We flew to Manila on my birthday, May 22. If I could have gotten out of the plane to push it to make it go faster, I would have. My feet hit Philippine soil again, and they were off and running. We were staying at the Peninsula Hotel this time, and no sooner had we checked into the hotel I was downstairs, hailing a cab. I pulled up to my old school and ran inside, completely over the moon to be back again. I spotted my best friend, Leslie, in the hall, and we literally fell over in an ecstatic, screaming hug. Several of my old friends hailed me in the hall with "Hi LIZ!" and "Look who's back!!" The prom was the next evening, and Leslie had fixed me up on a blind date, with a guy who had just moved to Manila that past January. (My smoldering ex-crush had already left for the summer -- I didn't see him again until I was in my 20's .. but that's a completely different story!) His name was David, and he was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. We're talking tall dark and handsome, with curly brown hair, deep set eyes and a killer smile. Who gave blind dates such a bad name, I ask you?
He picked me up prom night with a full pink lei, which he had coordinated with my dress (so THAT'S why he asked me what my dress looked like?) I can't remember the theme of the dance, just that we danced the night away in a euphoric haze. When they closed down the dance, the four of us (Leslie and her date joined us) took a cab downtown to Manila Bay and stood soaking in the lights flickering on the water like undulating jewels. The wind was warm, and the palm trees whispered in the breeze. We didn't say much, I just had to stand there and let Manila back under my skin. <sigh!> I was back home.
After a night of disco hopping, I think it was sunup before we got back to my hotel. I had been given a pretty liberal curfew (as in none!) by my parents. I slept most of the next day, but had to report for graduation rehearsal late in the afternoon. My friends and I spent the evening together again, at Leslie's house and we took in a movie. I think it was Saturday Night Fever.
The day after that was the actual ceremony ... when I stepped up to the stage to receive my diploma, I knew that the folder was empty; the school had mailed me my diploma back in January. But that didn't matter. I was happier at that moment than I think I had ever been, nor have been since.
Once again, I had to say good-bye to the Philippines. It was back to Singapore for a little while, but another adventure was just around the bend. I had been offered a job in London with a British family as nanny for their two children, and was going to take a college class at Richmond College there. Heady times, indeed.