After 14 years
Between late 1996 and late 1998, I had three writing jobs even though I wasn’t a Journalism or a Mass Communications major. After getting so fired up with writing because of the Dumaguete Writers’ Workshop, an opportunity to write professionally for a living came upon me through a friend I made in the said workshop. I worked freelance for the news magazine show Balitang-K over at ABS-CBN for about a year. Then I worked as Editorial Assistant for the Life section of The Manila Chronicle. Finally, before I was snatched back to working in the non-profit sector, I was a book editor for the Institute of Inner Studies (IIS).
The IIS wasn’t a publishing house, it was a sort of a school/ ashram that taught Pranic Healing. I was in its small editorial department, which published the reference books and other materials used in teaching. Of the three writing jobs, I considered this the best experience because my boss was a kindred spirit, most of my colleagues were good, it paid well, and more importantly, I also learned esoterica–which I wouldn’t have learned on my own. Sadly, after going back to NGO work, I lost touch with the friends I made in this small company.
A couple of years ago, thanks to Facebook, I got in touch with Remy and Millette once again. We made arrangements to see each other right away but for many reasons the plan only materialized yesterday. We set out to have lunch to catch up: an 11.30am appointment at Landmark.
By 11am I was in a taxi cruising on Buendia when Remy texted that we meet at 1pm instead. Fortunately I had an errand at the Powerplant Mall so I asked the driver to proceed to Rockwell instead. I got the book from National Bookstore, which I won in Jessica Zafra’s blog, and returned to Landmark by 12 noon.
I decided to read the book while waiting and ordered McDonald’s cheap but great coffee and a Twister Fries at Landmark’s Food Center. Only when I sat down did I realize I was looking at the sorriest Twister Fries I had seen ever. It looked re-fried many times, with thin twirls that didn’t match the photo in their menu. Thankfully the coffee remained great. The book and the coffee carried me through the 40-minute wait.
When they showed up, we decided to eat at Super Bowl of China Glorietta because we all love Chinese food, plus the restaurant’s big servings, which suits eating family-style. We got to talking and catching up while eating, stretching the lunch for almost 3 hours. We laid out the last 14 years for each other’s perusal, holding it out for inspection at times. Triumphs, trials, births, deaths–literal and otherwise. Then we went to Starbucks for post-prandial coffee and more catching up.
We parted ways at around 6.30pm, promising to see each other again sooner than the 14-year gap that occurred. It was great to see and to reconnect with these friends again. As before we made travel plans. I’m hoping it materializes.