I had written the following a couple of days before I left the Philippines. It'd be fitting that I post it here as well.
Nostalgia of a Homecoming
It's been wonderful being back home in the country of my birth. Spending two weeks in a small town in the province of Laguna. (2 hours south of Manila) Seeing family I don't usually see everyday especially when most of them live on the other side of the world.
Being surrounded by vast lands of green. Rice fields and so many scenic views of nature's wonder. . Children playing in the streets almost without a care. Uneven paved roads of small cramped streets as tricycles and jeepneys driving as they please. It's a "walk and drive at your own risk" here. No city skyscrapers or tall buildings. Old worn out small houses with paint chipping off over time. It's like the old and the new mixed together in a small town.
Views of poverty from a third world country. People living life day to day with whatever they scrounge together. The city market busy with daily patrons and lots of stalls that sell candy to cell phone cases. Our small family market still stands to this day. Little sidewalk food/necessity shops ready to serve their needy neighbors. Hot water is non existent. Cold showers are the cure for a hot humid day. I see the genuine smiles of the people who live here and I know they are happy. They don't have much and yet through the struggles they live life.
I have adapted well. as if I had never left here when I was a child. Now street and building look smaller. Of course they looked really big for a small child. Sometimes I'd prefer living this life than the one I currently have. Yet my work is somewhere else. I have to go back to the life I currently have. Back to the worries and troubles and stress. To pay off debts and other unwanted money robbing things. Driving back to Manila, you can see the stark contrast from the provinces. The one thing that hasn't changed much is the driving and is more crowded.
As this journey draws to a close, I'm beginning to miss it dearly. I will miss this place for the time I am away. I will miss my family even more. For now I hold the memories of the experiences of these past fews weeks. Hopefully, it won't be long before my next return.