February 2006


There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror. — Orson Welles

The day is warm as the sun is out. The airport bus took the Pacific Highway, averting weekend gridlocks on 101.

It's 3pm. Too darn early for my 845pm flight to Manila. I stare out. The weather's just perfect. Too darn perfect to waste inside an airport bus.

I need sleep. Why it takes like forever to pack 2 luggages and a carry-on for a short vacation is just beyond normal. It has always been like that. A bad travel habit that seems to die hard. The end result is torture: a hangover deprived of caffeine.

I need sleep, for real.

Perhaps I'll just take a nap. Try to slumber off stress and weariness from last night's lapse in self-organization. And maybe, just maybe, provoke later on the plane an emotion brighter than Orson Welles's sentiments

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After being away for a time, going home is always an occasion to find delight in; to feel excited about; to overwhelm oneself with. This is all the more true when returning home from a long stay overseas that, say, an OFW would overlook travel hassles, i.e. expensive plane fares, long hours of bad airline service, rude immigration officials, and bureaucratic airport personnel, with the thought of or seeing someone familiar (parents, siblings, families, etc.) waiting eagerly across the airport customs counter.

Ah, airport reunions! I kill time on stressful stopovers observing couples or families reunite in sheer bliss and — allow me to describe without being too obvious that I worked in PR for two years — these are just absolute Mastercard moments: Priceless.

A week from today, I’ll be heading back to Manila after two months (that capped off a three-year study) in Japan and six months of touring the US (trying hardest to sound like a rock band member here *I wish*). I go home every year and the excitement is always there. Well, almost always; Not this time.

Weird, I know.

I’m not saying it’s completely absent; I AM excited (okay, I’m being complicated)! I guess, what I am trying to say here is this: I yearn to go home but I hesitate to leave just yet. It’s not like I’m in an indecisive situation here (a cut from Gattaca reel suddenly flashes with Ethan Hawke whispering to Uma Thurman “When you finally find the chance to leave, you find a reason to stay,” or something close to that) but I feel I’m home here as much as I’m home in Manila. In fact, if it were not for my visa constraints, I'd postpone my trip back home.

Ah, you say, the plot thickens! Well, yes, not that I intend to omit this bit of a detail that I'm still in the process of earning a green card, but true: I am coming home because my six-month stay is up.

But it's not that I am forced to leave or anything; my visa is still good for seven more years. I don't have intentions to overstay by illegal means either; only a personal resolve to restart my three-year dormant career here in the US. And no, it's not a by-hook-or-by-crook situation but more of a testing-the-waters kind. So, OK, what if I am one of those doomed-if-I-stay, scorned-if-I-leave Pinoys out to look for the proverbial 'greener pastures'? Shoot me!

Nationalism aside (as an entire blog entry might perhaps warrant), G and I plan to settle here in US — for good. Now, it may seem strange to some but starting out on our own for real (as opposed to being mobile and temporary as it were in Japan) is an exciting experience I relish and deem responsible to go through, i.e., scouting for and furnishing an apartment, familiarizing with neighbors and environment, etc.; thus, the hesitation to leave for home just yet.

But at the end of the day, logic and reason kick in: that I’ll be home to see my family and check on friends (which are exciting altogether) in Manila, and; that I’ll fly back to California after a relatively short month, anyway.

I DO miss my family and I DO want to visit them back in Manila. I reckon I should spend as much time with them as possible before I settle and reestablish (and get tangled up with) my career for good overseas — what with my mom turning 62 this year.

Surely too, I'll miss G and our new apartment and all else new in our life together here in sunny California but only for a good while. I guess for now, I'm just going through the motions until everything falls into wherever good place they fit.

And while I'm thinking of the brighter side of things, imagine this: two homecomings in a month! Nothing but excitement, yeah? And twice over to boot!