ebb & flow of time

If there's one thing that would let you know you've reached France, it would be the silence & the calm. No more busy streets of people & street vendors. No more crazy jeepneys & buses in traffic. No more blazing lights after 10pm. The silence was almost defeaning but at the same time soothing after 4 months of being in a country that is so alive.

Although the first 2 months was a tug-o-war between grieving & the guilt of being on holiday, I savored all that I can of home. I made sure that I ate everything I craved for. Shopped to my heart's content even if I didn't have the courage to brave Greenhills. I spent some time on the beach & drank all the cocktails I want. I tried being with old friends like old times. I spent as much time with my mom & had a sweet reunion with my frenchfry. 4 months or any other length of time wouldn't be enough. When you've gone over the holiday mode & begin to find that space you built almost half of your lifetime, as cliché as it is, nothing do feels like home.

But the silence reverberates in our apartment & you kind of get used to the hopelessness of it when you're in Manila. At 6am, there is already life at my parent's house. The movements other than your own was comforting. Especially during a time of sorrow. It was nearly hard to feel alone & we were grateful for that. But as we move on & life continues, mourning is a very long process. At times you don't even know what to make of it. As if a part of you died. Time is always the answer for everything & patience is like a skill you have to acquire.

As strange as it may sound, the noise, the verve, of the Philippines is what I immediately miss. There was always something to do, somewhere to go & something to eat. As if time never existed. I had a second look at my country & inspite of all the chaos & the craziness, I still definitely would want to live there. There is something about things in contradiction in everyday life. One thing I didn't do is to take as many pictures of what this exactly means.

It has been 2 weeks we came back to France. For now, I'm in the mercy of time, waiting for it to take me to places.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Great writing. One of the best homage to what we call "home"!

  2. I really dont know exactly what you're going through, but I feel for you. It must be really, really tough returning to a routine. For what it's worth, we're here for you if you need company, even though it's just on ym. Can't wait to hang out with you next week.

  3. Even pangs of grief may come out as you've said life continues! I know it's not easy but I am sure in time you will carry on! Remember, we're always around! Cheer up, friend :D !

    H-ealing place in times of sadness
    O-nly ultimate reference of happiness
    M-eanigful memories that you cherish
    E-verything is sense of place established !

  4. I do miss the noise and feeling of community in the Philippines. That is not to say that the americans around me are not just as friendly or helpful but still iba pa rin doon. I hope in time you can look back to this Philippines vacation with just the smile and without the guilt and sadness.

  5. Thanks Jayashkal! And for dropping by :)

    YM is sometimes a life saver, Kala! Thank goodness it's there :)

    Thanks for the acronym, Hazel! I have to agree with all the letters :)

    I really loved what you said, Geri. A smile without guilt & sadness will come in order soon :) Thanks!

  6. yes, there's something about the philippines that no matter how we hate it at times and how outsiders criticize it, it's still home. i hope that the silence here in france will help you recover.. but if you need some pinoy noise, im sure haze and the other pinoys out there will keep you company, how i wish im just a drive away..

  7. i miss phils too, after 2005 visit, la na.

    There are so many places to go, lalo na french resident na ako, but still phils, our home country is still my fav to spend time.
    Ewan, nasa ugat na ata nating mga pinoy yan.
    O siya, its nice to see you back in blogging;

  8. Ana, I really liked what you said about the silence in france because that's what I exactly felt when I arrived. I still miss the noise back home but it's getting fainter by the day. And btw, we are just a drive away! Yun nga lang, 6 hours away :)

    Thanks, Francesca! Talagang nasa ugat na kahit ano pa ang Pilipinas diba?