I am a relatively friendly person. My social network has gotten so big lately and I absolutely love all my new friends, but for me, few friendships can beat ones that were built during high school. They are the people who have known you since your wonder years, before you discovered glamour and relationships, before social networking sites and anything that can jade you. They know your roots and grew up with you, therefore accepting whatever you’ve become, and would tell you if they like it or not. When things screw up, they’re the ones who’ll be laughing at it with you in the end.
When high school ended, it took with it the regular lunch breaks and dismissal times, hence our regular bonding sessions came to a halt. My high school friends and I (i.e. The Benchwarmers or Benchers named after the benches outside our alma mater where we used to hang out) found new lives after college, yes, but we still kept a one hand hanging on to our little group, trying to get together at least a few times every year.
Seven years later we still were the tight knit group we were in college, albeit with more experiences and juicier stories to share. A few of us now work abroad, several others work with tricky schedules (call centers and hospital shifts) which made planning a get-together even more difficult.
This year, we planned on going on a Tagaytay getaway on December. Hoo boy, that planning stage was a mess. Schedules just wouldn’t meet, money ran short and several other mishaps happened, telling us that cancelling our plans would probably be the best option.
We refused to give up however, and come December 2009, we were on a rickety, rental FX and on our merry way to Tagaytay. We had planned on camwhoring at Sonya’s Garden, horseback riding in Taal and possibly, going to Zipline.
Enter Murphy and his law.
Murphy’s Law dictates that “Anything that can go wrong, will.” It has been proven time and again, that this extremely pessimistic law is true. While we were able to do two out of three on our itinerary, we should’ve known from the beginning that that trip was not going to be a smooth one.
Our balikbayan friend, who was the primary reason why we tried so hard to organize this get together, got sick on the road trip going to Tagaytay. We underestimated the cost of the trip, so what was supposed to be a horseback adventure up the Taal Crater turned into what I now lovingly call The Shitty Hike (aptly named because of the multitudes of horse dung that littered the trail).
Another friend of ours fell in the lake on the boat ride back from Taal to Tagaytay, and our car broke down in the middle of the long, dark, zigzagging road. By the time we got back to the rest house, we were all tired, cranky, and just a little bit spooked. (You know how easy it is to believe the paranormal when you’re out of the city.)
I was pretty sure by then that everyone was already regretting that they spent so much time and effort, not to mention MONEY, on this messed up trip.
Surprise , surprise. It took only some instant noodles (the only things we were able to grab from the grocery before it closed; we got there too late),a couple of bottles of Gilbey’s Premium and a bath for us to get back into a festive mood. Before long, we were already laughing again, reminiscing our favorite high school moments.
Only the awesomest friends would go through all of that and still love you after.
Until next year, Benchers!