A home, I think, is more than just a building or a piece of real estate. That would just be a house. A home is much, much more than a place of refuge, or an address of where you live in. It is the intangible, but more important aspect of the house.
A house is made of up of walls, ceilings, and floor. It has rooms, stairs, doors, and windows. But the home, it is made up of people who share it. It is made up of family, whether related by blood, or just bonded by the same values. And each home is made differently. Some stand the test of time, and others are easily broken.
As creatures of habit, we humans place great importance on wherever and whatever it is we call home. We celebrate its idea in books and other media. An ancient Roman philosopher, Pliny the Elder, coined the phrase “Home is where the heart is”. The poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “Where thou art, that is home”. In the story of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicked her heels and said the magic words “there’s no place like home” three times to get back to Kansas. Her adventure was all about appreciating where she came from and who she was inside.
In the bible, one of Jesus’ most beloved parables centers around the idea of how a home should be built. The parable of the wise and foolish builders tells us a valuable lesson. The foolish man builds his home on flimsy sand, but the wise man builds his home on sturdy rock. Because a home built on a strong foundation will last, while a home built on weakness and frailty will eventually collapse.
A home is so important, so integral to a person. It is one of our most fundamental needs as individuals. It is an extension of our identity, and affects our behavior. We often associate home with the sense of comfort, security, and belonging.
For me, home means love and family.
My family is my husband and my children. We don’t need a mansion or an expensive condo unit. We don’t need a big garden, flashy cars, or a giant-sized swimming pool. We don’t even need to have to own a house to be able to make a home. Our apartment is small and it sometimes leaks when it rains. But it keeps unwelcome strangers out, and it keeps family and friends warm inside. Wherever we may choose to live, no matter how tiny, as long as we are together, our home is complete.
Home makes me think about the people I love the most.
Like my aunt. I remember visiting her in the States back in 2002. We had not seen each other for years, and it was my first time in the US. But the moment we hugged each other at JFK, it was like coming home. (Love ya TitaJ!)
Home also makes me think of people I’m not related to, but who were more family to me than my own kin. People I’d shared the dormitory with (hey girls!), people who welcomed me into their home when I was homeless (Kim, Myish, and Mnems!), and fed me when I had no money to buy food. They are the friends who were there for me when no one else would or could.
And then, sometimes I just think of Bacolod. 🙂
It is so true what they say. You can’t really appreciate how much something means to you until it’s gone. Or in my case, just too far and too expensive to visit anytime I want.
I had so many complaints and pet peeves about Bacolod, while I lived there. And yet, here I am now missing the familiar sounds and sights of the place I grew up in. It was my home for so many years, and it holds so many memories, both wonderful and terrible. I miss the food, the people, and the places I used to hang out with friends. And a lot has changed since I left for Manila.
There are ten things I miss the most about dear Bacolod:
1. St. John’s Institute and Queen of Peace Church
– this is where I essentially grew up, socially and academically. My Alma mater, I was there from 1st grade until high school. I spent countless nerdy hours in the library, became officer in the CAT,sang in the choir and became president of the glee club, represented the school in singing contests, got ignored by crushes until graduation, and met friends I will keep for life.
2. Celyn’s Ice Cream House (along Narra St. in Shopping)- at least it used to be. Now it’s Kuppa. This is where we went to after CAT training, where we got treated to by our parents when we get good grades, and where we would hang out after school and on weekends to catch a glimpse of our crushes.
3. Wimpy’s Burger and French Deluxe – I just can’t separate the two most beloved specialties of good old Celyn’s because one is like the Bonny to the other’s Clyde. Wimpy’s is an open faced burger, smothered in yummy gravy and cheese sauce. French Deluxe is smoked ham and chicken salad scrumptiously put together on white loaf bread, and heaped with creamy cheese sauce. Both are served with fries. Sigh, heaven on a plate.
4. Bacolod Capitol Lagoon – I loved jogging around the park and throwing rice puffs to feed the fish (tilapia) in the water. They also hung the trees and lamp posts with bright Christmas lights come right before December starts, and they even rigged the fountain in the middle for a lights show during the holiday season. People can have picnics here and bring their kids to play in the playground. And sometimes, students use the spacious grounds to practice their field demos and dance routines after school.
5. Sharyn’s Cansi House (Narra St. in the Shopping area) – the best cansi or sour beef broth in town! Perfect meal for a cold, rainy day. And make that spicy!
6. Manukan Country Chicken Inasal – need I say more? This is so iconic of Bacolod City.
7. Central Market – despite the usual funky smell, like most public markets, I liked looking at the fresh produce and buying fish, crab, and other seafood here. I also liked browsing the stalls displaying the native products like bags, baskets, and slippers, and those selling native delicacies like suman and bayi-bayi. I enjoyed the occasional batchoy and native coffee too(Mr. Natalaray, my philosophy professor, told me about the merits of drinking native coffee in Central Market). Best of all, you could get a really good deal here compared to buying grocery in the mall supermarkets. Cheap and still good quality finds.
8. Calea (14th Street) – This is like paradise for my sweet tooth. When I was pregnant with my first child, I especially craved the vanilla ice cream pie. But I also like the white chocolate cheesecake and the blueberry cheesecake. I only appreciated the triple chocolate mousse after my nausea disappeared during my last trimester.
9. Sta. Fe Resort – great place for family outings, swimming parties, and bowling tournaments. Companies even hold this place as venue for sports fests. This is where I first used a gun, as a CAT officer, at their shooting range. They also have a mini zoo where kids can enjoy.
10. Being of close proximity to (clockwise) Mambukal Mountain Resort in Minuyan, Murcia(maybe less than an hour’s drive from Bacolod), The Ruins in Talisay City, Brgy. Balaring in Silay where the seafood (especially talaba) and pork barbecue/liempo is oh so good, and Lakawon Island Beach Resort off the coast of Cadiz City, – Team Buildings galore!!! (Okay, they aren’t in Bacolod, but near enough for a quick drive, except Lakawon—you have to take a boat ride to the island)