A couple of weeks back, the big bosses here at Peyups.com asked everyone to write a little something for the web site’s anniversary. I figured, with a love story or two being posted here in front of this site everyday as well as a million more unfolding in its background, I figured I’d write about the most important love story of Peyups.com.
I was lucky enough to be able to hang out with them everyday for a long period of time, and it certainly was a privilege. Everyone else, I guess, just has to settle for Peyups.com. Of course, I’m talking about the two great people behind this website, (in order of importance) Mimi Abesamis and Karl de Leon.
Like all legendary love stories, I was too young to know how it all began. Actually, Karl had told me some juicy stuff, but I couldn’t write it here, because he’d kick my ass or kill me (that is, if Mimi doesn’t kick his ass or kill him first). All I could say is that once upon a time, they were org-mates, and somewhere along the way they fell in love, and they have been that way ever since. They were teen-agers back then, and they’re like, 50 now.
While I couldn’t provide the details as to the beginning of the love story, I could bore you with the story of how I got to know them. I first visited the site way back in 1999. The site was nothing like it is today. It was only updated weekly, and there were no mushy love stories yet.
Instead, the site contained “Biyaheng Peyups” articles, as well as a very entertaining “Crash Course” section, where students wrote about their respective courses (I remember write-ups about Arki, Anthro, and MBB), and a section containing film reviews. There were also message boards, an old Perl contraption Karl downloaded somewhere, nothing as sophisticated as what we have today, but (weirdly enough) every bit as entertaining (in a perverse sort of way).
There were also features called “Site of the Week”, where they posted a link to a cool site and a short write-up about the said web site, and “Found on the Net”, where they posted links to cool downloads. There was also a page about the web team, where there were eye shots of “Karl Emmanuel de Leon”, “Karmina Abesamis”, and regular contributor Jaytee Morong. Here, we find out that Karl’s nickname was Lem, and that he was a chemical engineering graduate who slaved away at an IT firm. Mimi, meanwhile, loved UP so much that she stayed so long and that she tried so many different courses (the old page had the list, I think).
Finally, the site had a links page, where they had a whole database of links to UP-related sites. Among the links posted here were other (older) projects by Karl and Mimi, like the old UP Fight web site, which still had a footer saying that the site was copyrighted by “Karlmina Productions”. (it was Karlmina Designs hehe– mimi)
I know it wasn’t much, especially compared to what the site is today, but back then, all that was earth-shatteringly cool.
Soon after, I decided to create a web site, and since I was from UPLB, I decided to submit my site for their links section, hoping that I’d get some traffic from Peyups.com. The next time I checked, there was an obscene amount of traffic in my site from Peyups.com, and I found out that they had made my homepage the “Site of the Week”. I couldn’t believe it back then; thinking about it now, it was probably their chismoso nature that did it for me then, because I had been writing about my crush in a physics class in my site.
Anyway, I came into email contact with Karl, and I agreed to write some stuff for the site. Soon, Karl offered me some space on the Peyups.com server, and until this very day I still leech bandwidth off them. All that time, I haven’t had any email contact with Mimi, and I began to suspect that Karl was just this sad, pathetic guy who just made up Mimi, that she was just a figment of his imagination.
I was finally able to meet Karl and Mimi on December 26, 2000, at Karl’s pad in Ortigas. I still remember some details from that night. I remember walking from Megamall after watching “Death Row”, and Karl, with really long rockstar hair, opening the door for me in his pajamas. (Hey, he doesn’t wear pajamas! – mimi) It was Karl, Mimi, me, Erman, and Amrei. We talked about what to do with the site over pizza, and it’s pretty much similar to what you see now, except for some layout changes. Oh, and back then, there were no plans to post mushy love stories everyday, but the outcry for it was just too great.
(At the meeting, I was tasked to recruit columnists for the site, and I was able to recruit Angel and Choc, who left a long comment on Angel’s first article. Pretty good, huh? Unfortunately, however, I couldn’t take credit for recruiting my favorite Peyups.com columnist.)
That summer, I had to go into practicum training, and I joined one of Karl and Mimi’s rackets. That’s when I finally got to know the two better as people, and not just names on my buddy list. It’s when I started to become witness to their never-ending love story.
I get a rap for being mushy, and Mimi even accuses me of bringing the mush to Peyups.com. But one time, Karl and I were waiting at his pad for Mimi, who was running a little late. Sitting there next to Karl, who was getting so worked up about the fact that Mimi was late, now that was mushy. Karl made me look about as mushy as Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Terminator”.
It’s actually crazy how much the two care for each other, and it becomes painfully obvious once you hang out with them everyday. It’s in the way they laugh hardest at each other’s jokes, and how they eat like they’re one person (no, actually, they eat like they’re three persons, but they act like they’re one… ok, now I’m confused). It’s in the way Karl would know if Mimi would like ice cream after watching a movie, or how Mimi would know when Karl had a bad day at the office (back when he still wasn’t a bum) and know how to cheer him up (with food, I think). It’s in the way those two could shut the rest of the crowd out of their own little world like lovers who’ve been together for two months, not many, many years.
It’s amazingly cheesy, I know, but this is Peyups.com, and we like things amazingly cheesy.
But really, these are two really, really great people who have this really, really great relationship most of us could only dream about. And it just works out perfectly, I mean, the way Peyups.com, which has nurtured so many sweet friendships and budding relationships, could not have been possible without this one great relationship.
These two people care about the site like it’s their child, and you know kids grow up well when there’s a lot of love from the parents. We all know how successful this “child” has been, and proof of their love for their “child” is the fact that no rumors in the site ever pass slip through Karl and Mimi, which means that, aside from both being really chismoso , they really care. You might want to use email or text messages instead of PMs to discuss matters of the heart though.
Anyway, I know that this sounds like a toast at a wedding (wink, wink), but here are two people who are really great, and who should be celebrated because of it. Unfortunately, not everyone could have the privilege to hang out with them everyday. Fortunately, that’s why there’s Peyups.com.
The author owes a lot to Karl and Mimi, from free food, free rides home, free web hosting, and even good albeit ineffective Joe D’ Mango advice from Karl. He knows he couldn’t really re-pay them, but he figures he could start by treating them out on his first paycheck. Somewhere Mimi’s diet would allow, of course.