BATANG MINDANAW: Of hugs and heaven

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/ 19 January) — The best part of our recollection as fourth year students was not our awesome shirts, the impressive speaker who made us laugh all the time nor the really nice movie they made us watch. The best part was when we all hugged one another as “thank you’s” and “sorry’s” were said sincerely.

It was a beautiful sight as broken friendships were mended and tears were shed. Even the boys cried. You know shit just got real when the boys cried and they didn’t even try to hold it in.

It was magic how all differences and misunderstanding were forgotten and in that moment, all that mattered was right there, right then. I kind of wanted to freeze time for a while, to be honest. It felt bittersweet.

It really warms your heart when someone hugs you heartily, although deep inside we all knew we were preparing to say goodbye. But those minutes of hugging one person then another inside the Folk Arts Theater in Malaybalay, albeit bittersweet, was so priceless that I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything. Not even for a free one-year supply of pizza.

I’m not the most religious person, but I’m starting to understand the appeal of heaven, thanks to our recollection. And I don’t mean the cheesy depiction of heaven they told me when I was younger where the gates are gold and it’s warm and bright and there’s your favorite food and you’re happy all the time.

Heaven to me is more like the idea that there is a place we can go to when our time comes, and be reunited with every person who has left us behind over the years.

And, if heaven is all it’s cracked up to be, then it will come in the form of second chances—to say the things that we thought we could have all the time in the world to say; to hug that person again, this time an inch tighter, and three seconds longer; and to seek forgiveness for our naive confidence in the permanence of tomorrow. (Alexandria M. Mordeno, 15, is a senior student at Bukidnon National High School in Malaybalay City.)