This is a piece I wrote for a contest in our university. It's about how my friends and I found each other and how we managed to keep our ties stronger. Winning the competition was really memorable and probably one of the highlights of my university experience.
We’ve travelled different routes.
We’ve paved different paths.
We’ve battled different foes.
We’ve relished different joys.
We began with once upon a time.
Once upon a time. Most, if not all, fairytales begin with this same old phrase. One might wonder how it came to be or how the slightest utterance of such could bring up sparks in every little girl’s eyes. Some may say it’s imagination. Others might say it’s exaggeration but we would say it’s magic through inspiration. Truly, in every tale a princess finds her prince but what is often overlooked and given less attention are the people behind her triumph. Cinderella was saved by birds and mice. Belle was accompanied by a teapot, a candelabra and a ticking clock. Snow White was protected by seven dwarves. Friendship is an enchantment of its own kind. It sees beyond darkness. It sacrifices beyond boundaries. It shares beyond limitations. If the Disney princesses had their allies then we have each other and we are here to tell you how our tale began. This is our story.
The Catalyst. It was the first day of second year. We were sitting comfortably on our chairs, talking to acquaintances and observing new faces. We’ve just survived first year, the so-called getting-to-know-you phase. We thought we’d get the hang of things but the following chapter proved to be a metamorphosis of its own kind. We were sitting in groups, somewhat hesitant to start the conversation. True enough, some of us were block-mates for the past two semesters but the presence of new faces muted each one. If not for the presence of this valuable catalyst, our story could have shifted to a different genre. It was the sincerity of a smile which melted away our inhibitions. We introduced and talked. We even decided to sit close together. Soon, we were eating lunch together, studying together and laughing together. Little did we know that we have just opened a new chapter in our lives.
The Debut. It was the 16th of July 2010. We were gathered around a table in the school’s Wrocklage yard. We were talking about the simplest stuff and trying to get to know each other further. Soon Heather began taking candid pictures. Everyone went berserk as they tried to flee from the camera’s lens, not wanting to get any funny picture uploaded on facebook. That was when Anne got the idea of naming the group. Excitement filled the air and the weirdest and funniest ideas came shooting away. Minutes passed and we still had nothing. Suddenly, an idea tugged at our brains. What if we combined our names? First, we tried to put together our first names. That was a failed attempt. Next, we tried with our family names. That was both ridiculous and dreadful. Then someone suggested using our nicknames. It was no good either. Just when we were about to give up, we randomly combined some of our first names and nicknames. We tried with the first syllables then with the last syllables. Suddenly, someone uttered “BonGeeJaKi”. Our eyes widened. Finally! However, that was just the first part. What about the rest? So we gathered around and came up with “AnnChoiDurRia”. From then on we’ve called ourselves “BonGeeJaKiAnnChoiDurRia” in short the “BonGees”.
The Vanity. If you’d say vanity is a crime, then we’d all be imprisoned for a lifetime. Just like any other girl, we all have this itch: the camera itch. At first, we took the usual smiling photos, the ones where we look a little too formal. As time went by, we’ve notched up and took one-of-a-kind pictures. Probably, two of our favorites would include the balance-a-Stick-O-on-your-upper-lip picture, and the mimic-the-mannequin-slash-poster-model’s-pose photo. Truly, the camera captures our smiles and craziness but what captures our happiness most would be our hearts filled with sincere glee.
The One True Love. As our bond deepened, our time together has also lengthened. We’ve had lots of bonding time and a couple of sleepovers. Wherever we went and whatever we do, we always see to it to have with us our one and only sweetheart. True enough, we scream at the same cute guys on movie and television but this one great love isn’t a he but an it. Food. Whether it’s a movie marathon, a sleepover or a simple hang out, food is always a must. What’s our typical menu if you may ask? Well, we’ve always had Pancit Canton, bread, scrambled egg and sometimes ice cream, only if our budgets would allow. With our tummies all set, we’re always ready for an adventure.
The Notebook. They say good things never last. We, on the other hand, believe that they do only if you know how to make them. First semester has ended. Just when we thought the second semester would be a continuation of our first year of togetherness, we were tormented by our separation. We have been scattered into five different blocks. We were so upset. It felt like heaven and earth collided and squashed us. We’ve tried analyzing our schedules so that we could still meet up, talk and if possible, eat lunch together; however, trying to keep up with such wasn’t easy at all. It was Choie’s brilliant idea which eased the pain. She thought that if we could connect through something then maybe we could still make up for the lost time. She introduced our group diary which we later called the “BonGee notebook”. She even coined a term for it: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Notebook. This notebook has been in circulation for the past three semesters. With it, we’re able to pour our hearts out and bond despite different constraints.
The Third Page. We know that God works in mysterious ways. We just didn’t know how mysterious those ways can be. He really did find a way to surprise us. It was a morning whose date we couldn’t remember. The list of Dean’s Listers was posted with students from different levels crowding all around it. Belonging to different blocks with different schedules, we approached the bulletin board at different times of the day. Our jaws dropped as we found the good news. All eight of our names were printed on the third page of the list. That was one big reason to celebrate. Study and play really came to balance. Truly, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy but since we’re girls, all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. Success does feel better when shared together.
The BonGee Jargon. Months of togetherness has brought us closer than ever. We’re sisters separated at birth and united by destiny. With every unforgettable memory, we have coined different words and terms, thereby, making each moment truly ours. We’ve already dubbed our group diary as the “BonGee Notebook”. Our first year anniversary was called the “BonGee-versary” and just this year, we have celebrated our so called “BonGee Christmas”. We’ve even got a “BonGee ID” through the ingenuity of Bonbon. It has got a solo picture in front with a matching group picture on the back. Since then we have worn the ID together with our school ID. With more years to come, we will be coining more terms and creating more memories.
A year and half has passed and what has only been eighteen months of togetherness feels like a decade. Our fairy tale has just begun. We have more chapters to fill. We still have a lot of adventures to go through. We have more battles to fight. Some of which may be victorious while in some we might lose. There is still much more to discover and to unearth. Our Prince Charmings are yet to be found, although some may have already been. A lot of things are still left unknown but there is one thing that we are certain of. This is our story and just like Cinderella, Belle and Snow White’s stories, we are going to make an extraordinary mark. In time, we will be making a remarkable ending. We will live happily ever after… TOGETHER.
Once upon a time, we went crazy and made this video we call THE BONGEE-RHAPSODY.