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A tribute to my dear friend, Lik-Lik

I haven't had someone close to me pass away. That changed today. One of my high school batchmates posted in our Facebook Group that one of my high school close friends is gone. I cried—a lot. I still can't believe I won't see Lik-Lik anymore when I go back to visit. Our barkada will never be complete again.

This is during our 4th-year graduation ball. Lik is the one in green.

2003 High School

I was new to Miriam in 2003. I'm a transferee and didn't graduate from Miriam Grade School. I have no friends. On the way home on the first day, I have two batchmates in the school bus, Lik-Lik and Mary (Deci). I remember Lik-Lik saying hi and asking what section I'm in. That started years of friendship during high school and beyond.
This is us during first-year high school with my school bus mates Lik (left), me (middle), and Deci (right).

2007 College

In college, I went to La Salle, Mary went to Ateneo, and Lik-Lik went to UP. We met once a year (or more often), usually during Halloween, to watch obscure movies in Robinsons Galleria.
2008 - We watched High School Musical 3
2009 - Abbi (middle) either just left or came back from doing an exchange in Japan.
2010 - Before my college graduation
2010 - Christmas reunion

2011 to 2015

When we all started working, we rarely saw each other. However, Lik-Lik plans this amazing tour groups we could all join. In 2011, we went to Pangasinan. In 2013, we went to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. Lik made all these trips possible.
2011 - Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

2013 - Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur Trip
2014 - My Birthday (i.e. my last birthday in the Philippines so far)

2015 - The last time our barkada is complete. This is before I left the Philippines for Canada.
Lik-Lik likes to say we will do this again when we're old and wrinkly just laughing our butts off over random things. I can't believe we won't be able to do that together.


I went for a vacation in 2017, and I really want to see Lik-Lik, but she was in Malaysia. It was great to learn about her life there and catch up even through messenger.
February 2019 Dinner

However, in 2019, I visited the Philippines twice and saw Lik during both trips. In February, we had dinner and we were discussing the cultural difference between the Philippines, Canada, and Malaysia and our colleagues. We're also discussing which country Lik should move to next. We've all grown so much. We also discussed love life and our aspirations for the future.
July 2019 - Mao (1st from the left), Deci (2nd from left), Lik (3rd from the left), and me.
This is my last picture with Lik. After my wedding, they helped remove all the hairpins, and we discussed Koreanovelas and high school memories.

Gone Too Soon

My last conversation with Lik-Lik was March 2020, we were discussing The Last Empress. It's the only series all three of us (Mao, me, and Lik) watched, so we were analyzing and laughing so much at how tired we are of Korean romcoms and how much we love the drama of mistresses and wives (only in TV series, of course).

I know COVID-19 is real and deadly, but when it hit close to home, it hurts even more.

Lik, heaven has gained an angel today. I know you're in a happier and better place now. My next visit to the Philippines won't be complete without having a meal with you and sharing stories about the many countries you've visited or are planning to visit. I miss you terribly. I am grateful to have you as a friend and to have many memories with you. I remember walking around UP to watch your piano recital, and I love how you knew the song I picked for my first dance during my wedding. Thank you for being a wonderful friend, Lik-Lik.


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