Saturday, January 3, 2009

Back in Singapore

We left Manila in the late hours of 2008 and arrive back in Singapore in the early hours of 2009. We arrived in the airport at around 12:30 midnight and as the plane dropped from the skies we saw some fireworks below exploding in some parts of the city. It was a bright night with the moon and the city lights spread out beyond the waters of the straits as we descended into the airport. We finally got home at past 1am and to bed at about 2am. It was exhausting after spending about 9 days in the Philippines. My wife and kids had stayed about a week longer than me.

During the time we spent back home we were able to go to the beach at Anvaya cove in Bataan traveling there via the new SCTEX highway or the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Express way. It took about 2 hours to get there and we stopped at Jolibee after the Balintawak exit to have breakfast. The beach was great, clean with white sands. We had a good lunch of Crispy Pate, Kare-Kare, Kalderetang baka, and Pancit Canton. It was actually my birthday and I spent most of the time talking with my brother. I swam a few laps in the pool, went to the beach and lay a bit off the shore line with the waves gently lapping me, went back to the massage or Jacuzzi pool to relax on the water massage. We got back to home at about 10 pm after having dinner at Chow King. I was not hungry so I had ice cream.

During my stay, I usually start the day walking for about an hour listening to Murakami's book 'The Wild Sheep Chase'. I walk the nearby streets that I walked during my youth and took pictures. The streets near my ancestral home seem to be decaying, with old houses crumbling although there were a few new ones. But the streets seem more dirty than before with pot holes and electrical lines falling everywhere. But it's an exaggeration because there are pockets of prosperity with large gleaming houses in the suburbs near the commercial centers. I took pictures of the streets, the churches and the parks.

I also discovered a small but excellent museum near my ancestral home. It was a museum on the KKK - the revolutionary movement that fought the Spanish. It was ideally situated near the battle of Pinaglabanan, amidst the historic places nearby like the Church, old reservoir and ammunition depot. I was able to bring my family to see the museum. In the evening of that day, we went to a reunion at my cousin's place where we had beer, snails cooked in coconut juice, barbecued chicken entrails, steak, pork bellies and cake. It was a pleasant evening although I was tired and fell asleep during some moments.

I also visited my close friend from Singapore in his new condominium. I was a nice flat with good views over Mandaluyong and Pasig amidst the rising buildings. From this vantage point, it seemed like the country is progressing well. I also had a chance to go Taguig city - the rising new metropolis with it's new modern skyscrapers and commercial centers. I bought more books, took pictures and bought bottled tuyo or dried red herring that I love for breakfast. Looking around the modern building rising in this city I feel confident that the country is headed towards a bright future. Hopefully within my own or my children's lifetime.

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