The Newly-found Asian Friends
I first encountered my best Asian friends during our Korean language class. They were so cool and accommodating. No touch of prejudices. We just simply…connected. It felt like having my amazing buddies learn and have fun with me in the most electrifying way. I immediately bonded with Sheila from Indonesia, Aika from Turkmenistan, Deen from Sri Lanka, and Yuko from Japan. Yuko is one of the closest friends I had during the camp, always willing to accompany me whenever I find myself wandering alone. I can also recall the Left-handed people society we jokingly established after finding out that Sheila, Deen, and I are left-handed. It would safe to assume that it is quite rare to meet people that are left-handed, often snubbed by the right-handeds. Laughs. I can also remember sharing stories and exchanging favourites from some of the participants in Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal, and Uzbekistan.
I can also recall my bonding moments with Saeem from Bangladesh and Nabeelah from Brunei Darussalam, Wani and Hana from Malaysia. We instantly connected and shared some girl stories with each other. I also remember my dancing time with Net from Thailand and Zayne from Brunei Darussalam. It’s amazing how they can express themselves well through dancing.
Then, there’s the Tres Marias (three ladies) which included me, Yuko from Japan, and Sevinch from Turkmenistan. We had fun taking pictures and ate fruit mixes. I also love to mention that Sevinch is such a sweet girl who would occasionally give out her share of candies and snacks. And she always wears these cute outfits and of course, that lovely smile which makes her so much more beautiful, inside-out. I can also recall the times when I get to spend some fun time with Hou Tao from China. We talked about pandas, and Chinese words, and the possibility of him touring me in various provinces whenever I would have the chance of visiting China.
And how can I ever forget when I took the courage to make friends with the participants from Thailand and made them share more information about the Thai boy band, Bodyslam, about the hit Thai movie “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and about the Thai sensation, Mario Mauruer. I had so much fun with them and now, I miss them sooo much.
I will also always treasure my bus-number-six memories with the ever playful Ria. She is just so upbeat and friendly to the max! She’s definitely the ultimate girl best friend anyone would really love to have. There’s also Oh Rang who shared to me some of their heart-touching personal stories. I felt so warm and touched that they opened up to me like that, imparting their own version of joy and sadness, of ups and downs. Then I can also bring to mind short moments spent with Rihye Kim, Su Yeon, Ji Woo, Gu Kyung Mo and Hui Jae. That pictorial moment with Kyung Yul Lee will always paint a smile in my face because one time he wouldn’t make me forget his name but the moment I approached him to get a photo together, he forgot who I am! He’s so funny and amusing. Those were my Korean friends.
I am actually looking at the poster-sized message board where people wrote their messages for me during our last night in South Korea. My eyes are a bit watery and I’m listening to some Korean songs played during the camp. It has been two months and as I do this three hour-long recollection, all those enjoyable scenes came back to me by bits and pieces. It was as if all those things happened just a moment ago.
Now, I’m holding the elephant key chain Amm from Thailand gave me and the sparkly bracelet Areej from Pakistan gave me and the flower pin Sheila from Indonesia gave me. They’re the concrete tributes my Asian friends passed on for me to remember the fun and worthwhile stories we had during the Youth Camp for Asia’s Future 2011. Now, I’m just wondering about the time when I get to see them once again and continue the story that began two months ago and will always be cherished in our hearts. To the organizers, to my fellow Filipino delegates, to my Asian friends, to my Korean pals…Muchas Gracias, Arigato, Xie-xie, Salamat, Kamsahamnida, THANK YOU for the memories. Smiles.