June 10, 2011

Facebook as memorial...bye Chinette :(

I've alternately been amused, entertained and annoyed by Facebook. But lately, it's been useful since our friend in the Philippines passed away.

We met Chinette when we went home in 2009. It was the first time she met us, but she really went the extra mile for us. She was accommodating, kindhearted and overall, just a nice person. She was my sister-in-law's best friend, yet we all managed to establish a friendship with her in such a short amount of time.

She didn't like getting photographed, and I remember sneaking around, trying to catch her unaware. She and her boyfriend even accompanied us when we went to Boracay. That way, we wouldn't be mistaken for tourists what with my other SIL looking Korean, me looking Chinese and my husband looking Japanese. The next day, she left at 6am to take an hour-long bus ride to work. Immediately after work, she joined us in Boracay again. She heard me wondering where we can get piaya, and brought us where I bought piayas to my heart's content. She overheard my husband saying he wanted some iced drink he remembers from his youth. If not for the lack of time, she wanted us to get it too. She was THAT sort of person. I kept telling my husband how lucky my SIL was for having such a friend. That type of a friend is incredibly difficult to find.

After we got back here, we kept in touch via...where else?...Facebook. Her status updates were funny, insightful, and yes, full of positivity. She even bought me a book, and we were going to hang out again this coming December, with plans to eat at a restaurant that serves amazing bangus sisig.

Then we received a truly sad phone call the other day. Chinette passed away. No one knew the whole story. We were in a conference call, but we all fell silent. She was so young, and she was doing so much good. Off we were to visit her Facebook profile. We left messages, despite knowing that Chinette won't be able to read it. To this day, her Wall's bombarded by messages. I've noticed a theme, really. Everyone's talking about her kindness and generosity of spirit. Which is a testament to our own experiences with her. Which also meant that she was naturally that giving. My SIL's just devastated. My husband and I are still in shock, not really knowing what to say or do. Suddenly, Facebook's helping us preserve memories of her. I posted a photo of her - a candid shot. It was how I remember her. But there's no looking forward to more future photos with her or of her. Nevertheless, I really am thankful and lucky to have known her. If only it didn't feel like such an incredibly terrible loss.

She will be laid to rest on June 20. Rest in peace, Chinette. Thank you for being our friend too. ‎
"All God's angels come to us disguised." ~James Russell Lowell