in between seasons

Christmas only struck me the other day when lights were set up on our barrio's streets & lamp posts. I almost felt a weird pressure about the holidays this year. This time I didn't even wonder whether to decorate or not (not). I think I've finally outgrown the Christmas spirit that I want to crawl in a hole & come out when it's over. I actually feel remorse about this that it makes me squirm to that same hole nevertheless.

Needless to say, I am more excited to escape a good part of winter for the sun & sea back home. I have already scheduled moments of idle pleasure under a coconut tree on powdery white sands with cocktails under a scorching tropical sun. And among our brief stay in paradise, I will be back to my former life. The life I left 11 years ago & regularly look forward to recapturing everytime I'm there. But then this time, there was a sudden & rude awakening that home has become like a room that you know it's there but you can never go in. It just doesn't feel like you're part of your past, a tourist in your own home.

On the surface, I would always remember what my mother told me the first time I came home after 4 years of France - "How come you don't look like somebody who came from France?" And she was so right since I purposely wore the same clothes I left with 4 years ago. Like time just stopped. While in the former life, I was almost never behind the latest fad, now I always come home with awe & surprise like I was living in a cave all this time. But looking like 10 years has passed you by is really nothing, what with all the malls & the incessant updates from television shows & commercials, and even billboard advertising!

It's finding again the people you had tremendous memories with & you realize that it does not make any connection anymore like it used to. There are just a very few friends who even after years of no contact, would still be the same like it was just yesterday. Then there are people you didn't expect to be as happy seeing you back home. But it's normal, I guess. I left, life went on, we all made new memories & things are never the same for everybody. And the memories made when we were younger can never have the same impact now that is why we can never have the same kind of friendship later in life.

These days I feel I'm in between homes. I still don't quite feel at home here in France, as much as I try & I don't feel at home anymore back in Manila. Thank goodness for family. It is obliged to be the same no matter how many years it has been. Family, even with the usual squabble, is the only place you will always feel at home.

I am a perpetual tourist & I have to admit that I want to again be lost in translation somewhere else, building rooms of a former life. Afterall, we always find ourselves revelling the people in each room through a window while we all get on with our lives.

Where is your home?



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. This post would have been a winning entry for PEBA. I felt you. And while reading your post, I'm nodding my head in agreement. May kurot din ng kaunti because what you said were true.

    We are indeed perpetual tourists. In fact, I sometimes feel worse. I feel like I'm only visiting my family and that I'm 'living' where I'm working now -- in Kuwait. Sadly, I never feel at home whenever I'm in Kuwait.

    My home, I guess, is wherever my heart is.

  2. hi maks.
    i totally get you.
    i have felt what you feel.

    do not forget that in life, connections/relationships you have made happened for a reason. Not one a waste...even if they no longer exist today.

    home for me is where steve, kika and gabi are.
    (and my dog too)

  3. I so agree with you, Nebz. I have always felt like a "visitor" whenever I'm with the family (and they really make you feel like one!), plus I likewise feel more at home here in France but it's never really home. Ang gulo, diba? :)

    Hi Chesca, so nice to have you here again! It's so funny how when you try to look back to see the reason for your past connections, some are really still a waste :)) Thanks again for your wonderful posts!

  4. I feel the same way Makis. I guess my home is where Jason and Benji be. It is the family. You are lucky to have good family...