the guest

I am suddenly reminded of home today. I’ve been living in a foreign land for some time now and I have managed to actually convince myself to somehow call it “home”. Although when I think hard on it, I don’t think I can fully embrace it.

Home is where the heart is after all and as long as my family (parents, relatives and friends) remain there, then this place won’t fully be a home for me. Nonetheless, I need to move on so I’m calling it.

Home is a place of Hospitality to the point that it becomes absurd. I am proud of this pertinent characteristic that we (Filipinos) are known for but I do not disagree that it can be ridiculous at times. Let me give you a clear picture of this.

When we have visitors come stay with us even for a night, my parents would offer their own bedroom for the guests to sleep in. If that is not preposterous enough, what if I tell you that my parents also change all the sheets and provide new blankets to go with it? It does not matter whether or not the bed was just made; my parents are still changing the sheets.

If that is not ridiculous enough for you; how about it I tell you that we also take out the unused and really heavy set of plates out for the visitor. Yeah, we do that!

I should mention too that before the visitors even arrive, my mom would make sure that we clean the house inside out. All the forgotten corners of the house are suddenly the most important area that we need to clean. We put away all eye sores around the house that are actually in there forever.

The gist is that visitors are treated as royalty among Filipinos. We give them all the best that we can offer even the ones we cannot afford. However illogical this may sound, that is the Filipino way. However odd it may seem, I am proud to be Filipino.

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