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The Return of the Prodigal Daughter

I have a love/hate relationship with the city of my childhood. Strange I know this sounds.

I have a love/hate relationship with the city of my childhood.  Strange I know this sounds.

I have happy memories of the Cebu of my childhood, going to the beach at Liloan before the bridge was built and the exodus to Mactan and the white sand beaches.  Sailing with my father for literally hours on his hobie cat (since we would always get stranded and need to be towed back to shore). Then of course nursing painful sunburns after hours  baking in the sun, it took me twenty years to embrace my paleness and realize that I would never be tanned. Plus the dawning of the era wherein people pay good money to achieve the unhealthy pallor that I was trying to rid myself of.

Carefree, happy years of going to school at CIS, swimming lessons at Cebu Country Club, hanging out at friends houses at weekends and sleepovers.  CIS really was the best school.

Then the teenage years of STC, Bai disco, sneaking out to Inner Circle since that apparently was a den of Sin and we should not set foot in it.  Made it all the more alluring and exciting.  Generally sneaking out and finding ways to skirt our curfews.

Then the super fun Halloween parties at Country Club and the costume balls at Casino Espanol.

Then came college and the need to escape the small town.  Leaving to study abroad and deciding that under no circumstance could I live in Cebu after graduation. It was too stifling. So I moved to Manila. This was a great time, Euphoria and Faces days plus started building my hotel career at Westin.  And then I gave up the career, got married, packed up and moved to Baguio. Where in retrospect was another small town, however, it was a seasonal party with the constant flow Manila people. Nothing could beat a New Years party in Baguio. This was before Boracay became the party destination.  My house was always full of house guests.

Years later, was the return to Manila and as well as my return to my hospitality career.  In between were trips to Cebu to visit, the Cebu of my youth had changed and was developing into a cosmopolitan city.  New people had moved in , new friends were made as well as the rekindling of old friendships. It was always nice to visit but I knew I could still go home to Manila .  Could not fathom moving out of Manila.

But life is a circle and nothing ever stays the same. I finally found the opportunity to end my marriage and despite my doubts I came home.  Not an easy decision to make, despite all the changes, Cebu is still a small town. A small town where news travels at light speed and everyone gets involved in your life.  Everything I essentially ran away from.  But it was where I had family and very close friends.

Before moving back I called a very good friend and asked if I could move back, his response, am so excited! That essentially clinched it.

I do not know how long I will be staying this time, whether this will be permanent or after finding myself again I move back to the big city, which I still miss. There are days I want to hop on that plane and get out, satisfy the gypsy in me. But most days I am grateful I am home, grateful for my peace of mind, my new life, my freedom my friends, my family.  This love/hate relationship still continues but for the moment the prodigal daughter is home.

JT

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