For Jade, on her eighteenth birthday

Dear Jade,

Happy birthday!

I really meant what I said yesterday that I wanted to say so many things at the eighteen candles speech thing. However, I decided not to say them because of several reasons. One is I found it uneasy to talk in front of all those people. You know how I always clam up every time I have to do that. Secondly, the other girls’ messages were short and I did not want to take too much time. And lastly, I did not want both of us to cry. I did not want to ruin your makeup.

During dinner, I thought of what to say and how to say it. I wanted to tell you how I find you admirable and how thankful I am that we are friends. Because it was your eighteenth birthday, I decided to tell you the eighteen things I love about you. It did not even take me five minutes to enumerate. Here they are.

18 Things I Love About Jade

1. Your penmanship is cool and your notes are always neat.

 Is it the tilt of the pen? Or the pen itself? Why are your notes always neat? Spill the secret!

2. Your queer OC habits are charming.

You are the only person I know who uses a ruler in highlighting text (Xtine is a mere copycat — Hi Xtine!). You are the only person I know who uses a ruler to draw a benzene ring. You rewrite all class notes even when it seems impractical and time-consuming. These habits are a bit weird but I find them cute. They make you unique.

3. You look like Barbie.

Have I told this to you before? Sometimes I think you look like the world’s favorite doll. I love Barbie and sometimes, I feel like you are a life-sized doll.

4. Your big eyes are lovely.

I am always drawn to people who are wide-eyed. Every time I look at your eyes, they make me feel like you can see right through me.

5. You make me laugh with your corny jokes.

Your jokes are not always funny but they always make me laugh. I don’t know why.

6. You are a proud left-hander.

I was not really thrilled that I am a lefty. It was you who introduced me to the lefty pride. I remember how excited you were when you saw me noting with my left hand. I find it sweet every time you would share to me an article about being left-handed. Somehow, you made me see that we, lefties, are kind of special.

7. You love reading.

We both love to read and books are one of the topics that always dwell our conversations. I love how you always share with me the books you love. I love it that you are not bored when I talk about books and authors that are quite unpopular (or if you are bored, you never show it).

8. Your cheesy smile is infectious.

I know almost all had already said this but let me say it again because it is true. You always seem to be smiling. Your beaming face is like the go signal for me to smile. Do your face muscles ever get tired?

9. In you, I found the one person who is more iyakin than I am.

People always tell me that I am such a crybaby. I was always find myself branded as the “pinaka-iyakin.” I used to believe this until I met you. I remember how you would cry every time you receive a low score on an exam that you studied for (that low score is usually higher than mine, though). I may not show it but I always feel bad when you cry because I can almost feel your disappointment. Sometimes, I do not look at you while you sniff and wipe your tears because I could feel like I would break down any minute, too.

10. We share the love for Leonardo.

My crush for Mr. di Caprio goes back to when I was like three or four. I never shared this to anyone because I thought nobody would understand. Who develops crushes on old men? But there you were, upset that he, again, failed to win the coveted statuette for best actor (I know, dude. It broke my heart, too.). It is a comfort to know that there is another person out there who shares the same sentiment.

11. You are a model student.

I am always motivated by your astounding perseverance. I always ask myself, “Why can’t I be like Jade?” Then, I start studying because I feel ashamed of my pig-like laziness.

12. You are a time-management pro.

This is another secret you have to reveal: How do you manage to still read books despite our hectic schedules?

13. You teach me study techniques and memorizing tricks.

You saved me so many times from flunking those exams that require lots of memorization. Those might be just simple helpful gestures to you but they mean a lot to me.

14. You always seem to be older than your real age.

No, I do not mean you look old. I mean, you always seem to be wiser than your years. You are responsible and always sensitive to the feelings of others. I am older than you are by almost a year yet you are more mature than I am. I think this is your strongest trait and I look up to you because of this.

15. You are friendly to everyone.

I have never heard you say an unkind thing to or about another person. You are one of the nicest people I know and I am sure others will say the same. It is no wonder why you always get along with anybody.

16. You were friendly to me even when I was a snob.

I do not have many friends because people say I am suplada. While other girls ignored me because of this, you never gave up until you were able to get past my supercilious mask and reach the real me. Not many people are willing to do that and I am grateful God created circumstances for us to meet because you showed me that people are not who I think they are.

17. You always make me feel comfortable.

I do not know why but you can always make the ambiance delightful. You can always get me talking even when I am not in the conversation mood. I can see that this magic of yours does not only work for me. People are never uneasy with you around.

18. You love me (and Nicole) and I (and Nicole again) love you back.

No more explanations needed. We just love you, Jade.


This list might not be complete as we have known each other for only two years. But still, I am thankful for the friendship. I wish you all the best.


Love, Wencey


Author: Aira Mallapre

Aira, a dreamer by day and crammer by night, has been singing out of tune since 1995.

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