After one of my posts got traction from Facebook, I felt this sense of gratitude.
This is the confirmation of a sign I asked a few days ago.
I was in doubt at that time, if I really wanted to continue writing. I know this is my life but there are moments when you ask yourself, why by the time you decided to do what you love, something suddenly falls apart?
I asked for a sign if this is really my calling, if this is really the meaning I was looking. Then I doze off to sleep.
The next morning I checked this blog and was shocked to see one of my posts being shared by my country’s Tourism Department to its Official Facebook Page with more than 700,000 followers.
That post earned thousands of likes and shares, bringing tons of traffic to my blog.
It was the answer I was looking for.
Then I’ve made a firm decision, to continue doing this whatever it takes, not only for those who enjoy reading my works, but most importantly for me. I need this. I need to write to feel alive.
I’ve made a promise not to hold back anymore, to be open and sometimes even vulnerable.
So I’ll start with sharing to you my hometown, the place where I came from.
Credit: David de la Hyde
Credit: David de la Hyde / Creative Commons, Attribution
I was born in an island, a town called Laoang in the province of Northern Samar in the Philippines. It is a simple, laidback place where people make a living primarily through fishing.
At an early age, my family moved to Manila where I grew up and studied. But we made it a point to go back to Laoang whenever we can. We usually spend our vacations here.
Though I was raised in the city, I am proud to say I was able to preserve the traditions of our province, especially the language.
There are a lot of dialects in the Philippines. Aside from “Tagalog,” there are others which are widely used in the entire archipelago. In the province where I came from, our mother tongue is “waray.”
It was so easy to forget it being raised in the city, but I never let it go.
I sometimes use the dialect whenever I talk to my parents at home. And when I spend vacation in our place, I make it a point to practice it, by conversing to my relatives.
My effort pays off.
If my “kuya” (older brother) who was also born in the same town with me couldn’t understand our dialect now, I am a different story.
I am not that fluent as the locals who grew up there, but I can say I am good at it.
I can still remember the last time I visited my province.
One afternoon, I walked a few meters from the house going to the most popular spot in the island, The Laoang Church or officially known as St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church.
Built in the 17th century, this has become the center of Catholic faith in the island. Going here is a delightful experience as you would witness kids playing at the park just in front of the church.
I remember when I was a kid this church used to have this additional structure at the front part like a long alley. Good thing a few years ago, the parish decided to bring back the old and original look of the church.
I have very vivid, beautiful memories of this church.
I remember how the bell rings every morning signalling not just the start of the mass but also the start of the day for everyone.
Then when I woke up, I would see my lola (grandmother) walking outside the house. And when I looked further, I would see her walking afar wearing all black with her veil.
Yesterday was her death anniversary. I miss her. 🙁
I walked farther passing the municipal hall and the lush green sceneries going to another favorite place in the island, the most popular beach in our province – the Onay beach.
In the waray dialect, Onay means “suicide.”
Well don’t be shocked. It was actually come from a legend, that long time ago there was this lady who committed suicide after a devastating heartbreak. She did not die of drowning, she was found hanging on one of the tress at the beach.
It was already late afternoon when I went to Onay alone.
Walking along this beach has brought back a lot of childhood memories. This is where we usually go to enjoy and swim together with my friends and relatives.
As the sun was about to set, there were young men doing some stunts along the shore.
Looking at them reminded me of how fast time has passed. I was just like them few years back enjoying the beach, not minding too much about the world.
Now at our age, we all have our issues and worries.
But I realized that going back to your roots can bring a reassuring feeling, calming your mind and telling you’ve got nothing to worry about.
I think I should visit my hometown more often. 🙂