My Captain

By Kate Alvarez

Hi. I don’t know if most of you know, but I’m Kate, Anton’s girlfriend. Before I met him, I was the most jaded single girl in the universe who didn’t believe in happily ever after. I thought that majority of guys are idiots—actually, they still are—and that there is no decent man in the world left for me. Then I met Anton Miguel Mapua Osmeña. When I least expected it, I met him. I met Anton in 2010, during a typical weekday drinking session with my friends. Unlike other guys I’d meet at bars who are just trying to get laid, Anton engaged me in a great intellectual conversation. We talked all night. And even if I refused to give him my phone number, he found me on Facebook and asked me out. His style was funny, intelligent, and sincere; it was different from all the other guys.

I remember during one of our first few dates in Café Breton, I kept yakking to him about how much I hate the Philippines and that I’m dying to get out of here soon. He told me that even if he had traveled around the world and lived in different places like Hawaii, he would always come back to the Philippines. He kept convincing me about the great things about our country. He even said, “One day I’m gonna make you love the Philippines.”

And he was right. I fell in love with the Philippines. But I think mostly I fell in love with him, despite all his dorkiness, one-liners, and non-stop ’90s references. We traveled a lot. He would take me to his favorite restaurants and travel destinations. We shared our deepest secrets and revealed our darkest sides to each other. And despite those dark sides, we still stuck with each other.

I remember last year, I was giving my younger sister Karen advice about love and relationships. I told her, “You know how you know you’ve found the one—the right guy for you? It’s when he makes you a better person.” Of all the thousands of people I’ve met in my life, it was only Anton Osmeña who made me a better person. He made me believe that life is beautiful again. Ask my family and friends; they noticed that I was no longer as angry as I used to be, I was happier, I stopped doing destructive things to myself, and I pursued a great career. That’s still my advice to my relatives and friends: When you’ve found someone who makes you a better person, don’t ever let go. Be with him throughout the good and the bad. I was there with Anton throughout his ordeal. I really tried my best to save him.

And I’m not letting go, Anton. I’mnot letting go of your memory. I refuse to let my wonderful memories of you fade into the back of my mind. I will try my best to live my life by celebrating the life you lived.

People keep asking me what I’d do after all of this. I honestly don’t know. Maybe I will keep traveling. I will go to those places we planned to visit. I will keep exploring new restaurants the way you did. One day I will buy myself a nice house with a big garden for my dogs, the one you were going to get me for our wedding.

And like your family and friends, I will always be proud of you. I promise I’m not mad at you for your downfalls; I will never ever be ashamed of you. I will never let the way you left his earth define the way you lived. I told you this before, and I’ll say it again: I’ve always believed in you. To me, you are the most intelligent, pogi guy, and the most brilliant pilot I know. Oh captain, my captain, fly high and mighty, so that one day, when my time comes, I’ll see your there on the other side and you can fly me to wherever I belong.

I love you.