I was in my hometown two weeks ago for the Holy Week break. It’s an annual practice—going home during Holy Week, All Soul’s Day and Christmas breaks.  Apart for the reason these are only periods I get to spend time with my family, these are also the only periods I take long breaks from work.

A favorite habit of mine when I am at home is to sit in our terrace during sunset. Because it faces our gate and of the almost 1.5-meter elevation of our house above ground level, I get a good view of the setting sun, the road in front of our house, and railway that bisects the road.

During my recent stay, there was a day that I was suddenly overwhelmed by the utter calmness of my surroundings. There were hardly any cars passing by. Children were happily playing on the street. I could vividly hear the sound of chirping bird and insects, and even the sound of the blowing wind.  It is a fact that in some places like my hometown, life can still be slow and uncomplicated. Yet, it still amazes me I am still able to experience how slow and uncomplicated life can be.

Sadly on the night of Easter Sunday, I had to go back to Manila because of work. My usual 9-10 hour bus ride turned into a grueling 16-hour trip. There was so much traffic and cars on the way back. When I finally arrived in Alabang Bus Station, it took the bus almost 1 hour just for the payment of the toll fee. Then, it took me another hour just to get to my workplace, a 10 to 15 minute-ride from Alabang if there is no traffic.

I just can’t help but sigh on the disparity of time and life between Manila and my hometown. One day, time is chasing me, on another day, I am the one chasing it. It’s no wonder Einstein was considered a genius, time is indeed relative.

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