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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Tuesday, June 12, 2007

[note: you can click the photos for better resolution]

I miss Bear – the dog whose fur is likened to a bear. He’s the friendly dog I used to play with everyday for one week in Boston. When he places the ball or toy right in front of me, he wants serious playtime. He wiggles his tail, growls like a real little bear, stares at me when it’s time for me to throw the ball and pays earnest attention of my every move. He likes it when I throw it real far because he wants to run and pick it up like a professionally-trained dog. When I decide to stop playing and head for the couch for a rest, he follows me, places the toy on the sofa, and barks like there is no tomorrow. However, when he decides to stop and I won’t, he hides the toy from me. Smart, he is.

Two things. I miss Bear. I miss Boston.

Ate Rose was the reason I was there. She’s the sister of my best friend, Henry, from Cebu. Henry and I have been friends for eons and I couldn’t think of reasons why even if we haven’t seen each other for more than three years, we still bond just like we were before. Recently, he wrote a long essay about friendship as a requirement for one of his subjects. He detailed how we became friends and how I became the reason in finding his true vocation in life. He is now in the seminary and few more years, he will become a priest.

When I was in Boston, life was relaxed and educating. Ate Rose shared her wisdom that could only be gotten by someone who has experienced the genuine sacrifices of life. Listening to her every word was never a waste of time. One experience that got stuck in my head was the one when she almost cut short her life due to a broken heart. She also shared to me her innermost thoughts when her father vanished in a sea mishap when she was still a toddler. How she survived these and more, being the eldest among 5 siblings, was heartrending.

I kissed Ate Rose when she came to fetch me at the airport on my first day. She was with Gerry, her equally friendly, compassionate and hardworking better-half. While driving to her place at Melrose, I delighted in the thought of how blessed I am to having people like them in my life.
Their home is a haven of peace and love. Surrounded by a peace-loving neighborhood, their house is the only one of its kind because of its different exterior finish. In the many instances that I went out of the house, I set my eyes on neighbors watering their plants, kids playing come-and-get-me, men mowing their lawns, and few old ladies sitting so tranquil at the porch with their eyeglasses and staring at something in particular (or probably were day dreaming) whilst I did few stretches and walked back and forth to release strained muscles that were lingering due to so much sitting and watching TV.

LOVE. The love in their home is beyond measure. I could feel it by the way they converse, exchange sweet-nothings and cute smiles, appreciate each other’s daily triumphs and console their once-in-a-while letdowns. Rose and Gerry and the many years they’ve been together, is one of the model couples I’ve met so far in my more than 2 decades of existence.

With Rose and Gerry, Boston Massachusetts became more memorable to me. Just a day after my arrival, they had a party in the house complete with my favorite Filipino dish – pork lechon. Here’s the most wonderful part. They invited other Filipinos close by to join us in an evening of pure revelry. Being with Filipinos and getting to know their stories of how they ended up in the United States is inspiring, if not moving. Like instant glue, we bonded in half a wink because of one shared Pinoy characteristic: unparalleled camaraderie. Smiles and funny tales from back home bounced on every wall that night.
But, what is a night without a karaoke? The magic sing did a wonderful job of providing us hundreds of oldies and contemporary songs to choose from. When Fernai, a Filipina married to an American started singing “Through the Fire”, I was instantly transported back home. Isn’t that the song Sheryn Regis popularized lately? Fernai is good singer, just like my little bro. Had she been a bit younger, she could easily get through any singing audition there is, including American Idol. Singing is my passion (or my family’s passion) thus I could easily tell whose voices could launch a multi-million dollar recording deal from those that are better locked in the shower.
Aside from the Harvard escapades I spent with Ate Rose and Gerry, I had the chance to travel and visit other popular sites too – the Fenway Park where the Red Sox plays, the Massachusetts State House, and some nicely landscaped parks.
One of the highlights of my trip was the 109th Philippine Independence Celebration of the Filipino community of New England. Truth be told, excitement was over the top when I heard about the event. The Filipino inside of me whispered that I needed to celebrate with them and be proud of my race in a land that’s foreign and diverse.
Someone sang "Isang Lahi", a song usually heard in an amateur singing competition. There were cultural presentations too, with dancers showing the curious bystanders our own tinikling. In fairness, the brown race did well and brought lasting smiles to the whites and blacks. A choir composed of older men and women didn't impress me as much as the other professional choirs I have heard before. There was also a boy band, very amateur and teeny, that persuaded the audience with their "Pinoy Ako" and "Hawak Kamay" songs. The lead vocalist almost always fell flat of the high notes but Pinoys really didn't care a fig. They were there to have fun and meet fellow kababayans no matter how bad the singers were, or gawky the dancers were or how blistering the heat of the midday was.
Days tumbled so quickly that I didn’t notice my week of stay in Boston was already over. The Sunday of June 3, early morning, around 6 AM when I had to go to the bus station to take my ride to New York.

I packed my things the night before. Folding every shirt and jeans, the idea of being in Boston and fulfilling a dream of visiting the city still didn’t sink in even if I had to leave in a matter of hours. In the silence of my room, the tick of the clock was the only gauge I had that moment – telling me that time is forever precious and even though it won’t repeat itself, the memories it created is there to be relished and could be repeatedly relished whenever I want.

I turned the aircondition unit off, head on towards the door and bid goodbye to the two lovely people in Boston, Ate Rose and Gerry.

Inside the bus, I thought of the just concluded awesome week. Boston is one of the beautiful cities in the USA. I promised myself to come back – probably work at Harvard and then see Bear, the dog whose fur is likened to a bear.

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