It was from a highschool classmate I hadn't seen nor heard from for upwards of 30 years. It was, uncannily, addressed to Annamanila!
Though I was floored and could hardly get up, I tried to coolly write back, basically asking an explanation how he traced annamanila (to me) -- when only a handful of "here-and-now" friends knew about this obscure blogsite.
His quick reply told me I had Google and boredom to thank or blame.
It seemed that he and I shared a common pasttime -- googling ourselves! He had run a search on his name before -- and found it in the lists of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, being a lawyer-CPA.
And on that one particular "nothing-better-to-do" day, he was surfing the Net again and. in his own inimitable words, he:
"Got bored, so I google my own name -- I know I am there because I've checked before -- that's the professional registrations I have, you know. Now, what's this, there's a brand-new entry from a blogsite I've never heard of before -- Ode2Old/the best is yet to come. I'm like, my God, what's this? I scroll down and even before I read that "tiny wisp of a campus leader" line, I'm about to fall off my chair. Of course, I recognize the writing. ANNA MANILA? Anna, you're just ... luminous.
"Now here I am still gobsmacked. ... Anna, you've got a fan in Australia. Didn't want to comment online as I felt like I would be intruding into very private space -- well, space that looks open only on invitation and kinda very women only looking. I knew you wouldn't want kibitzers barging in so I'm keeping the discovery private."
I am raring to write about who this old friend is, why his praise (of my writing) is important, and how he has come to occupy a time-honored page in the slumbook of my mind. But first he has to let me know it's okay to mention his name and other demographics. He has issued copyright permission on the use of his letters, though. In fact, he replied, when I asked:
"As Bert 'Tawa' Marcelo used to say, CENTERLY! Be my guest."
Asking permission to name him sounds silly, for I have already mentioned the guy's name in one of my first posts "Reunion Jitters" -- and that is how Google led him to ode2old and annamanila. But I guess this is different, ha?