So I’ve been home again for almost a month now since my Japan-Korea trip.
Home in the Philippines is in a little town called Bayombong in the province of Nueva Vizcaya.
My childhood friend from the US is also home for the holidays.
In 2014, when BJ visited us in the UAE, we were everywhere.
When I visited him in the US last year, we were here and there.
Today we planned to meet and explore our town.
In less than 2 hours, we had breakfast at the newly-opened McDonalds, visited our elementary school (which looked so different now), did a little shopping at the newest supermarket and went home to cook some snacks.
We spent hours thinking of where to go next. All afternoon, we thought and thought and thought…
We kept thinking and rejecting each other’s suggestions, until nightfall called him back to his house.
We’ve been away from home for so long, we don’t know where else to go.
So much has changed in our town – old landmarks are gone and new structures are everywhere. Familiar faces are hard to find and people are so different. The streets that I used to navigate with eyes closed, no longer know me.
I too have changed. The things I found exciting when we were kids, aren’t too appealing now. I am restless inside the house, but lonesome when walking outside. My childhood friends are scattered all around the globe, it doesn’t feel like home without them.
Why do I feel like my fondest memories are slowly being taken down from the wall and packed inside a box? Why do I feel like leaving, even if I know that as soon as I ride away, I will yearn for home again.
In a few days, my friend will leave for the US and I will be left behind to ponder on all these.
Is it ok to feel like home isn’t home anymore? Is it necessary to hold on to a place even if the warmth is gone and the lights are now different?
Is it possible to outgrow a hometown?