It may as well be the fact that the year ends with a -13 which makes it memorable for me. 2013 has been, like a colorful scrapbook. And like such, it’s full of messages, notes to oneself and to others, wonderful mementos, pieces of yesterday, fragments of the present, sprinkles of what is hopefully the future, and even vintage-colored regrets. There are images of smiling faces, photographs of tears; pictures of self and pictures of togetherness. This scrapbook has reached its ending page – and for this one last chance, I prefer not to decorate. I will fill this one with nothing but sweet nothings, and melancholic nonentities. This letter, is for 2013 – and for all of you who made it for me.
TO MY EXO
I needed to include you guys into this letter, even if there is but a 0.0000001% percent chance you’ll ever encounter this piece during yours or my lifetime. I met you guys for the first time last year, when I went all the way and spread my wings to fly to you. That moment I first saw you, I knew this was a relationship that was going to last for a lifetime.
You don’t know I exist, and will probably never know of my existence. But for simply being alive in my heart as I wake up each day is enough for me. It may be just a little help to the eyes of many, but most of the simple smiles I had on my face throughout this year came from you. This year was also your year, the height of your happiness. Seeing your face painted with the most genuine smiles after months of pain and suffering, is enough to encourage me to put on my brightest front to the world, even after hitting ground. Watching you is like learning a lesson – to be happy no matter what, and to appreciate the simplest of things in life. You guys are nothing but performers to most – and that is a truth one can never erase. But even the simplest of things or creations have a purpose. And to me, your purpose was to become anything but simple beings.
A lot may not like you, or even blindly hold some kind of dislike towards you. But yet, you shine. It is for this fact that even though I may have a lot of darkness behind me, I continue to seek the light. 2013 was hard year for me, for my friends, for my family. But seeing EXO stand up even if senseless people drag them down and injure them, I felt like I had no right to complain.
Thank you for teaching me that. And thank you, for giving me new friends, saving old friendships and keeping friendships strong.
TO MY EXO PHILIPPINES FAMILY
It was only early this year that I became a part of you guys. And to be quite honest, I know deep down that my hold onto you guys isn’t nearly as strong as what you have for each other before me. But with the short time that I have spent with each one of you – most of them in hardships, I become greedy for more. I honestly want to know each one of you better, but I don’t know how to begin – aside from work and all sorts of voluntary activities we do for EXO.
Just a few days ago, for the first time, we shared something very special. We cried in each other’s arms. It’s a wonderful memory I will never forget for the rest of my life; and I desire for more moments like this. That moment while all our tears flowed in sync, and we all felt the fruits of our hard work, as well as our victory against the world – I truly felt a great greed to stay with you guys. As you wrapped your arms around my shoulders, and me as well; and as you helped wipe my tears after I tried to wipe yours, I felt that desire to keep feeling that warmth.
I know EXO often thanks the fans for supporting them and doing things like what we do for them. But I need to remind myself, to thank them, too, for bringing us together. And as EXO likes to say it, let’s walk together until the end.
TO MY NEW BLESSINGS JERLYN, JENNIFER AND RONA
The time we have spent with each other isn’t great yet. But I knew, the moment we first laughed with each other, that these friendships would become more special. 2013 was just the beginning of something new for us, and I know, that 2014 will be the highlight. I can’t wait to cry and laugh more with you guys! Let’s turn everything into something greater.
Thank you for lending a space of your heart to me. I will cherish it sincerely, like a part of me.
TO MY DAN AND MY UBE FAMILY
I know I have been neglecting you guys a lot, especially since most of us live their own lives now. But 4 years of friendship isn’t easy to forget, especially since you guys are the first set of friends I ever had.
I’ve never taken a liking to large groups of friends, because I always had this fear inside me that not all people who call themselves ‘friends’ truly are friends. I’ve had a lot of negative memories brought by friendships, to the point that I once accepted that a person lives only for himself. But you guys taught me to trust again, and to truly feel what it’s like to have people you can call family despite blood differences. All those laughter and tears we shared with each other, they will forever be etched here, inside the most important muscles of the human body. And inside my soul, as a part of my being. You, all of you, are a part of me, and I can never erase you, unless I’d be willing to lose a piece of me. Whoever I am right now – a person who knows how to make friends and keep friends, it’s because you guys brought me to be one.
Dan, I’ve done you a lot of wrong this year. I’ve caused you so much pain and I truly am sorry for that. I don’t have to mention it here, because we both know those things have been said already. But what I said towards the UBE family, applies to you. I’m not giving up on you, on all of you. I am still looking forward to that day I can thank each and every one of you, for all the things you’ve done for me. And you, Dan, is the root that keeps this family alive. If I can’t let go of the tree, its leaves and fruits, then I sure can’t let go of the roots.
Thank you for loving me, and for continuing to love the imperfect friend me.
TO MY LHAI
This year has been a meaningful year for the both of us. Our friendship started by merely a chance encounter. Actually, one day or one month later could have had a different fate for the both of us. And we also both know, that this friendship came into its utmost fruition when we both took on that risk to fly to a faraway place and follow our foolish desires. Nevertheless, we both didn’t have regrets. I know I don’t, because aside from the fact that we gained our love for EXO, I gained ‘him’ and you gained ‘him,’ I gained you, and we gained each other. Your warm care towards me as you threw me your attention while we were in a foreign place, the tears we both shared and the happiness we both felt is a price I could never pay towards you. I can only give you my friendship.
This year, we went through a lot of ups and downs, but mostly downs. We hurt each other – perhaps because even as if we both care for each other, sometimes we also strangle each other with too much care. There are also things we tend to fail to say each other, which come off as important pieces to keep the relationship patched up tightly. But to me, what’s more important is that we’re still here, and we still care for each other. After all, I know in myself, and I trust that you too, feel the same way – that we could never let go of this friendship. It’s not about EXO anymore, it’s about us. And how can we let go? When we’re still just starting. Starting a bond that is beyond fangirling, and more about life.
For 2014, I want us to become stronger for each other. Because I don’t want to lose you. And I’ve never thought of losing you.
TO MY MARIEL
Like in the movies, you’ve played and continue to play a very important piece in my life. For four years, no matter how the world turns upside down, we always end up together. If you weren’t a female, I would have married you already – because there’s that confidence in me that no matter how much the world or universe tries to twist and turn us, we’re always together. This year has been a maturing stage for us, as we, until the very end, held on to each other’s hands as we received the completion of what brought us together.
I know, deep down, that I couldn’t have made it this far without you on my side. So like always, thank you very much. I am not the most caring of best friends, and perhaps even a puppy could do better than me. But you never fail to present me as one. You always tell me how I always end up saving you, so you keep calling me ‘Angel.’ But I never thought of myself as one. I don’t think I’ve done much for you, I don’t even know if I deserve you. But really, thank you so much.
As much as we don’t want to admit it, we’ve followed our own ways. School was what brought us to see each other every day, and now that it has ended, it became harder for us to remain like we used to be: having lunch in the most absurd of places, drinking drinks only us would probably drink, and having a world that was only ours. But the world is magical, and just like how it glued us together, it will always keep us together. See you next year, sis. You owe me a date – and Starbucks.
TO MY GIELYN
I always asked the heavens, how they decided to give you to me. It was just like a little kid receiving thousands of bucks as a gift: totally undeserving, and too much. You were the complete opposite of me, we were worlds apart. You were everything I never was: that soft gentle person who had the heart for everything, that vast-minded person who always understood, that person with a golden soul who can accommodate even the darkest of souls in the world. However, I never was all of that. I was hard as a rock, because I was always prone to pain. I had a heart for only the few – particularly for those who won’t hurt me, and a dark soul wallowing in the past.
You came to me like a ray of sunshine, and suddenly, I turned into that little sunflower who followed that shine. Spending time with you, I found myself changing as well, following what was you. You were perhaps that lesson I have always been waiting for – and I’m glad I stayed on my seat and listened. I am learning, day by day.
Late last year, I almost lost you. I told you that before. We lost connection when I decided to take another path. I knew I hurt you when I disappeared without a trace – it was a heartless thing for me to do, after all the light you have shone in my life. But fate has its own ways. It is true that it is only after losing, that you learn to properly gain. And I was more than thankful that I didn’t need to lose you to gain another, instead I lost you, and found you again. And with your worth clearer to me than ever, I know I have to keep you better.
Even though having said that, I want to apologize to you. For what I have done in the past, and for what I have done to you this year. I know I have taken you so much for granted, just because I knew you were always there to lend your shoulder, I failed to notice how much tear-drenched your clothes have become, and how much pain your bones felt because I lay too much on you. As I cried on you, I also failed to notice how much burden I was throwing unto you – and how much weight I passing to you. I was thankful of your honesty, because you told me you hurt.
For this 2014, I promise to keep you better. Just as how you protected me from pain, I want to protect you too. Just like how you became a ray of sunshine to me, I want to become your light as well. I don’t know how or where to begin, but I promise to try. Just to at least repay the blessings you have to brought to my life.
TO THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE
So much has been said to you. Day and night, I always write letters to you in my mind and in my heart.
All I want to thank you for this year, is for continuing to change my view towards that feeling I feared for 7 years. Because of you, I am opening up to everyone once again. Because of you, I am losing each ounce of fear I have been living with throughout all these years; you’ve been breaking down the walls I once thought I had built for protection – which instead imprisoned me from seeing the brighter side of the world. Because of you, I am ready to face pain again, and battle it. I only knew how to avoid pain before, but now, I know how to conquer it.
Even though most of the time I only cry now, I think it’s better than not knowing how to cry at all. But I will only cry for you.
Your part of the letter ends here, but the heavens know how much has already been said and written. I will cherish you, and only you. Because you were the one who taught me how to cherish someone again, in the first place.
TO MY FAMILY
No amount of love, can ever match the love you gave and continue to give me. I will keep this short but meaningful.
When I got blinded by darkness, you acted as my vision and my light – that help guide me back to the world. When my all types of pain stung my body, you acted as my anesthesia and protected me from suffering. When I lost my limbs, you acted like my crutches – you helped me stand and walk again. When I lost myself, it was you who found me again. I can only give my life for you, because you gave me mine.
I hope I made you proud this year. I know finishing school and finding a job are but little achievements, but I promise it’s just the beginning.
I love you, more than anything else. Just as how you love me even above yourselves.
AND TO MYSELF….
Become a better person.