in fifth grade, a group of sixth graders who call themselves amico permai (which they said means “friends for life”) set up a private meeting with my barkada. they said they’ve been looking for successors because they will be graduating soon. they said they’ve been watching our group and figured we fit the bill–a bunch of smart, good-looking and popular girls like them, ha-ha-ha! i know, it’s so gossip girl. they said we’d be called unica hijas and eventhough none of us were an only daughter we agreed.
prior to that meeting, the five of us were already bffs. may, je, babes and i have been friends since kindergarten. and rio immediately clicked with us when she transferred to our school in third grade. we spent our formative years together sharing secrets, talking about our crushes in codes and whispers and stuff like that. pretty normal.
after graduation, may, je and i went into the same high school while babes and rio attended two different schools. so may, je and i eventually lost touch with babes and rio. sometimes, we would still hear from babes. as for rio, we met up with her in high school only once when she treated us out for her birthday. their family moved around a lot and when finally the cellphone era arrived we had no way of locating her to get her number.
after high school, may, je and i went into different colleges but i was able to keep in touch with them online and via sms, and meet up with them once in a while. it was also the case with babes (i was even able to attend her debut). we lost all forms of communication with rio.
maintaining the already thin lines between each other became harder after college. i still get updates from may, je and babes but meet-ups turned from occasional to rare. for a time, i even lost touch with may.
in 2008, babes and i became reconnected when she got me to be her son’s godmother. one time, the two of us thought of visiting je and since then the three of us would communicate regularly. that’s when we started thinking about getting all five of us to meet again.
it was an amazing day. we met for lunch at shakey’s and ended up lounging around je’s place like we used to in grade school. nothing fancy. but the fact that after so many years, all five of us were finally together in one place was enough for us to believe that friendships, at least for us, really don’t have endings.