Somewhere above northern Luzon aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong

Nothing on earth elicits a more profound tingling sensation than when I begin to see the Philippine coastline from where I'm sitting, some 30,000 feet up in the sky. Many foreign beautiful places may have made their mark on me but for someone who was born and raised in the Philippines, the umbilical connection is quite apparent. Even after living elsewhere for a long time, that connection has really never been severed. I see these islands, really beautiful islands, as still a part of myself. Like migratory birds, I always return home and feel happy doing it - again and again - because . . . well, that's the nature of things.

Every time I arrive, my first agenda is to buy a SIM card at the Arrival's Hall
of the crappy NAIA. My previous ones have all expired.
I was ready to pay for a taxi ride to the Centennial Terminal when an attendant
advised me to take the free shuttle transfer between terminals instead. Finally. Hooray!
Booked on a 3:30 pm Philippine Airlines flight to Cebu, the check-in agent asked if I wanted to leave
earlier since space was still available for the 1:30 pm flight. Wanting to see my family the soonest,
I said "yes" of course. Photo was taken while another plane was waiting for take-off from Runway 06-24.
As the A320 took off, the ever-growing Makati skyline came in full view,
reminding me how much of the city is turning into another Manhattan.
Cebu isn't my hometown but I'm meeting my parents who flew in from Davao and a sister who arrived from L.A. -
all of us in the same day! Normally, I fly to Davao after the ultra-long haul flight from NYC.
Thanks to my mom's Mabuhay Miles, I got to fly free - on Seat 1A.
I was disappointed though with the meal selection - I was offered either pasta or  Pad Thai.
Hoping for a traditional Pinoy meal, I ended up choosing our neighbor's dish.
In Cebu the next day, newspaper headlines caught me by surprise. Lacson, himself doing his own version
of a homecoming, arrived an hour earlier than I did.


  1. Welcome back (ehem, when I myself am not there yet)! But I share the thoughts, last year, I returned to Manila by way of Anchorage and Taipei, and on my last flight, it was great seeing the scenery of Ilocos as we went south from Taiwan, and I couldn't help but think of all the things I have experienced in the Philippines.

  2. Welcome home! I feel the same way whenever I come home from a long trip. How long are you staying in the Philippines for?

  3. Anonymous1:33:00 PM

    welcome home!! i love the makati skyline :) and the airport shuttle is violet? hahaha

  4. Ay akala ko sa China ka punta. I have only gone home once since I left the homeland. I want to feel that tingling sensation you just described.

    I love that Makati picture. Sooo good.

  5. the nomad is home! ^_^

  6. Bay!!!!!! welcome home. Tiga-dabaw man diay ka:) memories.

    enjoy bay and God bless your vacation.

  7. Jeruen,
    thanks! moments like that is one that draws the emotional in me :)

    salamat. as usual, i only have a 3-week vacation here. my work won't allow anything longer (or i also won't have anything else left for other trips this year if i use all of my accruals)

    salamat! i was surprised with the color too - thought it was too loud. but then, as long as it's free, who cares di ba?

    Photo Cache,
    your next vacation then should be in the philippines. you would most likely have double the "tinglies" i felt since you haven't returned in a long time.

    thanks! how i wish i have a longer time here para i could meet up with you and the other manila-based bloggers.

    Z Joya,
    salamat bai! taga-dabaw bitaw ko, bisdak nga daku haha!

  8. Anonymous12:19:00 AM

    mabuhay! welcome home, dennis. buti ka pa nakauwi na ulit!

    i agree with you, the flag carrier should have boasts our very own dishes which could promote the country and excite the balikbayans' taste buds more! that was an epic fail for PAL! nonetheless, it's always sweet when you get something free, particularly a seat in an airplane!
    have fun on your break. :D

  9. Mabuti ka at madalas umuwi! Have fun back home and share some pics of your activites there with us. First time I saw the skyline of Makati! Parang dito sa 'tate! About time for me to visit pala.

  10. so you're here! pakita ka naman pagdaan mo ng maynila.

  11. Wow kakainggit naman! Parang gusto ko uling bumalik hehehe, salamat kay "Mama" at may free mabuhay miles ka na hehehe....I can't wait to see more of your photos in PI. Enjoy and have fun!

  12. welcome back dennis...looking forward to your interesting stories and photos here :)

  13. Anonymous10:23:00 AM

    im looking forward for more davao pics :)

  14. docgelo,
    thank you. kagagaling mo rin dito ah :)
    it was really a big disappointment - PAL even mentioned in their inflight magazine that they will offer Filipino dishes to help promote the cuisine!

    oo naman, if it's been that long, now's the time for your homecoming. makati's just the tip of the iceberg!

    dong ho,
    i'll try. stay ako ng isang gabi sa maynila before flying back. i don't have your number anymore, will you email it to me?

    thanks.di naman kasi nya nagagamit so kesa mag-expire, binigay nya na lang. naka-save pa ako.

    salamat. i'm definitely posting more photos and stories.

    now that you mention davao, of course yes!

  15. Wow, you're there pala. That umbilical connection is so true! Your vacation's a perfect timing for the summer. :)


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