“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”  Colossians 2:5

He was simple, cheerful and selfless.  His name was Boeing.

Our first meeting was vague.  It was years ago at the old duty-free shop in paranaque.  I could barely recall how he looked like then.

The second time we met was along King Khalid St. here in Al-Khobar.  He was shopping for gifts to take home to his family in Pasig. 

The third time was during his farewell party at Bangkok Restaurant.  He welcomed each lady so  graciously with a long-stemmed rose.  That was what I vividly remember, because I barely knew the guests at that time, though most of them were from the same company where Boeing and my husband Bhoy worked.

The next day, I texted him to thank him for the sumptous dinner and the great time I had. prayed for his safe trip back to the Philippines and likewise, expressed sadness that we wouldn’t have the chance to know each other more intimately, because he had to leave Saudi Arabia when I just came two months prior. 

I was wrong…  Boeing came back after a few months to work  in another company.  And our friendship was born.  Thereafter, Bhoy and I began to spend Thursday nights with him and other close friends from ACEC.  Here in Saudi, that was one of the safest way to keep one’s sanity and avoid endless, lonely homesick nights.  We were then later called “Thursday group”. 

The “group” decided what special dishes would be prepared and where we would ‘devour’ them.  Aside from food and drinks, we shared stories about our families back home, work-related experiences and our hopes and dreams after life in saudi.  Sometimes, we even had videoke sessions, no matter if  we sometimes sounded like lost frogs in the desert. 

But some good things never last.  One after the other, some of those very good friends went towards different paths.  Then miguel, our son, came to live with us and study in Andalus. Thursday nights were never the same again.  The “Thursday group” was dissolved even before we could even think of a less corny name.  But the friendship remained…  and so did Boeing.

He advised me to apply for a job in the UK-based company he transferred to, but told me I had to wait.  That time, I already had two other prospects but I  trusted him to call me soon.
But a month passed.  And another.  Until finally, my patience ran out and went to be interviewed in a nearby hospital just a couple of blocks from our flat.  The offer was good enough. And I was ready to accept it.  So I called Boeing and told him about my plans.  But he insisted that I wait.

So I took the chance and waited.  But this time not for long.  He called me and took me to their office.  He was very confident that I would get a better offer.  And I did.  He was really glad that we would work together.  And for a year, we worked together… until that fateful Eid holiday.

He was first confined in Almana hospital on September 25.  From then on, he was in and out of the hospital until he finally took his last flight out of Saudi Arabia in November.  We were optimistic that he would get well before the end of his medical leave.  But at dawn on December 7, Boeing passed away.

I realized now that true friendship is never measured by moments, or months,  or years.  It cannot be described by words, nor phrases, nor eulogies.  The same profound friendship that Boeing and I shared.  He may be physically gone.  But I will always see him in every desert sand, in every date palm tree, in every bacoco fish.  And whenever I look up to see the vast Arabian sky, it is Boeing that I will see… smiling back at me.

I was told there is too much gold in Saudi.  It is true.  But I found the purest and most priceless of all.  His name is Boeing.

4 thoughts on “There is Gold in Saudi Arabia

  1. Thanks for your effort May-may to make a blog for our dearly friend and let me share you my thoughts for him.
    Truly indeed and a one of a kind feeling for our friend. GOD leads me the way to stay with my long lost friend for a certain period of time just to show how much I care and love him. I know he is already happy with his accomplishments in life with a big smile on his face watching us. We sing, dance, laugh, work and travel to places to enjoy the good times. But he don’t want me to see him cry even he is in pain and in his hard times in the hospital and in our room. Unfortunately, I can’t hide my feelings towards him when he saw me crying whenever I saw him in agony. I always experience a sleepless night watching him and pray that he will be healthy again.

    I can’t imagine that it was the last time that we will be together when I accompanied him to the airport and the last time I hugged him when he went inside the departure area. I was there watching him very happy and excited going home although worrying that he will struggle again financially due to his condition. Even when I am in the bus going back to Khobar I still keep on calling him just to make sure that he is alright. Then something comes to my mind that he made me strong and always asked me not to pity him and reject discussion about a sick or weak topic. He leaves everything to the Almighty Father.

    I still remember that we have plans to go home together so we can enjoy each other company again and explore places with different pokes and different strokes. My life is not complete without a friend like Boeing, although we have some ups and downs but we still cling and solved it as a joyful sibling.

    How proud am I to have a friend like him and will cherish the memories we built through the ages of time.

  2. myra, thank you very much for bloging my kuya from the bottom of my heart i thank you

    younger brother of kuya boeing

  3. Boeing was not not only a loving brother to me, he was also my very best friend. I missed him so much. The purest and priceless gold is now in heaven. Boeing I missed you so much, thanks for all the help and good deeds, we love you.

    Ate Cely

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