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Away from home…

The sound of the water falling off the spout which lands on the pond that houses schools of fish in gold, silver, white, grey, orange and yellow provides calmness to the earsplitting sound of metals being welded, motorcycles passing by, birds chirping, dogs barking and people chatting. The heavy rain drops that manage to say hello every night remind me that this season is definitely the rainy season.

It’s a different kind of noise that I know I’ll miss once I fly back home.

Philippines is home away from home. It’s the one place on earth that I don’t mind traveling coach for 22 hours – (more or less). It is one place in this universe where my straight hair turns curly, my summer tan fades, my love for rice resurfaces, where I take siesta (afternoon naps) – and where I get to eat cooked white rice --  morning, noon and night.

Philippines is the one place I know where people are always polite, cheerful, generous, thoughtful and unpretentious. No matter how tough or poor the country is, Filipinos still perceive life as half full!

Filipinos find time to be with friends and family. You don’t need to make an appointment, or create a FaceBook Event to get together. You don’t even have to plan months ahead – just to spend a whole day or whole night chatting.

Friday and Saturday nights are more hectic traffic wise because of “gimmick” nights, but they don’t mind because the weekend is the time to hang out with friends --

Friends who make me laugh even though we haven’t seen each other in three decades.
Friends I have known before I even had my first kiss.
Friends who I wish I can have tea every weekend – just to laugh out loud, share stories about our love ones, and inspire one another to reach for that star!
Friends who I long to see again – on my next visit.

I have to say goodbye to this "other” home of mine because I miss my family way back home.

I miss the sound of my husband calling me “honey”.
I miss the sound of my children’s voices.
I miss the music that echoes in the four walls of my house.
I miss being the mom and the wife.

I love the culture that taught me to always have a happy disposition, and leaving that place does not mean I go back to a stress-full, goal-oriented, competitive world of succeeding. Filipinos are very talented, too, and very competitive, but they know how to relax without having to stress about finding time to relax.

It’s not my environment – it is I, who will continue to help me embrace the culture I grew up with. It is I who pick what will continue to make me happy – away from home.


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