Photo26_26“Home, we know, is not just the place where you happen to be born. It’s the place where you become yourself.” – Pico Iyer

I started this year missing Sydney.

I can’t explain where this longing for a place came from or where it will take me, but it’s there. It sits in my heart and catches me in the strangest of times. A gust of cool January wind touches my arm and I think of the many mornings I spent in our balcony where I enjoyed the warmth of the sun blending with the chill of the season. I see a book cover and I remember the many like it I’ve read through the countless train rides to and from work. I skim through something on the internet and it brings me back to a lesson plan that gave my classes the “aha” moments that I lived for. I hear from my friends and I long to just hop on a plane and schedule a coffee date.

Sydney was the city where I gained my independence — financially and mentally. It’s where I found my true love, conceived and gave birth to our child, made friends with people from countries near and far, and learned that there is enough time in a day to do everything that you truly need to be happy.

My only consolation to this longing for a city where I no longer live is that I don’t believe life is a straight line without any loops and turns. The facts remains that Sydney isn’t going anywhere and right now Manila is the best place for my little family to be, but who’s to say if we don’t find ourselves in its embrace in the near future? It’s doors are always open for us and for that I am beyond grateful.

I just need to address these feelings and work with them. Enjoying the adventures life offers us, no matter where we are.

Do you have a place you miss? Would love to hear about it.



  1. Exactly how I feel about Manila. I’m from CDO and I always ask myself why not stay in CDO when it’s more comfortable, and I’m also a diver like you, dive spots are just 30 mins away unlike here you have to drive at least 4 hours, and my family is there too. But Manila is where I found myself, the place where I became independent, the place where I realize that sometimes, solitary moments can be beautiful too. I cannot imagine living anywhere else for now, it was so brave of you to leave Sydney, if that does happen to me, I’m sure my heart will truly break. And oh, I hope to find love here in Manila too πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your story, Gladys. I’m not sure leaving Sydney could be called brave. Manila has been home for many years, so it felt comfortable to come back to raise our child here. It’s just taken a while to fall in love with her the same way I did with Sydney, but maybe I have to accept that it’s never going to be as strong an attraction. It’s going to be a different kind of love. Have a great week!

  2. Born and raised in the Philippines, I found myself in the NYC, and siilar to your story, it is where I found love, got married and conceived. We made our way back to the Philippines and sadly, we were not able to find ourselves again. It is brave of you to leave Sydney, and just as brave to stay in Manila. I understand what it’s like to miss a place where you feel like you found yourself. Thank you for such a positive note on what could have been a somber entry. You always manage to see the bright side of things, something I would like to master this year.

    • Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story, Pamela. I’ve come to accept that the love I have for Manila is never going to be as strong as the one I have for Sydney, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Just different. I can imagine the change you went through by leaving NYC as well. I wish you all the best in your adventures this year! πŸ™‚

  3. I really loved this piece! Maybe because I can relate? Haha. I spent 19 years in Cebu, six years in Manila (where I currently reside), and somewhere between those two, nine months in Boracay. I have an attachment to all three, but I especially have a soft spot for Boracay. As commercialized as it has become, I found my own quiet spots on that island during my time as a resident. It was like a whirlwind romance that was never meant to last, but I learned so much about myself in that short span of time. Cebu will always be my first love. As for Manila, it took me a while to call it home as I have a love-hate relationship with it, but it’s been really good to me these past few years. These three places hold big ass pieces of me and I’m glad they’re all just there for me anytime.

    • Hi, Ria. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your own experiences. I loved reading about your love affairs with Cebu and Boracay. Manila is definitely the kind of city that makes you feel both love & hate. I love your attitude. Hope to hear more from you in the future. πŸ™‚