Sunday, July 29, 2012


I've been away from home for a while. Another OFW statistic with a typical story. I never bothered to learn the local language and decipher their script, thinking I wouldn't be away long. And yet over a decade has passed and I 'm still here.

One gets used to being away. I have become more reserved, not having friends and family around. I learned to manage the occasional bouts of loneliness. I grew accustomed to the local lifestyle and took things that work better here for granted.

But I am still drawn back home. And after reading a transcript of the President's SONA, full of optimism and hope, perhaps returning home will soon be an option. I turned to hubby and asked, "Weren't you thinking of learning Tagalog?"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Ilang taon din ang agwat naming mag-asawa. Kaya naman nang una kaming magsama, noong panahong ako ay immature at makasarili pa, nariyan lang siyang nagtitiyaga. Umuunawa. Nagpapaubaya.

Malaking bagay ang kaniyang pagtitiis sa itinagal ng aming pagsasama.

Ngunit lahat siguro ng tao ay sadyang nagbabago. Sa paglipas ng panahon, unti-unting umiksi ang kaniyang pasensiya. Mas naging madalas ang kaniyang pagiging mainisin. Mayayayamutin. Pagkabugnutin.

Bagay na nakikita ko rin sa mga nasa gulang niya. Ngunit nagka-edad man siya at nagbago, ay ganoon rin naman ako. At sa marahang paghulagpos ng kaniyang kapit, ako naman ang umakap ng mas mahigpit.

Sa patuloy na pagdaloy ng mga taon, at dumating ang panahong ako naman ang maging mainisin. Mayayamutin. Likas na bugnutin. Nawa'y nariyan pa rin siya na muling magtitiyaga. Umuunawa. Magpapaubaya.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I stood under the shade of a tree and waited for a friend to arrive. A half empty plastic water bottle lay in the dirt. Crushed and tossed away by someone, it gathered dust as it waited to be picked up again.

On clear days like today, it would turn cloudy as the water evaporates, only to be held back by the bottle itself. Most days it would just sit patiently. Tightly capped, it clung to its contents, refusing to let go.

My friend arrived and squatted beside me in the dirt as I was unscrewing the cap. "Don't touch that!" she exclaimed. I just smiled and winked at her as I finished and tossed the cap away.

She was again hiding behind those shades, thinking I would not notice the crying or the sleepless nights. I picked her up, dusted her off, and steered her away from the dirt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ice / Eyes

I used to wonder how my mom and dad could sit at the dining table without speaking. Not that they were giving each other the cold treatment. They were just... quiet.

I thought that perhaps, after years of being together, people just ran out of things to say. That maybe boredom silently creeps into all relationships. Until you find yourselves at opposite ends, with more than just the dining table keeping you apart.

And yet here we are, hubby and I. Seated at the back of the bus. Plugged into the same music with shared earphones, speaking volumes in our silence.

random photo from google

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dim Sum

Hubby woke up to one of his "sungit" days today. He wanted to stay home and simmer, but I managed to convince him to have brunch outside to clear his foul mood.

I wanted to take him to his favorite dim sum place, then browse around the sports shop beside it. He has a crush on one of the sales staff, though he firmly insists that the guy is straight.

As we were leaving, hubby took a swipe at what I was wearing. He read in a Chinese forum that PLUs here typically wore A&F, Hollister, and Fred Perry and said that my shirt was a dead giveaway.

We boarded the train, and a group of young men in A&F tees kept on trying to catch my attention. Hubby mouthed "I told you so," as we changed cars when they started taking photos with us in the background.

As hubby and I walked the rest of the way to the restaurant, a number of passing male strangers smiled at me. Belaboring his point, hubby mumbled one brand after the other, referring to their shirts.

After the meal, hubby was back to his usual self. He was embarrassed to go into the sports shop, but I took a quick peek as we passed its front door. His crush was wearing Nike and looked ruggedly masculine.

Upon seeing us pass by, the guy rushed to the door, stood outside, and smiled at us from afar. I took a jab at hubby and told him to add Nike to his list.


For hubby, when my own words fail me...

Monday, July 2, 2012


I've been dying to get away from everything that I hate about China. If only I could settle somewhere else, but there's too many complications at this time. And after a brief trip overseas, I was dreading to face the same things I left behind.

Traffic from the airport was terrible. The driver swerved and took the airport service through a narrow street that was lined with Ginkgo trees from one end to the other. I asked the driver to stop the car.

I opened the window and waited a few seconds before a slight breeze finally came. One by one, the trees exploded into a million jade butterflies, fluttering wildly but never leaving the shelter of the branches.

They're not ready, I told myself. It may be too early, but soon enough, emerald would turn into gold. The cool wind would sweep them away, and they would finally take flight.

The wind came, a bit stronger this time, and again the leaves shook and struggled to be free. Soon, i whispered, before closing the window and heading for home.

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