|Edgar 'Egai' Elguerra (1969-2012)|
Remember our early grade school days?
Hurrying to the canteen during recess.
Finding a place to enjoy our snacks.
Playing around the school grounds,
(naalala mo lumulusot tayo dun sa may dulo ng waiting shed para tumakas minsan?)
buying street food behind the school gates,
while waiting for our 'sundo?'
And then the time when we were allowed to go home alone?
Sometimes, we would walk together.
Even though I am supposed to be turning left and you turning right.
But we simply needed the short walk to chat up,
to look at the baskets of goodies sold by the street vendors,
to buy some yummy street food.
Then high school.
You went to the boy's school next door.
I remained loyal to the girl's school.
But everytime I would see you, I would always call your name.
Greet you, chat a bit, ask about your mother.
(Remember, my mother and your mother got to know each other, too)
I am embarrassed to admit,
I don't even know where you graduated.
I don't even know your degree.
But I saw you in Buendia.
I was on a stroll with some friends.
You were sitting inside David's Salon!
Of course, Egai, you the ever flawless one.
We greeted each other like we've never been apart for a long time.
Again, I asked about your mom.
In return, you asked about mine.
We exchanged contacts;
and parted with cheer.
Because from then on,
there were text messages between us.
Long, long years after our last meet.
You came during a reunion organized for my honorable pleasure :-)
I cannot believe you still look the same, as flawless as can be.
That smile, that smile!
Then came more mini reunions.
Staying in touch was great.
Staying in touch brings not only joy.
Especially when we learned that you were battling with cancer.
The night before I read about your condition,
I was already thinking about you.
I don't know why.
So, I scrambled to reach out to you.
Me, stupid, I didn't realize we were not friends in Facebook!
I poked you and you responded immediately.
That's when I started looking forward to your wall updates.
Surprisingly, all of them, positive.
All of them happy.
I thought, Egai, Egai -- you're really one of a kind!
And those gimmick photos? Inggit!
And then, dear Egai, you left us last Monday.
I can't believe it.
How dare you leave us?
You are supposed to celebrate your birthday yesterday pa!
You are supposed to turn 43!
Oh, but I understand.
I think you dared because you have been ready for a long time.
I think you dared because you know it is best to celebrate up there.
I think you dared because you would have more peace.
I think you dared because you know we would have loved you even though...
A friend told me, she refused to accept that you are gone; she kept on calling your mobile phone.
Another one shared your short text message with 'ehem' in which she responded with 'pssst.'
And then there's those shared text messages of positivism,
those FB wall updates of encouragement,
those missed TGIF shouts...
As for me, I have been chanting your name over and over and over again in my head --
Egai, Egai, Egai, Egai
You are missed, you know.
How much, I am sure you know.
And that smile? We will not forget.
And hey, a special request, try to look for Shiela Deyro and Ana U.
Para meron kang ka-gimmik there.
Sayang lang, you cannot share photos anymore though.
Egai, thanks for being a friend.
You will live in our hearts.
And those tears we shed?
Those are tears of joy,
that you are not hurting anymore.
Pero lintek ka, kami naman hurting ngayon. Hay, Egai, ikaw talaga!
P.S. Egai, aren't we lucky that we have thoughtful batchmates rallying around us?