19 December 2009

Home

When the plane touched down at JFK, I felt a sense of relief. As much as I had enjoyed my time in the Philippines, I still missed New York. The cold wind of the city whipped my face and shocked my coat-less frame that had spent three weeks in summer-like weather, but I felt alive in a way that I knew I could never feel in the Philippines.

I see now why my parents, almost forty years ago, had strived to leave their homeland for greener pastures and richer opportunities. Everything was there for them, including love and family, but to live and die there would have meant a life of complacency. So they left for the U.S., worked hard to make their fortune, and retired back to their beloved homeland when they had accomplished everything they had set out to do.

But I'm too young to live there now. I want to experience the world. I want more, way more than what I could ever achieve in the Philippines. And for right now, New York is where I want to be.

This past week, I walked down Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral. I walked past a group of carolers singing Christmas songs, and something about the cold night air, the bright lights from the cathedral and the streets, and the melancholy tone of their song, made me start to cry. I could barely control the flow of tears from my eyes, and I felt an actual pain in my chest. I walked around Rockefeller Center and took notice of the groups of people who stood around the Christmas tree, and I came to the realization that once again, I will be alone for Christmas, and most importantly, far away from my family.

But I only have one heart, and it belongs in two places: in the Philippines where all my family are, and here in New York where I have set my goals to be fulfilled.

If only I could be in two places at once.


(source: Google images)
"Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven"I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world." ~ George Washington

02 December 2009

Corruption.... Faceless

I am here in the Philippines on vacation. I have been here since the middle of November. I couldn't wait to come here. I had been counting down the days, but since I've been here, I've been angry and depressed.

I hate that I had to come all the way here to see my family. My experience and outlook this time towards the Philippines is much different than in my previous visits. I actually hate it here.

The corruption is rampant and the poverty is stifling. I have seen no improvement in the country and the thought of it is sickening. How is it that other countries, such as Vietnam and Japan, countries that were once war-ravaged, are now prosperous, and the Philippines is still an under-developed country?

It is because the politicians here are corrupt and they only care about what goes in their wallets. Never mind that the mass population barely have enough food to eat and live in shacks.

Maybe the people of the Philippines should take lessons from the people of Romania. Remember what they did to Nicolae Ceauşescu?

That same revolution and bloodshed needs to happen in the Philippines. Otherwise, I fear that the so-called leaders of this God-forsaken country will continue to hold down this country. It is in their benefit to keep the people in oppression.

~~

These past few weeks that I've been here, I've been having vivid dreams of the past - the times when all of my family were together in the U.S. The dreams feel so real that I wake up disappointed to find myself to simply be a guest in my parent's home in the Philippines. I wish I could turn back time to happier days and happier situations.

These past few nights, I've been having dreams of an unknown person whose face I cannot see and do not recognize. It is the unrecognizable face of a man who makes me feel safe : a man who doesn't get drunk and then becomes intolerable, a man who has dreams and ambitions of living a simple and normal life, a man who does not let his vices and whims control his life or destroy the lives of others, and a man who stays true and loyal to me as I am to him.

I have never seen his face yet, but when I do, I will know, for it is the face that both haunts and graces me in my dreams.

I look forward to seeing him again in my dreams. Although only a dream, the faceless man has made me feel safe in a way that I have not felt in a long time.

I will take it any way that I can - even if I have to simply dream about it.