Monday, December 13, 2010
philippines, my philippines
i landed safely in manila after an 11 hour plane ride (that included a stop-over in guam.) kone picked me up from the airport and brought me back to the high-rise condo that they're renting in the makati district of manila. keo is off translating for the hmong refugees coming from the camps in thailand; they are being processed here before being resettled in the usa. she will be back on thursday. justin and jerry have school today and tomorrow before they finish up for christmas break, and kone has to work a bit today and tomorrow, so i will be alone with my guide book.
here is a very dark view from the room where i am staying (justin's room):
on the plane in, i sat next to virginia, a filipina woman from new jersey, coming home to visit her relatives. she'll be in country roughly the same amount of time as me. she's lived in the usa for 45 years, and so now it's her "home, sweet home," she told me. the phrase propmted her to begin softly singing,
from the mountains, to the praries, to the ocean, white with foam
god bless america, my home sweet home!
i listened to her as i looked out the window to watch the lights of the city rise as we got closer to the ground. and then, as if to balance out her two identities, she began singing again as the plane got ready to land:
philippines, my philippines, to thee i give my heart and hand...