By Jaydee D. Discar
Wearing your ID upon entering school makes you feel the essence of being a “Sillimanian”. You get too lazy taking it off that you just continue wearing it until you reach home. And during class, some of us get a sad feeling at the mere sight of their Identification Card.
When you come from any of the islands of the country which were devastated by the calamities during the last quarter of 2013, you know that the wounds have yet to heal up until now. Because even if it has been almost a hundred and forty days since the super-typhoon struck central Visayas, you realize that the wounds are still fresh as you accidentally scrape that brown rough blotch.
You forget that you lost a lot. And strikingly now, when you see that address in your Identification Card saying: “Techno Lane, Fatima Village, Tacloban City”, you remember that it does not exist anymore. It has become a mere memory. This coming summer break or any vacation for that matter, you remember that you are not going
home to that same place where you grew up in. The home where you victimized the wall with your first act of vandalism; where you first had your greatest scar in the ear lobes; where you were first reprimanded by your mother; where you first decided that your parents are going to be your best friends; where you safeguarded your first collection of books by your favorite authors; where you kept safe your memorabilia of your childhood, elementary and high school days; where you first decided to decorate your own room; where you secretly stacked your diaries and journals; where you hid the memorabilia from close friends and suitors, where every significant event of each family member was held; where your barkada would hang out every after examinations; where all your dreams and aspirations were first formed; where you and your family agreed to be enrolled in the prestigious school you’re in right now; where you thought you wanted to be a doctor but then, here you are, savoring the best of your engineering course; where you decided that you’re going to be a significant ripple in this world; where you believed that you are going to change the world somehow in some way.
And yet, after recalling everything that you have lost like the house that you thought you’d lived in for the rest of your life, you begin to realize that HOME is an arbitrary term. Even though your house got destroyed, you still want to go back to where it is. Homesick not because of the place, but because of the significant people that made that place feel like home. Despite the vanished residence, you’re still homesick because you desire to be with the people who boldly tell you of your undesirable characteristics, who help you when you’re lost or confused and who still wholly accept you for who you are.
You are still homesick because you miss your family who experienced Yolanda and you know that during the catastrophe, you were thinking how much you could’ve uttered more unrestrained “I love you’s” than their usual dose, how much you could’ve embraced them despite the awkwardness, how much you could’ve spent more time sharing your experiences with each other.
Nevertheless, soon enough, you will be home. And by the grace of God, you will be bringing home with you the diploma and education that your family spent for. You will bring the Sillimanian character that will be imprinted into the lives of your family, of other people and even of your home region all because of the Way, the Truth and the Life.
One of these days, you’ll take off your ID and hang the sling on the hook nailed to the wall. For the next day, you’re going to wear it to class with a new perspective.