10 years ago, the answer came so easily, like it was the simplest, most natural thing in the world. It’s like my name or my birthday. The answer was always the same. Then, like most Filipinos yearning for a better pay, I moved to Singapore in 2007, and for the first time, left the home that I had known since I was born.
Soon came the classic signs of homesickness. Regret, sadness, a lot of self-doubt.
“Did I do the right thing?”
“Why did I come here? It wasn’t so bad back home. I was ok, I had a car, I can buy Starbucks coffee.”
“I promise I would just save a lot of money and then go back home.”
“I miss my parents and my brothers.”
“I missed my brother’s graduation.”
I missed a lot more family events afterwards. And then 1 year became 2…then 5…then 10.
So where is home? I am not so sure anymore.
This is a painting of the Merlion, a symbol of Singapore. I painted this, as a tribute to Singapore on her 51st birthday last August 9. Looking back, I realized I didn’t think to do one for June 12.