I never knew that coming home would be this hard. I left my hometown with excitement and anxiety of the world that existed outside this small community where my life revolved.

Seeing the arc bearing the sign “Welcome to Laoag City” made me remember how many million times I stared at those words and never imagined how much I’ll miss it.

And as I go on further, I remember all those moments- the beautiful sunsets, the endless stories, the fleeting kisses, the horrible storms, the four walls that witnessed all the cries and laughter of my existence.

The trees didn’t really grow. The river was dirty as always. And the streets were full of Ilocano-speaking people. But the ghost of me remains shattered. She remains broken.

She looked at me with anguish. She looked at me as if she was the damsel no one saved. She reminded me of the bitterness she had to go through in this wretched hallways.

Going back home…it’s hard. It’s like walking back to the mess you left and ran away from. That’s when I realize the sad truth that running away doesn’t end a problem. Remember the earth is a sphere, problems will always come hunting you back. Face it. Face it with all the courage you can muster.

Remember perseverance. Remember tenacity. Remember to conquer.


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