of mIRC back in 2000. I was there because I was
stalking looking for my ex. I found out that you were neighbors so I talked to you (hahaha I know, I was a user) but for some reason, I first saw you in flesh after a year when you joined LSS or Life in The Spirit Seminar in PCJ Parish, BF Paranaque. That’s were we became friends. It was so easy for us to get along because we were the noisiest in the group. :p
We had years of partying and making fun of everything we could think of, and seizing and appreciating the happiness life threw our our way. You influenced me to drink more wine and hard drinks because I was already drinking beer like a kanto girl. You introduced me to your foreign friends and pushed me to care more about arts and culture. (Medyo challenging ito kasi nosebleed at medyo nagka-inferiority complex ako nung times na pumupunta tayo sa Models Night at Brazilian Night sa Tabu, hehehe!) You asked me throught-provoking philosophical questions that got me thinking what life’s really about and you also gave super shallow pop quizzes that reminded me to not take life so seriously.
But the most special among all our interactions that I will always treasure in my heart and will always burn in my mind was when we had coffee and bibingka and puto bungbong at Via Mare on my 31st birthday, after we watched The Hobbit. We talked about God. We talked about our walk of faith. We shared how awesome it was to find out we heard our calling almost at the same time. You said you were still in Singapore when you heard it, that’s why you had to go back to the Philippines. You were very happy for me that God has called me to fortify my relationship with Jesus. I was very happy as well for you (and really surprised) that you were considering to enter the seminary because of the calling. I was in awe that you’d be willing to enter priesthood/brotherhood to serve Him. Wow, I thought, “My dear friend who used to bring me to parties would now bring me to church?” God really doesn’t call the qualified but qualifies the called. I was so proud of you, especially when I asked you something about my inclination to doubt God because of the fear I developed from past mistakes and failures. You told me to believe in the power of prayer and to always have faith. You told me none of my problems can ever match the great love God has for me and that I should continue to walk in faith. And you assured me that you would be with me in this walk.
You then told me about how things were at home. About how you’re so blessed with your relationship with your mother, that because of her, you became more in love with God. You also said you never thought you’d also learn to appreciate and love your sister so much, considering years ago, you called yourself an only child. :p You said being close to God would really change one’s perspective because loving God means loving all that He loves. And I agree with you with all my heart, my dear dear Oryx.
It hurts that I would not be able to hear you say, “I love you more” when I say “I love you” but my heart is consoled by the most important thing of all- you are in your journey to be with God. I will not anymore try to convince myself that you just went back to Singapore or went to Spain for grad school. You are on your way to Him and I know that you’re happy because that’s the ultimate travel you’d want to make. And I know that God is happy to welcome you His son whose love for Him goes beyond death.
I will always replay our memories because in it, I will find inspiration and comfort and joy. I pray to see you someday. Someday ha. Not soon. Hahaha. :p
I love you very very very much, Oryx. We’ll continue our partying in heaven. Until then.
P.S. I read the ode you wrote for me. Yung Ode to The Warrior Fairy. Isa ka talagang henyo. And you really really LOVE me. Pang-Palanca or Pulitzer sa galing eh. HEHEHE.
P.P.S. There are so many things I wanna say but baka maiyak na ako sa.pagka-miss sa iyo. And I know you don’t wanna see me cry. :(
P.P.P.S. I hate that you left without admitting to me na dinaya niyo ako ni Nico sa poker game natin 8 years ago. I won, didn’t I? :p
// listening to some weird reggae music… something you’d dance to :p