It has been almost 10 years since I last visited the motherland over the winter holiday. Well, “winter,” in this case, is used very loosely as there is nothing winter about the Philippines except, perhaps, the air-conditioning that is blasted in vehicles, malls, and other indoor establishments.
I used to go to the motherland every two years or so and my mom would always say, “Why do you choose to go home? The world is such a big place and there are so many other places you can go explore,” to which I would always respond with, “But…but..our family! My friends!” Then she would just shake her head and reply with, “Our family and your friends will always be there. You can always come back. You should take that money and explore the world instead, come home later.”
I didn’t get it at the time, but I certainly do now! Since then I’ve made it a point to travel to at least one new place a year, preferably some place international. But…it is nice to visit home now and then, especially seeing my childhood memorabilia.
It was really good to go to our annual family reunion in the Philippines. I was worried it was going to be intense, with its detailed programming, games, and family talent contest to be judged by a panel consisting of The Five Sisters, the eldest of which is my grandmother. As it turns out, it was a whole lot of fun! Every part of it! We won the talent contest but didn’t win the family collage. Not that I’m biased or anything, but I still think ours was the most artistic looking.
It was also very interesting to note that certain common terms in the US are also common in the Philippines…but used in a much different way.
Since I spent part of my childhood in the motherland, I still have a few friends who I still somewhat keep in contact with. However, knowing that I had a jam-packed schedule while I was in the Philippines, plus considering how busy I was during the weeks preceding my vacation, I purposely did not contact any of them. I did not want to deal with coordinating because I had very few “down” days and also because I can’t really go very far in the Philippines due to the crazy driving conditions. Additionally, I didn’t like the fact that my friends would have had to cater to my schedule and my location. And because it wouldn’t have been the easiest coordinating, I have to admit I got lazy. In retrospect, I really should have reached out. Those who really care about you will make the time and effort to make things work. Fortunately for me, two of my oldest friends did. 🙂
I had forgotten to take a photo of my high school friend and me, but below is a picture of my oldest friend and me, one I’ve known pretty much since birth.
Words cannot express how good it felt to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in several years, and yet have it feel like it was just yesterday. They both told me to send them a message next time I’m in the Motherland. Why, yes, yes I will. 🙂