From Friends

My friends and how they affect my precious life.

Korean BBQ Night

10 Years, 1600 Miles

One lazy day in college, I was chillin’ at the Film lobby with batchmates when the College Secretary approached us. “I’m looking for volunteers,” she said. Apparently, exchange students from Korea had arrived way earlier than expected and so she could use some help. Bored af, I was first to raise a hand. Out of…


Maxine Casaclang

Drive

TAGAYTAY, Philippines — When I woke up, I found her driving the car downhill. My friend Maxine and I came from another friend’s wedding, where I had too much to drink. On the way to the hotel, I passed out, leaving Max on her own, navigating around an unfamiliar territory at midnight. “Where are we…


Twilight Forest

Coy

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — He used to ask me how he could be stronger. Even that night three years ago when he showed up at my door, he asked me the same question. He was in tears, and he didn’t want to be that way. He said he was too lost, too weak. “You’re too…


taking travel personally

Five-Hour Connections*

MALACCA, Malaysia — We stepped out to the garden almost at the same time. And almost at the same time we placed a bottle of softdrink on separate tables. “Would you mind if I smoked?” I asked politely. “Absolutely not, I’m here for the same reason,” he smiled and introduced himself. His name is Aurelian,…


lime green bedroom

The Price of Intimacy: Relatives, Romance, and Roommates

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — The thick dust that carpeted the floor felt like hotel grade cotton when I lay on it carelessly. It was the second day of painting our newly rented condo unit, and much like the afternoon before, I was alone tackling the gallons of colors. I stared at the ceiling and the…


dark city

Robert, Robbie, and the Robbery

The rain was just about to pour when a man approached us. It was five past nine o’clock in the evening and my friend Ces and I were walking towards a cake shop along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. “Hello, sir,” said the man. “Can I ask you a small favor?” While he was remarkably…


Boracay

The Boracay Charm

The island club had closed for the night and I hit the beach with reckless abandon. As I lay on the beach, I did not care one bit about the sand that had completely covered the back of my shirt and my arms. There I was, dragging my drunken butt as my new friends watched…


Plamenski

The Man in Bulgaria

“What’s in Bulgaria that is well worth a visit?” I asked a friend when he suggested that I visit Bulgaria after telling him that my ultimate dream was to tour Europe. For the longest time, Bulgaria had no significance in my life. Back then this East European state was just another country to me. I…