How To Not Miss Home

Jun 14, 2016



PHOTO-DIARY: MANILA, PHILIPPINES





In an email to L, I wrote:
"Home used to mean coming home to you asleep and waking up with breakfast right by the bedside. How many apartments have transferred to in the past couple of years after we broke up and stayed friends? Three?"
I could count more than three, I tell you. I started moving, trading cities for cities, rooms for rooms, when I was 15. I call every city I live in home, I guess it's easier to say that and maybe because it doesn't attract questions like "where are you from?" Then I answer I'm from this place and my parents live in a different city and then another question about my family comes in and I tell you, every time I try to answer these kinds of questions, my words become less and less.

This year, I moved thrice. I got tired on my last try. Maybe it's the packing and unpacking and the hours and hours of traveling, or the uncertainty of a nice bed to come home to, or the inevitability of missing the previous city I was in. Maybe that or another or all of those are the reasons why I got tired and settled in the capital.

Initially, I told my mother I'd live in Thailand and try to build a career there. I failed. Building a career in a foreign country is hard and I over-estimated myself, I thought I was good enough but no, I wasn't. I did not have fairer skin and I had many tattoos; Thailand isn't a country I'm meant to live in. Maybe somewhere else, maybe somewhere a lot nicer, maybe somewhere in Europe.

So I packed my heavy bags again and made sure I didn't have any dirty laundry left, rode the taxi to the airport and decided whether I'd book a ticket to Indonesia or Singapore, or just fly back to Manila. I chose the latter.

Fortunately, M was warm enough to welcome me to her little home. I stayed with her for four weeks until I found myself a new place to sleep in and unpack my bags.



M and I would take turns doing the chores. I always failed in cooking edible meals, so I stuck to washing the dishes.



Most nights, we'd sit and smoke in the fire exit.



Other nights, we'd talk about depression and Davao.



On my last night, we went to a gallery where our friend A had her thesis exhibited.



There are days when staying in and eating Nissin instant noodles felt perfect.



M really likes online shopping. One time, she bought an epilator and I thought it was stupid. I ate all my words when I tried it. Now I like my legs shaved.



A day after I left M's place, I settled in a fancy condo and unpacked all my bags there. I bought new sheets, pillows, and duvet. Days after that I purchased coffee tools.



More days passed and I aced a job interview.



I work in a very creative place and I like what I'm doing, most especially my office space where I can freely spray my orangey scent anytime I want.



Seeing this view every time I look out the window is both hypnotizing and stressful.



My best friend, R and I work in the same company now.



She's an L, but her hair's colored and I haven't lived with her yet. I miss L, my L.



One time, in the fire exit where we spend smoking minutes together, I told R I was proud of him. I really was. A collection is in the works and the runway is waiting.



Back in Davao, R and I would dream of things together. On 2014, we both left Davao and settled in Manila where we both had fair share of the bittersweet taste of life.



A day after spending time in the rooftop, I met up with photographers in a parking lot in Makati where we sold our art.



I was half-asleep the whole time I was there. I faked my tiredness by taking photos for the Okward Hug project.



I forgot his name but I envied how relaxed he looked while chilling under this short tree.



Free.



Erin was kind enough to share her booth to us. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have met Denver, Kenji, and Teo.



Empty tables waiting for people to come in and eat there.



While walking towards M's little home, I told her that Metro Manila's sunset is always fascinating. She agreed.



Most days here end with a downpour of many different things, and all you have to do is stay calm, curl up in sheets, and wait until you get used to all of it.



Things don't end and you won't stop missing home, but you'll definitely get used to it.


2 comments

  1. 'Things don't end and you won't stop missing home, but you'll definitely get used to it.' :|

    ReplyDelete

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