Staring from top to bottom of the wall in the living room was a delight for me when I was a child. My brother plastered it with drawings as if we had cartoon wallpaper.
He loved to draw. And I loved to imitate him.
It turns out we have the same interest and support from our mom. There’s only one rule: never draw or write anything on the wall. Technically, we didn’t break any house rules.
Through gaze and silence to our own version of art, my mother supported our budding creativity. I like to show how I see things first as drawing then through writing, which again was never disapproved by my parents.
My supportive and loving family still live in Caloocan City, a place where my parents found love and raised a family.
From a foreign country, I managed to send cards with sketches and letters to my parents and siblings which I know surprised them because I was the quiet one, rarely stirring up a fight but feel obligated to be a mediator.
When will I be able to go back home?
I could go back for a vacation but couldn’t stay for long. I left to get the chance to experience the other culture and learn to become independent.
Caloocan City was my home since I was brought home from the hospital to the day I sat inside a taxi bound to the airport. For the first time, I saw a massive land from above and the wings of the plane out the window.
There’s not a day that I didn’t think of the life back then. Can I still buy kakanin from a peddler who comes late afternoon? Can I still ask manong to add more brown sugar to the taho? Can I walk around the city without getting lost?
One thing I can do right here. I will write about my homeland and tell others how amazing it is back then, now, and even better in the future.
Caloocan City will continue to flourish and remain in my heart. Join me in discovering what’s in store for long-time resident, tourist, and balikbayan.