Thursday, September 25, 2008

journeys with yesterdays

I have been blessed with so many great friends - but these are two who are definitely worth blogging about... For my art exhibit in China last August, two long time friends who also happened to be my classmates since kindergarten all the way to primary school and high school (in college, we all went to the same university as well, but different departments) went all the way to Beijing to join me in my exhibition... We had been out of touch for a long time after moving abroad, but when I broke the news to them of my olympic invitation, they all found a way to meet up!


Karl, one of my best buddies, traveled around 10,388 kilometers from Auckland, New Zealand to Beijing and spent almost a day on the plane. He took time from his work in the land of Frodo and Middle Earth where he has been living for the past three years. Among us, Karl had the most relaxing journey to China - flying with ease onboard Air New Zealand bringing with him a bagful of exotic cheese as pasalubong for us!

Karl has the least possibility among the two to come because he had just came from a month-long vacation in the US and his boss is definitely not giving him another break from work... but with much persistence and convincing, his boss agreed and he even extended his China trip to a couple of days in Japan! Details are sketchy of what he did to his boss to get an approval, but he made it!



Elaine on the other hand, traveled from Iloilo to Manila, then Manila to Hong Kong - covering around 1,561 kilometers. From Hong Kong, she journeyed by train to Guangzhou, stayed a day, then took another train again going to Beijing. The train ride alone covered a distance of 1,887 kilometers and took her almost 24 hours! On the way back, since most of the train seats were fully taken because of the closing of the games, her trip had to take twice that long because she had to do stops in a couple more cities around China!

Among the three of us, her journey was the most gruelling and nerve wreaking (not to mention plucking heaven and earth just to get a measly 7-day Chinese visa in Cebu!) - and I truly admire her for that... think of it as a field training for her as she is preparing to move to the United States in a couple of months...

After my own gruelling journey of crazy flights (Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Hong Kong - Beijing) covering around 3,490 kilometers, we met up in Beijing in the hotel and spent a couple of days roaming around - reminiscing how we used to take these crazy trips together back when we can only afford weekend trips to Boracay, Tagaytay or Manila!

Two years ago, when I started working in Cambodia, these two also took an arduous journey from Iloilo to Manila to Bangkok. Then, they took a seven-hour bus and taxi ride to the Cambodian border and all the way to Siem Reap to see me and my family (my baby was just born then)!



Since this has become quite a tradition for us, we are saving up for a trip to Vancouver in 2010 for the Winter Games and in London in 2012 for the next Summer Games! Since I ALWAYS pay for their hotel, Elaine has "promised" to buy our airfares to Vancouver and Karl has also "offered" to take care of London. Right, Karl and elaine???!!!

Now where do you get friends like them?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always tell myself that friends are my only investment. Siguro, am going bankrupt like the banks in the US but I still have a few who still cling with me through thick and thin. I salute your friendship. Hats off to the three of you and to your parents that raised you up with the best that you three made up. And you three are very beautiful. Karl is awesome. His charm exhudes even from far. I was not surprised when he was able to convince his Japanese boss. Hugs and kisses to the three of you. But any update on that art exhibit? Please let us peek and give us a review. Does Karl and Ellaine blog? Link me up. please. Thanks.

the spool artist said...

You're right, friends are immeasurable and priceless! When all is lost and hopeless, count on real friends to put you back on track... that has happened to me so many times already. karl's family took me in actually when i ran away from home when i was still in high school and helped me patch things up with my mom. elaine on the other hand has been an encouragement and a great cheerleader... making it a point to attend all my art exhibit openings!

And of course, one of my great friends in college is now my wife -Faith.

I don't think Karl and elaine have blogs... but i sure will encourage them to make one!

blagadag said...

Wow, so Karl is like a surrogate brother pa pala. abaw gid. di la pala good looks, from within pa gid ya ang beauty nya. so faith is the most lucky one. dont you worry, in her next travel abroad, i guess she would send you sms now that you have realized how sad it is to have no communication. please do visit my blog, too. expressmuah.blogspot.com. am a newbie and perhaps you could teach me how to place a picture in the middle or a certain part of the story. i wanna edit m previous post, too. i hope you wont mind, am a gay man. am harmless, pwamis.

KRIS JASPER said...

Aww, that reminded me of my friends...
nice, innit?

my bestfriends are my friends since 198_ (ayaw ko ngang mabuko age ko. lol) and it covers a span of nearly _ decades.

I think I have done something right to deserve them.

salingPUSA said...

ANU BA MASASABI kundi totoo. lagi sinasabi sakin dati tita ko, it's not what you know, it's who you know. I thought it's unfair. It is is unfair if you find friends because of that reason alone. But if you do it because you believe in the value of human relationships, that spells a lot of difference........

the spool artist said...

@blagadag: i checked out your blog... seems like you figured placing a photo one way or another... what i do is i actually upload my photos in flickr.com and link them to my blog. that way, the bandwidth that your blog consumes is minimal... you've got an interesting blog as well... thanks for the link!

@kris jasper: don't worry, your age probably doesn't have that much connection on how you look now! i'm sure your friends would say you're still 25!

@salingpusa: the act of finding friends can take on different forms and circumstances... i used to befriend someone in grade school just for the fact that he has a whole load of Lego toys... but he also ended up being one of my good friends! I've got also bitter enemies and rivals in school who turned out to be good friends in the end as well. Friendship doesn't have boundaries at all..... are you back from singapore??

Justin said...

Looks like you guys had a great time :) Hey i found a great travel site that i think you will really like, baraaza.com

the spool artist said...

thanks justin, i'm checking the site now! cheers!

Neil Alado said...

I also have a set of friends that i been with since d pa ko marunong masoot ng brief...hehehhehe...

You really travel a lot talagang nakakaingit ka...hehehehe.

Hope to see more post from you soon.

KRIS JASPER said...

hey, i thought of dropping by to say I'll add you in my list of fave bloggers. Not because you're also an ilonggo like me. lol. and that reply, I saw it. that age thingy... lol... that has actually lifted my spirit up on this miserable sunday morning. What a nice thing to say.

RONeiluke, RN said...

hays... it's really nice to meet up with old friends, savoring new worlds... hays... that trip to China was really a highlight. very cool :) naalala ko tuloy yung tv series na friends... hehehe!

the spool artist said...

@neil: thanks! well, you do travel a lot as well! i enjoyed your negros sojourns... keep the posts and pics coming!

@kris jasper: thanks for adding me up kris!

@roneiluke: oh friends! i truly miss that show... don't we all wish we have our own monica, rachel, chandler, joey, ross and phoebe? yup, our trip to china really proved how far we would go for each other! hope you find friends like them too!

Dakilang Islander said...

grreat friends indeed! biro napakalayo nyo sa isa't isa at nagawa nyo pang magkitakita...kainggit yong plan nyo for london and vancouver hah..hehh

alex said...

you and your pals are miles apart but still you find time to see each other at abroad pa!!

amazing friendship...

the spool artist said...

@dakilang islander: bro, ang tagal mo yatang nawala sa blogosphere? hehehe. plano lang yung london and vancouver... libre naman mangarap... lol

@alex: yup, it was great to see them in a brand new place after years of not seeing each other!

RONeiluke, RN said...

yeah! it would be nice to have friends as twisted as them! hahaha! i won't stop laughing! hahaha! i was so addicted to friends. they never failed to make me laugh. i have close friends too... hope we could meet up in China someday.. hehehe!

---

thanks for the comment :) and thanks for taking time to read my prose and poetry. it means a lot :)

the spool artist said...

ron, see you in london sa 2016! hehehe. i enjoy reading your poetry and prose because i see so much of myself in your writing... i have completely fallen in love with the pen when i was younger, but sadly, i wasn't able to push that passion because i chose my brush and paint over it. i hope that you'd keep that flame burning longer even of you are already a practicing nurse!

sherwin said...

true friends are treasures..ur lucky to have them..loven(ayan feeling close na ako,first name basis agad..hehe)add kita sa bloglost ko ha para di na kita i google..fan mo na ako.hehe.ingat..

the spool artist said...

thanks for adding me up, sherwin! looking forward to see more posts from you as well... cheers!

chezza said...

Lovely friends you've got there :) They say, in your lifetime where best friends surround you, you will only find the bestest of the best in your wife/ husband's. Like you, my bestfriend is my husband. And I think its true.

elaine said...

halu labentot! thank you very much for making us a part in one of ur topics in ur blog. i will always cherish our trips to cambodia and china. always remember that i will always be there for u and karprich. i will always continue to be an encouragement and a cheerleader to the both of u. i really appreciate our friendship and u guys really mean a lot to me. Im so PROUD to be ur friend!

and to all u guys, thank u for the comments. thank u for appreciating and believing in our friendship. God bless! :)

next stop...london or wherever God may lead us!!!

*mUahUgZ*

the spool artist said...

@chezza: wow, it's great to know you married your best friend as well! it truly is remarkable spending the rest of your life with someone who knows and accepts every single part of you... we'll be watching out for more adventures from you!

@elaine: now, i can never imagine beijing without you guys! you made it so much fun and it felt like the entire city belonged to us... that theater dance in the subway... and getting the tickets to the closing ceremonies... and the endless foodtrip... and of course... breaking the Great Wall! hahaha... I will be looking forward to our next sojourn!