Yolanda is the name of my BFF at and off work. When I say Yolanda, I don’t mean the superstorm Haiyan that just visited the Philippines and strongly battered central Philippines. This after a 7+ earthquake two weeks before, also around the same region.
Yesterday I was telling my friend that from now on I would call her Haiyan. In jest. I don’t understand when the Philippines started naming storms/typhoons differently, and they always carry a Filipino name too. But Yolanda was super strong – all the news said it was a superstorm. Growing up I only knew of Signal 2 which as students all we anticipated for because that meant there won’t be no classes. But Haiyan or Yolanda reached Signal #5.
Filipinos are very resilient. We could never take anything seriously which probably works best for us, for no matter what life brings, it does not take us very long to put a smile on our face. We have a gift of easy acceptance, that whatever tests God gives us, we know He will not really abandon us.
Yolanda is a gift too. We have known each other for a very long time. We didn’t start as good friends, I didn’t like her as much. I guess I was jealous, she is very pretty. But she took it all in stride, ignoring my eccentricity. How can you not like her, she is a very strong woman – a fighter and a survivor. She’s been there through various storms in my life, pushing, prodding and guiding me along. Her favorite words to me are, “Am just here.”
Unlike the supertyphoon, Yolanda does not have a temper or a destructive streak in her bone. She’s very human and gets hurt too so she’s very sensitive of others. She has two passions, her granddaughter and golf. Her dog comes in a close third to her heart.
On her birthday a couple of months ago, Rachel and I took her to lunch. Unexpectedly her boss was at the same restaurant and ended up taking care of our bill. She works very hard so that’s how much her bosses like her. I don’t know if any of mine would do the same but am so happy for her.
On second thought we should have taken her out on our own again. Instead, she cooked lunch for me and Rachel which we enjoyed at work. She’s not only an avid golfer, a wonderful cook too! That’s how she is, Yolanda is golden.