Tribute to a Dear Friend Who has Gone Ahead……..

Gina Cumpas Arquiza…a dear friend that I met when we had a seventeen month training on Investment Promotions-Philippines.  She was Gina Cumpas then……

We were buddies during the early part of our training as  their room is just below ours in a separate building. Our training in the Manila  included German Language and other selected topics.  We were quite isolated from the rest of the group.  My roommate is Noreen while Gina and Susie share a big room on the ground floor.  We had such happy memories together….cooking, sharing food, especially Batangas specialties like sinaing na tambakol and adobong pusit (I forgot how that is called in Batangas). She would tell us that her favorite breakfast is sinangag na sinabawan ng kapeng barako…a true bloodied Batanguena.Gina, Susie and Noreen….I am the photographer.

See how happy we are and we enjoy our food……ubos lahat including the big pet bottle of Coke. The three lives within Metro Manila so I am alone during the weekends.  Our life during the first few months of the training focused on getting to know each other, how to be a team and of course learn Deutsch as this will be the medium of instruction of our training in Germany.

Our celebration of birthday parties started with Egay’s…..and we cooked spaghetti in Gina & Susies’s room.013 (2)Gina washing dishes. Uriel..pose lang and Susie preparing our food.

graduation BOIDressed up for our graduation (Duetsch Unterricht Stuffe 3) at the BOI penthouse.

The following photos are samples of our pictures ( we have lots and lots of it)……..I am sure she also has a copy of these.  Digital cameras are not yet being used….we use good old instamatic cameras (except for a few with SLR cameras) with films.

When we were already in Germany, we started to always go together especially shopping…but most of these are window shopping.  We love to buy fresh strawberries in the Markplatz in Dortmund.  I realized I failed to take pictures of these…luscious fruit.  These are wrapped in paper cones and the juices starts to trickle down our hands before we reach CDC.  Most of us girls love to add the berries in yogurt.  There is a Villeroy and Boch store in Dortmund and the items are just beautiful…these are ceramic wares.  The items are super expensive and one time we saw small bowls on sale…so we told ourselves that we will buy just one as remembrance.  One time we passed by the store and saw that there were only a few pieces left…….we panicked…went inside and decides to buy our bowl.  We were surprised when the lady took several bowls at the back and checked the quality by tapping the bowl…such beautiful sound from an expensive ceramic. There were so still so many on stock…we just looked at each other and laughed.

003 (2)Our picture in Paris with the Eiffel Tower as background.

002 (2)On a trip to Brussels

004 (2)Haslach….Schwarzwald

Anywhere we go in Europe, we wanted our photos taken in places where there are signage of the place….to prove that we were really there.  In every train station…we should a picture001 (3)Dusseldorf Hbf008 (3)Leipzig Hbf with Denden, Susie & Corieh010 (2)Nuernberg with Corieh011 (2)Salzburg Hbf with the Kids. Denden, Noreen,Gina, me, Susie and Sandy008 (2)We posed for a picture in another train station……….and would you believe, the sign was not included by the photographer…Crispy.  So funny.  This picture looks like in any train station in Germany.  Who would know that we were in Chemnitz Hbf?

Gina with me, Susie and Denden005 (2)Haslach..Schwarzwald………….Models of sunglasses.007 (2)Zwischen Seminar in Caputh by Potsdam

Tell tale signs of a blooming love affair?001 (2)On a special assignment in Dusseldorf009 (2)Train journey from Lepizig to Koeln……we almost did not catch this train as we did not understand the instruction given by the Train conductor.  We alighted is a very far Gleis….had to pick up our baggage in the lockers………..so we panicked.  We jumped into the train tracks and climbed the other side of the Gleis so we can reach the lockers…the “police” or guard and other passengers were shocked to see “small” people running like ants inside the so big train station.  We were so exhausted….but was able to catch our train…..the last schedule for the day that goes directly to Koeln.

My dear Gina…I know you are now in a place free from all the problems, pains and other concerns that we mortals still experience in our day to day lives.  How I wish I had the time to visit you while you were still alive.  I wanted to speak to you on the phone but I might cry and I thought this might depress you.  I can not also send you off to your final resting place but you know that you will always be fondly remembered. Thank you for the special bond that we shared.  You are in my prayers.

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5 thoughts on “Tribute to a Dear Friend Who has Gone Ahead……..

  1. I will sorely miss Gina!!! I will always have Noel and the kids in my prayers!! Thanks Lea for summing up our friendship and sisterhood with Gina….goodbye dear friend!!!

    • Yes Ama though we have not seen each other for quite sometime, our memories are still very fresh…..I wanted to add more pictures kaso lang baka boring na.

  2. Beautiful tribute, lea! I also planned to make one, but i just cant start it -maybe wasstill in the denial stage that gina is gone. Sandy, sussie and i were able to attend the mass and send-off to her final resting place… a sad day for us all… Gina, we shall miss you!!! Kuya noel, ginelle and marjnel, you are in our prayer prayers…

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