For Robin

Yesterday I learned that a friend, a former colleague died. They told me he took his own life.

I am shocked, sad and feeling a little guilty that I have not been there for him. Oh I know that I probably would not have counted in his decision. But I do know that knowing someone is there to listen often makes a difference.

My friend, Robin, and I live oceans apart. We’ve met face to face just two times. But for two years, we talked on the phone almost every week. However, since I resigned from the company, our communication has been limited to email. We often get in touch on special occasions and I would send him emails randomly when I think of him. The weird thing is I was thinking of him but thought of delaying my email to next week. Now it’s too late. So I’m just writing down a different letter for him.

Dear Robin,

How are you? Not that I’m expecting an answer or anything but if you do decide to, don’t scare me. And in case you want to know, I’m still same old me – finding ways to keep busy. 

Did I ever tell you how crazy the memories I have of you? Like the first time I saw how long your hair is. I was like – wow, you could be a model for Rejoice! I was actually jealous. And do you remember that time we went on a walking tour in Manila? You said the tour guide was the most irreverent one you’ve met your entire life – and you’ve been all over the world. That was a fun day. I made you eat Halo-halo the same day and you liked it a lot. To tell you the truth, you’re the first guest who told me Halo-halo is good. Even Jan did not like it! Some people can’t figure out how a mixture of sweets like jello, coconut, beans, custard, sago pearls, etc. with ice and milk could be tasty. 

Oftentimes, we show people different faces of ourselves. But for me, you’re the big kid who loved Disneyland so much and not embarrassed to tell it. You’re the geek (like me) who introduced me to R.A. Salvatore. You’re the thoughtful friend who never forgot people’s birthdays and always made sure to greet them. You’re the proud dad who loved to talk about your kids all the time (and I hope you replaced Chris’ camera that you lost!) And you’re the mentor who believed in people – who believed in me. 

Three emails ago, you told me there are some things in your life that are for a major change but you’re not ready to share them just yet. I regret not asking you about them. But regrets do not make sense anymore. So here’s a virtual hug and a prayer for you and your family. I will miss you, my friend.  

I’ve just decided to make some Thai food today in your honor. You said you want to check if it’s good. Too bad you’ll never get to taste it.

Still wishing you all the best,





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