Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Being Away

After working for five years and resisting the lure of working abroad, finally in 2000, I sought work outside the country for various reasons. Since then, I have been working in Tokyo all of over seven years, with six and a half years, or half of the time with my current company. Although it seemed a long time already, I manage to take breaks from time to time and travel back to the Philippines at least twice a year. Recently it's getting harder to leave Paete without feeling a little bit sad, specially seeing my ailing mother send me off. I have this idea that I may be able to retire in Paete someday and up to now, I have been pouring all my savings into Paete. I can see the fruit of my labor being transformed into something I had not really dreamt about. I am building something. Why don't know. I guess I thought it would be a nice idea. It's almost complete now except for a few items. Whenever I go to Paete, I stand in there feeling good about what I am building. This make me always never want to leave Paete any more. But I can't. There is no work for me in Paete. No work that could sustain a decent life for me and my family. I am not artistically talented nor culturally motivated to participate in anything Paetenian. My creative energy does not manifest in the traditional media Paete is well known for. That is why I had little choice but to work elsewhere - the city - in the services sector. But I go back every time to the place of my birth and childhood. There is something in there that still draws me - family, friends, places, and fond school break memories. This is the town of my birth, the place where I spent all of my childhood and most of my teenage years. I wish I can say now that Paete will be the place where I will retire someday but I cannot. At this moment I am not so sure about going back when I finally I shall be weak and old and weary.

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