Sunday, February 02, 2003

The High School Gang
The first of February was mostly spent with the high school gang, most of whom were players of my Dungeons and Dragons and Marvel Superheroes ludicrous campaigns. We met up at the Marist School (Marikina) covered court and proceeded to a gazebo near the Brother's Center for lunch. After a politically-charged game of Apples to Apples, we headed to the edge of the track oval for more doses of yesterday, through familiar stories and old photographs.

The group's nom de guere is POLTERGEIST, or the Pals Of Loving, Trusted, Ever-Responsible, Going Everywhere In Satisfaction and Time. Yes, it's one of them things that make you go 'duh,' but it sounded brilliant back in 1985.

We weren't the partying types. We weren't rich either. A trip to the mall was a big event for us, so big that we had to take photographs. Ali Mall was the only place we could go to, and all we did was walk around, window-shop, then have a meal at the food court. Mandy would set aside a paper napkin and have each of us affix our signatures, commemorating the event. He'd keep all of the napkins in a scrap book, and though it didn't seem to make much sense then, the act paved the way for nostalgia. Among other things, I realized that after all 10-plus years, the Dunkin' Donuts logo still works.

Fifteen years of growth after our inception, the members of POLTERGEIST have reached various levels of success and maturity, and traveled their individually-chosen paths. I've chosen a 'career' in communications; Serge found his place in information technology; Joel is a certified accountant, Mandy is helping out in his family's food venture; Pong's trying out his luck in Canada; and Manny's a doctor.

Those who weren't with us during that day: Jun's a pediatrician in the States; Sonnie's based in the UK (he left the country many many suns ago); Ronnie's a Baptist pastor; and Mike's a medical professional (last I heard). I have absolutely no ides what's up with Leo and Mhel.

Two are married with kids; one's a Hare Krishna devotee; and one's gay.

Despite the diversity among the group's members, chemistry binds us. The rare occasions we get together can simply be described as fun. Apart from the usual updates on the goings-on, no serious discussion happens, only sadist humor barbs that keep us in stitches the entire time. Everyone pokes fun at each other comfortably, and the volume of laughter can get embarrassing. Yes, the insanity is still there, and I pray that it stays there.

But beyond the fun and laughter, I've learned a lot about friendship being one of the 'Polterguys,' especially after an incident in our history that almost shattered my respect and trust in them. We never talked about that incident since it happened, and I don't think we ever will, but I hope that it has contributed to their growth as much as it contributed to mine. What's important to me right now is that I feel our relationship with each other has improved with time. It would be a real kick if we ALL got together someday, all 12 of us. I'm curious to hear Sonnie's British accent.

Which reminds me, I have to borrow some of the old and new photographs from Mandy for scanning. I had a full head of hair then.

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