She went back to her hometown for a yearly Christmas break. She has been away from the town since she was 12 – living on her own in different far provinces to study and work. But though 10 years are considerably long time, the town is still pretty familiar for her. She still knows every street, way back home, people, school, church, market, and even the owner of the new built store. Some things have never changed – like the bachelor carpenter man who built their house when she was young and who still repairs their house until now whenever needed. The man didn’t get married after those long years and he still lives in his own little house near the farm. One man still plays the guitar and who continuously remind her of her singing career when she was young. The man is her distance relative who usually sits in one of sari-sari stores in the barangay to hold a drinking session weekly. Most of the fellow still depends on farming for living and some are dependents of their relatives working on far away places like Manila or overseas. But most of them are considerably living and earning one day at a time.
Her family owns a sari-sari store where almost all the people in the barangay pass by to buy something for their everyday lives. People at the town don’t usually buy bulk groceries so a mini store is a sure hit. She was a stand-by once in a while in their store giving her an opportunity to observe on her neighborhood. Her two younger cousins have already married (not officially married) – and they are all living in one roof with their parents. The entire household in their compound have wives or husbands despite their young age. Her playmates and schoolmates when she was in primary school have already kids.
Life in her hometown is so simple. People work to eat and live. A life with one step level higher than this can be found in the next town – malls, groceries, bigger markets, college campus, and a lot more. But she simply loves her hometown’s simplicity – an escaping place to the city’s complexities.