Friday, August 05, 2005


In Memory of...
Joy Angelica Crisostomo Pongco
25 March 1982 – 29 July 2005

It’s still clear in my mind. Saturday morning. 30th of July 2005. I was inside the car. I just dropped off my brother & mom at my bro’s school & was waiting for my mom to come back when I remembered that someone texted me while I was driving. So I got my phone & read the message. It was from my friend Aya. It read: “Dear friend, Joy Pongco died yesterday at 3PM. Her remains lie at Magallanes. We will all be with her.” First thing that came to mind was, “What? Is this a joke?” Instinct told me to call up Aya, not really knowing what to say. Should I scold her for sending such a prank? Or...could it be true? I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t even want to entertain the idea. This could not be true. Then came Aya’s voice on the other end of the line. I asked her, “Joke ba ‘to?” Then she replied, “Candy, mag-jojoke ba ko ng ganyan?” So then it was true. But how come? Why? What happened next is all a blur to me now. I remember asking what happened, where Joy is at the moment, all sorts of stuff that will validate whether this is true or not. Then I cried. I didn’t know what else to do. And then, in that moment, despite it being a sunny morning, it felt like darkness came & prevailed over what was left of my thoughts & feelings.

It actually hasn’t sunk in yet, even though I’ve already seen her, all peaceful & serene. I can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now. I feel sad in general. But mixed emotions overcome me every now & then. I feel guilty because the last time I saw her was September of last year during my advance birthday celebration. Come to think of it, that was the last time our barkada was complete. Who knew back then that the next time I will see Joy, she’ll be in a coffin, lifeless & still. I feel guilty because I was in Baguio when the whole barkada watched live the Bb. Pilipinas pageant 2005 to root for Arfie who was competing that night. Had I been in Manila, I would’ve been able to see Joy for the last time since she wasn’t able to come to the succeeding barkada gimmicks that we had. I feel guilty because I could’ve done a lot of things to let her know that I miss her & to let her know that I’m still here. I could’ve called her up to ask what’s up...I could’ve texted her “musta” on one of those times when she sent me quotes via SMS...I could’ve emailed her letters or sent her a message via YM...I could’ve done a lot of things to keep in touch but I didn’t. So now, all that’s left are regrets & this painful feeling knowing that I’ll never hear her laugh...I’ll never see her smile...I’ll never hear her voice...and I’ll never feel her touch & squeeze her in a really tight bear-hug ever again.

It’s weird but I sometimes find myself scolding Joy for leaving us too soon. I’d tell her (in my mind) that we still have Macel’s wedding to attend to next year. Why didn’t she even wait for that? Aside from that, we still had a lot of plans as a barkada. We still have plans of going abroad as a barkada & going on a vacation as a group, probably in Boracay. Why didn’t you wait for that to happen, Joy? Kainis ka naman eh, iniwan mo kami...Iniwan mo kami when you know that you still have so much in store for you. You’re still supposed to get married, have kids...we were also gonna start our own business, diba? Ikaw yung accountant then the rest of us have our own roles in the company. With your passing, napapapisip tuloy ako...siguro hindi kikita ‘tong company natin kaya you decided to leave para di na matuloy at di na tayo malugi. Hehehe...Kidding aside, I don’t want to dwell on things not done and things that we failed to do. I’d rather remember the moments we got to share together...the break times we shared at the lunch counters in St. Scho...the bonding sessions at Maris’ house...the sleepover (where we didn’t get any sleep) at Intercon on Macel’s birthday...the kwentuhan at Manila Hotel after Mian’s debut...the “videoke challenge” at my house last year on my birthday celebration...I’d rather think of all these memories than wonder about the “what-could’ve-been’s” and “what-might’ve-been’s” if only you were able to be with us longer. I’m quite sure that’s what you would want us to do.

Hay naku, Joy...there are a lot of things I want to say to you, I don’t even know where to start. I want to say sorry...I want to say thank you...I want to say I love you...I want to say I miss you...I want to say a lot of things that I don’t even know how to put into writing. But even though I can’t sort all these thoughts out at the moment, I know that you know what I mean...and you know what I feel...and that somehow, I know I’m able to get these thoughts across to you no matter how jumbled-up they may seem.

I don’t know how long it will take for all these to sink in...I don’t know when I’ll be able to accept the fact that you’re no longer with us physically...But despite all these, I know that I am consoled by the fact that you didn’t suffer much. That you opted to leave silently and at peace. Your passing has taught me to cherish life even cherish my family and friends even more...and to keep in touch.

Joy, wherever you are, may your inherent goodness and sunny disposition be always with us as we face the world without you by our side. To Joy’s family, thank you for the gift that is Joy. To everyone whose lives were touched by Joy, remember this: we didn’t actually lose a loved one...we gained an angel. I love you Joy! I miss you! Til our paths cross again...*MUAH!*


I just want to share this SMS sent to me by Joy last April. I found it very touching at the time that’s why I never erased it from my phone. But its meaning is deeper now, more than ever. Here it goes...”I can never change the direction of the wind...but I can always adjust my sails just to reach you...hope we’ll stay in touch for the rest of our lives & remain forever friends.” Joy, I promise to keep in touch although you’re not here with us anymore because I believe that the bond of friendship endures through everything, even through the realm of mortality. I love you gurl...I miss you! BWP4ever...