Here in Japan, the nights are getting longer, the days unbearably colder. We have unearthed our thick coats and jackets for the winter season. It’s almost hard for me to believe that the year 2007 is almost over. It seemed only yesterday when we went to Kamogawa to celebrate New Year’s Day.

But boy, oh boy, I’m SO excited. We’re going home next week. Times like these, I feel grateful that I live in neighboring Japan, because it is relatively easy to go home. It’s just a mere 4-hour plane ride to get to Manila from Narita airport. I haven’t been home for about two years now. So naturally I’m excited, and not even the news of the recent coup attempt, imposed curfews, and bombings in the Philippines could make me feel any less enthusiastic. Weird huh? But homecoming always gives me a sort of adrenaline rush, you know. As soon as I get off the plane and the familiar sights and sounds assault my senses, I feel that rush.

Posing with the carabao (who was named “Rosalinda”) during our visit to Villa Escudero in 2001. Loved that place. :)

 The rush becomes even more acutely heightened as I bite into my piping hot Jollibee Chickenjoy, dive into my big pile of haluhalo topped with ube, kaong, leche flan and other sinful goodies, shop-till-you-drop in Duty Free Philippines and SM (of course), or simply get myself lost in the mass of humanity rushing into the malls for Christmas shopping.Or eat fried bangus, sisig with calamansi, steamed alimango, puto, kare-kare, green mango with bagoong, tapsilog, adobong kangkong. Or drink green mango shake, ripe mango shake, sago, coconut juice…

Ride the public utility jeepney and shout “PARA!!!” (To the uninitiated, “para” means “halt” or “stop” in Filipino. It has the power to command the driver to step on the brakes of the jeepney, no matter how fast or slow he was going, to allow you to get off the vehicle.)

Go swimming in the pool. Anytime of day.

Sweat. In December. Saunter outside wearing flip-flops and short shorts. And I won’t have to feel conscious that I’m underdressed for any occasion.

Hear people laughing out loud, and laugh with them without being frowned on for eavesdropping on their tales. Laugh at people whenever I feel like it.

Not fumble for words in trying to express myself. Show my annoyance and anger at any slow service and inefficiency, and even feel righteous about it.

Show all these things to my daughter and tell her, now this is what it means and feels to be a Filipino!

Love it or hate it, there really is just no place like home. 😀

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19 Responses to Bakasyon!

  1. bw says:

    You made me hungry with all those dishes you mentioned :) I guess its about time for you to have a breather at home after 2 years. Lucky you – you’re only 4 hours away ! Wish your family all the best and have tons of fun and blog about the trip when you come back ! :)

  2. zherwin says:

    di masyadong obvious na nami-miss mo na ang pinas. hehe. friends who’ve been out of the country for years (even months lang) will look for jollibee as soon as they came out of the NAIA terminal. and then go to SM, ride the MRT, go to gerry’s and eat sisig and lechon kawali!!!

  3. Danielle says:

    happy trip ! it’s been quite a while ah.anyway, make sure you go guys to to sm mall of asia..patry mo kay aya yung science centrum nila, promise, it will make you really proud of being a pinoy!take care and hope to see you guys when you get back.

  4. raquel says:

    i soooooo miss pinas! have loads of fun and dont forget to pack sinigang mix when you go back 😉

    ps.when will you leave? may pasalubong kami for you from bangkok.

  5. Wil says:

    Wahoo!!! Suerte kayo ang lapit lang ng japan sa pinas. :)

  6. Frances says:

    Here’s an advanced greeting: Welcome back home and Maligayang Pasko! :)

  7. Gypsy says:

    STOPPPP!!!! You’re making me homesick!!! Waaahhh!! 😉 Hope you will have a super duper time!

  8. verns says:

    excited na ako para sayo Kat!!!! have a safe trip ha =)

  9. julie says:

    Hope you have a grand time here :)

  10. annamanila says:

    Two years is a long time to be away from home. So it’s going to be a grand vacation and a memorable Christmas. You look so cute in the photo!

  11. SexyMom says:

    you must be home on Bakasyon NOW!


  12. niceheart says:

    You must be having a lot of fun there, kathy. Inggit naman ako. I haven’t been back home in 16 years. :(

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  13. Bernard says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  14. helyni says:


    I am Chelyn Torejas, A mass communication student in Davao City, Philippines. I am on the brink of writing feature stories prior to my pre-final requirements before I can graduate. I’ve been reading your blog and I find it interesting to feature you. I know your a busy person but I can wait. I really want this topic.

    I hope you can have the time and patience to answer some of my questions. Happy Holidays… Panu ko po masend yung questions? sana po talaga pumayag kayo…

  15. rhodora says:

    Happy New Year, Kathy! Hope you had a wonderful time last Christmas as well, with your family. :)

  16. annamanila says:

    Are you back in Japan? Hope you had an enjoyable balikbayan trip. I am sorry to have missed you. Did you meet with other blogger groups? Hope you had fun.

    Anyway, here’s wishing you more power more happiness more success in 2008 and beyond.

  17. bingskee says:

    hi, kathy! what a true-bloodied Pinoy you are. truly, there is no place like home. and who can ever forget those things you’ve mentioned. ‘ika nga, only in the Philippines.

  18. annamanila says:

    Hope you rode jeepneys and yelled “para,” ate pinoy foods, sweated, laughed out loud … to your heart’s content.

    No updates?!

  19. islander says:

    Ei! When are you coming back to Japan? Hope you’ll have a nice vacation. Linked ya!

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