Looking at a Stranger


Me, almost one year ago.

They say time flies as you get older and I would certainly have to agree. I had been in the midst of cleaning up a USB fob to free some space when I came across some photos from earlier this year. I couldn’t believe those pictures were from so long ago. And looking at myself, at first I felt like I was looking at a stranger. Then I saw the photo of the dessert, Halo Halo. My absolute favorite, Ube ice cream, was sitting on top so yeah, that had to be me.

True, I don’t look like I’m having the absolute most enjoyable time of my life but hey, how exciting can one get eating spicy tofu over rice? The food was good and I would recommend Max’s of Manila to anyone. The company though, was outstanding; sinta ko (sk) and my favorite Tita.

A lot has happened since that day. Not physically, I still look the same except my hair is shorter and I have to wear my glasses all the time instead of perched on top of my head. No, it’s something that can’t be seen, not even if I were to show sk and Tita sitting on either side of me, you wouldn’t see it, but it’s there. It’s a sense of relief and stability. I haven’t been carrying those around with me for several months now and I had forgotten how burdensome they were, until I seen the photo.

My favorite, Halo Halo, dessert.

Little did we know that in two short weeks after that picture was taken we would become Canadian Permanent Residents. The stability that sk sought for 14 years in two countries would become a reality. Finally, we could start planning; planning for our future. . .and retirement. We could decide where we wanted to settle down and neither one of our jobs was contingent on sponsorship. In a way, it felt like the weight of the world was lifted from our shoulders. If I had known what was yet to come, I wouldn’t have felt so bad finishing the entire dessert.

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