Friday, January 12, 2007

Arrival in Bulacan
06 December 2006


Written in: Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, PHILIPPINES
Composition: Impromptu - recalling things from a month ago
Previous Post: Goodbye Santa, Ilocos Sur


Bocaue was a crowded place when we arrived that late afternoon of the 6th of December. It was three weeks before Christmas and people were already buying their Christmas and New Years' fireworks in this Philippine Capital of the paputok (fireworks) retail industry (production happens all over Bulacan).

As we made our way past the heavy traffic, towards Sta. Maria, it greeted me:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XJ8TtRi0WlM/UqvJvssRrgI/AAAAAAAAAdw/-RS17Xau6BM/s1600/IMG_0001-1.jpg 

Looming above my head, it announced a Welcome I had missed during the night of my arrival. Am I really in Sta. Maria? I wondered to myself.

The ridiculously congested narrow roads told me I probably wasn't - I imagine such heavy traffic and human density in places closer to Metro Manila like Meycauayan, Malabon and Novaliches. But not in my hometown.

And besides, I was just here a week prior, I thought. It certainly didn't look like this! Were there really this many business establishments? Were there really this much new housing last week?

But I was, undeniably, in MY Sta. Maria.

The first 14 waking hours I had spent the week prior wasn't even enough to familiarize myself with the place to notice all the changes, let alone adjust to the things that had changed in the near decade that I had been gone.

For the second time, I was being overwhelmed by the things in my hometown.

The moment I exited NLEX at Pampanga and sped towards the Ilocos Region, I got used to the thought that in 10 years, things don't change much. In Santa, things have remained more or less the same - parts of Vigan in fact have been that way since the 1500's.

But in Sta. Maria, things HAVE changed.

My adjustment period officially began during this time.


Next Post: The Little Things

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