yo, i’m back

March 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm 10 comments



it was a trip that didn’t start out right. i got mixed up with the departure time. i thought it was saturday night when it was in fact friday night at 12:05 a.m. so there i was friday evening unaware that my scheduled flight was hours away. it was only when i received a courtesy note from the airline at 10:15 p.m. saying that my flight would leave on schedule that night that i realized my mistake. under the circumstances, taking the subway to the airport was no longer an option. i had to call a friend who was already in bed and begged him to take me to the airport. as fate would have it, i made it huffing and puffing to the airline check-in counter and past the security gate. i was the last passenger to board the plane. in my rush, however, i forgot my sunglasses, camera, and the money i withdrew from the atm early that day.

my brother-in-law picked me up from the manila international airport and drove me straight home. during my stay, i didn’t get a chance to visit the must-see places mentioned in my favorite blogs. it was my fault to come at the wrong time. nobody could take time off to accompany me to those exotic spots. but even then, i had a great time going around what used to be my little corner of the world and seeing all the changes that had occurred since i left. what would be boring and so familiar to a local resident appeared new and exciting to me.

i felt like a stranger in town. everything looked different to me. the rice fields that i remember are gone. in the name of progress, they have been converted into commercial real estate or they have become gated subdivisions where houses worth in the millions of pesos are built. by comparison, our house is a shanty although it had been upgraded with three bathrooms and hot showers. where’s the money coming from? i’ve been told that they belong to folks who had previously worked or are presently working overseas.

fast food joints are almost everywhere. close to our house, there’s a 24-hour hamburger stand. i just couldn’t believe it. it sits right close to the big caballero tree where a kapre (mythical tree-dwelling monster) is said to live. as a child, i never ventured around the vicinity in the dark. as i grew up and became much wiser, i still wouldn’t dare.

in the nearby city, there are now two mega malls competing for business. in one of the malls, i was approached by a thirteen or fourteen year old begging for money. she was neatly dressed for a beggar. she was rather cute, too. after shooing her away, my friend told me not to entertain her kind. you could find them loitering around. what in the world, they are child prostitutes.

i found myself catching up for lost time when everybody left for work and school in the morning. i eagerly read as much newspapers and magazines that i could lay my hands on. i watched local tv programs with sheer delight including the commercials. my favorites were the senate hearings on general carlos garcia’s questionable plea bargain deal in regard to his plunder case and ombudsman merceditas gutierrez’s impeachment proceedings. in a country where it’s part of the perks for corrupt officials to never go to jail, these live hearings expose them for what they really are and earn their much deserved conviction, at least, in the court of public opinion.

while at home, i also learned that my mother and sister have stopped talking to each other. it’s a rift that i felt i have no business dealing with. in my limited experience, i find women to be complicated human beings. they’re very capable of making mountains out of molehills. sometimes, it’s better to leave the wound to heal by itself. prying it open could make the matters worse. for pete’s sake, they’re mature adults. i hope that they make up soon for their own sanity,

i had the fortune of meeting up with several of my high school classmates. i was shocked to see how old they have become. they must have been equally shocked to see my boyish look gone. i learned that a classmate died in an ambush. another of childbirth. still another of cancer. we decided right then and there to have a reunion in 2013. hopefully, more of us would still be alive by then.

my sister and brother-in-law took me to singapore on a 4-day trip. a relative who works in a bank there and his friend showed us around. my first impression of singapore is that it’s a shopping and eating paradise. i haven’t been to a place where there are more malls and food complexes offering variety of delectable dishes per square mile than on this little island. one shopping mecca called mustafa is even open 24 hours a day. singapore is also very clean and the people are taught to be conscious of preserving it. if you happen to drop a piece paper, the one behind you will call your attention and ask you to pick it up or else. now i wonder if it’s also the reason why eateries don’t usually stock paper napkins. in the four days that we ate out, i can remember only two instances when we were provided with these necessities.

a few days before i went back to the states, a cousin asked what made me decide to go home. home? i thought to myself. what did he mean? it might be my childhood home, but it’s not my home anymore. all memories of me are gone from the home. my picture on the wall. my high school diploma. my aquarium. my old magazines and other personal stuff. it’s my mother’s, my sister’s and her family’s home now. anyway, going back to my cousin’s question, i realized it was a loaded question for sure. when confronted with one, i usually answer with something like “i have my own reasons.” this time, however, that wouldn’t do. so, i just told him that i felt it was time. he smiled. i guess he understood what i was trying to say.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, filipino, personal, travel. Tags: , , , , , .

going home It’s Been a Long Winter

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ladynimue  |  March 10, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Hope it was all worth πŸ™‚
    Welcome back !

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  March 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

      ladynimue:

      i had a blast. it gave me the opportunity to reconnect with relatives and people i haven’t seen in a long time.

      Reply
      • 3. ladynimue  |  March 16, 2011 at 6:48 am

        you make me wanna go and visit my cousins soon !

        Reply
        • 4. plaridel  |  March 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

          ladynimue:

          just cousins? πŸ™‚

          Reply
  • 5. sub  |  March 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    will you still visit us? …ewan ko ba its like im reading something else. its like there are alot of emotions hidden behind this post, anyway, welcome back to ur cyber home πŸ™‚ i missed you *hugs*

    Reply
    • 6. plaridel  |  March 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      sub:

      yeah, this post appears convuluted and long. i should have split it into 3 separate entries.

      Reply
      • 7. sub  |  March 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

        should’ve, πŸ˜† anyhow, musta naman ang pinas?

        Reply
        • 8. plaridel  |  March 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

          sub:

          i had a good time. πŸ™‚

          Reply
  • 9. Nuclear Missile  |  March 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

    […] Milton, USA Make sure to also read: http://tanzeel.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/amir-opts-to-complete-education-during-ban/ Also you can take a look at this related read: http://bukallife.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/march-4-activities/ Additionally you can check out this related post: https://plaridel.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/yo-im-back/ […]

    Reply
  • 10. AC  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Yeah. Di nga uso dito ang napkin. Ako pa naman mejo maarte, so everytime I go out to eat, I bring my own napkins kase the utensils are wet kapag nagserve sila. Hahaha. πŸ˜€

    Reply

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