Elementary. Gradeschool. That period of schooling when you don’t have problems at all. You need not worry about what you’ll eat, where you’ll eat, what you’ll do, and what you’ll do next. Your only problem would be how you’ll get back at your classmate who beat you in a game of Pick Up Sticks and Jackstone. Or how you’ll strengthen your legs just so you could cross over the Chinese Garter in its level five and above. And maybe practice your running some more so you won’t be easily tagged in Langit-Lupa. Perhaps you should also focus on memorizing the prepositions in relation to the steps of the stairs so that you will win next time in In-On-Under-Over-Outside.
Me? I went through all of these things. That was how happy-go-lucky elementary was. I went to school, took quizzes and quarterly exams, recited, prepared answers to assignments, and played until I was all sweaty and my blouse was dirty white from the dust. Most of all, I made lasting friendships in elementary. [Oh, couldn’t you believe I did?]
In my recent trip to Manila, I made time to meet with two of my closest friends from grade school – Gen and Sweet. We were classmates since grade two and only separated in grade six when the star section was halved into Love and Kindness. I was assigned to Love. The two of them where in section Kindness.
We were separated further in high school. Sweet transferred to another school which was a coed Science-oriented institution. Gen and I stayed in our all-girls Catholic school. The ‘sectioning’ though were done at random. Gen and I never got the chance to be in the same section in those four years. All three of us made friends with other people er, classmates, too.
Come college, Gen and Sweet became schoolmates at UP. I was left in Bicol and nurtured four years of majoring in student activities while tumbling about in my Political Science degree.
Despite the years of separation, the degree of closeness has not ceased. Though we haven’t seen each other in years, we tried to get in touch with each other. Social networking sites such as Friendster and the proliferation of the SMS got our friendship back on track. I remember during my birthday in 2005, the three of us – Sweet, Gen and I with our perennial class prexy, Ate Dors – had lunch at Caby’s Cabana. After that lunch, we had coffee at Beanbag in Magsaysay. That was perhaps the last time that we got together.
So yes, as I earlier said, we met again during my recent trip to Manila. It was a real fun night. Cheekay and Tin joined us for dinner. We tried making kumusta of how things are in our respective lives. Plus a whole lot of kabag laughter in between.
Yes, we may have grown to be the mature persons that we are, worked our way to our respective lives, and trod different paths through different crossroads. But the friendship remained. True, it may have not been apparent through a number of years. Yet, there is that invisible bond of friendship that has bundled us three. I did miss being in elementary when life was the least complicated. I am thankful, though, for the fact that we have all moved on yet we did not forget each other – who we were and who we are now. 🙂
So yes, I have my set of high school friends, college friends, YFC friends, fraternity-sorority friends, former officemates-friends. And yes, I do have my elementary friends. Do you?