Saturday, October 19, 2013

Argao, my real hometown

The rest were merely places where I was born, and where I grew up, or places where I spent the elementary years or high school years, maybe, college years or graduate school years; places where I saw the man with the guitar and totally lost my voice, or places where I fell in love with Jorge Luis Borges, or places where I learned to eat pan de coco while reading the Neo-Classicists, or places where I broke my heart inside an ancient building full of lost, ignorant souls; places where I fell in love with newborns, all my own; places where I struggled to earn my keeps, places where I cried over some happy movies, thinking of the laundry; places where I saw the shadow of Henry the VIII, King of England; places where I talked to a Caucasian named Angela, who kept shaking her head because of the really shocking gap between the rich and the poor in the Philippines, unlike in Africa where, she said, the gap was not that big because they were all poor; places where I heard about the unbearable news of the four girls gobbled up by mud and couldn't forgive myself for hearing it, places where I fell in love with a priest, places where I fell in love with a general, or places where I fell in love with a rebel; places where I worked and places where I used to sing inside a locked room so that no one can hear me; places where I danced alone. But all of them were merely places I passed by on my way to my hometown, where the Aunt talks about the names of strangers whose bones are carefully laid neatly inside the crypt.

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