i'm back

My dear friends, I'm back from my vacation in the Philippines, though my internal clock is still whacked and my stomach is not doing too good either - 16 hour time difference and a completely different diet can do that to you. Nevertheless, I'm here and I'm so excited to catch up with all of you!

So, the islands. Someone once said that you won't really know you're country until you leave it. This is very true for me. I'm finding more things about myself and my culture every time I go back to the Philippines. And although my schedule was hectic and didn't leave much time for introspection, there were some things that immediately stood out.

Like how I much I enjoy spending time with my family or going to places in groups. I'm very independent and often prefer to do things alone (i.e. I can watch a movie, eat at a restaurant, or travel by myself) so I was really surprised at how much I craved my siblings' company everywhere I went. No kidding, there was hardly ever a time that I wasn't with my brothers or sisters, my friends, or my parents.

One night, while we were driving through the city, I realized that everywhere I look people are in groups - friends, co-workers, neighbors, families, walking hand in hand, laughing, singing, or talking rather loudly. There was poverty all around and sometimes I can't help but tear up every time I see children begging on the streets, but for the most part, people seemed happy. Maybe the right word is content. Or maybe I'm just being sentimental, after all its been two years since I last went home.

Here are some action shots that I took while driving to the airport. I really love how they turned out. And yes, I miss it already.


  1. Welcome back to your US home. It's great to hear the quick take on your visit. Glad it was a great one.

    Here's hoping your body recovers, soon.

  2. Welcome back, Odessa, and all the very best for 2010!

  3. The shots from your way to the airport are pretty marvelous...

  4. Welcome back! Glad you had a good time with your family.

  5. It's great to see you again, Odessa. I'm so glad you had a beautiful trip. I enjoyed reading your observations.