Away From the Hearth

One of the distinct characteristics of that sets us, Filipinos, aside is that we have very close family ties. Here in Philippines, we share a very intimate relationship between each family member that we practically build our own house next to our parent’s! This is specially true in the province. And it’s not hard to imagine that the whole community would be everyone else’s relatives in the long run. In fact on some cases it did. I would call it the perfect, peaceful dream life…only that opportunities are seldom found on rural areas. Hence, some are forced to try their luck on the cities.

And I’m one of those some.

Away from home, searching for greener pasture, you struggle by yourself. It’s like being a wolf that was used to having someone at your back, but suddenly got separated from the pack. Although I do not deny the excitement I felt the time I landed in Manila. The cities do have their thrill, plus living with strangers sounds like an adventure, right? But after you sober up from being drunken with the sudden freedom and exhilaration brought by the city, you would come to realize that you do miss your family. And that living alone isn’t all fun and adventure, but also intimidating sometimes.

Be as it may, you’ll get around eventually as your self-confidence and independence grows. And the longings would come fewer too as you become busy and get distracted. Besides, family is just a call or a text away. You’ll be okay.

Just don’t get sick. DON’T. Otherwise, you’ll be sobbing under your blanket–if not yearning for your mum’s cooking, then probably whining how cruel it is to take of yourself when you yourself is sick (unless you have that significant other who will do it for you, but that would be a different story). Still, even that, you’ll manage.

But the one thing that you’ll probably never get used to is how not to feel bad leaving home again after a short visit. Believe me, it’s harder every time. That heavy feeling that clings to your heart whenever you say your good byes grows more unbearable and tears become harder to fight. How many times I have found myself wishing I don’t have to leave the solace of our house, but it can’t be helped. I have to leave the province’s simplicity and hustle my way in the busy and ever-changing lifestyle in the city.


Find the full image plus more sketches here.


4 thoughts on “Away From the Hearth

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    I smiled when I read, “it’s not hard to imagine that the whole community would be everyone else’s relatives in the long run.” This is so true for Chinese families too. In my Chinese-Malaysian family, when we catch up with extended relatives it would feel like old times and often no awkward times (well, unless you can’t speak the dialect they are speaking but still, it’s a fun time!). Getting sick is the worse especially when you are away from home – and mainly because you have to fend for yourself. Recently I had the house to myself here in Melbourne and I feel sick with a cold for three weeks – and it was so tiring to keep the house clean and make good food for myself while under the weather 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • juandering.artist says:

      Yes I have noticed the same on my Chinese friends too. 🙂 We all want our loved ones just within our reach.

      Definitely getting sick is the worst. You’re the one reminding yourself to take the meds, I even have to set an alarm in the middle of the night just so I wont miss a dosage! You have to cook for yourself (because going out is a lot more tiresome), and the list goes on. It does get a lot of getting used to. BTW, how’s your cold Maybel? I hope you’re doing better.



      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Cooking is more time consuming than anyone thinks. It takes time to prepare healthy food that will agree with your body when you are sick

        Very kind of your to ask, John. I’ve gotten over my cold but I have to still take care of myself…must remind myself to not have so many late nights writing 😀


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