A Trip Down Memory Lane
The first time I saw her, she was one of those people who really got into my nerves. We were just college freshmen then, starting our long journey towards that elusive three-lettered title. Our freshmen class, owing to its size, is divided into various groups. I belonged to a different group and she, to another. My small group can’t help but be irate at the way her group conducted themselves.
Their group, comprised mostly of high school achievers, was probably the noisiest of all the groups the younger version of me has encountered. There was an irascible air with the way they acted, towards the professors and towards their fellow students. My group and I can’t help but imitate the way they endearingly called each other “friend.” We did it in a mocking manner, of course. Oh, those days of juvenile fun and immature actions.
During the third trimester of our freshmen year, the class that was once composed of six block sections drastically shrunk to one section comprised of about thirty students. With the shrink in class size, the once divided class inevitably grew tighter. Looking back, I have to admit that this period was one of the most pivotal junctures in my collegiate life.
Klariz June Lumaban. Now that is one toughie name. One can’t help but be intimated by that surname. And boy, did she live up it!
To be honest, my initial impressions of her were quite unpleasant. I found her group, including her, were acting very peevishly. They also have this air of confidence that I once thought was arrogance. I saw them as braggarts. Moreover, her group’s ostentatious displays of their achievements and accomplishments didn’t warm me to any of them either.
Ironically, Klariz was the first one of her group that I first got the chance to know. Belonging to a small class removed barriers to communication and divisions that were once there. But my curiosity was further piqued when I learned that she is my province mate. She graduated from Masla National High School, in Tadian while I graduated from Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School, in the capital town of Bontoc. My astonishment grew further when I learned that my grade six class adviser was her aunt. What a small world we are living indeed!
When my first impressions of her began to change, I began seeing a different person before me. She is very intelligent and very articulate. She excelled in class and participates in every class discussion. She is good in expressing her thoughts and opinions. She was also born a competitor. However, those who don’t know her in person considered her competitiveness as overbearing.
She was also very active in non-academic activities. With the competitor inside her, she joined the collegiate badminton varsity team. She also became part of the collegiate debate club. In fact, when we had a debate in one of my subjects, she was the one who coached me. She was also active in our JPIA club activities. When we were in our senior year, she was elected as part of the Supreme Student Government. It is quite astounding how she found the equilibrium to perform her duties as a student and The way she did this balancing act for four years was simply astounding.
I may have painted the picture of a very strong person. She is. Lest we forget, she is also a human being, subservient to humanly emotions.
There were plenty of challenges she had to overcome. She faced dilemmas but she always find her way out. It is quite ironic that she can barely find any answer to the riddles of her heart. Just like everyone of us, she had encountered heartbreaks, although she never admitted any of them to me. I guess there are just some privileges not extended to male friends. But everybody talks, and it doesn’t take a genius to add one and one! 😀
Yes, she is a champion in everything she does. Unfortunately, she is not (yet) the champion of her heart. But I know that she will have him in His perfect time. After all, everything that is beautiful takes time to develop and flourish.
Magic Warrior Princess
Over the course of our friendship, one of my first impressions of her never changed. That “Lumaban” surname is legit. She is the proverbial warrior princess. Her steely and domineering personality is daunting. If you don’t know her, you might misinterpret it as arrogance. But she’ll prove you wrong, the way she proved me wrong.
As I got to know her better, I learned that her strong personality emanated from the challenges she had encountered along the way. Like a diamond in the rough, she was made to shine brighter by all these frictions. What and who she is right now is a result of years of diligent work and of overcoming daunting obstacles. Her path to success is no different to the path others have endured. But not everyone is as tenacious as she is. She is indeed a Magic Warrior Princess.
But whenever she removes her armor after the battle, the softer side of her shines. At home, she is a dutiful and loving daughter. She is a caring and responsible sister. Her impulsive nature makes her a very good friend. And it doesn’t take a lot to make her smile. She enjoys the company of her friends as much as her friends enjoy her company.
As you celebrate another year of life dear Miss Magic Warrior Princess, I wish you nothing but the best in every endeavor. I pray that He will always guide you and keep you healthy. My biggest wish is that He grant you the Magic Warrior Prince who will make you swoon, who will care for you in times you have stripped your armor, who will carry your armor whenever it becomes too heavy for you to bear, and well, just love you for who you are – the smiling you, the intimidating you, the annoying you, the complicated you and of course, the sweet you.
After nearly a decade of friendship, I wish that you remain the person that you were. I hope that you will be as consistent as that camera-ready smile that have never aged over the years. I wish that the ardor you have for life will keep on flowing. Just keep on smiling. Just keep on being you. And I know that everything your heart desires for will be given to you.
Again, happy birthday my dearest friend! Remain a blessing to your family and to your friends. Never forget to thank the good Lord for everything you have received over the years. Saeng-il chugha hamnida chingu!