Somebody emailed and asked for this article, so thank you Google for having the actual news print on file. I think I lost my original unedited copy of this so good thing there’s an online newspaper version. It’s actually copyrighted by Inquirer because as soon as you submit it to YoungBlood, you get some $$$ and it’s theirs to keep forever.
Anyway, here it is transcribed:
Another night in Fukuoka, a night to be spent watching the waves break in the vast sea, and admiring the twilight engulfing the sky with colors and shadows.
I’ve been away from home for more than two months now, and still the vastness of the sky, the cool wind from the sea of Kyushu and the pale light from the stars provide me little comfort. Knowing there is still 10 weeks left before I will see the sunset from the shores of my own country deepens my sadness. I tell myself I am missing my home and wishing to go back.
But where is my home?
Is it in Romblon, where I lived until I was around 4 years old? Is my home there with my lola, who raised me and told me stories about their life during the war, and taught me nuggets of wisdom that sounded like vague puzzles when I was young? Is it somewhere there between the coconut trees and the beaten path leading to the river in the town where only the rich has electricity and watching a movie means sitting before a television set powered by batteries?
Or is it in the different boarding houses in Manila where my mom and I used to live after leaving my father, who gambled away my mother’s earnings and who came home late at night and beat her up? Is it in relatives’ houses in Las Pinas, Makati, Marikina, Bulacan and cavite who complained day in and day out about the rising costs of food and electricity and water and how some people living with their family weren’t contributing enough?
Is it in Cebu where I studied college, living on my own, learning to fend for myself, and loving the moon for being my constant companion and being the only sure thing in the world?
Is it in the shores of Dumaguete to where my brother was deported after he flunked several subjects and lived like a prince, getting monthly allowance while wasting his life away?
Is it in Bohol where my father took all of us one Christmas and brought us to a beach without checking if we had enough money to go back to the city, and so drenched by the rain, we had to wait for someone who would give us a free ride back to the hotel?
Is it on the ship where we spent one New Year going back from Romblon to Manila? Or is it on the bus where we spent one Christmas going back from Batangas to Makati?
Or is home in any of the countless hotels we stayed in as we went to different place? (No, we did not go to different place to look at interesting sites but because there was no other place we could stay for so long.)
So tell me, my moon, is home on the 11th floor of the office where I work until early morning and from where I take long cold walks to an empty room in yet another boarding house? Is it here in a foreign country where I have to learn neew technology and a new language, and wake up everyday to strange sounds and faces and places and culture?
My moon doesn’t answer. I think only the waves and the wind hear my musings. So tonight, I will sleep tight, and from tomorrow onwards, I will bring my home with me wherever I go.