I've traveled miles to attend First Draft meetings, and even arrived once from an overseas trip, woozy from jet lag but still able to listen to my wise elders with some mindfulness.
Karina Bolasco and I are the "babies" in this group of women who write and like to share their works by reading them aloud for critique. I write "babies" because after me, the next lady is in her mid-60s. The eldest is forever 84.
We used to meet six times a year, but that petered out when each got involved in this or that. But the raison d'être for a group like this has been met--we're all engaged in and committed to writing. And we write not for livelihood reasons alone. To use another friend's term, writing has become a "lovelihood".
Rita Ledesma had been our gracious Christmas host for many years. December is when she brings out her best china, the best cuisine and desserts that she has tasted and now wants to share this delight with us. We exchange gifts (an option) and have a non-negotiable bunutan or mini raffle. This year we missed the company of Mariel Francisco, Melinda de Jesus and Lorna Kalaw Tirol, all fulfilling family duties. I know there's a next time with them.
If my pictures are fuzzy, maybe it's because I look at these women through the eyes of love.