Today, I watched my close friend, debating partner, first driving instructor, former crush, junior prom date, dasma neighbor, high school confidante and fellow Wood Tiger Jerome P. Geuvara become a priest.
It was a moving occasion for many of us who attended because we all know where he came from, and how challenging his journey has been. When he decided to become a priest about 12 years ago, I was just about to begin a new chapter in my life -- as a mom and wife, living abroad. Our paths forked dramatically at that point, but Jem and I had been friends for eight years and lots happened in those eight years to permanently cement our friendship.
From our first Ateneo soiree at his house in freshmen year to the day of my wedding to Cyril, Jem always looked out for me. He warned me about the evils of "boys" when I barely knew any guys outside of our tight-knit Makati barkada. He even warned me about Cyril (they were cycling buddies) when he first heard we were dating in college... "M, that guy is no good, careful. Don't give him too much of yourself." We often talked about unusual stuff (for high school kids!), and many times the topic drifted to religion, philosphy and the more profound.
Same way I should've known then that D was gay (after he taught me the dance moves of Vogue, lol), I should've seen Jem's vocation coming. Just the way he argued, persuaded, discussed and debated the many aspects of life and its meaning, of God and our place in this world... God was calling him even then, in the midst of teenage angst.
I am so proud of you, my friend, and envious of the true love you have found.