Tuesday, December 6, 2011

KCAT CAN: One fine friendship

Friends through thick & thin; thick because Teresa is on the chubby side, and thin because my Madge is so skinny. Hahaha. Teresa is Madge's salbabida, while Madge is Teresa's panungkit. LOL. Anyway, just read my column.

One fine friendship
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza 
December 5, 2011

Whenever Madge introduces me to her old friend from her grade school or high school days, her first line would always be, “She was my best friend in…” I would often tease her that each one of her classmates had become her best friend and we would both laugh.

But there was one person who is best among the rest; she’s Teresa Rivera whom she is friends with since grade school, up until now that they have grandchildren.

Madge is my mom, and Teresa is my aunt. Their friendship grew stronger each day, spanning 35 years that have been filled with laughter, tears, problems, and exciting moments.

I have always admired the solid friendship between Madge and Teresa. I have heard their story since I was a child — of how they fought over Sanrio stickers and stationaries when they were kids, of how as teenagers their petty fights would start when one was not able to accompany the other, of the fun CB (Citizen’s Band) radio days in their teen.

Teresa was a big part of how my parents met through their fondness for CB radio. If there’s an online chat today, there was a CB radio back then that connected and received signals from different antennas. Madge’s call sign was Candypops, while Teresa’s was Lady Apalachicola. Just like any single young teen, they CB’d with boys. That was how Candypops met Longjaw, thanks to Lady Apalachicola. Longjaw was Egay, my father.

Before I was born, they had a big misunderstanding and did not talk to each other for quite some time. My mom was pregnant with me and Teresa told her own mother about this secret. That was the biggest fight they ever had. But a year or two after the big fight, they just both laughed it off and continued being friends through thick and thin.

The two each had their own share of hardships. They were misunderstood, criticized, and backstabbed; but together, they faced and overcame all obstacles.

In 1999, Teresa and her family moved to Bacolod. The communication of the two best friends remained constant; distance didn’t become a problem. They would talk on the phone and mail letters to each other. Now that every mode of communication is possible and accessible through cellphone and the internet, it is like they are together 24/7. They even shared the same illness once, it was like they infected each other with shingles via online.

Their friendship is like the vow in weddings: “For richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health..” They both experienced the lowest points of life. My mom has lupus, while Tita Teresa has hypertension. Both their immune systems are weak, but their laughter and the joy that they both bring aren’t weak at all. It’s from them that I learned how to turn the worst into something positive, light, even humorous. My mom always brought me along whenever they would meet and I would listen to their stories, adventures and misadventures. I came to know the brighter side of life through their stories that even though life has a lot of hurdles and some people would put us down, it is still wonderful and fun, after all.

But above all, their friendship taught me a lot of things that I am living by today. I have learned that friendship without faith is useless. Friendship entails faith in oneself that you’ll remain loyal to this bond, and faith in your friends that you will be for them at all times. The most important of all is the biggest faith in God and in making Him the center of all our relationships. Because of them, I treasure my closest friends because I too want to have the kind of friendship that Madge and Teresa have.

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