I am on


It was nice to be home

“How does it feel being back home?”, my husband asked while driving on the highway. I literally took few minutes to answer. It seemed like a trick question, but actually required a deep reflection.

 I knew as soon as I stepped out NAIA, I felt an overwhelming humidity. No Anti-humidity hairspray could save my hair from big time frizz. The sticky feeling indicated I was finally in Manila. 

We came during the rainy season. There was a lot of traffic and flooded streets. There was a sense of familiarity. There was a comforting feeling since Manila has been my home for 26 years. I've seen and experienced the comfort in living in U.S. I couldn't help myself but to compare both places. The poverty I've seen once again became more heartbreaking.

I was very happy to finally see my family again. My mother, brother and sisters remained the same and never aged, caring in their own ways. There were loud jokes and laughter when they get together. They had given everything they could for our comfort and made sure met our needs and never asked anything in return. Their love for their bunso never changed. They welcomed my husband as their newest family.

Philippines 2007

Philippines 2013

Me and my mother 2013
However, it was a different case with my nephews and nieces. I was surprised how much they have grown. I had to drew my tears back every time I see them.

Seeing my nephews and nieces was the hardest part of my trip. I tried so hard to draw back my tears seeing them after four years. They became more silent and self-conscious and will probably be ashamed to be kissed by their aunt in public. They were not as talkative as before. It felt like they were different people.
Philippines 2007
They walked towards to greet me but in my eyes they were running as five year olds. I refused to accept they are fully grown. It hurts, like the feeling of being robbed, like time has become my enemy. It stole something I couldn't retrieve. I felt like I lost my babies. Somehow I'm glad I was there to teach in their Sunday schools. I was there in their most glorious age when they gave all their love and trust.

Philippines 20017
Philippines 2013
Leaving my family was the hardest decision I made. They are all in my dreams every night. This vacation became a dream came true. The trip was difficult and the plane tickets costs. I longed for them like a cup being emptied, but now it is filled again with great memories. I needed it. Although I didn't bring balikbayan boxes back, my family is my wealth and worth much more than any Filipino goods.

Sometimes 'change' is really hard to accept, but it helps to remind me that life is short so I must love stronger. Like my family, they moved on and grew up, so should I must move-on and establish my own.

So how does it feel to be back home? There's really no simple way to answer. It hurts but at the same time it felt so good. The saddest part was leaving my family for the second time. IT pierces my heart to see them cry. Our farewell was filled with tears but with a promise I will be back real soon.