It was a long trip. Normally, it only takes eight hours from Manila to my hometown, Labo, Camarines Norte. But it took us almost 12 hours to reach our destination. The bus driver was too careful to drive especially that it was raining, a sign that we are going to have a rainy New Year.

The Superlines bus terminal was crowded with people heading to the provinces. My sister Helen, Gigi and her boyfriend Boboy, and I were already at the terminal at 10 p.m. We were able to leave the terminal at 12 a.m. I was a little bit drowsy because of the bonamine and stresstab I took befor we left our apartment. I easily fall asleep when we began the trip.

When I woke up, it was already 7:00 a.m., and we were just in Calaoag, Quezon. I felt excited seeing the views, the trees, the greens and the mountains. Huh, traveling always do me wonder. I already felt recharge from this quick escape from the pressured, demanding and distracted city life.

I also felt blessed because it is nearly 2007 and I am still alive, still having the chance to carry out my obligations to the world.

After an hour of seeing the greens and the beauty of the countryside, I felt nostalgic. I felt I wanted to see again the people I once with, the people, who, in some ways or another contributed in shaping my life. The people who helped me so much but I cannot able to thank so much. They are always part of what I am now.

My thoughts brought me to Loida Cortero; my adopted sister, my lifetime best- friend, my fan and also my idol. She’s my sincere, trusted, loyal honest friend. With her, I can be myself because she can accept me as I am. I can sit with her without talking and our communication becomes communion and I am nourished as I never am by words. Aside from my mother, she’s the only woman who can fully understand me.

Then I thought of Jerry James de la Torre, my big brother and also my little brother, my idol and also my fan, my caring mentor and also my honest critic especially during the Stateans days. He’s also my lifetime friend, one of my prayer warriors (because I know malakas siya kay Lord). He’s really the man among men. Saying thank you is not enough for all the things he did for me. Like Loida he did not leave me during my most trying times. I hope they both know how it meant to me even a single word of trust and encouragement they gave me. His very own achievements and life stories also inspired me. I am very blessed to know him because he’s simply a blessing to everyone.

Dyrle Villaflores is my friend way back in highschool. She tried to continue our communication even when she studied in Manila and I was in Bicol. She did not get tired of giving me moral support. She, too, has a drum of patience for me.

My thought went to Annelin Paming, a highschool friend who is now settled in South Korea. She is the one who made me think about having my own ideal family. I decided to seriously take all her advices now.

A handsome face came into my mind. It was Hansel Fajardo. He’s my baby brother whom I met long before he entered the Stateans because of Ana Fe. My Stateans days were worth remembering because of this guy who is napakasipag, napakabait at walang reklamo. I appreciated his help and support during those times that we have to meet the deadlines. It always make me smile when I remember that he always appreciate the food I prepared for him (kasi I am not a good cook).

I was still smiling when I realized we were already in Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte. My excitement grew. “Kumusta na kaya si Renze Miguel? Ano na kaya hitsura niya? Gusto ko na siya Makita.” Miggy is my three months old nephew-the new angel in the family.

Then I saw a darker version of Piolo Pascual in my mind. No, it was not Piolo, it was . . . a CEGP fellow- my darker version of Piolo Pascual. I don’t know much about him now, not much since he settled down three years ago.

Then I saw the image of a tall, handsome man. That’s my kuya Thurt’z (Arthur Mira), my real big brother in every since of it. He’s my kuya who spoiled me in the SB family. When I have a migraine, kakalampagin niya lahat ng tindahan just to buy me a medicine, even if it is 12:00 midnight. He really never stops caring. I love those cards he made for me when there were special occasions. He’s really the kuya I never had.

My nostalgia trip brought me to my STI days. I was also blessed then with kind professors and young yet understanding and loyal classmates who understand my situation as a working student.

There was Louie Casimero. My Pareng Louie who is really a kind person; who was always willing to extend his help. I always remember him as humble na tagabuhat ng PC namin during thesis defense. Now, he is already a big time programmer. He believed in me. He was also my fan and also my idol.

Francis Camson will always be my younger brother. For others he is ‘pasaway.’ But, he’s a fine sensible young man. He’s the younger brother who taught me to become ‘masinop.’ Pag kasama mo siya kumain, di puwede may matira pagkain sa pinggan.

I cannot finish my thesis without ma’am Jennifer Absalon. She helped me with almost everything she had; her resources, her time, her mind, her privacy, her space in the house so that I can finish my thesis.

I remember also my thesis group mates: Ed, Ethel and Saira. The last thing I knew Ed is now in Brunei. Saira works in a Data Processing company. I lost track of Ethel though. They all had contributed to the realization of one of my greatest dreams: to get that piece of paper certifying that I graduated college.

I saw more faces. Smiling faces of important people, acquaintances, classmates and friend who also enhanced the shape of my life. Among the faces, I focused to this one. He’s my boss for almost five years- Mr. Oscar Misa. My nostalgia trip was not complete without this man. I really owe him a lot. He is one of the instruments of god in showing me HIS care. He was not just a boss but a father, a friend and a confidant. He supported my decisions to study while working. He’s just a memory now because he died three years ago but I learned so many things about life from him.

At last we reached our home. It was still raining. The soil was muddy but I didn’t mind at all. I was really excited to see Renze Miguel, lola, nanay, Ingkay, Aying and the rest of the clan.

I am home again.

When I reached my uncle Resty’s hand to give respect he asked, “Bebe kelan ka magpapalit ng apelyido?”


I saw a slight sunray when I look up, a sign of a great year 2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How are you doing lately? I already read
"nostalgia" As usual your writings are impressive and substantial. Nostalgia is truly a part of human emotion. Last month I've been to Cebu I attended an international convention for children with neurological disorders. Afterwards, I proceed to Camarines Sur (Naga) to give seminar to parents of children with disabilities. This is a part of my advocacy to help people with disabilities lead better lives. I can’t prolong my story because this space is not enough. Just keep me posted for whatever and whenever possible.

Again, thank you very for your time in sending me valuable writings of yours.

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