YOU REMEMBER THE SCENE. As soon as the delayed vehicle approached NAIA, what with the announcement of the pilot that PR 101 is getting there at last to that flight back home, the vagabond passengers got more and more agitated. 

My seatmate, from Maui and a former policeman from the Ilocos, joined his former shooting buddies in one part of the back alley close to the restroom, and exchanged pleasantries and laughter and thoughts of going home.

One of the principal questions you often hear when you are flying back to the homeland and you are in the midst of returnees is, 'How long are you staying?'

That question, to me, is a signifier.

It tells you of something else, a plurality of signifieds hidden deep in the four Ilokano souls.

My seatmate talked of going home to have his parents' home-- their family home, the 'home they remember'--repaired because it is was showing old age and threat of collapse.

He also talked of having bought a retirement home somewhere in the southern part of Laoag, something closer to the hills of Mangato and to that shores of Gabu.

Sometimes, in trips like this one, things get to be to serendipitous you cannot believe your luck: His journalism teacher in high school has been a good friend of mine, the writer Romulo Basuel.

I told him, to his surprise, that his 'mistro'--he called him 'Mistro Mulo'--has emigrated to Oahu, and has been there since 12 months ago.

Small world, indeed. Some of the people you meet know other people you have met.

They come into your life to give your grace and to share their blessings of talk and word, and you bless them too with an equal amount of kindness.

And then you meet to senior citizens, one of them a retired nursing faculty of the same state university system where you teach. 'Am going home to Bacolod,' she says, 'and I retired from teaching more than 20 years ago.'

There was that wide grin on her face, this lady who taught, taught, taught.

I think about myself who taught, taught, taught.

Ah, but of course, this note is being written at this this time: 0230 AM, Tuesday, with the 7100+ time (depending on the tide) as the reference.

MRKA/4 Feb 2014

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