The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Renee Alexis has read 0 books toward her goal of 30 books.

Things I Miss in the Philippines

It's been 10 months and 24 days since I left the Philippines and the journey has been life-changing - to say the least. The changes were gigantic, everything in my life turned upside down. Until now, I still cannot fathom how much has already changed. I wake up every morning and I still need to reassure myself that I'm far from home, that I'm on my own, and that there's no turning back already. It's been a struggle and it still is that up till now, even though I already have a job and a roof over my head, I still feel that everything will come tumbling down one day.

It's scary. How one decision will forever alter the state of your being, how one move will change the course of your life. It's like a domino reaction and there's no stopping it.

Lately, I find myself staring out to the beyond thinking about what would have been if I didn't venture out of the country. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I miss the Philippines. I miss my family, I miss the life I used to have, I miss the dusty streets I used to walk, I miss the people and the way of life in that small city.

I miss Iligan. The city I used to call home is a far cry from the city I live in now. Because even though Dubai is progressive and life here is very convenient, I cannot help but miss the quirks of Iligan City. The simple life, the cheaper cost of living, the fresh smell of the wind, the friendly people I get to ride with in the jeep, the unlimited choices of where to eat, the joy of seeing someone you know. It's the small things that make me miss it so much. I've spent a good 8 years in that town and the change in scenery is a complete one-eighty. And as much as I force myself to forget that place, the memories still creeps up to me and I still miss it...

I miss the rain. I miss the cold gust of wind. I miss the smell of the wet pavement. I miss the chill and the sound of the raindrops hitting the roof. In Dubai, rain only comes twice or thrice a year - only when the season changes. And the rain here is unlike the Philippine rain where it pours. No. The rain in Dubai is just a shower that barely even wets the streets. It's a sad excuse for a rain, tbh.

I miss the food. Lechon, pater, Mcdo chicken fillet, sinugba, and everything my mom cooks. Nothing could compare with legit Filipino food. NOTHING.

I miss my family. I always get sad whenever I make a phone call at home. It makes me miss them more. I get sad when there's an occasion and I'm not there to celebrate it with them. Every after phone call, I always cry because homesickness just gets the better of me. Thinking about Christmas and New Year and my birthday makes me even sadder because I will be celebrating it on my own. This is the downside of leaving home. Not only will you leave the place and the things, but you will also have to endure being away from your loved ones.

Most of all, I miss being able to sing at the top of my lungs. Space is a luxury in Dubai and to be able to afford a place of your own, you will have to have a big income. Sadly, newcomers such as myself, do not have that privilege. And so, the only choice you have is to live in a flat with other people. I used to sing so much back in the Philippines but after moving here, I rarely get to do it. There will be a lot of things to consider living with other people. And so my singer self will have to be put off to respect other people's rest.

Sometimes, I get the feeling of wanting to go home and go back to my family. To see them again, to hug them again, to speak with them face to face again, to smell the scent of home. Because for all the money in the world, nothing will ever top being with the people you love most. But then, I'd stop and think about what I'll be doing after I get to see them. I don't think there's anything left for me to go back to the Philippines for good. And so I resolve to enduring the homesickness and persevering on working in a foreign country because there was a reason why I left the country. And I still am not over that reason enough to go back and be back there.

Home will always be the Philippines for me. But for now, even if I miss it so much, I don't think I'd be going back sooner. xx


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