Thursdays with Tim
I remember the first time I saw Tim. It was during one of my first visits to the Inquirer office. This was 12, maybe 13 years ago and I was just about to take the head-first plunge into the mad mad world of lifestyle journalism.
I was just a kid then, not even 18, and so so naive. So naive that when I heard him talking excitedly about a column he had written about Seventh Heaven, I wanted to pipe in and say, “Oh my God, I love that show too.” This was before Lucy got pregnant, before the world discovered how hot Jessica Biel was, when Ruthie was just an adorable little toddler with curls and when the highlight of Holy Week to me was that TV show’s marathon on Studio 23.
I had no idea that when Tim mentioned Seventh Heaven, he meant a party and not the Christian TV show.
Soon, I was working with Tim every week – he had a column in 2bU!, a section which I helped close. We had a lot of fun in the office.
I was just a nerdy kid who loved to read and write but Tim always made an effort to get me to have more fun. I was and still am no party animal (although my many drunken tales seem to prove otherwise) but Tim did not get tired of trying to coax me out of the cocoon I called my bedroom. He brought me to Orange, to Government, to Bed and later on to Embassy – yes, in my flip flops.
We played dress-up in Tim’s home and this was when Jason and I discovered that Tim bought an iBook just because it matched his bedroom. (This was years ago – long before he became the Twitter superstar he now is.)
I went to work on my birthday one year and after layout was finished, Tim and I headed out to Old Swiss Inn for a really late dinner. On the way back to the office, Tim rolled my window down and drove by the queens of Makati Ave., stopping at each one to shout, “Birthday niya o!” and waiting until they greeted me. A number of them obliged, shouting back, “Happy birthday!” but one bitchy tranny said, “Eh ano ngayon?!” We roared – laughing all the way back to our blue building.
Then there was that time Tim and I stopped in the middle of EDSA to climb the overpass so we could take a picture of him with his billboard.
Tim was one of the few people with me on the day I (finally) graduated from college. I had skipped my graduation ceremony and instead hosted dinner at my house. But dinner at home wasn’t enough so Jason, Tim, Giles, Atom and I headed out to Malate to celebrate my freedom.
I remember our sleepless nights spent at the office when we were planning the section that would become Super. I remember afternoons spent in rooms with the older editors, defending the sometimes very liberal choices we made while closing our pages. I remember constantly being impressed by the kind of ideas he would come up with – and his capacity to make sure they didn’t just remain ideas. That’s who Tim is – he makes things happen.
Tim called me all the time. While he was on his way to parties. (Sometimes, our conversations would get cut when people walked up to him to say hi.) While he was shopping. While he was abroad. When he couldn’t remember the name of our favorite salad in California Pizza Kitchen. We’re both talkers and we’ve spent chunks of our lives talking to each other nonstop. I knew I could tell him anything. He was open-minded and accepting. He never – not even once – showed judgment.
I cannot count the number of times he has shown me incredible kindness.
From tirelessly listening to me ramble on and on about my dreams, my anxieties and the craziness of my life to hosting my birthday dinners and having his driver Abet bring me home when we finished work really late. One time, I thought I wasn’t going to make my flight and Tim had Abet drive me to the airport – I made it with minutes to spare.
Tim has shown me great love and friendship. He’s never stopped believing in me. Whether it’s cupcakes or music or my book, Tim was there. His support never wavered.
And it’s not just me. He’s shown the same love and kindness to my friends, to people I love.
My grandma keeps telling me how she can’t forget that time Tim went to the States and brought back a DVD of a Bill Pullman movie for her (she has a huge crush on the guy). She says she prays for Tim every day.
One time, I was collecting donations for soup kitchens that fed children in Payatas every single day. Before I was even done telling Tim about the soup kitchens and the wonderful old man running them, he had written me a check, the biggest check I received for that project.
Tim and I used to make declarations at the start of each year. “This year will be our year of commitment.” “This year will be a year of abundance.” And our declarations always came true, showing me that he was right to teach me the power of believing.
He has helped me make decisions big and small – from silly little things like haircuts to bigger things like deciding to go full-time as a journalist. Nothing is too trivial for him, not if you’re his friend.
It was hilarious how, after he made the move to the Star, when some publicists would invite me to their events, they felt the need to tell me that “Tim will also be there,” as if that’s something I should be warned about.
He may have moved newspapers but that doesn’t mean we’re no longer friends. I love Tim just as much as I did (or maybe even more) when I was spending my Thursdays with him. And he continues to make me proud every day.
Happy birthday, Tim. I miss Thursdays with you. Maybe one day we’ll get the chance drive around Makati Ave. again – and when that happens, it will be my turn to get the queens to greet you.