Been thinking about Hazel these past few days. She'd pop up in my head every now and then. Then Jove left me a message on Friendster, saying a lot of our friends in the industry had been thinking about Hazel too.
This photo is very memorable. We had extended our stay in Paris for a week after PGMA returned home. We got lost looking for Notre Dame. We thought it was the structure with the elaborate towers in the background - I don't think they're visible in this photo - but when we went closer, it wasn't. Ja, knowing more French words than me and Hazel, bravely approached a French guy to ask for directions. Her back was towards us but we could see she was nodding her head and motioning with her hands. We were sooo impressed. Imagine being able to sustain a conversation in French! Well, it turned out she didn't quite understand everything the French guy said - he had also been motioning with his hands, indicating the direction we were to take and how many blocks we had to walk.
Well, we did get to Notre Dame. But the cathedral was closed for renovations. So we just fed the birds and strolled through the streets - looking at paintings and picking out souvenirs.
Most of my photos of our stay in Paris were taken by Ja and Hazel. I misplaced my camera and I was ready to kiss all my photos from New York and Rome goodbye when I learned one of the PSGs found it. The camera took the Presidential flight home.
But photos don't show everything. Our photo by the tunnel where Princess Di died shows us smiling and posing while trying to fit ourselves on the very small island that divides the main street and the tunnel. What it doesn't show is how we giggled and screamed after almost being hit by a car.
And photos couldn't capture how Hazel sang at concert-performance-level while taking a shower, oblivious to the fact that she was slowly flooding our room. When she got out of the shower, the first thing she said was: O, bakit bumaha dito?
And how we spent coin after coin to experiment with the controls of the high-tech airconditioned public bathrooms on the sidewalks.
I've sooo many more fun memories of Hazel. I don't want that eclipsed by my memories of receiving news about her and her team's death the moment I stepped into the office that Sunday, and of how Ja and I were crying on the phone when I broke the news to her.
One thing I and Hazel's friends in the industry can assure her - we will always remember how she filled our lives with laughter and all-good memories.