(You have to read the previous post in order to appreciate this--sequel nga kasi!)
After experiencing cramps in my hands and feet for driving 3 and a half hours, we finally made it to the very private resort of Buboy (referred to as Leandrino in my previous posts) at 8:30 PM. We headed straight to the rest room and while we were there, I said to Ate Ella that we'll just "Eat and Run". I was too tired to even comb my hair, the thought of asking Mimi where I could lie down and rest did cross my feeble mind.
But when I saw the smiling face of Catsut (Leoncio's nickname), all the pains in my body disappeared! I merrily kissed him and congratulated him on his Silver Wedding Anniversary. He then introduced me to his charming wife Myrna who was too happy to see some of her husband's former classmates. Also present were his Notre Dame High School buddies: Paeng Sunga, the honorable Congressman Doy Pingoy and surprise of all surprises--Nilo! (He didn't know I was coming and I had no idea he already came back from Vietnam)
Nilo and I embraced each other, much to the awe and wonder of my favorite son, Gio. I then introduced him, Eia, and Ate Ella to the crowd. After an exchange of hand shakes, hugs and kisses, we made our way to the buffet table. In between my eating of fresh lumpia, I told Catsut "Kung hindi lang talaga dahil sa yo, hindi ako magtitiis na magdrive ng 3 1/2 hours para pumunta dito. Ikaw lang talaga ang dahilan at nandito ako ngayon."
Buboy then voiced out "Salamat naman Nora sa pagiging truthful mo". With that, the conversation was directed to our elementary grades, when Buboy used to bully me. I assured everybody that although I hated him for six years, he already managed to soften my heart when he visited me at the Coca-Cola Warehouse and asked for forgiveness. Then when I left Coke and took MS IE in CRC, he also visited me there and we indulged ourselves with Red Ribbon's Chocolate Marshmallow cake (cried for days when this was phased out a year later). I remembered we ordered 2 slices but during that time, there was no available cake for slicing. Buboy ended up buying one whole cake and we ate 4 slices at Red Ribbon, the rest I finished in 3 days. When I opened my first shop along Zapote-Alabang Road, Buboy would drop by every time he's in the area. He swore that his mechanic for his sports car in Las Pinas City was the best so he really didn't mind that he had to drive all the way from Antipolo to our place. We would just eat and laugh at each other's life stories whenever we see each other.
So there. For the benefit of everybody concerned, I am officially declaring that what happened between Buboy and me in the past is IN THE PAST. What compelled him to say those nasty things about me in grade school is no longer relevant. I am now happy and relieved that we can talk about the past with humor and laughter.
Going back to our main story, it was a jolly recollection of our elementary experiences--how Leoncio became my constant dance partner from Grade 1 to 6, our crushes, puppy loves and first loves. Then Lorimer came with his son. He was introduced to everybody and when it was my turn to shake hands with him, he was asked if he still remembered me and he answered "How can I forget?" I smiled to myself, thinking how he, his friend Carlito and me posed for several pictures in a photo studio before graduation. It happened 36 years ago and yet I could still remember very vividly that after our photo shoot, they invited me for a light snacks where I honestly admitted (while sipping my 8-oz. bottle of Coke) that my heart belonged to Bert since Grade 3.
After dinner, we joined all the tables (the Elementary Group and the High School Group) and started the Videoke. Of course, our host Buboy initiated the singing spree, followed by Mimi and Nilo. I'm glad I brought Gio with me who belted out "Hero" despite his sore throat (he wanted to sing 'Better Days' but it wasn't included in the list). Lorimer's son also sang and it's no surprise that he had the voice quality of a true artist. He is, after all, a kin of Cesar Banares--the lead male singer of the former ASIN band.
We were having so much fun that we couldn't leave to say goodbye. Nanay called at around midnight, asking me where we were. I told her we were just leaving. True. But then I was told that Buboy's father (our school principal) wanted to see me. I went back inside to say hi to him and he was teary-eyed (out of joy, I hope) when he saw me. He told me "I cannot believe you came here. I always ask Buboy why we don't have visitors from Marbel. Remember the song 'tayo na, sa Antipolo, at doon, maligo tayo?' I can never forget you. You and Buboy always fight". I could have talked with him longer but hey, I have 2 children with me who were dying to get home.
After the long goodbyes and deliberations who will ride in who's car, we left Antipolo with Elsa and Tho (they went with Nilo in his car in going to the resort). We dropped them off at Elsa's office in Ortigas Complex where she left her car. Genevieve, Rod and Kring went with them, since they were going in the same direction. Malou's apartment was our last stop before we finally headed for home. I won't narrate anymore how we went around in circles trying to find Boni Ave. that would end in EDSA. Bottom line, we reached Philamlife Village safe and sound. At 2 in the morning.
Now sing with me:
"Ain't no mountain high enough,
Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wild enough
To keep me from my friends."