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Fell asleep the other night watching season 9 of "Friends" on my DVD player. I found it sad that another show that I have to come to love will be saying goodbye, especially this one. It's cliched I know, but I have fallen in love with these characters. Somehow because I do see me and my friends when I watch them. Heck, there are so many similariies between me and Chandler, it's scary (Lemee see...people mistake me for being gay, talks too much, snide and sarcastic, wisecracking wiseass, was in a meaningless job then quit then became a copywriter - told you, it's scary).

Allow me now to pay tribute to the different groups of people that I am thankful to call my friends:

The J-Boyz
I came to their class in my senior year of high school and to this day I wonder why I never made the move earlier. These guys taught me how to be myself. Their acceptance of me made a major impact on my life. We still get together over some beers or wine, a game of billiards and/or a strip show (not necessarily in that order) and at the occassional wedding and funeral (we've lost two classmates and two teachers already - geez). We've been losing hair and gaining bellies but amazingly, like a fine wine...we do get better with age. Whould've thought?

As freshmen in 1993, we were brought together to form a group of potential leaders of the Ateneo. Our bond materialized when we got stranded by floods in Subic and we had to stay the night. In the years since, we have put up an org and managed to keep in touch with/check up on each other, but not as often as I would like.

We all got together one day over "Les Miserables" and then hung out together in the oproom, forming the core of countless projects in the college. Admittedly, I had ulterior motives in continuing to hang out with them (well, the girls were cute and I was desperately courting one of them), but to this day, there are friendships and bonds that remain strong. In the end, I didn't get the girl, but I got a great bunch of friends who I can call on in good times and bad.

Around the same time my keitri barkada began, I also started hanging out at DSWS...and this was where I found my closest group of friends. They were the first people I'd hang out with at the start of the day and they wee the last people I'd see at the end of it. We'd bond over bridge, movies and sing-alongs. Of course, the bonding went too far and it was inevitable that crushes and the like developed between us. But broken hearts notwithstanding, we continued to be friends. Watching DVDs magdamagan at my place, cooking breakfast togeher, trips to Baguio, tong-its sessions (golden rule: shirts off, game on), and of course the Thursday night gimmicks, hence our name. These people are so close to me, they're practically family. A lot of them are not in Manila right now, but like true family, I know that someday, they'll all find a way home.

Thanks guys.