Ashley Abad: The bright, bubbly girl who can sparkle no more
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Bubbly. Selfless. A planner personified.
These are just some of the words used by the closest friends of Ashley Abad to describe the 19-year-old college student who dreamed of one day putting up her own restaurant and who always kept tabs how her loved ones were doing every day.
Thus, it came as a shock to her closest friends that she was gone.
One day, or on the 19th of January, she attended a pre-Sinulog concert. The next day she had left, leaving her family and friends gasping for breath and unable to comprehend the sudden loss of a young bubbly girl who had planned her life to a tee, down to when she would get married, raise a family and open her restaurant.
It was a moment they could not accept. Hers was a happy and infectious laughter. And it still rang in their ears.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News Digital, Ashley’s friends—Claire Sevilla, Anna Fabiaña, Christa Ramos, Trisha Antolihao, Sophia Toledo, Anton Magno, Paul Rama and Therese Delfin – shared their most unforgettable moments with her, and everything in between of a friendship that began in kindergarten and tragically ended while they are now in college.
For Antolihao, Ashley was the ever-supportive friend who would always be by her side, both in bad and good times.
Ashley, she added, was the first person to express support to her plan of starting her own business.
“It was the last conversation I had with her. Ashley would always be there for you. She will always support you, whatever endeavor you have in mind. I wanted to start my own business, and when I told her about it, she was really enthusiastic,” said Antolihao.
It was Toledo who coined the term “human planner” as one of the most distinguishable traits of Ashley, as she had everything planned out in her life.
Aside from already mapping her life’s direction, Toledo said that Ashley was the kind of friend who would also include her loved ones in her planner by making sure they were doing alright.
“She was a human planner. She was always organized but more than that, she was very thoughtful. Like, she wanted to make sure how we were doing every day. Even if we’re now pursuing different courses in college, she’d make efforts for us to get together during our free time,” added Toledo, an architecture student.
Fabiaña, recalled this one instance where Ashley shared to them a map of her future, which included the age she set for herself to get married, start her own family, and accomplish her dream of building her own restaurant.
“There are times when I ask myself, why was she so organized? And that’s Ashley. She’s a human planner. Everything is already laid out for her and by her,” Fabiaña said.
Ashley was selfless, and Magno could attest to that.
He recounted the times when Ashley would help him and some of their classmates in their academic-related duties.
“Siya na mismo mo dool or mangutana if naa ba mi notes. And she would not hesitate to share hers. And she would do it willingly and happily for you. She was really selfless. She will always look out for the others,” said Magno.
Ashley’s friends shared to CDN Digital that her dream to own a restaurant could be traced to her love for cooking and of food in all varieties and flavors.
“She wanted to have her own restaurant. And she really loved food. She loves to cook, and would always share them with us,” said Ramos.
But even as she had a passion for all things food, Ashley, like Antolihao and Ramos, was pursuing a degree in accounting.
Antolihao and Ramos said their friend wanted a degree in accounting since she was inspired to follow in the footsteps of her father, a businessman, and her older brother, who also graduated from the same course.
Outside the classroom, the hallways of the school, and her own home, Ashley literally loved setting goals, especially during soccer practices.
Her soccer teammate, Therese Delfin, described Ashley as a genuine sport enthusiast.
“When she’s in the field, she’s in for the competition but she brings the motivation out in everyone,” said Delfin.
But if there was one thing that Ashley’s friends would miss the most, it would be how happiness emanating from her laughter would lighten up the day of everyone around her.
Paularose Yap, Rama and Sevilla said they will truly miss Ashley’s laugh ringing down the hallways, a sound they had grown used to since they were still in high school.
“You’d know t’was Ashley when you hear her vibrant laughter in the hallway,” said Yap.
“And the way she walked… she would be tossing her hair, unconsciously swayed her hips a little bit, and would turn around and say ‘hi’ and smiled, recalled Sevilla.
“She’s there to brighten your day,” said Sevilla, unconsciously lapsing into a present tense, as though Ashley was still alive.
Echoed Rama: “She’s thoughtful, selfless, responsible but most of all, Ashley will always be there to cheer everyone up.” /mga/elb
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