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Hey! Long time no see...

Dear Fordy, 

16 years ago, I got a call from your Tita KC. 

"Tapol, may work ka pa ba? I am leaving my work and I need to get them a replacement for me." 

"Meron, sa shop ng friend ko. Saan yan?"

"International bank, Makati."

"Oh, really? Sige try ko." 

She gave me the address and gave me instructions. I was then working as a credit and collections specialist for a friend's motor shop business. I was in charge of collecting money from the insurance companies of the clients. Sometimes, when the estimator is not around, I do the estimating of the job order. It is a small company so we do not have benefits. Only, the work is not that tedious. I can smoke while talking to clients. And the boss is my friend haha! 

So, sometime in October 2002, I went out of my comfort zone and geared up for the concrete jungle of Makati. Wow, I am going to be a Makati girl, your Mamila told me. I was not used to wearing corporate attire. I went to the shop in jeans and shirt. We only dress up on Monday. But this time it was new. I was in corporate attire and high heels. I wasn't used to commuting that time. The farthest that I have been to by commute was Pasay Rotonda because the jeepney terminal to San Pedro was there. 
Anyway, it was a one bus ride from Tambo to Paseo de Roxas, Ayala. From the bus stop. i had to walk for about 5 minutes to Palanca St where the building is. I took a deep breathe and entered the building. After leaving my ID at the lobby, I went to the lift and pressed 11. This is it, I told myself. When I got out of the lift, a man asked me , "San ka maam?" 

Shoot! I forgot the name of the agency! I was trying to remember while the man waited for me to say the name of the agency. I said, "I forgot" sheepishly. He then asked me to follow him to a row of cubicles and introduced me to a mestiza looking girl in wheelchair. The girl gave me the sweetest smile showing the most perfect set of teeth I have ever seen... 

"Hi, I'm Carrie. What's your name?" 

My name? She asked for my name? No, I couldn't give my real name because I did not want to explain where it came from. "Marie", I said. That is close enough to my real name. She shook my hand and introduced me to the team. There was Ate Thet, Jen, Jane, Veronica and the guy who brought me to them, Noriel. They said "Alex" was not yet in, he always come late. Hmmm. I was also told the unit manager will be in any moment. His name was Abel, who came minutes after lunch. 

I was given a one-day training, it was pretty new to me, telemarketing. I was given sheets containing spiels, was shown different scenarios, was led to my workstation and the commission scheme was explain. Commission... commission... commission. I hung for a moment. So that means, no sales no money? YES, they said but they also guaranteed that no sales in week is impossible. So, okay. I might as well give it a try. It was a quick first day. I got to me the "Always Late Alex" who turned out to be your dad. The first day of meeting him was nothing special. 

When I got home, your Tita KC called me again. 

"How was it? Did you meet them?" 

I told her it was interesting the people there are nice. 

"Have you met the twins? One of them is my boss?"

"Twins, what? Abel has a twin?"

"Abel who? My boss is Joan and her twin is Jaime. What agency did you go to?"

"Uhm, AGM. I thought they are all in one agency haha!" 

So there, I went to the wrong agency and got to the wrong people. And I could no longer take it back haha! It was then the start of my 4 years of roller coaster job of selling credit cards and loans for 2 international banks. And of course as everyone knows, your Dad and I met there and started our roller coasted love-hate relationship then. Imagine, what if I remember the agency name? Would I meet your dad still?  I can't tell. He barely got out of his cubicle so I don't think I'd see him. Heaven's plan no? 

Anyway, after 12 years, we met with our teammates again. It was a short but super fun dinner, reminiscing the good times we had over bulalo, crispy pata and bottles of beer, just like the old times.

These people are the most important to me because we were the ones who stuck with each other thru good and bad times. Now we are all leveled up, "nakakaluwag-luwag na", as they said. We no longer commute and squeeze ourselves in FX (No UV express then) and bus. No more walking along Ayala just to get to EDSA for a bus ride going home. We can eat and drink what we want without waiting for the boss to treat us. And we have grown to be matured (? lol) and responsible people. R2 has a laundry shop, Eglet is an operations manager for an international flower shop, your dad of course is now a call center director and I make at least $300,000 sales per month. The previous boss must be very proud of us. 

Ate Carrie is now in UK where her family migrated. Ate Thet, the last time I heard was working in Dusit Thani, Veronica is now a successful entrepreneur. Noriel, I have not heard anything about him. We are planning to hold another get together hopefully with some of our colleagues. 

I hope you got to hear of our love story, it may not be one of a kind but it's something that God has written and has inspired some of our friends. 

If you are here, I know that you will be like your dad, semper fidelis.

Next time, I will tell you one of the greatest story God has ever written, ours lol!

I miss you so much, bubut! Sorry, if the letters are not so frequent. I will make time, promise!

Love you forever,