In Rockwell, was pleasantly surprised when I bumped into one of my closest childhood friends Eric. He is a “real” childhood friend like we’ve known each other since we were babies!? (He is a distant relative, we were neighbors and our families are close friends. Well, all the families in the small city where I came from are supposedly close friends.) I haven’t seen him in ages so it was really cool. We lost contact when that’s it, I studied high school in the Visayas and he studied high school in another city in Mindanao. Actually felt nostalgic in there. I mean things aren’t just the same now that we’re young adults. Same with my friendship with our other childhood friends. You know different interests and lifestyles already. The bonds we had as kids weren't also that strong. Friendship then basically equates to being playmates in neighborhood games. (Tho sometimes, one wishes friendship isn't that complicated a term).
Not like the supposed "deep" friendship we have with our high school and college buds. Chegay for example, I certainly won’t forget her for the rest of my life. She once saved my life, you know! It is a funny story. Chegay and I were both dormers and together with our other dormer classmates Jovi and Ging-ging, we were invited by a Born Again classmate to attend their evening worship service with news celebrity Mari Kaimo as speaker. (We are Catholics but our high school is Presbyterian.) Anyways, I’m not sure what exactly happened but during the service I had difficulty breathing. As in di ako makahinga. I panicked shempre and thought I could die if I just kept mum about it. So I quietly told my seatmate Jovi that I couldn’t breathe. The conversation went something like this.
BEATLEBUM: Jov, di ako makahinga.
JOVI (dead serious): Just trust in the Lord. Have faith in him and He will save you.
BEATLEBUM: Talagang di ako makahinga!
JOVI (annoyed): It’s because you don’t accept him as your personal Lord and savior. Trust in the Lord!
BEATLEBUM (naiiyak na): Di ako makahinga sabi eh.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have the heart to exit because we were seated in the middle and I didn’t want to disrupt Mari Kaimo’s emotional testimonial. I mean everyone was crying while listening to his speech for chrissake! I was literally gasping for air (or breathing through my mouth) during the entire service. When it finally ended, I did thank God I was still alive. The girls hurriedly walked back to their dorms after to avoid curfew. They were telling me to hurry up coz I was walking slowly obviously. I told them again that I couldn't breathe. They thought I was overacting. Jovi was still pissed off saying if only I accept Jesus Christ with all my heart and soul. Chegay and Ging-ging were not sure whether to believe me or not (or whether the situation was really that deadly for that matter) so they didn’t mind me. I felt so helpless and couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped walking and began wailing like a baby.
BEATLEBUM: PUTANGINA, DI NGA AKO MAKAHINGA EH!
Okay, there was no cursing but something like that.:) To make the long story short, they rushed me to the ER of the university hospital. I was crying. Felt I would die. Panicked more when the doctors inserted an oxygen tube in my nose. I mean, come on, that was my first time and in the movies, only people who are dying used that to aid them in breathing! But it did help me breathe. And I got addicted with the oxygen to the point where I fought with the doctors when they decided to remove the tube later.
Last I heard, Jovi is already a “Sabadista.”