A few months into college I told my brother I found the people I would be friends with forever. A pretty naive thing to say in hindsight. But I guess I was right.
Going to four different schools growing up doesn't really guarantee long term relationships. Much more knowing how to maintain any new one I formed. I envied my siblings for having barkadas from gradeschool and highschool. So when I met my new friends in college I was ecstatic to find like minded (read: sabaw, tanga, at walang hiya) people. But I was a closeted eighteen year old with years of therapy ahead of me. Countless times I was asked if I was asexual and more of why I didn't show any form of affection or share anything personal. It took a while to learn how to say 'I love you' to people who weren't my family. Or hug anyone. Or check in on anyone. Or share stories about my past and love life. But my friends taught me how to do all of that and more. Like how making friends is easy but keeping them takes effort. And that time is the best thing we can offer to anyone.
I recently planned trips to be with some of my college friends. A lot of us are now scattered around the country. The others are in different time zones. More are headed in that life direction too (a sad and lonely fact to ponder on on nights like this). But showing up and making time is the only form of love I know how to give. Also, I'm a very stubborn and loyal Taurus. So a vacation with friends in a place that isn't Manila? I'll take every chance I get and make it work.
It's been fifteen years since I told my brother that silly thing. But I still think I'm right. And on tired and lonely days, I revert to my younger self and wonder how much love I can give and for how long. But being with my friends now made me realize that the only thing that matters is how much love can grow if you put in the effort.