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The healing power of a girl’s day

by Gaby Agbulos

IN THE PAST few years, it seemed as if everyone’s priorities were focused on getting into a relationship. You’d see couples left and right by scrolling through Instagram stories, your FYP… it seemed inescapable.

Suddenly it seemed as if all your friends were out of reach, and you’d find yourself wondering why the hell everyone was entering their lover boy / girl era at the same time. Perhaps you even found yourself wondering, “Pa’no naman kaming mga single!?”

Recently, though, it seems that people have a newfound appreciation for the single life.

Based on a report from the Social Weather Stations (SWS,) while 58% of Filipinos labeled themselves happy with their love life, 23% noted that they could be happier, while 19% were perfectly fine with having no love life at all.

There has also been a resurgence of friend-centric activities, especially when doing things or celebrating events traditionally meant for couples. One such example was the recent celebration of “Galentine’s” over Valentine’s.

Galentine’s is a day focused on celebrating the power of female friendship. It’s about showering your friends with love and appreciation, reminding people that while partners may come and go, your girls are forever.

And it’s not just that. Friend dates are starting to become more and more popular. After asking 71 people if they preferred friendship over romance, The Washington Post writer Renee Yaseen found that 66% chose the former. Of those who chose friendship, 70% were women.

Why do people feel this way? More particularly, why do women feel this way?

Friends for life

23-year-olds Kyra Gomez and Angelie Nicole Bantog are the faces behind the Good Intentions Collective, best known for bringing to life the Sonny Swap: Blindbox and Art Market, as well as the more recent Twin Flames: Valentines Art and Collectibles Market.

Aside from organizing these events, Bantog and Gomez have been friends for over seven years. They’ve been with each other in almost every phase of their lives.

“She’s seen me throughout high school – yung tipong ang dami naming pimples, ang papanget pa ng mga boyfriend namin – she went through that phase with me,” Gomez said playfully.

“At the end of the day, it’s your friends who have you talaga. It’s your friends who’ve seen you grow, and [have] supported you through everything.

Even now that they’re at different points in their lives, they continue to do their best to make time for one another. Whether it’s constantly updating each other, hanging out with each other, or organizing events for Good Intentions that are made for the girls, by the girls.

“We deal with a lot of things that [are] happening, [so] we try to make time for us because the friendship we have, we’ve nurtured it from the start,” Bantog noted, adding that she and Gomez have kept their friendship going through girl dates and things akin to this. 

“What we’ve built through the girl’s dates and all that, it’s more than just the relationship itself – it’s like a whole world just for us.”

A deeper understanding

Gomez has noticed that the majority of – if not all – her friends are women. She can’t even remember if she has a straight male friend at present.

Bantog is quite the opposite but even though she has several male friends in her life, she can’t deny that female friendships just hit different.

She noted that as friends, women are much more caring and nurturing while boys tend to act more playful and protective.

Bantog explained: “When it comes to the girlies, they love to give you hugs – mas jowa ka pa sa jowa nila – and most of the time, [they] have your back. The girls will fight for you ‘til the end.”

Gomez, on the other hand, finds female friendships to be beautiful because they are filled with so much love and thoughtfulness – things she doesn’t feel as much when it comes to straight male friends.

When she’s with her female friends, for example, there are times when they give her things just because they know she likes them. In actions like these, no matter how small they may be, Gomez feels her love languages being fulfilled.

“When [I] feel like I need somebody to listen to me, [or] I need somebody to help me or console me, they’re always there,” she added.

Bantog shares the same sentiments. In her relationship with Gomez, for example, she finds that time seems to pass twice as quickly. There’s something she finds healing in her friendships with women, with the support and love that you feel all throughout.

For her, female friends are ones you can rely on – people you know will continuously uplift you regardless of the situation at hand.

She recounted her experiences last year when she was going through a rather rough period in her life. Though she felt as if the world were ending, it was her girlfriends who helped show her just how loved she was – even if, at the time, she didn’t feel like it.

“They helped me get back on my feet, they helped me heal, [and] helped me move forward from whatever brought me down in the first place, and I really appreciate the community we were able to build together,” she said.

This is one of the goals as well of the Good Intentions Collective: placing a spotlight on women, on their talents and their hobbies, and creating a safe space to share their appreciation for these things together.

With the most recent Twin Flames convention, for example, Bantog and Gomez were able to get to know the attendees, even managing to build friendships with them, especially with other artists and merchants who were present.

They found that no matter how little time they spent with each other, they continued to feel that same affection and love – that certain connection – in each convention and market they organized.

Gomez added: “The guys, the jowa, [whoever your] partner is, they come and go. But that friendship – especially with girl friendships – they have your back no matter what.”



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