The view of pine trees marching along the road gave me a sign I am less than two hours away from home. 

As we approached the little town of Sagada in the Cordilleras, I called my mother to say I have arrived after the 12-hour ride from the capital region.

The opening of direct trips from Metro Manila to Sagada does not just benefit tourists wanting to find their lost souls in the magical mountain but also Sagada locals expanding their personal and professional horizons.

As expected, it was drizzling magically as I got off the bus with all the clueless passengers confirming if we have reached Sagada. The temperature was about 10 degrees Celsius.


My mother Kalugidan and siblings were at my aunt's house for some wedding ritual. My girl cousin Kci found her other half in the person of an Ilocano man, which is uncommon given the fact that most Sagada people marry people from the same region.

I could imagine my cousins explaining to their n-laws how weddings are done in Sagada to justify the dozens and dozens of people coming to eat for three days.

One of the first things I did was to grab a cup of coffee freshly brewed in the fireplace to combat the very cold weather. That coffee is from the trees we planted a few years ago.

The bamboos of our neighbor have grown very tall. Their kids grew inches taller as well and their faces have changed drastically, so sometimes I needed to confirm their names so I won’t get wrong when calling them.

Good thing no batch homecomings were organized so I had more time for my family. We spent most our time keeping up, asking where my cousins and aunts and uncles work and telling them stories of how our 2016 went through.

Because of Facebook, most of them were telling me how grand my life could be after visiting Japan. I explained to them, which I usually do, that I went there not to tour the beautiful country but as part of my real estate marketing work.

During lunch, we served food to our guests and helped everyone clean the dishes. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite role was serving coffee, washing dirty plates, and putting pork tokens into the woven basket container of guests.

This time, I helped fry sweet potato which brought many memories in our uncle’s house. I wish Uncle Cyril knew  all about our adventures in life.

I also went to see my grandmother Dolores's house, which is one of the first modern houses in the town. It was build with the foundation constructed with no nails used.The last time I slept in that house was during the wake of my aunt Esther years ago.


Oh what a life! I am now back in the metro wondering if the supreme will allow me for a homecoming again this month.