Bulusan is not my hometown but my parent’s. I was born in Quezon City and save for the 3 years I lived in Makati, I’ve lived here all my life.
My first trips were to Bulusan. When I was young, the family will make the epic 14-hour journey to this small town in Sorsogon. It would usually be during the Holy Week — we leave Wednesday evening, rolling into Bulusan morning of Maudy Thursday, eager to swim and explore, but getting told off that we can’t because it’s Lent. The first two days of the trip involved hearing mass at the Parish of St. James the Greater and getting our freedom to head to the beach and swim in the river on Saturday. On Easter Sunday, we pack up our things and head back to Manila in the afternoon.
Trips to Bulusan became less and less as I grow up. Prior to last April, my last trip to the province was in 2002 after graduating from college. Though it wasn’t Holy Week yet, it was almost as if it was — we hardly had time to really enjoy the place.
I can’t remember a trip to Bulusan without rain. While people are complaining of a very hot Lenten season, my memories of Bulusan during lent always involved rain. True to tradition, it was pouring when we rolled into town. I was eagerly looking out the window of the jeepney we were riding, taking in everything that came into view and mentally comparing if it was the same as my last visit.
A lot of things have changed. Roads have been paved, towering concrete houses where old nipa houses stood. My phone was able to get signal from Globe and there’s even a couple of Internet shops. Yet a lot of things remained the same. There was that one house and the store that still looked the same as it did when I first laid eyes on it in the early 80’s, and of course the familiar faces of friends and family. I find myself thinking how my parents feel every time they come home to Bulusan. If the changes I’ve noticed for the past 20-something years have been huge, how much has the town changed from the Bulusan they’ve known since the late 1930’s?
The longest I’ve stayed in Bulusan was 10 days. That was when I was in high school and on summer break. I wonder how different the experience would be if I go back and stay longer. Maybe this is the time to find out?
Written for the 7th Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival on the theme “hometown.” This round is hosted by Mhe-anne Ojeda of My Comings and Goings.
View the archive over at Estan Cabigas’ Langyaw.com.