ghosts of obando.

i've been thinking alot about my mother lately. partly because my brother is getting married, and i know that she would have loved to see that day. obviously of course it's because i'm visiting with her 1 brother and 2 sisters out of 8 that are still here in the philippines.

my mom's eldest brother, tito narcing picked me up from the airport. it was good to reminisce with him, my mother was really close to him. he recounted some stories that i didn't even know about my mother, i felt the urge to write the history down. he also showed me his wallet, one that she gave him, a wallet that he still uses, although worn.

obando is my mother's hometown. the first couple of days of my trip i stayed in obando with my tita osay, my mom's sister. though there was a language barrier, we managed to communicate the way a mother and son do. getting up in the morning and having breakfast ready on the table for me, just the way my mother did was a welcome change from my normal bachelor life.

i also made my way out to the province, in pandi to visit my tita fely. she was overjoyed to see me. it is uncanny in a way how much she looks and reminds me of my mother, especially in the nuances of her expressions. we exchanged more stories and memories, and even a few tears. i wish that she was closer, living in vancouver.

i walked the streets of obando, past my mother's high school. i visited the local church, and examined the buildings of the town. these streets, are narrow and storied ones. these streets, my mother walked. it was as if my mother told me to take this trip to get reacquaint my roots, for me to reconnect with her past. it's as if she wanted to remind me of the brave and difficult journey she made from these streets all the way to canada so that she could have a better life for herself and her future family -- for me. lately, i won't lie, i haven't been feeling so brave dealing with some of the things that are going on in my life. coming back here, to her home has made me realize that i need to trust in myself and to find that courage when facing the unknown, just like she did.

i will never forget obando.

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