"May boyfriend ka na?"
That was me asking her on my second day at East West Bank.
And that was that, really. Lumabas na agad ang ka-kikayan at ka-badingan namin. It was so easy being friends with her because we were in the same age bracket. Lahat ng mga kwento namin from our past, nag-connect! At pati mga kalokohan, ka-dramahan at pagka-bitch namin nag-connect din!!! She was one of the very few friends I had na tipong, isang tingin lang namin, alam na namin ang iniisip ng isa't-isa, at parati pa yang perfect timing. As in, one moment, one look, one naughty smile--ayus! Gets nya at gets ko na rin. Friendship-wise, ito yung tinatawag ko na "magic".
Our friendship had stood the test of time. We've experienced a lot: laughter, tears, drunken nights bitching about people that matter to us, coffee-induced sessions cursing our workload at the office, losing loved-ones and gaining them back again, milestones, frozen margarita nights at TGIF's, crying over frustrations, going thru health problems, travelling while working, working while travelling, consulting each other of career endeavors, comparing notes on long distance relationships, sharing dreams and hopeful realisms, comforting words to soothe our fears, sharing good and bad news, falling out of our friendship only to find our way back to each again.
There's probably a lot more. With about eight years of friendship, we seemed to have experienced it all together. And even with so much physical distance between us now, we have amazingly grown much much closer. Kumbaga sa isang love affair, meant talaga itong friendship na ito :).
And because it's Armi's special day today, this entry is especially dedicated to her as I show you some snapshots of our beautiful journey as friends:
With some of our original EW HR family during our gimiks nights --- bowling ito! We were the Yellow Lemon Team :)
With Nonah and the Tarsiers in Bohol. We conducted training in Cebu one weekend and before going back to Manila, we made a sidetrip to Tagbilaran City to sightsee.
With Mama Jules. We were inside the training room attending an HR Meeting. This photo was taken on a Monday afternoon, we looked so tired here because we spent the weekend coordinating an out-of-town training.
With Janis and Rizza in Laguna, one of HR Family's Summer Outings.
During one of the many Self-Grounding Workshops we conducted for EWBC in La Corona, Pagsanjan, Laguna.
With the HR Family during one EW's Christmas Parties. This one was held at the 53rd floor of PBCom Tower.
With Joanne, Rizza and Mabel at Armi's Bridal Shower. I was a proud Maid of Honor at her wedding in May 2005.
The last time Chris and I saw her before we left Manila in October 2005. She was about four months pregnant with Gab, who later became my godson.
Our sweet and happy reunion in December 2006. Two days after arriving in Manila, we had lunch and coffee at Greenbelt. Chika and halakhakan galore. :)
With Joanne (my Maid of Honor), Armi (my Matron of Honor) organized my bridal shower for me in Manila.
And of course, on my wedding day :)
So many photographs, so many memories. Armi touched my life in so many ways. If I had a twin sister, that would probably be her. And now that she is celebrating her birthday today, the only gift I could give her is to let her know that my life is happier because I was blessed to know her as a friend.
My dearest Armi, happy happy birthday!!!! You deserve all the best in the world because you are beautiful inside and out. Time will pass and everything around us will change, and will can also change but I (together with Chris) will always be here for you and your family. Remember always that you are one of the best friends I have in this lifetime. I love you :)