Hear this: “All of life is a coming home. Salesmen, secretaries…sword swallowers - all of us. All the restless hearts of the world, all trying to find a way home…” That’s Patch Adams talking to himself while in a bus on his way home.
I found myself lately always on my way home to Biliran after spending more than half of my life away from it. I hail from Culaba, a very small town in this province. The irony though is that you don’t see much of your hometown if you are in it and until you are uprooted. Most often than not, it takes an outsider to see much of what our own place can offer.
Not to be a stranger in my own land, in my recent homecomings, I decided to see more of what Biliran has. I hopped on the van to Naval, the capital town, and at one time, checked in at Marvin’s Sea Side Inn, sat down in its concreted “boardwalk” and waited for the sun to set. I heard of a very magnificent sunset in this part of the world, and I was not disappointed. There was one tourist around who was also taking pictures as I was; he lent me his 55-200mm zoom lens so I could take a closer look of a full sunset. Nice of him, thank you.
Morning following, I woke up early for the sunrise. East of Naval is mountainous so that I only saw the sun when it was already so up. But the rays it casted over the mountains and on the rice fields, I thought of how really beautiful life is when it is laid back. The tall buildings and modern amenities the city life offers are incomparable to the tall mountains and the natural amenities the rural life provides. Oh, I so love home. Refreshing. Comforting. Reassuring.
On the way to Culaba, my home destination, about 3.5 hours northbound from Tacloban, I traveled via the cross country. This is an alternative route of the circumferential coastal road in Biliran province, cutting across mountains, making the trip shorter than the usual 5 hours. The destination-inclined trip now becomes journey-oriented. Having said that, I am now seeing mountains for mountaineers, waterfalls for nature lovers, beaches for swimmers. Sunrise in the east part of Biliran province is worth the early morning rise. There might not be posh hotels for an overnight stay, but what my home offers is the experience of being at peace with nature, of frolicking in the sea, of having communion with the one who created all these, God.