Before settling down for a low-cost housing loan, I had been leap-hopping from one boarding house to another here in Ilagan. At the boarding house, I always kept myself busy, sometimes staring at some wall or ceiling, as if I‘m thinking extremely intelligent thoughts so that anyone who happens to glance at me will hopefully feel that I shouldn‘t be interrupted. But I was always interrupted by someone with usual greeting of “ikaw ba si kuya Alvin, bagong boarder?” That’s the starting point difficult to ignore that certainly ignites an acquaintance of some sort. Sometimes people are nice, but some just choose to rain on our parade. I guess, the most important talent any person can possess is the ability to make and keep friends. Yet, there are no courses or curriculum for this. Here, we’re pretty much on our own.
Words won‘t say enough, but stored images is a digital link to open doors to the past that were slammed shut by time, and in the process setting friendship on radically divergent paths against the backdrop of forgetfulness. I‘d like to tell you something close to my heart, a-moment-turned-to-memory stuff that chronicle one December night, year 2009 – an experience to remember forever. I think I will never succeed in telling to you how fun this way, how much it felt like a little adventure along the lines of scaling Calamagui Hills Ilagan by night. We camped and share thoughts, serious thoughts like choosing a life of transient safety or one of riskier rewards. Six years have passed, but all these are stored in my external hard drive, a total recall of everything nearly-foolish and care-free.
We live in a world defined by its boundaries. We can‘t travel faster than the speed of light. We must grow old and ultimately die. Some just die young. People come and go. Our friends leave us. We can‘t escape these boundaries. Sometimes, we may find the loss as an intolerable injustice. When we will be able to meet again is a maddening ambiguous question shrouded in uncertainty. But the miracle of hope of human consciousness is that we can still conceive of boundlessness, an ending that bring new beginning.
With the advent of new technology in an age of information overload, we can easily keep tab or track long-lost friends. I agree with some people who dislike the phrase “FB friends” or “internet friends” because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends – that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Facebook or text messaging. The measure of friendship is not on its physicality, but its significance. Good friendship, online or off urges us toward empathy, they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prison of ourselves. Just lately, I was able to track down two of them through Facebook. And the renewed friendship even gets better with age!
Old photographs remind us to embrace life with all its uncertainties, and most of all cherish the joyful times, both small and momentous, and the wonderful people who made them possible.