Yes, I'm back in the land where I was born, in the city I love, and in the home where I grew up. Just when I thought I could fashion my own American dream, reality bit me...hard.
Today is September 4 and classes start today in the California university I got accepted in for graduate school. And here I am in my home office (more like a corner in my dad's home office) somewhere in Metro Manila, typing away while the noonday heat oppresses the people passing by on our street.
Well, things don't always work out the way we want them to. I believe that God has a plan for all of us. His plan may not include my studying now, but I trust that His plan is best. After all, He made me. And like a car manufacturer who knows the ins and outs of a car, God knows me inside out and knows what's best for me.
And so, I've gone on with my life in Manila for the past month and a half. My son is now in sixth grade in a school he loves. I've gone to the malls in town, and in fact checked out Trinoma the day after we arrived. I've gone food tripping again with my friend Erli, and I've scheduled coffee dates with dear friends. I've been driving almost every day (and reacquainted myself with the traffic, the potholes, and the hay naku drivers). I've linked up with my home church. And I'm raring to get back to work. Life is good.
Some things I love about being here in Manila:
1. good home massages at cheap prices
2. kapeng barako at Figaro
3. bibingka (try Bibingkinita at Glorietta 4's Food Choices)
4. coffee and lemon squares at Cafe Mary Grace (Trinoma and Serendra)
5. Nova and Chippy with Coke sakto while working on the computer
6. Jollibee Chickenjoy (believe me, we missed this since the Chickenjoy in Jollibee Carson in LA didn't taste like the real thing)
7. book sales in Powerbooks and National Bookstore
8. two hours of me time reading a book at Starbucks Metrowalk without anyone bothering me
9. texting -- yup, I've rejoined civilization and got a cellphone
10. just hanging out with my family and friends over yummy food
Yes, this is home.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: Travel Writing by Don George with Charlotte Hindle, published by Lonely Planet. Here's a look at what travel writing is all about, with advice from travel writers, editors, and agents from the US, UK and Australia. In travel writing, the rewards do not come in monetary terms but in rich experiences.
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:-12