The opposite feeling of our OFWs and migrants' ¨homesickness¨

Yesterday, I spent the whole day with an old friend from college. Her name is Heidi. She did an overnight stay at my apartment and dedicated the whole time for catching up (and a little bit of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. marathon). She just came home from Singapore. I actually had no idea that she left the Philippines last year. It was biglaan according to her.

I don't feel bad about not knowing. For me, it is a blessing. To be honest, I don't like seeing people go, especially those who are dear to me. You'd think that by now I should already be stone cold about all this friends-leaving-the-country thingy given the amount of relatives, friends and classmates who already left the country. I'm still not! I never got used to all the send-off parties, the goodbyes, the brief stay at the airport just to see them off, etc. I never got used to the idea that my bestfriends aren't anymore isang tumbling away! Over the years, I was not able to grasp the idea of me staying here while all of my closest friends are scattered all over the globe. 

I can still remember the first time I felt that feeling: saying goodbye to someone without knowing when I'll ever see him again. That was the time G-two left the country to be with his family in the US of A. I remember crying the entire night at my apartment, trying to be discreet because my friend Toshi stayed with me. Little did I know that he was teary-eyed as well, trying hard to hide his face from me as he roll himself up like a fetus on the other side of the bed. Toshi's last words that night were: "Lahat na lang, umaalis!" 

After that, people in my inner circle, said their goodbyes one by one. Some just silently flew away. My sister Gayda, Kastine, Spencer, Jaeger, my favorite cousin Senn, Tel, Eu, Luwi, Dimple, Ate Cath, Kuya Tots, Anton. Each and every goodbye seems to be more blurry than the previous one but NOT less painful. I can't even remember the chronology. All I know is that they all left.

I always day dream about them coming home, me picking them up at the airport, me preparing my guest room for them, me taking them to a local destination that's new to them and many more. Right now, even if I don't have my own house, I still see myself doing all these things I day dream about for them. When Heidi stayed at my apartment yesterday, it made me realize that that was what I was dreaming about the whole time I was thinking of them. It made me so happy. Just like when my sister, her husband and their daughter visited me when they were here last year. I prepared dinner and made sure that pancit and lechon (my sister's favorites) were part of it. Although I didn't get to do the same with my other friends who came home and went back, I'm just as happy spending a day with them, a lunch date, a dinner date or in Luwi's case, a breakfast date (naiiba talaga!).

The thought of them coming home makes me brush off the teeny-tiny regret I feel about staying here in our country. Whenever I imagine that it's me who's welcoming them back and not sending them off, it's just WOW! I couldn't even describe the feeling. The only thing that would make the pain of seeing them leave go away is of course, when I see them home once again. For me, home may not only mean the Philippines, but may also be wherever around the world, as long as you're with the people you consider family --> the feeling of being at "home".

If in, say 2 or 3 years or more and I'm still here in the Philippines, I hope nothing will change with the way I feel about my friends abroad. Hopefully, I'd still be here, waiting...

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