I made it: Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines

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I wouldn’t have had anyone but them to hug me off. Leaving SFO

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After 14.5 hours, I landed in Manila at 4am. It was hot to say the least. My dad, who’s been here for 6 months, extended his stay another month to re-introduce me to family. We got straight into a cab & took a 3 hour bus ride to my grandmas. He said this way I’d learn the public transportation & plus, the cab/bus combo was only $6US each! Despite me being twice the size, my first “tricycle” ride felt exactly the same. The smell & sounds of the homeland pulled from my memory bank as if I had deposited yesterday.

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Magdalena Gregorio Lorenzo. 93 years old, mother of 6 & lives alone by choice. She walks unassisted, goes to morning market, “Palengke” when needed & cooks/cleans daily. Her memory sharp as tacks with a mouth wise and unfiltered, she’s made a name for herself here as the funny elder, not really seaming elder. She’s even adopted a new puppy named Raffy.

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We reacquainted & spent some time freshening up my native tongue. I’ve re-met family friends I haven’t seen in 15 years, joined her in buying at the morning market, hiked 7km up Mt. Samat with my dad to take pictures, then visited a relocated and restored spanish colonial village an hour and a half away called Los Casas.

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Talk soon, Niño.

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2 thoughts on “I made it: Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines

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