Monday, December 31, 2007

T, N49

Calls to Home II

Composition: Homesick for the Philippines.
Written on: My Own Desktop, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
Previous Post: Why Keep Telling the Story III

In a previous post where I narrated a call I made to the Philippines, I put in the title of "Calls to Home".

To be honest I don't remember anymore if it was intentional that I referred to the Philippines as "Home", or whether it was only accidental.

Was I going for the ironic suggestion that despite 10 years (almost 11 now) of existence here in Canada, I still consider the Philippines my one and true"home"? Was I going for some kind of poetic writing effect? Perhaps in wanting to sound like a hopeless romantic who pines for where he formed his childhood memories, I made the conscious choice to put that in as the title. Certainly, the latter part of that entry would suggest this to be the case:

" order to spend the rest of our lives exclusively with a special someone, we usually


... we usually cite the one criteria that we HAVE to be in love.

Why can't we be then in love with a place? I mean, when we pick a place to settle, we're pretty much saying that we're going to spend the rest of our lives there."

Considering I wrote that to close the entry, it's not so much a stretch anymore to think that I may have been going for the sentimental effect.

On the other hand, it could have been an unconscious mistake; a Freudian slip of sorts. Frankly I don't remember wanting to hide a latent meaning to what I was writing. Now, whether that was an effect of my inebriation at the time, or just because a lot has happened since then (the original entry was made in August) , I really don't know. One thing I do know though is that if I were truly going for the hidden suggestion, then I was too successful in that I caught it only now. Then again, I'm not that good of a writer, so the possibility that it was subtle enough to escape my notice until now is somewhat unlikely.

Whatever the case, I'm using that thread title again but now with the outright intention to suggest that in the 4 months I spent in the Philippines, I felt a certain sense of being "home" more than any of the nearly eleven years I have spent so far here in Calgary, Alberta.

It's a feeling that I am unable to justify fully at this time.

But justified or not, I felt "home"sick so I gave Cousin Marco a call in his cell, just minutes ago. It's the 30th of December here, so that would make it the 31st there*, New Years Eve. I predicted that there would probably be a gathering in the Family (Dad's side) property and that they would probably all (or at least mostly) would be there. Well, my predictions were correct, and like what happened last year, and every year before that, there was a gathering, and at least an animal was slaughtered for the occasion. The afternoon would see them having goat.

"Talaga? (Really)" I asked, "Ano anong putahe gagawin?(What dishes are being made out of it?)"

"Marami! (Lots!)" Marco replied, "Yung isa my gata, yung common caldereta, at yung adobo, tapos syempre susubok kami ng papaitan. (Well, there's one with coconut milk, then there's caldereta, then adobo, and then maybe we'll see and try if we can make papaitan out of it.**)"

"Oo nga pala (Oh yeah)," Marco continued, " 'Andito kami sa puno ng Caimito, sa pagitan nung babuyan at kusina (We're doing the cooking here under the Caimito tree, in between the pigpen and the outdoor kitchen)"

I closed my eyes and I was there again. With Uncle Captain's*** Roosters crowing in the background, I was there all over again. Amazing how one phone call brings me back and perks me right up - alleviating feelings of SAD.

I later browsed through the photos I took and found this one for reference.

The animal in the above photo is a pig, and those two guys are strangers to me (volunteer helps), but it doesn't take much for me to imagine what the scene may have looked like. Also, that photo is year plus a few days old, during the Barangay Hall Christmas party. Exactly a year ago was Janelle Marlyze's Christening.


A year ago? Has it been that long? Hard to believe, but that's how life goes I suppose. Time passing by is inevitable, and I have to realize that pretty soon any sort of life decision wouldn't matter anymore, and that procrastination could postpone any self imposed projects permanently.

Cryptic? I know. I'll elaborate later.

Next Post: A Year Behind.

*- I have this thing set to Philippine time, which is Standard Time +0800 UTC, as opposed to Alberta which is - 7 hours UTC

**- That he said 'try' is significant in that papaitan is an Ilocano specialty, and when done in the Tagalog region, I find that it somewhat always ends up being a lighter, slightly more diluted, version.

***- Local elections were recently just held, and My Uncle, the Kapitan, won once again. Good to know that the leadership of Tumana is in good hands, and what's more significant for me is that I could still call him Captain Uncle, Kapitan, or just "Kap".

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Blogger wandering storyteller said...

"Home" is calling you too :)

2:58 PM  
Blogger StrayDog said...

Basta ba hindi collect.

Mahal kasi...

9:03 AM  

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