I woke up around 4:00 AM. My XM Radio Online was playing Christmas carols. But something is missing. I am wearing shorts and an old sando, and it doesn’t feel right. It feels like I am missing a part of my very soul.
I grew up north, In Tuao, Cagayan Valley. Probably around 99.98% of the Filipinos haven’t heard the place. It’s a small laid back town near Tuguegarao City. Home to more than 26,000 people. If you happen to visit the Basilica Minore of the Lady of Piat, you will notice that the Basilica is overlooking sleepy old town that stand humbly between the mighty Cagayan River and the majestic mountains of the Kalingas and the Apayaos. That place is Tuao. Home of my childhood. Whose sun kissed soil was forever witness to centuries of perfect sunsets and of countless mist embraced dawns.
December is the time of the year when I usually drown myself to 3 layers of blankets and piles of pillows. When even the crickets would not sing their song because of the cold. When I feel happy lying in the dark listening to Christmas carols buried beneath the blankets.
Manila is whole different world for me. Though I’ve been here for a couple of years now. Manila is beautiful as it is stressful. I miss the morning fog of Cagayan. It’s chilly wind at dusk and the care free smiles of its people.
Every night, as the bus, taking me to work, was passing through Quezon Memorial Circle, where the trees stand proudly amidst the chaos that was Elliptical Road. I open the window and closed my eyes. I allowed the cool air to caress my face. I let the sensation take me to another place. Back to Cagayan, where the December chill could freeze ones soul into a state of childhood forever.
Ahh… How I yearn to be home.