It was a year ago today (Actually, three days ago, but who’s counting?), since my trip back home to Manila. I feel sad that I’m not able to go this time. And it doesn’t help to think either, that before that, the last time I was home was in 1987.
You would then think ,that last year’s trip was nothing short of a joyous and momentous occasion. And it was. I am grateful, indeed. But maybe, it was my divorce right around the same time which made the trip a little bit of a blur now, as well.
I actually felt so bad also, that I hardly remembered the city I grew up in. The streets seemed narrower. And the traffic, unfathomable! The population, doubled. Half of them trying to cross the superhighway! Yikes! And, is that our house? You gotta be kidding me! But it was. And the food! I enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, the ol’ beloved flavors seemed to have left my palate. Oddly, most of them tasted almost foreign to me. I was left wondering if this was, in fact, the same food I grew up eating.
One day, my brother drove me to my old high school and university. Wait, wasn’t this the football field? What’s this building doing down here, then?
For the first time, I had met my sister-in-law, my niece, my nephew and a few cousins too. For the first time! Where have I been? My dad is now sporting a cane? He used to be Robert DeNiro in Goodfellas. What happened? I’m glad, though, that my mom is still the same ol’ spunky woman she’s always been! The only one that has not changed or aged a single minute, I’m not even kidding, was my old pal, Buddy! Best friend since third grade. He’s still the same ol’ crazy redhead who’s more concerned about his Nikon camera than life itself! I love the guy.
But today, I am left with nothing but memories. Although, I had a great time then, I was sad. Still sad, as a matter of fact. Sad because I could’ve enjoyed it even more but I didn’t. Sad because I could’ve given to my family more but I didn’t. And sad because I seemed to have forgotten a lot about home.
Yes, I was a stranger in my hometown.
2 thoughts on “A stranger in my hometown”
Like a tree, you just branched out but your roots are still there. You may have felt like a stranger then but maybe the next time you visit you won’t feel so out of your element now that you’ve seen the changes. 🙂
I’m wondering why it took you 20 years to visit.
this is such a late comment, i am afraid, but it is only now that i got to see this blog. i sure hope you can come back more often after all you are the one who can afford it the most in our family. it would be more cost efficient and yet most effective if you were to come and see us all than for us to see you there. of course we long to visit you and see first hand how life is over there for you but many reasons get in the way for now, kids and ailing parents to name a couple.
twenty years can go by really fast but still it is long enough to create a huge gap which must have accounted for your having felt like a stranger in your hometown. we hope to make it to wyoming by next year but we hope even more that you would plan to visit at least every other year to close any gaps. no one is getting younger. let us not not waste the living years! see you soon!