25 March 2013

Letter No. 17

In a few days, I'll be taking Cris home with me to Socsksargen. He's been pretty busy with work and other things, so he says it hasn't sunk in for him yet. But I've been looking forward to it every day this March, because I've been looking forward to bringing him home since last year, and now we actually have a date, and that date is in sight.

I don't expect him to like everything, of course. In fact, I really don't know what to expect. A lot of good-natured ribbing from my brothers, to be sure. A lot of walking, maybe some hiking. Definitely some swimming, as my parents want to drive straight from the airport to a Sarangani resort for the first two days. Dad's birthday. Maybe Nadie's chicken and some blackened tuna. Cousins over for Easter. A little church.

I'm most looking forward, though, to the walking — taking Cris to all my favorite places, showing him my school, walking under the old trees, and basically giving him the grand tour of my home planet.

Home is a part of me that I, unlike a lot of people I know here, can't just show people by asking them to come over later for dinner. It takes patience, cash, good timing, and a copy or a bookmark of one of those long weekend calendars floating around, especially if you have to watch for airline promos. And ever since my job made me more office-bound, it's become harder to plan trips home. So, every trip I get to take is precious, and the people I get to take with me are precious, too.

When I do invite friends to fly home with me sometime, or when my parents say I should bring them with me, I always warn my friends, "There's nothing to do there. There's no nightlife or anything like that. If you want to go to a bar, you have to drive 45 minutes through the dark pineapple fields to General Santos, about 60km away. We will probably just walk around a lot, eat, and sleep. You'll probably have all the pineapple you want, though, and we will probably get a tuna jaw for lunch or dinner sometime." Walking around a lot, eating, and sleeping is basically my dream life, but of course, it's not for everybody.

The timing for this trip is actually not that great; between Sarangani, the cousins coming, Dad's birthday, and church stuff, I don't really know how much time I'll get to walk around with just Cris. But it's the best we could get, given how unpredictable this year promises to be. I look forward to it all the same; for however briefly, I'll be home, and he'll be there with me.

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