Philippines: A surprise Visit
By : Elija Paul Villanueva
It’s been too long since I have been back home, the smell of home cooked “ginataang alimango” cooked by my favourite chef who holds the one and only title of being my “Nanay / Mother”, the fun spontaneous nights of driving our tricycle “Pasada” around San Juan City with “`Tatay / Father”, and the awesome “MORE spontaneous” getaways with my best buddies. Living abroad is such a great opportunity to be out of your comfort zone…
I would say that I made it, from the stories of different Pinoys working abroad, YES! It is true, YES, it’s hard; nonetheless, YES, It’s worth the wait if you strive hard to reach your goals. Years of being a working student abroad while at the same time, helping your family back home while maintaining your high grades in one of the Universities in London and on top of that, trying to sustain your financial needs and daily expenses in England, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how I was able to do it!
Now you might be thinking, how this tropical fish survived in this unpredictable London climate? I only have one answer, and that is because of your support and encouragement in boosting Pepe’s faith and determination to reach his dreams, Pepe was able to do it. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You gave light to the journey that Pepe is taking.
During the 4 years of treatment in aid of my sister’s battle against Cancer, you have always been there through ups and downs. Me and my family was actually given two years of life expectancy for my dearest sister… but my dear friends, with your help and undying support, she is way past that two years and she is doing very well and soon she will be graduating with flying colours. We are almost there, a few more tests and she would completely rid herself of those pesky cancer cells!
I dedicated my SURPRISE visit in the Philippines to those people and sponsors who became the backbone of my journey. Pepe’s mentors, supporters, and of course, my family who became my inspiration in this very special chapter of my saga. Indeed, it is not about how long you live, but it’s about what you do while you’re living. Thank you for making this journey a great experience that will last forever. We only live once, make the most out of it.
The couple of days I had in my home country with my family and friends was worth a thousand years of happiness.
Now, imagine this…
My family was invited to watch an indie film regarding my life in UK,
But the real scenario, was that I was already itching to hug them from backstage. The seven years of yearning for my father’s firm hug and my mother’s loving kisses were compressed in this very moment… not to mention my younger brother who I have not seen since birth and my dearest sister who I have been fighting for ever since. While they were watching the trailer of the movie, a technical problem in the performance of the Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance happened. There was a sudden loss of electricity in the location and from the darkness, emerged Pepe. The son who grew up in a different land but eager to become a boy once more. PEPE is already in front of them… and at that very moment, tears of joy flooded the venue.
Once again, thank you to all my friends, supporters, performers and loved ones who witnessed this unforgettable surprise visit.
See you soon!