The other day I saw a friend I haven’t seen in a while. We tried to catch up on things; I would have wanted to have proper talk over dinner because I knew she’s through some tough times right now, but something came up and she had to go. When she got home later that night, she sent me a text message apologizing for not being able to stay.
“Na-share ko sa nanay ko mga happenings over a bowl of chicken tinola. Yummy. Things didn’t look bad afterwards,” she said.
Somehow, that also made me feel better.
You see, I’m pretty sure that my friend is not the sort of person who is stupid enough to think that her problems will be solved by papaya and chicken broth, but she is the kind of person who can have a comfortable chat with her mother over a hot, home-cooked meal and afterwards say, “Well, things don’t look so bad now. I can take this.” I just found it so inspiring. My friend can be sometimes be too nice and too naïve for her own good that we give her a lot of ribbing for it, and she gives off this fragile appearance; but behind all that, I realize that she’s a tower of strength. Quiet strength, is the phrase that comes to mind. In a world where everyone thinks that his/her problems are bigger than everyone else’s, where the situation is always “complicated,” the power of my friend’s naiveté and chicken tinola can never be underestimated.