Friday, November 28, 2003

I never knew badminton can be this fun. Or watching it actually. It was an unplanned outing really, originally Jorge invited me to have lunch with them in their office last night but I arrived there around 3 p.m. Jorge wasn't in the office and neither was his brother, Joel. Though the eldest, Joseph was there watching a Charlie Sheen comedy on TV. Then he went to the kitchen and urged me to eat, upon inspecting their fride he was aghast to discover more food than they could eat sitting there. He raised a ruckus against their helper (and second cousin) Roddy for hoarding it. He told him he was eating again and commanded him to fry and turn the remaining rice into garlic rice. After a few minutes we had a variety of viands served on the reception table. I had coffee after finishing all that food and since the door to their veranda was open I spent some their watching the world go by as the sun set. Joel arrived by this time and I asked him if he was still joining our December reunion. He laughed, embarrassed that he couldn't possibly do so without feeling out of place. A former high school batchmate and business associate of Joseph's came and discussed some project proposals with them. Still no sign of Jorge. Past 6 p.m. he sent a text message apologizing for the delay, he'd still be returning to the office so I should stay put. Joel's ex-girlfriend, Ivy after a while, fresh from attending the Advertising Congress in Baguio. An hour and a half later, they all went on ahead to Villamor since Joseph had a badminton tournament. After being left alone in the office I switched the TV to Disney channel, good thing Hercules was on. 8:30 p.m. Jorge and Sheila arrived from visiting his sister in the hospital. Jorge was all apologies for his tardiness and to make up for it he invited me to go with them and watch him play. After a quick change in attire we proceeded to the Villamor Airbase gym.

There were a lot of people watching and waiting their turn at the courts, these were all military and airforce men and their wives. Initially we took our places in whatever spaces were available in the bleachers behind the courts. Jorge was disappointed when he was informed that their game was cancelled since their opponents were a no-show. So we went out again to the canteen to eat and for them to have a smoke. We spent some time talking and laughing before going back in to watch Joseph's game.

Joseph (middle) waits for the opponent to serve.

Joseph's team was already warming up when we came in and it was a while before we found some vacant seats.

Jorge (in red) and Joel (bottom right) cheer for their kuya.

Our crowd was the most boisterous at the time since almost all the people that were with us were composed of friends and family. It was unfortunate that the team lost by 5 points. We went out again and had some drinks along with some of their military friends, a group formed out of those who lost the game that night. The canteen was all out of lite beer and since it was nearly midnight their weren't any available. They volunteered Jorge to buy another case. I was already tired from the previous night out so I went with them to catch a bus home. We had a great time swapping stories and bonding the way to the store. He even told me that I'm going to be one of the godfathers of their first kid. That is so cool! Who woulda thought we'd get this far in our friendship? I was a nobody in high school (I wasn't part of the nerds and geeks, I just tended to merge in the background) and he was the feared leader of the bullies. He never bullied me around himself though, it was more of his cohorts who did. Who would have thought that I'd be this close to the three brothers who were feared in school at the time? Hehehe... cool!

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