Keeping in Touch

So, the Easter holidays is upon us and everything is at a standstill here in Manila. Nothing is moving except the revellers at the beach or wherever they escaped to during this long holiday without work. I stayed home. I thought I was going to have work but everything was moved until Saturday so I have two days of not doing anything and I had already missed out on all the invites to go out of town.

But I don’t mind because Manila is really gorgeous and quiet and empty during Holy Week. It’s a ghost town. There’s no traffic. It isn’t noisy. It’s peaceful and calm. I like being in Manila during Holy Week.

So, yesterday, lying in my bed and not having to be pressured to do anything, I decided to send a message to two friends that I made when I was in Europe. A good friend I met in Portugal, and one friend from Barcelona who I did not meet (it was through an app) but we have kept in touch and stayed friends. We just sent each other messages and just touched base and made sure we were fine and enjoying the extended weekend.

Today, I chatted with a friend of mine from New York. Another friend I haven’t met but chat with often and through this medium, we’ve become friends.

I guess this is really 21st Century relationships. I’m friends with people who I have never met (or met once for one evening) but technology has given me the opportunity to maintain a friendship despite distance and time zones.

And what is a friend, anyway? Someone you care about and who cares for you. You share bits and pieces of your life with them and they do the same with you with the hopes that you are both enriched in the process. You help each other out and give each other support and encouragement and you tell each other the truth about each other’s lives. That’s how it is and while we may not have the history of tangible memories of actual interaction, we get through the basics. I’m closer to these people than I am to some people I have a shared history with and that says a lot.

Well, I’m not writing here to delve into the nature and definition of friendships and try to articulate what I feel for these people to help convince me that we are friends. That wasn’t the point.

It was nice to have a day to be able to touch base with people I don’t get to hear from often and just send them a greeting and to send good energy. If I were in the beach like I would have wanted to be, I’d be in the water and totally just releasing any anxiety that might be hidden in the dark corners of my being. I would have been disconnecting from everything to get back to me. Instead, here in the city when it is empty and quiet and calm, I’m connecting with people far away and making sure they are okay and that I am thinking about them.

And wonderfully enough, they reciprocated in kind and sent me the same good energy I sent to them.

I’m not religious but that’s the “holy” in Holy Week, for me.

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