For the past two weekends, I’ve been bringing one of my great friends, Mikey, around the city. While I was planning to make this tour a sort of healthy mix between a rediscovery of identity, taste and the changes that the Manila has undergone since the last time he was here, I slowly realized that this was also a journey that I needed to make. Not only did I try to show him the various gastronomic delights, mall marvels and the boom of high-rise residental buildings and developments, I tried to insert some kind of anecdotes to sort of feed their knowledge of the city as I know it.

I thought that I could easily leave the comforts of home to feed my longing to be anywhere but here. I thought I could embrace any other city and just make it my home and easily change who I am to match the spirit of whatever city I’m moving to.

I was wrong.

Your heart knows when you’re home. And I knew, in two, crazy fun-filled weekends of traffic, food, malls and markets, that no matter where I go, this is the home that I’d always look forward coming back to, and that while any new city will captivate and capture my heart, it will always be here.

Susanna Kaysen named one chapter of her novel Girl, Interrupted, “If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now”. I am happy that I live here and that I am home now.

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