Bonbon and Jonjon came back from their Manila trip very happy wearing matching summer shirts and shorts courtesy of Mr. B.'s sister (see photo and also check out more in my album). For them, it was 9 days of going around, meeting new friends (Horton the Round Lumpy even wanted to come back with them!), checking out all the nice places around Manila celebrating the Lunar New Year. Understandably, they were the center of attention in every family gathering. In their young minds, life is but an endless adventure and fun.
On the other hand, Mr. B. came back a little distressed. Nothing in particular, I learned, but just bits and pieces of events around him. Needless to say, he was very happy to be able to spend time with his family, relatives and friends, but being so far away for such a long time and seeing things not being what they used to be always upset him. He told me about his visit to his grandmother's columbarium, his aunt's tiny grocery store, his dad's collage of his recent visit, the tiny and grimy fire exit in their apartment where he shared a cigarette with his brother, his mischievous little nephew, his other growing nephews and nieces, his almost 50 year old lady friend who didn't look a day older than when he left 21 years ago, his other friend who got into deep trouble after a failed business- bits and pieces of real life. He thought of his childhood a lot - when people were younger, the city cleaner, the people nicer and life was indeed an endless adventure and fun.
And he finds consolation in his mother's home cooking - about the only unchanging thing in a world gone older.