one, or make that two… two of of the boons of living in the city are going to your home province and traveling far doing so. in my case, doing both takes eight hours of butt-burning, leg-cramping, and body-freezing sit-down inside a bus. but i’m not really complaining. i prefer the bus actually. i can say that that is the third advantage of living in the city. a trip by bus is a “vacation” in itself. or more like, a retreat. i get to be literally speechless (except when some fellow dares to chit-chat with me and if he or she gets carried away, will narrate his/her entire life story, or when i’m luckier, meet someone who can make my trip “sweet”; but that’s a different story and not for this time). i don’t put earphones to deafen myself with my usual music, but instead, embrace those played on the bus (michael learns to rock, air supply, hotel california, and freddie aguilar- a local artist, a great one- and they are on the repeat, too; music with lyrics i have come to memorize because of my trips like these). and i get to do a lot of self-evaluation, which is always part of my journey home.
my trip last weekend beat my record last year of having only two visits to the province. unfortunately, the approaching christmas holiday is not really a holiday for my work, so the trip was also our pre-christmas celebration. good thing i do not have any more homesickness issues (but there’s always a serious reason every time i come home, and family better not know each; being with them overcomes whatever “reason” it is). my family is still always excited though to learn that i’m coming with the hope that i finally bring a guy along. they never quit with that. and of course, they’re excited for my pasalubong (any food or items brought home for the people who are awaiting the arrival; in our place, a box of biscuits is an infamous pasalubong).
being away for quite a long time makes me appreciate home more. fresh breeze. colder temperature. the greeneries. old reading materials, old photos, and old writings. mama’s food. and the best thing, family, which includes a set of its own– the bickering, the when-are-you-having-your-own-family interrogations, the stories that were told before and told again, but somehow still sound new, nanay’s (grandma) amazing strength being 90+, and just the mere presence of each other.
suddenly, things that were ordinary or were of less value before become special and are seen with a different perspective. i can say that some of the things i saw touring other places are also available in our own place, in our own backyard, and even inside our house. i don’t renounce going on trips to other places because that’s a different experience altogether and a different set of learnings. but traveling home the weekend that passed opened my eyes to things i didn’t give close attention to during the days that i was living here.
i am no photographer, and photos below might just be plain and simple. but they made me happy. and that’s the simple reason why i came home.
first morning of december. by the sea.
strolling. and church (been a while).
no other pictures of the good food i enjoyed. here are random ones though.
so, here’s what i think should be my subject if ever i pursue being a photo hobbyist. with a more legit and expensive (cough, cough) camera. (credits to my cousin Ling’s caring hands in growing such lovely flowers.)
and of course, my homies.
home? check. now, i’m all set for the world… or maybe, just some other places around here. :p
and thanks to you who have just spared me with precious time bearing with my “clicks” viewing all of them (i know, they might be too many already, but i couldn’t help posting all). would love to get a peek of your own “home,” too, or of any of your travels (better if with the sea). can’t wait. 🙂
i rarely get sick. i’m happy and proud of my almost zero-sickness record this year. i can’t say i have a 100% healthy lifestyle. sure, i take no alcohol, i don’t smoke, and i don’t eat pork much. but i also don’t exercise, i don’t sleep early, and i don’t watch my diet. i credit my “healthy” state (with that i mean not having any cold, cough, or fever often) to eating breakfast. no specific foods. just anything with rice and egg, and i am good. oh, and banana, too. i do become hypochondriac though sometimes. having some palpitations makes me worry that i am doomed and sights getting blurrier and blurrier for me leads me into thinking that i’m getting blind. but so far, i am grateful that i am not struck with the usual ailments and don’t have to visit the doctor often. in the first place, i don’t want to visit one. secondly, i don’t like doctors.
i can count using the fingers of my one hand the times in my entire life that i had to go to a doctor. they were mostly for employment purposes. being raised by adults who were born and raised in the province, i am used to all those natural ways of healing. before “herbal” and “organic” got mainstream through those supplements and medicines, my mother and grandmother long introduced them to me. even if i wasn’t sick, they made me take this drink they created from boiling assorted leaves or roots like that of guava, star apple, pandan, and mango. For a while too, a piece of garlic served as our pre-bedtime “pill.” When my brother and i got fever or the like, they performed an act called “lutay.” it was like a massage where pieces of banana leaves with oil (baby oil or coconut oil or other kinds of oil they also concocted out of certain things) in them was put on different parts of the body to find the “sickest” spot. either that act performed on us by my mother, or she would take us to a local doctor or faith healer, who would also perform a different set of rituals to determine whether it was just a common illness or it was caused by a bad spirit. although not all the time i agreed with these means due to the bitter taste of the drinks or after-smell of the formula, i must say they were effective because we were cured. when we transferred to the city though, i started doubting their effectiveness because other people doubted it or laughed at the thought of it. way back, other people viewed someone who used such ways of healing as one doing some witchcraft or someone, yes, from the province. since when i was younger, i used to value more what other people say or think, i started to reject the leaves and the roots and everything related to my roots (pun intended). i did not totally embrace though the kind of medicine the city offers. up until now, i rarely drink tablets and capsules of pain relievers (i just can’t swallow them well), and like i mentioned, i don’t really see a doctor. what did i do then? i just prayed. with the faith that i would eventually feel better, i fought those ailments. thankfully, they did pass.
at present, i am back with the natural means. i self-treat myself whenever i don’t feel well. i boil some water with roots of ginger and it serves as my vitamin drink. i eat fruits and do my best to eat veggies as often as possible. i still don’t take supplements even if they’re made from organic and herbal formula. i still think that since they are manufactured in laboratories, they have these hidden bad side effects. i hope i am wrong. because the ironic thing is my grandmother (juana), who is 95 or 96 years old, and my mother, are open now to those kinds of medicines. they have their daily dose of vitamin pills which, they say, really make them feel healthy. they still take other herbal drinks though, so i think i have nothing to worry.
but i still doubt doctors. this sentiment is only purely based on my experience. during the few times i sought their service, they didn’t actually help in curing me. they just asked me a few questions about how i feel, what i eat, what my work is, and then scribbled some drugs i had to take (which i did not always do), advised me to not eat or drink this or that, and charged me with an unbelievable amount for that less-than-ten-minutes chit-chat. they’re not even friendly (at least, that was what i felt). or cute. no dr. mcdreamy or dr. grey who feels strong concern for her patients. that’s why i think dr. house is the only realistic portrayal of their kind. with the crankiness i mean. at least, he was really helping someone get well. unlike those i encountered in real life that made me go home to my province every time i feel that my illness is a little serious and resort to a local doctor, or what they tag as a quack doctor. but i think those medical shows that romanticize the medicine field should be blamed, too, for either the high expectations for it or the disappointment with it in the real world.
i’m not saying every doctor is the same. may it be a quack doctor or a schooled doctor, they all act based on their individual skills and knowledge. and they can either heal or worsen conditions. i just hope every one of them has and show real concern to people who seek their help, and not just go with their usual ask-prescribe-pay ritual. because sometimes, it’s the concern that would help more. it’s that concern that would make the person get well.
i am fortunate that i was not getting any cold or fever. i really think i’ve had a strong immune system. until two days ago. because of ice-cream. it started the tonsillitis, then it led to a runny nose, now cough, and a mild fever. and because of that, i’ve been absent from work for two days now. worse, because of that, i will have to go see a doctor. for a medical certification that i got sick. otherwise, i won’t be able to resume work. for that reason, i am thankful. seriously though, with that visit, i hope to meet one that will “sweep me off my feet” and change my cynical view. for now, i will continue with my self-medication and pray that this itchy, scratchy feel on my throat will soon be gone.
(image credits: www.robotplunger.com; 2.bp.blogspot.com)