Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

How do you define home? Or when can you tell when a place has turned into a home?

I hardly stay in one place. The place where I was born is different from where I grew up. I studied elementary, high school and college in three different places. And now that I am working, I am staying in a different place again. I’ve lived for almost 12 years on my own now and I hardly feel homesick anymore. But then I thought… when I’m homesick, which home am I referring to?

  • Naga City saw me as the traveling toddler. While my memories on this aspects of my life are very vague, Naga reminds of how I developed my love for traveling and mingling with people.
  • Iriga City saw me take my first steps in discovering my dreams. I spent my formative years in Iriga City and it is the place I literally call my hometown.
  • Pisay saw me break my backbone and re-establish it. It is where I realized that  there is a larger world beyond the one I already knew and there are lot of people of who are better than me. Despite all the hard experiences in Pisay, it is one of the most significant ‘homes’ because it is where I met the people I now call “friends for life”.
  • UP.  If Pisay was a world outside of my world, UP is the universe outside of those two worlds. If  in Pisay I discovered there a lot of people who was better than me, in UP I discovered I was just another human being–unless I make a difference I can call my own. I hardly know anyone there now that I’ve already graduated but every time I step on UP ground there is a familiar feeling of “Yes. I’m back. UP, can you see me?”. There’s an unspoken sense of familiarity among people who don’t even know each other.
  • Paranaque, Paranaque is a unique case. Can I call it  home already? I don’t think so. Right now, it just serves as place where I can sleep right after work. And while I feel that I am in a stage where I feel closest to myself, I still feel so lost and Paranaque doesn’t provide the kind of solace I feel in my so- called homes.
Which one is home?

Which one is home?

So what’s in a home? I guess it’s the sense of familiarity and warmth that a place evokes in you. That sense can come from people such as family and friends whom you can always go back to. It could also  simply come from memories of  how a place had once been a significant part of your life.

P. S. I actually wrote this way back in June 2011 but somehow I never posted this. When I saw this week’s theme, I said to myself, “Ah, the time has come”. Sorry for the outburst of words and the lack of pictures but I feel I have expressed myself better by posting this.

Check out what home means to other people at Daily Post .

Eating the Bicolano Way

I’ve been back in Manila for almost a week now but I  still can’t help but think about Bicol especially its food. I went home to Iriga City for almost eight days and I literally did nothing but indulge myself with  Bicolano dishes that I rarely get to eat in Manila.  I guess we are like that to some extent. No matter where we go, nothing beats home. I, for instance, would not trade Bicolano food for anything else. I may not be good at eating hot food but I love my share of anything with coconut milk (ginataan in our dialect) and recado (mix of tomato, onions, garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper). So let me share to to you some of the  Bicolano food that I really love.  Let me call this “eating in a day the Bicolano way”.


I usually eat rice for breakfast  but I would not mind a combination of pansit and fried banana. There’s a particular type of pansit that can only be found in the Rinconada district of Camarines Sur. It’s called pansit bato. It’s either made of squash or malunggay leaves. One thing I love about this pansit is even if you just saute it in onion, garlic, tomato and a little bit of salt and black pepper, it’s already very tasty.

This is how it look when it’s raw.

When cooked, tada!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

The posh Ayala, Makati in a not-so-busy afternoon.

The instructions for this week’s theme says, “photograph your city and the streets where you grew up as they are”. Sadly, I don’t live in the place where I grew up and there’s hardly anything hardcore urban about Iriga City. There have been improvements in the city proper but as whole, I think the city has retained its laid back lifestyle.  So instead of sharing a pic of the street where I grew up in, I took a picture of a place I often go to while living in Manila–Ayala.

Ayala is one of the the better urbanized places in Manila. It’s teeming with shops, fine dining places and relaxation spots. However, the reality about the urban Manila is much much crueler  outside the boundaries of this area. It’s noisier, more disorganized and dirtier. Ayala, in fact, is a slap of reality. But here I am frequenting the area when in fact I feel suffocated every time I would walk in its streets. Oh what an irony.

There’s Reprieve in Going Back

Oh noes! I cheated on my Post a Week 2011 challenge! I’ve been quite buay the past two weeks that I barely managed to think about other things apart from life’s basic necessities of eating and sleeping. I was literally all over the Luzon the past two weeks.

I managed to squeeze in a six-day vacation in my schedule. I was in Iriga City from October 28 to November 2, 2011. However, I can hardly call that a vacation since our house was in chaos for that entire period due to the All Souls’ happenings. My family lives in the ancestral house so during long vacations, our relatives literally camp in our house. It’s fun having the entire family in the house but the household chores associated with feeding and entertaining ~20 people can be nerve-wracking.

In my so-so hours, I managed to do some nature encounters. LOL. I love taking pictures of things I find fascinating. Look at some of my discoveries. I also took pictures of the sky since I rarely see this kind of blue in the skies of Metro Manila.

Black termites. Have you seen one?

Fantastic Bicol skyline.

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