さよなら と がんばって

R is leaving. The Philippines! Forever!

Okay. Forever is a strong word. I’m sure he’ll come back some time in the future. But, it will only be for a visit. Maybe a long visit. Like 30 days, since that’s how long he can stay here without having to file extra paperwork, being a Japanese citizen. Of course, there’s always Skype and Facebook and whatever other new thing for communication that technology comes up with. And Japan is only a 4-hour plane ride (but of course, money matters) away. But one thing’s for certain: We will no longer see him every weekday at work. And for us, I think that’s a huge change. I mean, he gets awards for having perfect attendance and zero tardies that’s how reliable he is when it comes to being present. What are we going to do without him now?

But before all that drama, of course, a さよならパーティー! At my house. Because where else? And it’s only apt since it’s usually where we hang out and before R leaves we want him to feel all the nostalgia he can manage.

It wasn’t such a fancy party this time. We didn’t have time to prepare–we only found out he was leaving last Monday (Dec 7) and the farewell party was last Friday (Dec 11) and I didn’t even get there until 2:20 a.m. on Saturday (Dec 12) because I had work until 1:45 a.m. So we just had beer, a bottle of wine (a bad one, I was told), some roast chicken and liempo and Nagaraya and chicharon and brazo de mercedes. Very normal, very low-key, which I think is how R wanted it. Though unfortunately, because of the short notice, not a lot of people were able to make it. Still, I think we had a lot of fun, which of course is the point, and we took some photos! Which, of course, is the point of this blog entry.

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In betwixt M and I, R poses with our farewell gift. (It’s a fleece blankie!)
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Somehow, we couldn’t get at least one shot with everyone looking good.

The blog title means “Good luck and Goodbye” in Japanese, by the way. Because R is Japanese. And we wish him the best of luck, even though we’re really, really, really, really, really, really, really sad that he’s leaving.

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Since 2006

It’s unfortunate that it’s the saddest of things that brings about some of the happiest things. A friend who I used to work with recently lost a family member. So I and some of my former colleagues went to the wake last Saturday. And because in this country, we believe that it’s bad luck to go straight home when you’re coming from a wake, we had burgers at a nearby place before we called it a night.

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Most of us have known each other since 2006. That was the year I started working at the company I used to work in. I left that company in 2010, but have kept in touch with some of my colleagues, most of whom are in this picture. Though there are also some people here whom I haven’t seen (except on Facebook) in the last 2 years.

A lot’s happened since I left that company. For starters, only 3 of the people in this picture are still working there. So there were lots of things to catch up on. And inevitably, everyone, and I do mean each and every one of them, almost individually, too, asked me about E. Why wouldn’t they? E was especially present in my life during the years that I worked in that company. They all met him. He even went to one (or more than one, really) of our summer outings. They knew his name, they knew what he looked like, and they all talked to him at one point or another. And they’re my friends. So they asked about him. And I told them what happened. They reacted, pretty much the way friends react. They didn’t say anything offensive or anything that would make me cry. And we talked about many other things, too, which I was extra grateful for.

I guess it’s only normal that when you meet with people you haven’t seen in a long time, the first thing they’d ask you is about the last thing they remember about you. Just to be sure, though, I told them I hoped that they wouldn’t ask me about E again the next time we all see each other. They agreed but not before joking about it, which is fine. I don’t really mind joking about it. Especially if the joke is funny, and they were. Because they’re funny. They’re some of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Maybe it’s not unfortunate that death brings people together, after all. Perhaps, since death is inevitable anyway, then it’s even a good thing, that there’s at least one good thing that happens when someone dies.

Beach Weekend!

So last weekend, I went to the beach for the first time. This year. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I’m glad that I got to go because I was dangerously close to not going to the beach at all this summer. And wouldn’t that be very tragic? I mean, if you live here in the Philippines where the beach is only two and a half hours away (or 3 if you take the wrong exit at SLEX and end up in the Calamba town proper instead) from Metro Manila, it’s almost a crime not to go to the beach at least once during the summer time.

So my officemates and I, went to Aguila Beach Resort in Anilao, Batangas. The resort was, okay. And by okay, I mean it was one of those “you get what you pay for” places. There were 8 of us and we paid around P750 each for an overnight stay with breakfast. Anyway, here’s the verdict:

The food wasn’t very good, but at least it wasn’t that expensive (P130 per meal).

The swimming pool closed at 9P.M. (so early!) but at least it was clean-ish (I mean, what swimming pool is clean, really).

The room was small, the pillows were flat and they only gave 2 blankets even though there were 8 of us, but at least the aircon and fan worked, the bathroom’s drain didn’t clog, the water didn’t run out, the electricity didn’t go out and once you close the door, you couldn’t hear the noise from outside.

As for the beach, it was quite small, it was near the pier, the sand was brown, and there was a lot of people, but it was cleaner than the beaches I’ve been to in Bataan and Zambales, and Sampaguita Beach, which is cleaner and has less people is only a 15-minute boat ride away (with additional fee, of course). Also, the sand isn’t so rocky that you wouldn’t be able to walk barefoot (like in La Luz in Laiya). I took off my slippers as soon as I saw the sand and my feet didn’t have any problems.

Of course, the best part was that I went there with my friends so I knew that even if the resort had sucked, I’d probably still enjoy the weekend because you have fun with your friends wherever you are anyway. It was really fun, and I actually still can’t believe it a little bit. Because, you know how there are people whose lives are like those of people on TV? I mean, that they go on beach outings or Tagaytay weekends and they don’t have any problems related to scheduling and logistics and budget and asking permission from their parents? Well, I’ve never been one of those people. My friends from high school and I have been wanting to go on a beach outing for ages, but we’ve never managed to do it. Because there’s always someone who will complain about something — the cost, the location, parents didn’t allow him/her to go, and whatever other reason. So it was very strange, but very nice, that things sort of just fell into place for this event. It’s almost worth not having gone to the beach any other date this year. 😛

And now, pictures!

In the car, during the fun fun fun road trip 🙂 Don’t you just love road trips?
We buried V in the sand!
Last picture before boarding the boat to leave Sampaguita beach

Hope you had a happy summer everyone! 😀

42

I cannot believe how fast time flies. I just looked at my planner for 2009 and can’t believe that the events I wrote about in there took place last year when I remember them as clearly as if they’d happened yesterday. Then again, I still remember things that happened in high school like they just happened yesterday, too. If only my memory could be as good when it comes to academic stuff.

Anyway, today I went to a Christmas party of sorts with my former officemates. We haven’t worked in the same office since 2006, but we’ve remained friends anyway. I’m happy about things like that. When things in your life change, but other things stay the same. We all have different lives now, way different, but we find time to see each other and have dinner together, even when it’s just during Christmas time. OK, I’ll admit it now, this is my favorite thing about Christmas — how old friends miss you. Of course, if it were me, I miss old friends all the time, holiday or not. But I’m happy that at least once a year, they remember me, too. 🙂

Aww, was that too dramatic? What can I say? My self-hatred knows no bounds. 😯


There’s now barely 2 weeks left for 2010. I don’t even remember what my New Year’s Resolutions were back in January, if I ever made them at all. Probably not though because I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions. But I am kind of happy about how mankind has created this calendar system so you can keep track of things. I mean, how did people live before times and dates were invented? Even now that we have dates, and I write down things that have happened or will happen, I still have problems keeping track of my life. What did people do back then? So they were born, and then they don’t even notice growing old because they don’t keep track of/celebrate birthdays, and all their experiences feel like a blur because they can’t tell how long ago a certain event happened, and then suddenly they have grey hair and have a hard time walking and will just realize that they’re about to die?

How did they keep track of their jobs? I mean, sure there’s sunrise and sunsets, but what about seasons? How do they know when it’s about to be winter and their plants will die? They keep track of how many sunrises there’ve been?

Such random things in my head. And brought about by such a mundane thought, too — I need a new planner and I’m having trouble deciding on what to get. On the one hand, I’m only a few stickers away from redeeming the Starbucks Planner. But on the other hand, all my friends from my old office got the same planner, and being the sheep that I am, I want my planner to be the same as theirs. (OK, this isn’t the only reason. The planner they got, the Witty Will Save the World, Co. planner, is also pretty cool.) Hence, I am really confused.

Is this even a valid concern regarding the new year? While other people are concerned about getting older, making a difference in the world, saving the environment and other things important, I’m using up the last few days of 2010 trying to figure out what planner I should use for 2011. Talk about superficiality.