Saturday, May 05, 2007

Old Friends

“Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”
- lyrics from a song

When I read the blog of Freeze, she mentioned friends whom she kept in touch since her 1st grade. She also felt the pain her friends are undergoing right now. And at the end of her post, she wrote, “…friends live within the heart”.

I really admired their long-running friendship. I, too, wondered where my friends are. I remember the names of Loloy, Nonoy, Rodin, Larry, Lemuel, Dennis, all from my elementary school days.

Loloy is a godson of my Lola. Nonoy is a neighbor’s son. Both acted as my older brothers when I studied grade 1 in Misamis Occidental. I was 5 then and they were 10. I don’t really know their real names, but I remember how they taught me climb guava trees and ride a carabao.

The last time I heard, Loloy went to work in Malaysia via the back door. Nonoy got married and settled in another province in Mindanao.

Dennis is a neighbor during my elementary years. He’s my first friend when we were just new in the neighborhood. We’re of the same grade level but he studied in a different school. I always felt that he belittled my school. But I understand at that time that kids like to brag. He’s also the first kid whom I had a fistfight. He’s bigger than any other kid his age, and he bullied me that time. I threw the first punch straight to his stomach. He grimaced in pain and cried. I cried too. For three days we avoided each other. My dad talked to me about it, and asked me to do the first step in the reconciliation. I did, and we became closer after that. When we transferred residence, I also failed to get in touch with him. I later learned that he got married and transferred to another city in the Metro.

Rodin, Larry and Lemuel were my bestfriends in elementary school. Rodin died of pneumonia when we were in our second year high school. I was already at UP while they remained at the newly opened national high school in our baranggay. They told me about his death but I kept postponing my visit until I forgot about it that day when he was to be buried. Their house was only 500 meters from ours.

Larry, they told me, had a nervous breakdown in high school. He recovered though but his family transferred to another baranggay. I haven’t seen him for almost 2 decades now.

The last time Lemuel and I got in touch was around 6 years ago. We promised to meet up during his child’s christening but I backed out at the last minute due to another forgotten commitment that day. That was the last time I heard of him.

I pondered and asked myself, “Am I not good at reaching out to my friends? Why didn’t they seek me out too?”. I can answer the first question, but the latter is no longer mine. I still have time to reach out now, like the way I connect to my college friends. Perhaps they appeared at a time when I don’t care much about others. But I do now.

20 comments:

fence said...

when i read the title of this entry, i thought you were gonna start talking about me. thank God it has nothing to do with age. harhar

david.edward said...

hay.. i dont like the feeling of losing a friend. my friends complete my whole being.. i dont wanna loose them..

tina said...

wow since 1st grade? i dont think i am in touch with them right now... but we do acknowledge each other when we meet sa mga malls..

ladybug said...

Hirap akong mag-keep in touch with college friends, grade 1 pa kaya??? hehehe....depende yata talaga sa bawat tao at sa sitwasyon yan.

tin said...

maybe you've been chasing other things that's why you lose to keep in touch with them. I had a friend since my 2nd grade. We may have enrolled in different schools in high school and college, but a minute of phone call holds the tie. I value my friends as how I always value my family. And Im glad that until now, we are still the best of friends.

Francesca said...

friends old or new comes and go due to they have other personal things to do also.
We can meet them again by school reunions, xmas or new year in our hometown, or sometimes we end up meeting them in a nother country!

the things is, they maybe far, but we always cherish the good times we were with them.
I have sooo many friends now in the net, and a yahoo message saying: "ano tsika dyan, musta life?" and we do like that, our world revolves together still.

nostalgic etong post mo laz! mama mia, maya nyan lungkot na rin ako, lol

niceheart said...

I have also lost in touch with many friends because we moved a lot when I was younger. Some friends, I exchanged letters back then. But as we got older, letter have stopped too. But about 5 - 6 years ago, I just decided to write my high school classmates. I still have their addresses that they wrote down in our graduation programme. And a few wrote back. I created a website for our high school batch and now we keep in touch through our website.

Same thing with my elementary classmates. Somebody else started a yahoo group, so that's how we keep in touch.

Since I am abroad, it's really hard for me to attend reunions and to meet them in person. But who knows, when I get the chance to come home, then, we'll have maybe we'll have our mini-reunion. :)

Lazarus said...

fence, you're not old yet. you said you already dyed your hair black. he he he.

david edward, it's really hard losing a friend. Lalo na pag nag-away kayo. Reconciliation is not easy.

tina, it's difficult keeping the same set of friends for years. sa ngayon mostly college and badminton friends ang palaging nakikita ko.

Lazarus said...

ladybug, di ko na matandaan pangalan ng mga grade 1 friends ko. bestfriends ko nung elementary ay grade 4 classmates ko.

tin, siguro if they're connected sa internet, like emails, friendster or ym. Or even cellphone. It's really nice to get in touch with old friends.

freeze said...

thanks for linking me up Lazarus. :)

wow, my blog somehow touched you!

I'm lucky to find life long friends, indeed a rare find.

jho said...

Mahirap yun.

Friendster lang ang way of "keeping in touch" namin ng mga elementary friends ko. May hinahanap pa nga ako e.

Im happy kasi with my high school friends, mas maganda ang communications namin with each other. May mga reunions (though hindi ako madalas kasama).

College naman, irregular kasi ako. No definite barkada/group. Friendster din lang.

zherwin said...

my closest friends are those from high school and former officemates. we get to hang out once in a while but not as often as we used to (as all of us are busy with our own lives) but when we do, it's like we just saw each other yesterday and nothing has changed, the camaraderie's still the same at yung halakhak ng mga totoong tao nandun pa rin.

tutubi said...

nyay

ako rin most of my friends back home disappeared :(

i can't contact them unless they're present on the internet

Toe said...

Really nice post Lazarus! I like especially the story about Dennis and your fight. You may not be in touch with each other... we're all busy with our own lives... but the memories are still there.

Lazarus said...

thanks freeze, for your thoughts on friendship. keep posting more of your thoughts. don't let them freeze.

jho, i've already connected some of my HS friends sa friendster. Ang hinahanap ko ay yung sa ES. Hirap din hanapin if I forgot their names na.

zherwin, the best ang college friends ko, and those I worked with nung first job ko. I guess, we can be ourselves in front of our real friends.

Lazarus said...

tutubi, i tried visiting your site pero di mag load eh. it's difficult to keep in touch with people na medyo, out of touch na rin. those abroad, tapos di pa connected sa internet.

Thanks, Toe! Dennis was taunting me kaya ayun. he he.

Gypsy said...

I ask the same question as you. Why should I make the effort of contacting them--why cant they do that? But I guess somebody has to make the first move. I have lost touch with quite a number of friends--but those I have reconnected with, am thankful I made the first move. :)

tin-tin said...

maybe they don't reach out anymore coz they think you might have forgotten them or you're too busy. as your father said, be the first to reach out :)

vernaloo said...

ahhhh friends..they come and they go.

Got lots of them in elementary and HS and surprisingly, till now we still get to see each other (when I go home during Christmas and Holy Week) and text each other.College friends same thing...

it's true..we meet new friends almost everyday. Sometimes we get too carried away with the new ones that we take for granted na the old ones..entries like these are good reminders :)

Ferdz said...

It's nice to really be in touch with old friends. But I also believe that each person we meet has a certain purpose in our lives at that time. We have a lesson to learn and once we learn that they somehow leave. But them being gone means they're no longer your friends. It just opening up yourself to new people to meet and learn new lessons.