Nash, Yao Ming and KobeI seldom go home to the province but when I do, I would always find myself seeking refuge at my parents’ home – be it in Subic or in Pampanga. I know that this may be true as well to many of you who finds a good asylum at their parent’s place. For me, I find myself at the house of my parents whenever I feel that I needed to recharge from the monotonous and tiring routine of life. It’s my fallback place when I needed one.

Although, I have my own home and my own family to keep me going in life, sometimes it pays to go back to your roots because the comfort you get from the place where you grew up along with the people you have been living with since birth like your parents and siblings will always be incomparable. Besides, I get to eat all of my favorite dishes when I go home with my wife and son at the province because my parents would always cook a lot for us.

Well, I have wonderful parents and a wonderful family. Long before my 2 youngest siblings were born, we were like the Simpsons – typical but functional. I was the eldest as Bart, Rhea was Lisa and Rica was Maggie. My dad Richard or Carding was Homer but smarter and better-looking while my mom Edna was Marge, a homemaker but a busy corporate woman as well.

Yao Ming, Nash and KobeOur family was never perfect. We passed the point where like any family, we would hear arguments and debates. We had financial problems as well but we never skipped a single meal. We slept soundly even if it was too hot then because we could not afford to have an air-conditioning at home that my parents would instead use hand-woven fans to cool us to sleep the entire night. My father even invented an air-cooler using metal sheets, cogon grass and a condenser as an alternative to the expensive air-conditioning unit. That was more than 2 decades ago. Now, we have almost the entire house with a cooling system.

Inside our small house during our childhood days, we have seen all the ups and downs of life. We had storms, typhoons, earthquakes and floods but our house remained standing and we were all together through thick and thin. Because we were not rich, it was a struggle for my parents to send five children to school all at once. I never even knew that we would pass all those trials and do just fine. Amidst all the challenges, my parents were able to send us to a decent school and feed us thrice a day. We made it indeed!

ChickieMy parents’ home houses not just us but all the good memories we have as a family. Thus, I find refuge in its walls. Like any home, conflicts are but normal. Nonetheless, whenever any of my siblings would get in trouble with their relationships where I am always at the front of the queue, my parents’ home plays a vital role in making us all feel better so we can move on and resolve issues. If anyone of us wanted peace and a time-off to reflect, we go home to our parents.

In my parents’ home, there is no such thing as a mouse hating a cat being hated by a dog. There is no Tom chasing Jerry who is being hammered by the bulldog named Spike. Literally, this is true at home. We have pet dogs named Kobe and Chickie who both loves playing with our pet cat named Yao Ming who loves playing with our pet mouse named Nash. No conflict at all!  They are all equally treated as stars like their namesakes at NBA.

Monkeys at HomeI have even seen at one point where we have had puppies being breast-fed by our cat or kittens being taken care by a dog. The only exception perhaps to the peace and harmony at home are monkeys that usually hangs out at the terrace once in awhile. They mess up with almost everyone. Thus, my son’s hamster and guinea pigs died last year when the monkeys started playing with the hamster cage. Tsk.

In reality, our house has been a neutral zone for almost everyone. Whenever relatives are in disputes, they would go to our house to get my parents’ advice – from my grandparents, uncles and aunts including cousins and family friends. Often, I would play the role as well of doing counseling for relatives. The house has become a reunion place as well for the family during weekends and during special occasions.

The Cat, The Mouse and The DogAnyway, I am writing this because I just saw pictures of our old house being renovated. I started to reminisce. More so, I was made to wonder if we can have the same environment much like being at home where we can all get to work and live harmoniously regardless of status, beliefs and color like a place where a dog, a cat and a mouse can live and play together without getting into any conflict.

If only we can make every home a neutral zone for us all to live and work together less all the conflicts, then I am sure that going home will always be an experience that could revitalize our enthusiasm and perspective in life. Perhaps, this is what makes my parents’ home special to me and my siblings.

Right now, I am happy seeing my parents and siblings do well in life after all the hardships we had from the start. I am happy to see as well how my family tries to improve our home to make it a better place for us all to go home at and recharge. I am happy that even if we never had a huge house to brag about, we were gifted to have a decent place that we can call our own – a place we can truly call HOME!

Well, it is not mine. It’s my parents’! Hehehe!