Sunday, November 18, 2007

Remembering Joel Urbano

I miss Joel. I met him in the Philippines when I was still in the university. He was a very generous man. He used to spend the whole day in the National bookstore (the biggest bookstore chain in the Philippines) because he could not afford to buy books. He would rather read them right then and there.

He was a very intelligent man and was curious about how things work. He liked me dearly and considered me his best friend. He told me his life as a sex worker and the hardships that he faced in Manila.

He learned a lot but he also lost a lot. Complications brought by AIDS made his last days miserable. He did not even recognize me on his deathbed. It was painful to see my friend in a situation like that. I practically begged my friends to help him out and I am thankful that they were very generous.

This happened in December of 2004. He was only 28 years old back then. I am now 29 years old. I know I still have a long way to go and it is a shame that he was not able to enjoy life as much as I did.

His family does not know how he passed away but it is good that they will remember him as the son who did everything to make their lives better in the province.

I hope you are doing better now, my friend. I miss you, Joel.

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