Where I grew up, it was not uncommon for people to hear the television shows their neighbors were watching. The houses were constructed too closely together, so that if I woke up early enough I’d see the family next door going through their morning routines. It was especially fun because at night, as the entire neighborhood watched the evening news, there would be a delay in the newscasters’ spiels if I sat by the open window. Something about the speed of sound being slow, I’d been told. In any case, I lived in a sleepy town in a more or less quiet island in the Philippines. People tend to think that all of Mindanao is war-torn, but my childhood in my little city couldn’t have been anything but quiet.

The economy of Cagayan de Oro is booming now, so the parochial memories I have of it will probably remain so – memories. Each time I come home from Metro Manila, where I study and current live, I look forward to the miles of rice fields that we have to drive through to get home. The air, despite bearing obvious signs of human civilization, is sweeter and cleaner than what I have to deal with for most of the year. There are cows and goats and chickens by the side of the road. Each time I go home I feel at peace. But I know, although I cannot explain how I am sure, that at the end of every visit I will always have to leave.

People, I think, know when their lives will be spent being rooted or constantly wandering around – aimlessly or otherwise.

Email: stormstalker19@gmail.com
Fandom ID: arasukishi, stormstalker19

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