Tag Archives: jacer


“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Vivian Greene


I made plans ahead, trying to think of the best way to honor your day. Unfortunately, life had other plans. I picked the worst time to get sick. I was stuck in my room, snotty-nosed and hacking all over the place, while rain poured in torrents all weekend long.

“I miss you!” was the last text you sent using someone else’s phone, which my sister glared at me for and demanded to know why a friend of hers (his roommate and neighbor back home) would be texting me like that. It took the better part of an hour for her to calm down as I explained the text actually came from my best friend who was borrowing his neighbor’s cell phone. If I knew back then what fate had in store for you abroad, I would have held on tighter and never let you go as you whisked me away for our last dance together.

Words cannot begin to describe how big a hole you left in our hearts. I miss you, my friend. Until we meet again!




In Memoriam: Jacer

Bedroom, Mandaue, Feb. 13, 2011

“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss; but every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.” – Chet Duncan, Flipped

It all started when I received an email from Mik-Mik about her conversation with Juan over Jacer’s untimely passing that memories flooded my consciousness with the dearest best friend I have ever known. I cursed the circumstances in which I wasn’t able to attend his funeral. To see him one last time and bid him farewell. Not because we had a “sordid” past as some would put it, but because of our friendship.

Jacer and I became close during high school. While the rest of the classmates–especially the girls went crazy for boy bands–he and I bonded over Matchbox 20 and Savage Garden. Sure, Jacer may have been close to everyone else, but our friendship was unique and he was a unique person.

When we were 17, practically college Freshmen, the classmates attended the wake of Jolly Vic’s brother, who died pretty young himself. At some point during our all-night vigil at Vic’s house, the classmates were congregating at the garden and we stood gazing up at the moon. That time, it was reported in the news that we were experiencing a phenomenon known as the “blue moon”, a natural occurrence where a vivid blue ring would appear around the moon’s edge.  Legend has it, that whosoever was beside us as we gaze upon its emerald halo, would be each other’s “soul mate”. I remember I was sitting elbow to elbow between Jacer and Janice. Underneath that full moon, we cemented our friendship while we talked about alternative music all night long.

All throughout college, he would call me up just to find out if I was home. And if I was, he would invite to wherever the classmates chose to meet. At summertime, during semestral breaks and Christmas vacations, he would always call me at home. A day before he will leave for enrollment, he calls, always promising to ring me as soon as he was done. True to his word, as soon as he was finished signing up for his classes, he would call me, sometimes from a payphone in his campus or from somewhere near his boarding house.  He never failed to call all those years. Even when I was in Davao, at the beginning of the cell phone fad, when he had none himself, he would borrow a board mate’s mobile just to text me and our classmates.

Not one classmate demonstrated the kind of attention Jacer gave me during our years as friends.  And from a straight guy at that. At one time, when my sister borrowed my cell phone to text-message her boyfriend, she had asked me why a certain Jacer was texting me with “I miss you” messages. I rebuked her and said that it was from my bestfriend. Sure, Jacer was practically everybody’s best pal but to me, he was the only one I could talk to without pretense or any apprehension whatsoever. He has this magnetic quality that makes you think you could tell him just about anything under the sun. He was very easy to talk to.

There are a lot of memories that instantly flashes through my mind whenever I think of Jacer. But only two things stick out the most. First, is that he was always, always smiling and looking all sorts of care-free and second, is that he was unequivocally, one of the most remarkable and truly the bestest friend any gal or guy could ever wish for.

To Jacer: the greatest, friendliest and most beloved high-school classmate of the entire Batch 98, my deepest gratitude and reverence that you have graced us with your brief but meaningful friendship. You will never be forgotten.

I Will Miss You Always and Forever.

The Best Friend Monologue

Bedroom, Mandaue, May 30, 2010

I arrived, slightly trembling, at my new school. During orientation, before the first day of classes began, an old old grade school classmate, who’s name and face did not register from my memory back then, plucked me from the very back of the queue to stand behind her at the Flag Ceremony. Meanwhile a boy at a parallel line, who would become my first childhood love, said “Hi!”.

Mid-year at the Senior’s “Crack” section, you came over and started chatting with me. We bonded over Matchbox 20 and Linkin Park. We had heated discussions about music and I flatly refused to accept your vehement declarations that Linkin Park is a boyband instead of an alternative band.

First semestral break as College Freshmen, we met over a classmate’s house to offer our sympathies for his dearly departed brother. At the wake, you told the rest of the classmates the “Legend of the Blue Moon”. You said whoever we were sitting/standing with at that point would become our “Soulmate” for the rest of lives. Janice sat to my left and you occupied my immediate right. I knew from that moment on that you would become my Guy Best-friend.

Years later at another college semestral break, I tricked you into going to your “then” crush’s house. How I bawled with laughter when I heard that you presented Annabelle with a single Anthurium and she asked if you plucked it from their garden.

One summer vacation, I came home and my Aunt told you a certain “Jacer” called. Later that day, you called me again and everyday for that entire summer. Hours before you had to go back to enroll for the next semester, you promised to call me as soon as you got to Cebu.  True to your word, you called Long-Distance from Cebu a few minutes after you were done enrolling. You said you were going back home the following day.

On my 18th birthday, you, Janice, Jocelyn, Joan and I went to Flairmart for some ice cream. A year later, you and a bunch of high-school classmates came to my 19th birthday-slash-college graduation party for my Sister & Brother. You shyly shook my hand as I greeted you at the door.

While I was studying in Davao, you frequently borrowed your board-mate and neighbor’s cellphone to text me. One time I lent my sister my phone and she lividly asked me why her friend, Ray Ladroma would send me, “I miss you!” text messages. I calmly explained that it was from you, my best friend.

I came home from Davao and you were leaving me calls. That summer, your best-friend Juan drunkenly called me and told me you have a “thing” for me. I told him it’s impossible since you confided to me that you liked Annabelle. At Juan’s birthday, you avoided my gaze for most of the night. In the middle of Juan’ garden before midnight, you finally confessed that what Juan declared was true. I shook my head in disbelief.

The next time I saw you, Mayang invited us over to “Hacienda Ocio” for some “Butong” and “Tuba”. You were avoiding me again until you took a picture while I was grating coconuts and Jolly Vic lamented, “Basin background ra mi sa picture ha?”, when you asked him to move over so I could be in the shot. Hours later, you finally told me you liked me. I remembered asking you “Why?”.

I was now studying in Butuan and you were in Cebu when “Drop Calls” became trendy. During those numerous 5-second calls, you would often tell me your current favorite songs and made me listen to India Arie and Ska music. You told me you wanted to “court” me officially. I told you to listen to Bob Marley’s “Wait in Vain” playing over the radio in my room.

A few months later, I told you I was going to Cebu with my Dad for a check-up. At the Inn my Dad and I were staying after my Doctor’s appointment, you insisted that I should go to SM to meet you and to take a Taxi if I needed to. I only had Php500 in my pocket that time. My brother and Daddy went with me to SM. We met over at McDonald’s and I introduced you to my family. Dad and Kuya run off to watch a movie and you took me to see “Lilo & Stitch”. After the movie, I invited you to dinner with my cousins and you said you had to leave. As soon as we got back to Butuan, you immediately called me and asked if we were “together”. I told you I would only accept if you come home for SemBreak.

On your next birthday, I waited until 12 midnight to greet you, to which you curtly replied, “Thanks”. A month later, I found out you and Mik-Mik are now a couple. I was happy for you and Mik but hurt that you did not tell me yourself. I expected better from my best-friend, if not reluctant suitor. You apologized profusely but you still would not look me in the eye out of shame. I was hurt not because I was in-love with you but because I treated you as my best-friend. The one guy from our Batch that I felt most comfortable talking to about anything under the sun and I trusted to care about me.

One Alumni night, you kept whisking me to the dance floor, completely determined against my weak protests. And while you were holding me tight as we danced, commented that “Patyon ko ni J*** **c ani!”. If I have known this was one of the last times that I will see ever you again, I would’ve held on tighter.

Years later, you made it to Saudi. We chat often and you were always too shy for my liking. Two weeks before you left us, you made me promise to forgive you for the Mik-Mik incident. I laughed it off and told you I forgave you years ago and still think of you as my friend. You thanked me and told me over and over again how sorry you were.

One day as I was hanging new curtains in my room, I got a text message from Nonon that you passed away that morning from apparent heat stroke. Being a known prankster, I thought Nonon was just kidding until I got another text from Mayang confirming it. I ran downstairs and called Jolly Vic. I felt my body go numb. After what seemed like forever, I hung up and dragged myself up to my room where I hurled myself on the bed and bawled my eyes out.

Now, 2 years later, I’m still crying over you, best-friend. I cry for the lost times and all the happy memories. I cry because I would never see your smiling face again. I still cry because our Alumni gatherings will never be the same without you. And mostly I cry because, even though your obvious best-friend is Juan since diaper-hood and you were also close with all our high-school classmates and batchmates, you will always be the very bestest guy friend I’ve ever had.

One fine summer in the year 2000, under the light of that Blue Moon, I sat next to a “Soulmate” that I probably would never have again for as long as I live.

I miss you, best-friend. Rest in peace!

Jacer Sanjorjo: The Passing of a Friend

Bedroom, Mandaue, July 20, 2008

I was putting up brand new curtains in my room when my cell phone chimed, signaling a text message.

It was from Nonon, telling me Jacer Sanjorjo, a friend we went to High School with, has passed away. The apparent cause is heat stroke, he said. My initial reaction to the news was amusement. I thought it was a prank my friend Nonon is trying to psych me with. But he was gravely serious. He said Cling-Cling sent him a message after she called Jacer’s sister for confirmation.

Not long after that, Mayang texted me too, confirming the death of our beloved friend. I called Jolly Vic. He heard directly through Cling-Cling’s text. He said he and Johnhill promised to go home if Jacer’s wake falls on a weekend. The first time he heard the awful news, he contacted Levi at Manila, who called his family, who lives just across the road from Jacer’s house at Purok 8, Maygatasan.

Jacer has indeed left us. His remains are set to be shipped home by next week. I still find it hard to believe that the goofball guy, the class clown we have come to love, is gone.

It seems only yesterday that his smile stretched from ear to ear when he told us that he passed the Engineering board exam. I can still see that bewildered expression on his face that Alumni night he got mugged at Urios gym as the shirt he was wearing got torn in half. I can’t shake the memory of the Jacer I bonded with in High School and throughout College all because he liked Savage Garden and Matchbox 20, just like I did.

Sure, I might not have cried initially when Nonon texted me. But as soon as I was done with Jolly Vic’s call, I hauled myself up the stairs, slid into my room, threw my body across the bed, curled and bawled myself to sleep.

What hurts the most is that, a few weeks ago, we had a chat, Jacer and I, and he said he was really looking forward to coming home this December. He said he misses us all so much from the desert of Riyadh where he was working.

What will we do without you, my friend? Will our Alumni homecomings ever be the same without you? How will we gyrate our bodies to the tribal dances and reggae beats without you showing us? Who will I pick on and taunt that someday you will realize your love for Janice and it will be too late?

Nonon said he was gone too soon. Mayang said he was way too young. I can’t believe his 27th birthday is only a couple of months away. Ah, Jacer!.. Most of us called him “Kuya”. Some of us called him “Jacew”. But all of us called him “Friend”…

We Will Miss You, Jas!!!