My Best Friend at Diwa
Photo taken in 2003, at the Magazine Editorial Department of Diwa Scholastic Press Inc., Makati City, Philippines
I'd like to share the following message sent by Jayge E. Salvan, my best-friend back during my scholastically productive and memorable time at Diwa Scholastic Press (2001–2003). I never thought I could still forge a deep and worthy friendship late in life; especially that I always believed that the best of friends one could ever have are those born in childhood or, at least, those made in highschool.
Thu, 12 May 2005
"When I saw this pix [the elf character below], I immediately thought of my far-away friend—you.
kahit nagpagupit ka na
o kahit lumipat-lipat ka pa,
saan mang lugar d'yan sa Canada,
I still don't care...'coz you are still far away.
"A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart."—Heather Kowalski
I still very well remember how Jayge and I started our friendship. Year 2001, he was the editor of Diwa's Salaguinto Science Magazine for Elementary while I of Bato Balani Science & Technology Magazine for High School, the two of us were usually the ones left in the workplace late through the night, doing overtime work without pay. And that passion and love for what we were doing was the very bond which drew us together as friends. We'd since become inseparable buddies, assisting each other with our respective works. We've somehow influenced each other in so many areas of our personalities—music, art, industriousness, friendship....and the list goes on and on. But the best thing about Jayge that I would always remember are his down-to-earth character, serious yet cool approach to life (especially that he is already a husband and a father to three children), his diligence and orderliness in the workplace which infected many of us back then, and his determination and perseverance in trying to learn anything worth knowing.
I witnessed many of Jayge's tribulations, in and out of the workplace. I shared many of his jubilations as well. I saw him maligned and degraded by a former boss, and he stood up and returned without revenge. I saw him cry, I saw him laugh, I saw him worry about his family...and now, I'm glad, he's back to his jolly self.
As I always used to tell Jayge, "Life is always a struggle, with less ups than downs; but we need to keep moving on nonetheless." (' seems like I'm the one needing to hear that from a friend. Hahaha!)
Anyway, thanks, Jayge, for always reminding me of those days at Diwa. They were tough times, but tougher were we, who had the temerity to confront even the vice presidents of the company just to speak up and protect our rights and dignity. Until now, I feel that the "Bill Fernando experience" was a battle we fought bitterly hard but won sweetly in the end.