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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Surprisingly affected

Every morning, my phone greets me new text messages not fewer than five. Often it's the usual -- forwarded jokes or good morning quotes. But this one sent by a high school mentor yesterday morning was different, and bad -- she asked me to pray for the souls of Paul and Peter Mendoza (batchmates of mine at Don Bosco Pampanga) for they died in a car accident. When my phone alarmed the signal for me to wake up, I was hesitant because I was still sooo sleepy, but that text message jolted me into complete consciousness with the sad and tragic news that yet another Bosconian and a batchmate of mine to boot perished suddenly. This time, they were even two -- they were twins.

The twins are the fourth and fifth member of our batch to die since we graduated from high school in 2001. The first one committed suicide; the second one was murdered; and the third one was killed in another car accident. And now, the famous twins.

Why famous, you may ask. Well, for starters, they're twins named Paul and Peter, who were born on June 29 -- feast day of St Paul and St Peter. That piece of trivia alone will elicit a lot of attention. They even had angelically handsome faces that matched their quiet and innocent aura. They're effing rich, but not necessarily extravagant or arrogant ala Gretchen Barretto. As a matter of fact, they're quite the opposite -- they are the epitome of simplicity. Everyone wanted to be like them, be friends with them. I, for one, envied them a lot back in our elementary days, hehe. They had this reputation where they could do no wrong. And they seemed to be the apple of the teachers' eyes! Hehe! There was this rumor that for every medal that they get, they are rewarded with a new game piece for their Gameboy. But sadly, I am not exactly close friends with them, I am a mere acquaintances -- simply because they're my staunchest rivals on the academic honor roll.

Yeah, I know, it's silly. But that was in high school (actually, since elementary pa). Naturally, at that time I didn't know any better, I was so high school back in high school. I honestly took the competition seriously. I did hate them -- the academic kind of hatred. But as a person, or as people, I had respect for them for I know for a fact that back in high school, the twins will win over me in the battle for Mr Congeniality.

They're genuinely nice, really. Of course, given our rivalry, I never got to enjoy decent friendly relations with them. But for the times when I forgot they were my competition, like when we were cast in the same teams for different contests in and out of the school, they were a lot of fun. Those were the times when I realized that they weren't so innocent, hehe! In fact, one time back in 5th Grade, I remember Peter encouraging and cheering me on for a singing contest in which I represented our section, "Uy Joeven, galingan mo ah, dapat ikaw ang manalo!" I didn't win, hehe, for I bungled the lyrics for the 2nd stanza of my song. But see, even after 10 years, I can still remember a simple but endearing gesture from someone I never exactly considered a close friend.

In college, all three of us even enrolled at UP Diliman. Paul took up Business Economics while Peter took up Economics. And yes, even up to our college years, they were quite famous for the same reasons -- with their angelic cuteness (times two) as the main. But we never mingled in the same circles, I joined an organization and I was told that they go home to Apalit every single day, that's why they never had time for extra-curriculars. I would see time around campus from time to time though.

And now, they're gone, just like that. (My 1st runner-up is gone, Peter was our Salutatorian). It's a real shame. Once, I even pictured seeing them at our batch reunion many years from now, and laugh at each other for the bitter and stupid rivalry we had for 8 years in DBA. What surprises me really is how affected I am by the tragic news. Sure I was friendly with them, but they weren't exactly best friends or barkadas of mine. But it feels like I've lost a significant part of myself -- it really feels like I have lost actual dear friends.

It's amazingly weird how death can affect you. Here I am, mourning for people I barely cared for, realizing a lot of things which ignored before. I'm like, "God! Why? They're so young and promising." How extremely sad it must be for the family they left behind. I heard their Mom was running amok non-stop that they had to give her Valium. Imagine losing two darling sons at the same time, in an instant without any warning. How ironically funny -- they were twins from birth to death. And their younger sister, damn! Just like that, she lost two dear brothers -- two brothers whom I'm sure would've protect her from anything, especially jerk suitors. Haay, it's really sad, really really sad.

Friends, please pray for these strangers (at least to you). The world lost two really great people. I just hope that somewhere, two would-be angels have been born for them.

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