It has always been a different skyblue here. The moment you get out, the intense heat embraces your face. Street children peeking through your car window. A splash to clean your windshield for a few coins. You're thinking how traffic has gotten better & agreeing that the streets are cleaner. You see the familiar uniforms that adorn the streets. More high-rise buildings & colorful billboards. The eternally crazy jeepneys. It's so vibrant, so alive. I'm home.
If an odor can be described as time freezing, our house has this exact smell. Seems so unfamiliar at first but when you start placing everything in the house that has been unmoved since you first left, the scent becomes your childhood memories. The home cooked food pig out, the story telling, the noise. Amidst all that, the recognition that when our house has remained absolutely the same, my nieces & nephews have grown. My mother wonderfully adding more years, probably something a daughter would have never imagined - that our parents can actually get old. I'm getting older. I have been called ma'am countless times.
Walking around where my husband lived for almost two years, he wondered where all the Filipinos have gone. "What do you mean?" I asked confused while I looked around me & saw nothing but Filipinos dining & shopping in all of Greenbelt's 1 to 5. "That part there," and he pointed at Greenbelt 4, "It's like a museum." So we marched & marched where locals can be found. Reaching Greenbelt 1, he excitedly said, "Now, this is the Philippines!" We had Razon's yummy Halo halo here & continued to be amazed with Manila's ever growing super malls.
As I finished packing for our week trip to Sipalay, I phoned my sister-in-law & asked her about my handcarry for the plane. She didn't reply & I asked her if she's at home so I can call her landline. "And you, where are you?" she asked laughing. I said I was at home & she shouted, "Sol, today's your flight to Sipalay!" I darted to the room to tell my husband that we missed the morning flight. Then darting to my mom's room & told her the same thing. Darting all around the house for new plane tickets & a lost day. I cancelled my hour & half massage that night.
Everytime I go back to the Philippines, I have this plan of doing the things I never got to do the last time I went. You'd think that after the numerous back & forths, you'd be an expert planner. Of course it never happens & it just keeps adding up. And it's a good thing. Coming home always has surprises. I just hope I still have the time to tick off the undone things on my list with the people who matter the most. While people complain about being in the Philippines as I groan as much for being in France, I had the wonderful pleasure of actually having two entirely different homes. It is amazing how going back to where you come from actually makes you more grounded on wherever you choose to be now.
|If they just looked it up a little more... a shop inside Terminal 3 Airport|