I offer this post to Christian (aka "Yacky") Guinhawa whose memory I will forever cherish and remember.
Christian during Aldrich's despedida. One of the last few times I saw him.
On November 03, 2013 at 1:00 AM in the morning, I learned that a dear friend of mine, Christian Guinhawa had passed away.
The last time I saw and talked to Christian was approximately 2 years and 3 months ago. We passed by each other in Pearl Plaza as I was going back to the office and as he with his long time girlfriend were looking for a place to have lunch together. During that time, we exchanged phone numbers in the hopes of getting in touch some more at a later date. That never happened.
About 1 year and 9 months ago, I had learned from a common friend that he was diagnosed with Leukemia. I vaguely recall trying to contact him the week after I found out but the efforts were in vain.
On December of 2012, a fellow dorm mate and dear friend of ours, Aldrich, was able to talk to Christian and had informed me that Christian would be at his wedding the following month. Unfortunately, Christian was not able to make it to Aldrich's wedding.
Fast-forward, a week before Christian passed away, I caught up with Jeff, another fellow dorm mate/friend and learned from him that Christian was at St Luke's Hospital, getting treatment for his ailment.
5 days before that fateful day, Ben, another dorm mate/friend and I discussed the possibility of paying Christian a visit at the hospital. Sadly, this did not come true.
Now this probably applies to most people but ...I forget things... I forget stuff a lot. College is now a hazy blur to me. I do not remember most of the people I knew and spent time with back then: coursemates and blockmates alike (not saying that I'm the most memorable person in the world also coz I'm not XD). Luckily enough, the bits and pieces I do remember during my college days are probably the most detailed and vivid of my current memories. And also, fortunately, some memories I spent with my dorm mates, one of which was Christian, are kept safe and treasured by my stubborn brain.
So Christian was one of my dorm mates. He joined our education driven, unit 1107|1606, so far yet so near, households at the start of my 2nd year in college. He came in together with Ben, Aldrian and Alvin. The first time I actually met Christian, I remember thinking how fat his face was ('coz it really was) though he probably thought about how tiny I was also (so it's all good).
Christian's fat face
Naturally, for the first few weeks, we were merely acquaintances. I remember him addressing everyone as 'Kuya' even though Jude and I were the same age as him. It wasn't until one particular day which was the first time I had set up my computer inside Ben's room (all for the glory of dota). While we played, Christian also stayed inside the room the whole time, giving out monologues (I say this because that game demands 99% attention and Christian did not stop talking to us despite this). Inevitably, It was during this time I first learned of our shared love for computer games, tech, gadgets, plus lots and lots of geeky stuff. This was the catalyst for a number of bro-dates when we would geek out in SM Cyberzone or canvas PC parts from Greenhills or Gilmore.
Not sure why I have this picture
I can still honestly say I would have gotten along fine with Christian had that day never occurred nor our common interest not exist. He is easily the loudest, funniest, hilariously arrogant guy I've had the pleasure of sharing an FHM magazine with.
Photo and Magazine courtesy of Christian.
This guy was immune to the jokes about his bigger than usual figure we threw at him.. who even made it more entertaining by showing his belly around while wearing boxers and a headband (which, to this day, I still mimic) as he waddled around the house. He also had a lot of stories about the most random stuff and experiences. It was like listening to a blooper reel being narrated.
Boxers and a headband. Christian staying classy.
Christian also loved night outs, and more often than not, he added a lot of spice to our gimmicks. One of the fondest memory I have was when he misheard a girl's name and successfully implanted his misinformation to us despite our efforts to convince him he was wrong. What followed was a rather awkward night (in retrospect) and a long while before we could connect with the girl in question on multiply. I also recall of the night he invited us to "chick-packed" bar somewhere in Tomas Morato, only to end up into a literally "chick-free" one. Then, there was the Dad's incident which was when his car failed to start upon leaving the premises of the restaurant at 10pm in the evening. We got stuck in a gas station in the middle of EDSA til 12:30 am when the tow truck was able to show up. There was also the dorm Christmas party incident which was when he literally drank half a bottle of Black Label, passed out on the floor beside his bed faced-down and puked into his face.
Us in the chick packed bar in TM
Despite all the craziness, Christian was one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, objectively speaking. He also absolutely loved his family. His less than crazy stories would be mostly about them. The one thing I recall the most was how strong his relationship was to his Father. Whenever we were out and about, he would almost always be talking to his Dad on the phone at some point... and also of course to "Yacky" aka the love of his life aka his girlfriend. That's his nickname in the dorm (why? just because).
On the phone as usual.
This was the Christian I came to know and I feel extremely fortunate to have shared memories with a person of his awesomeness. Time spent with him was just so much fun and so eventful. That guy had an abundant amount of love in and around him because as he grew up, he got used to it.. so much that he could naturally draw it towards himself.