Unexpected friend request

In my first two years in High School I knew I wanted to enter those inter-class poster-making contests. I am groomed to become an artist, I thought. Those were the days when my mother was sending me art materials (the most memorable I've got was a wooden suitcase with everything in it) in every Balikbayan box: from palettes to tubes of acrylic and oil to stencils and blow pens. I had previously been enrolled in painting classes which, come to think of it, didn't have anything to do with paint at all.

Nowadays I have no idea if kids still use oil pastels, but back then, we did, and with the fervor of contestants with heads bowed on the drafting table, brushing our fingers, blowing excess colors away from our art piece. At the end of the day, all the posters would turn out in a certain fashion: a carabao, a nipa hut, a field, and two mountains with the sun peeking at the middle, the sun rays illuminating the background. Then, men in traditional Filipino costume, hands held together, forming a semi-circle. Regardless of the theme, it turns out that way. Well, the theme was all over textbook covers and school murals and television poster-making contests, and within our ranks there was no such thing as avant-garde, ever.

Someone added me on Facebook. See, the bulk of those pending friend requests were people I'm perfectly aware that I have never met, ever. But there are those who couldn't easily fit in the category, and this one just made me think of that day spent in the drafting room during poster-making contests. She was the toughest competitor I've ever had, and during those two years she won first-place. I used to attribute it to her handkerchief technique, where she would use her own handkerchief (!!!) to blend the colors until they become striking, or to reach an aesthetic the judges liked best.

I confirmed her invitation and, thank goodness, she looked like she had given up poster-making.