They say, true friends are hard to find. Yes, indeed. In this most complicated world where we live in, you’ll never know who’s true to you and those who are not. Some were just there to gain benefits from you and will eventually leave you hanging . Some were just there in the best moments of you but absence is felt during the darkest of your hours. Some are just there to give you lessons, helping you to know your life’s reasons. Some will stay. Some will leave.
But I am too fortunate to having found someone who I can depend on 24/7. I know God has bestowed me the one of the best gifts I can ever have. I am, at times, weak and vulnerable and I guess God has allowed me to have a strong and fierce best friend I can have– SHARLENE MAE PAEZ MALATA.
She celebrated her 22nd birthday last May 19. As usual, there had a celebration at her home. Whether she’ll invite me or not, I will come. Note it. That time, I was with Jushtine, Romar and my cousin Niña. Inay Susan, her mom, has just prepared my favorite foods ’cause she knew I’d come. Haha. Spaghetti, puto (her version is my favorite), gelatin with mango, pancit and the most of all, graham cake with mango slices. Yummy! Tummy overwhelmed. Everytime there is a celebration in them, Sharm would text me to go. And I never fail to come. LOL. Not because of the delicious foods and delicacy they have (well, partly) but because I was never a stranger to them. Her family treats me as if I am one of their sibs. Sharm has four broods, all sisters and she’s the youngest. But I think, she’s not. I am. Haha. And it’s flattering to have an extension family– sisters from different momma’s wombs and a caring mother by heart.
I’ve known her right from the very beginning. Like, from the moment she was conceived. Haha. I’ve known her since we were young- since Kindergarten. She was my seatmate because we were seated alphabetically. Her surname is Malata and mine is Maldonado. I was once a shy girl (until now). And being one, she approached me and talked to me as if we were that close already. If I remember right she has shown me a little dirt on our table which was shaped like a monkey and shared immediately this keen observation of her to me. And I agreed. From then, we had our recess together and we were sharing colors, pastels, scissors during our class. Childhood buddies!
Our friendship continued yielding during our elementary days. We were still classmates until sixth grade. She was still my playmate, groupmate, and super friend along with our other childhood friends and sweet hearts. We had the same crush back when we were in our fourth grade. But unlike others who would quarrel against each one upon having the same and scarce resource (haha), we were not like that. We were as kilig as we can ever be talking about him (who is now an engineer today) during our free time. We share secrets and random stories among each other, along with Juriese, anytime we wanted.
I was/am very dependent on her when it comes to art classes. I let her do the job for me (walang kwentang bata). I’ll ask her to draw me this, draw me that. Color this to me and that. Seriously, visual arts really is a pain in the arse to me, up until now. It stresses me so much to draw, to color, to paint or any activity related to such. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE A VISUAL ART. I do not even know how to draw a perfect line or curve. But to Sharlene? Visual art is just a piece of cake.
Sharlene is one of the best visual artists one can have/know. Nail it! Whatever kind of art, she can do it in the most alluring way. I remembered, she was the campus editorial cartoonist way back 2006 in our official campus gazette, Ang Pluma. She has won several awards. Champion in the district level and again the champion in the division level. Imagine, she was the best cartoonist in the whole province of Batangas that time. From then, she has become one of the delegates in the regional press conference. I couldn’t be happier and proud than seeing her reaping her success. I witnessed all the hardships she tackled, all the moments she was drawing all her cartoons because I was there. I was her number one fan (’till now). Side story: I was one of the delegates of the school. I was also the champion in feature writing and the fourth placer in the photo journalism. I made it until the division level and got only the 10th place. But I did not make it to the regional. Sharlene did. She’s as great as such! She has the penchant towards lines and colors, a bizarre talent one can ever have.
We entered the same school on our secondary level. Good thing, we had the same section from first to fourth year. We both had the hardships when it comes to many things. We were still part of the official campus gazette, Ang Manggagawa of the school. She was still the editorial cartoonist and I was the editor-in-chief. We were still together during press conferences and meetings.
She is a virile asset of the class, IV-Narra. You can see her talent in all her outputs. She has the most colorful designs in the visual aid. No wonder why we always win competitions before in different activities in the school. We rest assure, we were always champion when it comes to exhibit, painting activities and others because of her. We were all benefiting from her talent. Yayyys!
As student leaders, we’ve had hardships together. She’s one of the most intelligent people in class and I need her most of the time. Being the President and governing the whole campus during that time wasn’t easy. It was a big responsibility and I was too lucky to have a secretary like her. She’s covering up with my mess. She’s there for me when things do not go right.She never left me hanging. In all my endeavors, she was there to support me, hold me till the end of the finish line. Never did I felt that I was handling the battles alone. I know, I got someone I can rest my shoulders on.
Until now, I am seeking for her help. When it comes to arts, you can just fire me in the hole. I was never really good at it, in any way you know. I have a deep grudge towards it which sometimes fleets my patience pervently. Having a best friend like Sharm is a gift, so.. alam na this! Whenever I have a project or any requirement in the form of an art, who has the flair for lines and colors, I would hurriedly text her to do my project. And she knows it, I’ll make her do my homeworks. Haha. The recent ones I had her manipulative hands were the projects I submitted in my HUM 2 class. That was a sketchpad of drawings and arts. The other was my output at my Rizal Class, a comics of few of the chapters of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Sadly, I haven’t got a photo of it. Tsk! But they were all beautiful. My professors might praise me for my bestfriend’s work. Was that plagiarism? Accuse me. Haha.
When it comes to making greeting cards, she’s the best. Ilalaban ko talaga ng pustahan. 😀
More than a friend, she’s a lover. She’s the kind of girl one would be very lucky to have. When she’s in love, she’s madly in love. And it was hurting to see her being hurt. She doesn’t deserve such kind of pain. She sometimes lives her life more paradoxically than I. She is the kind of girl who would invest all the love she has for someone. And me? I won’t. I invest love half-heartedly so it’s easy for me to accept wrong things and get hurt. But Sharm? She doesn’t deserve any kind of pain. The last time she fell in love with someone, she got broken in the end. Her last boyfriend was actually a close friend of mine. I was the one who made the ‘bridge’ for them. And I was one of those who actually witnessed how they fell in love with each other, how they grew up individually and how they learned from life. And it kinda hurts me too upon knowing them drifting their ways apart. But I guess, this is life. Not everything will stay at the end of the road.
She’s the person I share all my bitterness in life. All my dilemmas, all my heartaches, all my stupidity. She’s a nocturnal person (like me) and she’s someone you can call at the midst of a heavenly night when people are deeply falling asleep. You can talk to her at 2am or 3am or 4am. Gising siya nang ganyang oras. Or she’ll just stay awake just to listen to me. But the point is, she’s someone I can talk to 24/7. No matter what my stories are, she’s there. Just lending her ears. She might scold me, advise me or even slap me to wake up from reality. Sleeping with her in my bed is one of my favorites! She’s the best listener ever!
Like me, she’s also a big fan of Alden Richards. We would conquer everything just to see Alden up close. It was her first time to see Alden at San Pablo while it was my second. When it comes to Alden, she’s just a text away.
She’s one of the best stalkers I know. Not knowing that this skill of her would hurt her in the end. Haha. We both can stalk a random person on line and would arrive at the same results. Maybe this is my talent: Stalking.
I keep on telling her not to be beside me when it comes to selfie’s. I look dark when I am beside a beautiful girl with a very fair complexion.
Sharm is never a stranger in the family. She does not belong to “others”. Wherever we go, I’ll just text her, or invite her, and she’ll eventually come so long as her time permits. Tagaytay.. Quezon.. even UPLB itself. Name it. She is my travel buddy.
Years may pass and time may escape from the palms of our hands. We are already grown ups today yet we seem very childish in some of the ways. We always hang together with our barkada, create new bonding moments outside, getaways and such that makes our world go round. Just the typical girls outside having saga experiences. Incrementally, we grow. But the heart does not. We’re still the Kindergarten seatmates 16 years ago. 🙂
Twitter: @iamsharmielle | IG: sharmielle19 and her empty blog (haha): sharmmalata.wordpress.com
May 19, 2016
(you may skip this part)
I am very proud you have gone through 22 years of your life without stabbing yourself to death. hahaha. I’m sorry I’m posting this few days after your birthday. You know how busy I am these past few days and I am having a hard time to fix schedules. But anyway, I wish you nothing but always the best. Because one-of-the-best persons in the world deserves all the best sort of things. I know how beautiful you are as a person, inside and out. One blog entry would not suffice or feature all the things you’ve done to me, or the most fantastic things I see from you. Thank you for all the things you’ve done for me. Thank you for saving me at times I fall, during times I feel so small. Thank you for being the person I can get crazy with! Thank you for supporting me in all my endeavors and dreams. You were there to catch me, support me and cheer me.
Sorry if at times I fail to join you in some of the significant events of your life. I hope you understand. I promise, when schedule isn’t this tight, I will make it all up to you. We’ll hang out to places we’ve been talking about since Homo Erectus era.
I wish you all your wishes. More blessings from above, more careers to pursue (Fine Arts. hehe), more happiness, more money. Haha. Huhukay pa tayo ni Ella ng ginto, di ba? I wish you the love of your life that you deserve– someone who will fight for you against all odds, someone who would conquer his fears just to be with you all through your life, someone who would never hesitate to hold you back when things seem so uncertain and someone who would love all your perfect imperfections. You are as beautiful as your artworks and you deserve to have someone who will add more lively colors in your life.
Still I am here, FOREVER, with you and you know that. I’m only one call away, I’ll be there to save the day, Superman! HAHAHA. Seriously, I am here for you through ups and downs. No matter what the situations would go, I will always do what I can for you. (Walang halong echos!)
I love you till your nth birthday! Happy Birthday, best friend! Cheers to the twenty-second year of your life! May God pour you much more blessings. And when it rains, it pours. May all the force be with you. May the odds be forever in favor.
HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY with love.