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Reunion at the Graveyard

November 21, 2017

Reading the title feels like a title of a book or a chapter of a fiction story, I guess this is just my hangover to all the series I binge-watched during my 9-days’ vacation leave I took during Halloween season.  I’m in for a travel but you see, my friends say they are broke, one say’s she’ll not travel, unless it’s free //shakes head in disagreement//

Anyway, I know this is random but I decided to write this down since my mind is full of random story plots; I need to release some creative juices. I don’t have time (yet) to go back to writing full time, I wish I could. So, I decided to write few happenings during my mini-vacation.

I had a terrible cough during those time, hindering me to eat things sweet and even go outside since the weather is not cooperating, it rains during afternoons and dawn tends to be so cold. It was a perfect weather to watch all those pending series, from animes, movies, Asian and Western series, I also played a lot with my dog and my little sister, hang-out with co-adulting friends but one highlight on my mini-vacation is my senior high school class reunion at the graveyard.

You might be wondering what type of class we are during our senior year? What types of class do reunions or gathering at the graveyard? I’m thinking we are the only class who do reunions like this, maybe there are some, I really don’t know! For those who know me personally ever since high school who stumbled upon this blog, I think you already know the reason but to those who are not, curious now?

Class of 2008-2009, Year 4, Section Coral //Stop counting my age, please// How should I describe my class? The typical one, I guess. Despite how average our class is, average because we don’t really stand out that much, our section is third from the Basic Education Curriculum, so including the only Special Science Class, ours is fourth to those, let’s say geniuses from 19 or 20 senior classes (I forgot). Not bad, right? Despite that, our class is quite the intact or close one, for a lack of a better term. We were sort of a good team. I can’t remember any bullying acts within our class. Everyone is a friend, maybe not close, but we really get along with each other. There are a lot of things happened in a span of one class year, like putting a hole on the chalkboard, Red Cross Youth Training Camp, National Career Assessment Examination, stealing a rare red plant and caught red-handed to senior graduation. Nope, we don’t have Prom, sorry.

I know someone wished graduation season never came, that the class will just go on forever. But time needs to move, we all have our future ahead of us, but in that future, unfortunately, one of our classmates is not included. During our graduation practice, news broke. Floriegen, held her last breath at their own residence. In the middle of graduation practice, on our graduation march rehearsal, the whole section Coral cried (maybe, not all, you know, the tough acting peps). Immediately after the rehearsals, some of us went to her house and there we saw her raw lifeless body, with oxygen tanks on her side, her being held by her crying mother.

It wasn’t new to us that she has heart illness, we thought it was cured. It was beyond our expectation that senior year will be her last. To be honest, I’ve only known her since junior year. Please don’t be confuse, there’s no K12 yet on our time, so I basically got to know her for approximately 2 years but she is already a familiar face, we were schoolmate in Elementary and I knew we were neighbors, I’m just the type who prefer to stay indoors /hikikomori blood/, plus, both of our fathers are high school batchmate, same school we attended. You know, a small town of Ormoc.

You would really notice her because you will think she’s  an Elementary student wearing a high school uniform. She is really small despite her age. She is a very little fragile thing. During gym class, err—PE class rather, she’s always excluded. I never bother to ask her condition because I don’t know, I feel like it was like a silent law that her condition is a taboo topic. There was just a rumor circulating that when she was young, she underwent an operation because heart was on the right side when our heart is supposed to be on the left side, so I thought she was okay, she has a different set of close friends, maybe they know what’s the medical term but seriously, no one expected her to die at a young age of 15. I planned to ask her family what was her life condition, did the surgery when she was young went well or not? Or that surgery was just to prolong her life but not cure it totally? Or there was a life expectancy sort of thing? I lost my chances of asking because we have also had our own life to attend to, college, future. Yes, we moved on but we never forget. That’s why almost every year; we have our mini-reunion on her graveyard.

//Reunion at the Graveyard 2017 Edition//

Trip down memory lane first!

Photo credits: Jeilla Dawat

 

My most fond memory of her was she was the very first who invited me to attend Misa De Gallo, yes, not my parents or relatives but only Ploy-ploy, her nick. I think she invited most of her classmates who were her neighbors because it is convenient to just hitch a ride on the way than her very close friends who live several barangay away from ours.  I was really hesitant to go with her during our junior years because, first, will my parents allow me? Two, waking up at dawn is such a drag. Three, it will be awkward to be with her family. To my surprise, it will just be her who will be attending the mass and my parents agreed without any further question, as long as I can go home in one piece. To be honest, I got persuaded by the whole thing about wishes being granted upon completion of the dawn masses and I never tried attending mass at dawn or go to church without my family, so, we both go. Sometimes, a guy classmate, also a neighbor would also come with us but most of the time, it was just the two of us. I can’t really remember but I think we managed to complete it by riding every single day on their tricycle for transporting animals, we call it, ‘Tangkal-Tangkal’, it was an open-air vehicle so it was freezing on the way to church. That’s was the time where I got Hi’s and Hellos of an acquaintance.

I forgot what my wish was at that time, maybe college stuff or graduating high school without a glitch and I never bother to ask what’s her wish too. Now that I think about it, maybe her wish was to get well. I really can’t tell. If only I asked and knew, I could have wish for her to get well too.

When we were senior years, we still attended Misa De Gallo together but she wasn’t able to complete it. There were days, that we would attend together, her looking pale and coughing from time to time, I would ask her if she’s okay, she would just brush me off and smile. There was also a time that I waited for her and their ‘Tangkal-Tangkal’ at the corner near our house but it was only her father who would just offer me a ride on the way to church because Ploy-ploy can’t make it because she’s sick. I really felt sad because I know how very dedicated she was to complete it.

I also remembered during our senior year Christmas vacation; we spent a day at their house with some neighbor classmates because she can’t go out of their house, we ate some left-over from their Christmas Noche Buena. That was also the time I notice some random medicines at their living room table, I ask if it was hers, she said yes, followed by another question of what is it for, she shrugged off my question and we all got distracted watching horror videos at youtube that time and watched Beyonce’s Single Ladies MV over and over again. Precious, youtube, and Friendster.

Last quarter of the school year, that was the time when she rarely goes to school. Our adviser would say she and her parents went to Cebu for her regular check-up and stuff; we really have no idea what was going on. Until one time, one classmate blasted a group message that she just passed away; it was night time, so I went to my classmate house that sent the group message to check if it was true, most of us who were neighbors raided their house to check but everything seems to be normal. Ploy-ploy got shocked why we are in their house; I was the one who showed her the group message on my Nokia 1110 about her news passing away. She just laughed it off and every one of us was so happy of relief and for seeing her alive and kicking after being absent during graduation practice and all. Old people say that if a person got caught up in a news being dead or proclaimed dead even if that person was still alive, that person will live longer. We have stick to that, ‘tinohoan sa katiguwangan’.

Her mother was crying so we felt sorry that time about barging in but after they let Ploy-ploy rest that time, her mother confronted us about Ploy-ploy’s condition, her mother did not elaborate that much, what I was able to process at that time is that she is sick, a heart related one, she asked us to be strong and pray for her. Despite what the doctor has said to them, her mother was positive that Ploy-ploy will get through those tough times. We also stayed positive.

Going back, everyone is very excited because finally, high school is almost over, not until the news of her passing away broke off and this time it was really for real. Instead of her sitting on the chair, it was just a flower during graduation. The whole class feels incomplete. It would really be nice to graduate with the whole class. We have our own timeline, as they said. The thing is, the end of our timeline is unpredictable.

For Ploy-ploy, her life may be short but she was our secret bond, an invisible thread intertwining us her classmate to always get along with each other. We wouldn’t have reunions every year without her, we will just have to meet our own circle of very close friends during high school and not with the whole class, some can’t attend due to circumstances but I know Ploy-ploy will understand. I’m really glad to meet her in this timeline. Thank you for inviting me to attend the Misa De Gallo.

I don’t know if you can hear my thoughts while writing this Ploy, but you are always in our heart. Please continue to tell God to watch over us here your classmates.

You think this is just some sort of feels, coming of age, drama, slice-of-life story I made up and I know this is a potential plot but it really happened. I was actually hesitant to share this since this is a very personal experience. Thank you for reading anyway. It’s quite long since I’ve been very pensive lately trying to sort out some thoughts.


You, what was your high school life like? Was it memorable like mine?

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