Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dizizit Pt. 3- A Tear. Then A Smile.

I felt a hand poke me by the shoulder gently, and was roused from my sleep.

"Kindly lift your blinds, sir," the flight attendant instructed me. The seatbelt signs were turned on, the cabin crew cleared the aisle, and the captain announced that we were ready to land.

I looked out my window, and saw the margin of what seemed to be an endless body of water, few minutes back. Houses, looking like miniature nipa huts from where I was, and green, lush trees dotted the shore. It looked no different from all the other tropical paradises that we see in movies or postcards.

Then the plane started to descend, and what looked like miniature nipa huts revealed themselves as barung-barongs. Slums. All of a sudden, the place was no longer a vacation hub for the distressed soul in search for a temporary nirvana on earth. The picture was clearer now. The place was dirty, crowded and poverty-stricken. It was ugly. But it was also friendly and comfortingly familiar. It was Manila, and it was home. I was home.

A tear fell. Then I smiled.