My Katniss

11:11. That time of the day especially reserved for wishing—that one minute wherein both rationality and logic take a backseat, just to believe and to hope, even for things dubbed “impossible” by people.

And so, when 11/11/11 came, of course, it was time for those unsaid wishes to come out from their hiding in these sometimes-too-loud hearts, to tug at the air around people, and to reach the skies filled with a hope that humankind is yet to marvel at.

It happened that, 18 years ago, a very special friend of mine was born. I imagine her with her beautiful hair already, heaving her chest and crying out her first breath into this world. She has light brown skin, almost golden, and right then and there you could just tell how bright she would shine in this world. Her eyes are like undisturbed ponds in the blackest of night, each of which conceals so many things right there at the bottom. And her hair, oh that hair, is a thrill to the fingers. I could just hold it and never take my hand back. It’s as black as the night sky, as lustrous as the stars, as soft to the touch as clouds are to the eyes. But 18 years ago, she was just a newborn baby, eagerly waiting to pounce on the life she was just about to get her hands on.

She made November 11, 2o11 significant, different, special. She gave it a new meaning that would make me remember it, no matter what. If I were to make a list of my favorite days in 2011, it’d be at the top. Because:

  • Being the my-parents-are-strict kind of girl that I am, it was a real surprise when my Mom & Dad said “YES” to an overnight and out-of-town trip (to Pampanga) with my friends. No chaperones or whatnot. It was a milestone, for it was my first time! That feeling of independence is priceless.
  • I was with great people. Days are spent better with awesome company, good food, laughter and Mafia. Luckily, I got all that. And even more, namely: family.
  • I tried to do ties. This was, obviously, a futile attempt but I still have the instructions in my mind so I might try to do it again soon. Get ready, guys.
  • It was Patricia’s 18th. Anything she dapples with becomes special to me.

It was a very memorable night. (Without alcohol, thank goodness. I don’t know how to survive parties with such. But that’s another story.) Thank God I know Trish because if I didn’t, then 11/11/11 would certainly have passed by just like any other day. The lesson? Smear your friends with icing whenever you get the chance. Running around barefoot, escaping from their vicious, sugarcoated fingers at first, then ending up sugarcoated anyway (I wasn’t even the debutante!): A beautiful celebration of Patricia Pearl Audrey Ticse’s 18 years.

Perhaps my favorite conversation during that whole journey happened early in the morning, when all of us were drunk with No Sleep:

Trish: Anong gusto niyong breakfast? Tapsilog o Tosilog?

Benson: Ano ‘yung ‘tap’? Toppings?

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (I will tweet that once I get home!)

We had Tapsilog for breakfast. (Because I love it, and Trish can’t say no to me. Haha.)

***

Dear Trish,

In my letter to you, I wrote:

I’ve been twirling a word in my head for quite a number of hours already. It’s that phenomenon wherein one word stands out among the rest, like a neon sign flashing in the middle of an otherwise pitch black street.

Indomitable.

There. That’s the word. I didn’t know the meaning at first, so I consulted a dictionary:

Indomitable (adj.) – incapable of being subdued: unconquerable (Merriam-Webster)

Very beautiful—the idea of being indomitable. Being indomitable means that you are a force to be reckoned with. Being indomitable means that you are a pursuer of life. Being indomitable means that you know you are bound to fail but you go ahead anyway.

Being indomitable means that you are relentless.

And, you, my friend, are the first person that comes into my mind as I think of indomitability. You, Patricia Pearl Audrey Ticse. You, with your long, lovely locks and simplicity. You, with your quiet elegance and outstanding beauty. You, with your thick eyelashes and deep, dark eyes. You are indomitable.

My admiration for you runs deep, to the very marrow of my bones, to the quarks of my protons and electrons. Your presence in the block is one that cannot be quelled. Your cheerfulness is a breeze that blows steadily—it allows me to take a breather and see life with brand new eyes. Your optimism is big enough to fit us in and show us that the glass is half-full, not half-empty.

You are uncontainable, like water in cupped hands. It takes a lot of courage and determination to be different, but you are able to do so. You stand out.

You have a lovely way with telling stories. You wear an irresistible smile that, like a domino falling, triggers my own. You have a conviction that can make skeptics waver. You have a strength that emanates from you, that hangs in the air enveloping you. You are wonderfully and fearfully made. You inspire me.

I wish you a happy, happy eighteenth birthday! May you find joy in your becoming. May you find happiness, even in the darkest of hours. May you swell with His grace. May the odds be ever in your favor.

And may there be many more twirling hugs!

Nothing has changed since: you’re still as beautiful, and as indomitable as ever. Don’t be afraid to change; be afraid of staying the same. So, I hope you become much more of you, but also a little more different. I know this post is way overdue, forgive me, but it was because I just couldn’t find the words. I figured I shouldn’t rush the beautiful things—and writing about you is one of them.

Know that I’m forever grateful to God for having you as a friend, as a sister. You are the Katniss to my Prim, the Crest to my Trough. I love you always.

Always ready to volunteer for you in the Reaping, too,

Sjer

 
Credits:
11:11 image courtesy of Google images
Photobooth pictures © Patricia Ticse
Pictures in between © Ezra Ching
Last picture © Abiel Catalan
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