I’ve known Grace for more than 5 years. We used to be officemates and then when our office transferred to Alabang we became housemates. Now we’re just friends haha! In 2001 the ASP Convention was held at Cebu. Both of us were fortunate enough to be able to go then even though we weren’t associates. The company has this rule where associates and fellows are the ones who can go every year and then the other staffs may go alternately each year. We enjoyed traveling together so after that we made a pact to go out of town every year – just the two of us. This is our treat for ourselves after the May SOA exams (SOA exams were used to be held every May and December).
Hence the following year, we headed up north to Banaue/Sagada. We didn’t go anywhere in 2003 because we both just transferred to different offices then (wala moolah). We then went to Marinduque the year after that.* Sorry no pictures of those trips because neither of us have digital cameras then. The white sand beaches of Boracay was next in our agenda.
I also visited her once in Hong Kong when she was assigned there.
And then last year we went to Puerto Princesa.
It’s sad that on our the last summer before she goes to the States, we didn’t prepare for any out of town trips. Maybe next year I can come visit her in the States or she can come home and we’ll go the beaches here in the Philippines which I’m sure she’ll miss.
The weekend after her birthday, we threw her a despedida. We rented out a house at Tagaytay and stayed there overnight. The house is really cute.
When My and her family arrived, we went tripping to Chateau Royale. Nice place to have an outing. In fact, our division will go here this summer (but I won’t go).
Mikaelle loved the playground. We liked it, too!
We had lunch at a new Italian resto Piccolo Mondo. The resto boasts of authentic Italian dishes. We figured either the owner is an Italian who married a Filipana or the owner is a Filipina/Filipino who worked in Italy. It turned out it was the latter. A little funny story about the owners son who’s about 3 to 4 years old: there’s a dog in the resto and little boy called to it: ‘doo-ge’ as in Visayan doggy? hehehe
In the afternoon, we visited Lyndon’s house at Royale Tagaytay. Lyndon was a former boss of Grace.
Dinner was at Leslie’s.
When we got back home and all washed up and ready to go to bed, we gave Grace our going-away gift for her – coat and complete manicure-pedicure set. She loved them!
Tonight, we’ll be seeing her again for dinner. Another send-off to my dear friend. I think, I’m just starting to realize that by tomorrow we’ll be miles away from each other. No more dinners, no more late night movies, no more out of town trips. Shit! I don’t want to cry tonight. I’m such a cry-baby. I remember when they had their despedida for me when I left the company we worked for (I left a few months before her), I was bawling like a little girl. Haayy…I don’t want to say ‘goodbye’. I will just say ‘see you soon’ and ‘thank you’.
*Erratum to my Puerto Princesa post.
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