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Gold

I spent the day today with two of my closest long-time friends, Ruby and Elaine. We’ve known each other for almost 20 years. Ruby used to be my boss in the previous company I worked for before coming to the U.S., and I knew Elaine from my cell-group in the church.

It was such a joy to have been able to bond with both of them again after such a long time. We were sharing both serious and silly stuff. All 3 of us agree that we have come a long way indeed. We just marvelled at how the Lord have brought us through different life experiences that have made us who we are now. We had fun, and so much laughter especially recalling our “bloopers” in those good ol’ times.

The day started with Ruby and I visiting the company where I used to work for 11 yrs before I got married– CFIF (Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation). CFIF has grown a lot since I left almost 6-yrs ago. The company just moved into their new building. Looking at the building and its new offices, I can’t help but feel a bit of nostalgia, missing those highly stressful but very professionally fullfilling times at work. Everything I know professionally, I owe it to CFIF. I had the best professional (as well as emotional) training one could ever have in a job.

I’m glad to say that I was a part of the company, and continue to consider myself a part of this organization. As Ruby has said, what the company is now, is the result of all the hard work and sacrifices we have invested in it for many years. After all, both of us were among the pioneers of the Secretariat and have been instrumental in the evolution of CFIF into what it is at present – a professional organization that is highly respected in the furniture industry.

After CFIF, Elaine joined Ruby and I for lunch at STK. This place is something really that only the locals can truly appreciate. We had grilled tuna panga, calamares and baked scallops to go with our tom yam soup. Hmnn….. very yummy and healthy lunch. Best of all, it was a very affordable meal.

Then all three of us proceeded to drive up to the flower farm of Elaine’s boss, which is an hour drive away from the city. It is located in Sudlon, Grand Central which is up in the mountains. Kudos to Elaine, for her courage. She successfully maneuvered her car through those difficult road challenges, which made the trip even more worthwhile.

The flower farm is breath-taking. Definitely not something I can find in Maimi. The farm is nestled in the valley between hills. There are rows and rows of expensive species of orchid – cattleya, waling-waling and what have you’s. Dotted along the hectares of land are a hundred different kinds of flowers like hydrangeas, roses, asters, gerbera, etc. as well as ornamental plants.

I don’t know why they call the place a “farm” when it looks to me more like a park. The place is very well taken cared of, very well maintained. While they did have a plantation of flowers, but the owners clearly purposed the place for more than just agricultural. They also had R&R (rest and relaxation) in mind.

There is an awesome viewing deck where we can see the panoramic view of the plantation. The facility is charming, very rustic in its appeal with the old logs and train rails used for the building. And as we explored the farm, we saw a cute little cottage and many different kiosks in strategic places where people can have a picnic, or just rest to enjoy the view and the fresh air. There even is a tree house, and a play house for children! These are very nice touches. The place is definitely romantic, an excellent setting for a wedding. Right, Elaine?

And what’s the perfect ending for the day after all the trekking we’ve done in the mountain? A SPA! This indulgence is Ruby’s treat. Too bad Elaine couldn’t come with us. But Ruby and I relished every moment of our full body massage, facial and foot spa. All of these for only about $12! What a treat, indeed!

2-1/2 hours later, I was totally physically relaxed, and with an armful of 4 different kinds of flower bouquets (that I bought for only $1, mind you), I went home just awed at the Lord’s goodness and blessings. And my heart is so grateful to God. I especially thank Him for blessing me with friends / friendships that have withstood the test of times. As the old script goes…”Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold…”

Indeed like gold, the value of a friend appreciates as time goes by. Praise GOD for Ruby and Elaine. They’re among my golden treasures.

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