Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wishing you Enough...

This morning I was looking at an old photograph framed in front of my bedroom window. It was a picture of me and my bestfriend Peter taken last Christmas. I could not help but laugh and smile again. That was one memorable night-- the whole barkada celebrated christmas December 17th and we all had a hillarious time opening gifts (from wonder woman, to her invisible jet, to red horse, and mentos!). That was just last December. Today, those events are just but memories. Memories that will tide me over the final goodbye. It's sad in a way, knowing that we can never have those moments again. Not at this time when I am not sure if we can even call ourselves friends. What happened? I don't really know. I'm done trying to figure out the why's and what ifs. I am too tired and beaten to even fight. All I know is that once upon a time I had a best friend. We knew each other for 12 years-- from freshmen year in college till now. But now, I am not sure anymore.

I used to cry when I would look at the picture. But today, I finally found a smile. That's when I knew I finally got it-- what the poem I wish you enough hellos to last you the final goodbye meant. My bestfriend and I may have nothing but sad interactions now, but at least I still have those wonderful memories-- our day long tambays and chikkas, our wellcom adventure, bonfire grill, riverbanks foodcourt, shopping for a computer, the giraffe with two legs, our kulitans on and off court, his rescue missions to my never ending bloopers, running in the rain together, my own rescue moments to his own bloopers, our pamilya badminton moments and countless more memories I shall treasure for life to get me through the sadness.

I have no regrets as long as I have those memories. I have enough hellos to get me through the sad goodbyes. We had our good times. And maybe these are the bad times. But I will always have those memories.

They say that saying goodbye to someone you love is hard. Saying goodbye to you best friend is harder. Especially to the one who made you the happiest and saddest person at the say time. Yung bestfriend kong yan, siya ang pinaka makulit na partner sa balat ng lupa. hahaha. Siya lang din ang taong nakakita na underneath all this nerdy exterior and superwoman image, is a normal ordinary person who also needs rescuing every now and then. I wish my friend is happy today. I wish him nothing less. Despite everything, I wish him the best.

When you say goodbye to a friend, life will never be the same again. So I refuse to say goodbye, only auf wiedersehen.

Till we meet again.
I am still keeping my promise.. friends forever.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Celebrating Gifts of Friendships

The barkada celebrated the birthdays of Mark and Karen last night at our third home (a.k.a-- playersbest court 3). Everyone chipped in for our usual party fare of pancit miki bihon, chips, cake, softdrinks, and of course san miguel light beer! It was fun and heartwarming at the same time. Mark was a comedian on and off court but our star of the night was the return of the missing Karen who has been MIA since being kidnapped by dr. love. hahaha.

Everyone who mattered was there. Some were missing but not completely missed. Even doc witart came. I didn't drink any alcoholic beverage but I guess the energy levels of everyone was intoxicating enough that we all acted a little crazy the entire night. We played our favorite game of badminton while making each one a live target for our happy birthday shots. Mark scored the winning point by smashing the shuttlecock at len's back (by accident). You could hear the loud whapack as the shuttle bounced from lola len's back. hehehe. Our manang coach of course took revenge by scoring back to back "piso's" with mark, rb, luis, and me. No, we don't hate each other.. We just love to tease each other endlessless. Plus, it trains us to become alert like ninjas on court.

Allan was the suki ng bayan. Everyone wanted to play with him. Sulit na sulit ang 89 pesos niya. May nag disappearing act din (kupal number ???) at may slightly paimportante (kelangan pa bang itext?). Luis and Macre were the last ones standing as usual. 12:30am na ayaw pa sumuko! Lolo RB was of course the service error king, giving away "too many to mention" errors in our two week old contest. I think as of last night our score card runs at 40++ to 11.

It was a blast spending time with these friends of mine. We never got tired of laughing together and teasing each other to death. Karen's moment of love was the theme of the night and having our favorite tita karen back was great.

Mark's birthday was truly one celebration to remember. And though I know such get togethers will soon end for me, I take joy in the memories that I will take with me in my future adventures.

My kumareng karen is right, I may have lost something so precious, but I also gained a lot. And having such great friends to be with makes every tear worthwhile.

Happy birthday lolo mark! Happy birthday lola karen!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

All Jesuit Badminton

I seem to have a knack for threes. My third try at powerade led me to my first major badminton championship. My third tourney for this year gave me my first championship for 2006 (Smart Attack) And then again last saturday, my third try at the all jesuit badminton tourney brought the sweetest victory of my life.

Macre and I won in the ladies doubles level D category. I consider it the sweetest coz it was a big boost to our confidence. Weeks of training with tito boy finally paid off. After losing at Kimoni and accel, it was a confidence booster for the two of us. But most of all it also marked my first victory in any of the ateneo sponsored badminton tournaments.

I've never won in any of our previous tourneys-- not one game. So when Macre and I won the first match via a thrilling 3 setter win over our worthy opponents, it was all so surreal. When we swept the eliminations, I was amazed beyond words. The tournament was held at club 650 and we used the new IBF scoring system. Oh boy! Nakakapagod pala ang 1-21 na rally point. And every shot counts pa! By some miraculous blessing from heaven, I committed only 3 service errors in the entire tournament, a world record by my standards (I've always been teased as the worst server next to mark and rb in our tropa!).

After the eliminations, Macre and I took a long deserved lunch of steak and bbq at hotrocks. Then we went to our favorite tambayan (a.k.a. provident) to rest before the finals. We spoke to some of the other players who told us that our finals opponents were strong and basically implied that we had no chance. So we both agreed to just let fate take its course and play for fun. Bahala na si Batman. After all I never expected to go beyond the eliminations. So everything that we have accomplished were already blessings for me. But sabi nga ni Len, "nandyan na kayo, go for glory na!"

So when we actually won the finals match after struggling in the first set, it took several seconds before it really sank in. Macre and I were screaming with joy.

We struggled in the first set and had to fight back an 11-6 deficit. We managed to tie the score to 15 all before losing the lead again 19-16. By some miracle, we managed to gather our inner strengths to tie the score back to 19 all before sneaking a first set win of 21-19. In a normal game (the old system) that would be easy. But in the new rally point system, you have to play a near perfect game to overcome such odds. I remember luis speaking to us during the technical time out at 11 points. He was so open to the thought that we'd lose so he just told us to have fun and exhaust the backhand of our leftie opponent. I think it was in that moment I told myself that I was just gonna play for the love of the game and not worry about the score anymore.

I guess the relaxed stance paid off for us coz in the second set, we built a big lead (13-5) that we made it nearly impossible for our opponents to catch up. Add that to several lucky shots that we seem to be blessed with. Luis laughed so hard when I hit an overhead backhand shot (na bumakal pa!) that dropped in the middle of our opponents court. In my shock I actually blurted, "Pucha! Pumasok?!" We had so many lucky shots that it made the entire game much more fun.

Macre and I moved well together and trusted each other's instincts. We kept ourselves alert as to where each would be in court so as not to leave any area unguarded. So when she screamed "out!" at matchpoint, I never hesitated to follow. Badminton is not just a game of physical strength and intelligence. It is also a game of trust. True enough the ball was clearly out and we were declared champions.

There was no big cheering squad rooting for us nor were there cameras or tv crews to record our victory. There was only us-- Macre and I and our one man cheering squad and coach Luis who didn't play that night to watch us. And for us three at court 15, it was the moment of a lifetime. We hugged and jumped for joy. Our opponent had nothing else left to do but congratulate us for a job well done. They had a cheering brigade with them but I guess we just wanted the victory more. We won glass medals, 2000 cash and 3000 gift certificates. But most of all, we won back our pride.

When you keep on losing sometimes you stop believing you could actually do it. Moreso when you see people doubt your capability to actually win. Macre and I proved to ourselves last saturday that we could be champions.And that we are champions.

I told Macre before the tournament that I would like us to enjoy our games more than winning.As much as I would love to win, I didn't want her to feel pressured to do well. After all people expected her to carry me in the tourney since she was much stronger than me. But I told my kumare that I want her to have fun.And if it were to be my farewell tournament, I'd like it to be something I'll treasure forever. My partner made it possible for me not only to enjoy it but also to emerged champion. I am forever grateful for that.

The all Jesuit marked the end of my "loser" days in the ateneo tournaments. Not that I felt bad about it before. I have always enjoyed our All Jesuit tournaments. The sense of camaraderie and healthy competition is something worth joining for every year. But this year I not only made my team proud but I also made myself proud. The victory also marked the start of a badminton life outside that of my former kakulitan and partner who has chosen to disappear from my life. I could do it pala even without him cheering me on. He didn't even bother to say congratulations. And for the first time last saturday, I actually didn't care.

Life goes on. And as I relish the remaining days of my colorful badminton life, I shall endeavor to make it the best times of my life.