Without friends, we won’t have any identity. But more importantly, without friends, we cannot be someone good, let alone great.
I wouldn’t call myself a good friend. Burning bridges has been so easy to me that you could probably call me a social arsonist. Lately however, I’ve learned to rediscover the value of bonding with other people thanks to my girlfriend who’s a bona fide friend-magnet. The last couple of weekends have made me feel like I’m actually breathing air, and walking the hard concrete, and sweating the cruel heat. This is all because I’ve met, talked, and had fun with more people than I could ever imagine in my life. With new eyes staring at me and new mouths addressing me, I feel more alive than ever before.
The wealthiest and the poorest of us need friends to show us the path. The nature of that path is unimportant because at the end of it all, it is us who will judge whether we lived the life we wanted or not. But without friends, we’d be utterly loss in this jungle of a life. There would be no faces to compare ours to, no bars to overcome, no feelings to immerse ourselves into, no memories to share. There won’t be any us without them.
While new friends and acquaintances are definitely refreshing, nothing is still comparable to the old ones, the worn-out, tried and tested, ancient ones with a look of penetrating knowledge in their eyes. I have a few precious ones and while I don’t want to get mushy fleshing out our relationships, I want to acknowledge how grateful I am for sharing this life with them.
Four years in Kiko, a public high school, had ingrained in me the value of simplicity and daring. Aim high but never forget the fact that you started small, unrefined and probably too honest and loud for the richest and most elegant rooms in the city. My high school friends, a few of them the closest to my heart, have shown me how you can overcome enormous obstacles to be on the very top, or if not on top, surely at a height where you could look down and joke about everyone else below. Indeed, my high school friends are the best teachers of humor, laughter, and everything sunny and light about life.
In college, too, I can’t imagine a better set of pals one could surround himself with, especially in the highly competitive environment of UP. They were there when I needed help inside and outside the library and the pages of the thick stacks of paper we read. Burdened with a load of abstract knowledge, real people have provided me with actual lives and stories that both hurt and tickle. I owe to these people why I achieved so much because they’ve provided me with the inspiration and encouragement to just go ahead and do it.
The reserved man that I am, I can’t promise that I won’t burn any more bridges from now on. Oftentimes, I blame that kind of failure on my laziness and contentedness. Many times, I’ve found life so easy and simple to even reach out to others. But now I’m really giving it my best shot. I want to be out there with these people, traveling to unfamiliar places, downing familiar beer bottles. Hopefully, they’ll get as much from me as I get from them.
I only wish my friends the best in life and hope they’d remember me when they publish their best-selling autobiographies or tell their classic tales to their grandchildren.
This article is dedicated to all my new friends, SMB, and Musketeros, especially my big and strong pal Lele, who just met another great challenge to make him even stronger and better for tomorrow.