“WHERE do we bury the the body?”

There’s only one soul — two at the most —  I know who will give this reply if I  suddenly, hypothetically blurted out that I had just murdered a breathing being.

She would just pick up her bag and help clean up the mess as if we were merely  about to look for a lost earring or replace a broken vase.

No judgements. No queries. Without batting an eyelash.

This, in a nutshell, best describes the kind of kinship offered by Cynthia ‘Itchie’ G. Cabayan.

Her loyalty is legendary. She sticks to kindred spirits come hell or high water. ‘Abandon or jump ship’ are simply not in her relationship vocabulary. No wonder that her company is well cherished not by one, but two mayors (most likely more), public officials whom she has interviewed, touched and encountered, fellow  journos and co-yin and yang fanatics.

Where others would see opportunity, Itchie would spot a chance for philanthropy. Unlike the norm, she makes her presence felt most when a person is downtrodden or wounded.

This gal pal is a soldier of life. She knows what matters most in the eyes of God and hearts of men.

Now the fun facts

Itchie worships six things: the Divine Almighty, her departed parents, former Manila Mayor Fred Lim, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno,  her soulmate Jerry Tan — and food, glorious food. Those not immediately mentioned have special golden compartments in her life and are equally treasured. These include her beloved boss Gus Villanueva, Secretary to the Manila Mayor Bernie Ang, National Anti-Poverty  Commission (NAPC) deputy director-general Penelope Belmonte, her devoted Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association (MACHRA) as well as her darling siblings, nieces, nephews and clan. Not necessarily in that order.

When Itchie eats, she still talks food. “Ano ba yan, kumakain na nga kayo, pagkain pa rin pinag-uusapan nyo?,” an observer once joked. Her reply, “At least di tao at backbiting. Healthy conversation lagi.” Her fave coffee? Tigsam. “Yung tigsasampung piso.”

Her laughter clings — like LSS — to the senses long after it has stopped. Jerry swears by this. When Itchie was in France, he was devastated. “Nakaka-miss din pala ang nagging, boses at tawa ni Itchie,” was his rare and surprising confession.

Itchie may be cute and chirpy as a chipmunk — but as deadly. She LITERALLY kicks foes where it hurts most, when they least expect it. She fights aggression with aggression. Poison with poison. And she always carries a gun to a knife fight.

The title of her well read column  best describes her punches and sharp words: Direct Hit. Which is also apt as Itchie is a sharpshooter.

Cynthia, Itchie’s baptismal name, is derived from the Latin and Greek Kynthia, a name for Artemus, the mythological goddess of the moon and hunting and twin sister of Apollo. The goddess was called Cynthia, which means ‘from Mount Cynthus’ because she was born there.

True to her name’s meaning, Cynthia is a “good talker and promoter and seldom worries over anything; has the ability to bring an idea to completion; expresses herself joyously and constructively; inventive, intuitive and extremely methodical;  loves beauty and philosophy, and desires achievement.”

On her blessed birthday, may she continue to spread positivity as well as reap and sow good karma. May God keep blessing her and her  loved ones with good health and bottomless bliss. May she remain  surrounded by friends and family who are as fiercely fun, loyal, loving and devoted like her.

Happy birthday, Itchie. Cynthia. Ganda. Everybody loves you!

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