Saturday, April 28, 2012

The End of A Homeless Journey

An old Nipa hut renovated, a spacious house filled with laughter and noise, a picture of home  that  comes  alive only  in my memory. 

We never had our own home.The place where I was born and grew up belonged to my aunt. Built from her soldier husband's pension, killed in action during the Second World War. Since my dad acted like a father to her two kids she had left her house to his care, a token of love and trust when she decided to build a life with her kids in Manila. No signing of papers needed. No attorney fees required. Just a simple act of kindness so that my dad can have a place to start his own life.

The house had gone a lot of renovations but there were parts of it as well as pieces of furniture that had remained. It also had weathered a lot of storms and earthquakes, of rains and heat yet it had stood still, a sign of its strength and antiquity.

To the people who had lived before and to those who had gone either to greener pastures or to the other life, the house symbolized more than an edifice. It reminded them of their childhood. Of the things they used to do and now only remembered, of the simplicity and the tranquility of life free of demands and stress. A place where one wanted to come back over and over again.

Through the years passersby will admire our house for its uniqueness and space.Its wooden floors always inviting one to lie down and retire after a tired day, the sliding windows wide and safe enough to sit on its sills while enjoying a shared story. The dining table long enough to hold a mini feast while  the adjoined window faced what used to be a bamboo fence and a star apple tree that had to be chopped down so that a basketball court can be built.

One of the very few photos left of our old house

Space, comfort, inviting.

These were the words that best described of my old home.

It was a nook enveloped with sadness when my father spent his last days and where his remains would lie before he gets buried, not to the nearby chapel telling my mom that he had a home to return to. An abode where we heard the sound of his first grandson's wails a few months after he was laid to rest. And a place that was filled  with laughter, squeals, yells and songs when all us had our own families and get together during the Holiday Seasons, the loudest coming from my seven kids.

I thought it would never end.

But the heavens had  different plans, it seemed .

Our home had been built in a place whose inner circle had venom. Jaded people who go way back. Rooted from several generations in the past. Incurable even with countless prayers, church visits and novena intentions. I always thought that miracles do happen, even to the most hopeless situations.

I was wrong.

Small talk started even before I was born. Legally it was not rightfully ours. But of what use are legal papers when one can manipulate it for his ulterior motives. When one's self worth is defined by endless back stabbing, spinning tales enough to believe in and when generosity all too often is masked by getting something in return.

A week after the house had been newly painted and refurnished, we were told we had no reason to stay. My dad had long been gone but that was the less painful part though hearing it directly, literally from the horse's mouth would confirm it. Sadly this time it did not come from a horse, but from my dad's blood relative. We had no choice but to leave.

Our neighbors who became my parents friends' were saddened about what they have learned and witnessed. Since our house was located in front of the chapel, nobody had missed that day when we had moved. They still could not believe that a Nipa hut which was the only home our family ever had would be the cause of envy and hurt. My mom  kept her emotions intact long enough until we arrived at our new apartment. It was only then she let the tears and herself go, still finding it hard to accept that we were driven out from our own home.

A few months after we had moved, we were told our house had been torn down. Less than a year from then, three lives were lost and one of them was my brother. It was like watching a movie  only this time it happened for real. It was hard to believe  that in a short  time what the old house used to represent was now turned into a tragedy, hurting not just one family, touching not just one's soul to its very core.

Our lives may never be the same.

An old friend once told me loosing ones' home is like letting go of one's roots, the pain goes much deeper. And as I try to shield my children from it all, fate chose to do it differently.Though it would be impossible to find the same comfort that our old home had given us, one thing is for sure.

I will not leave this life homeless.

And in time my children and I will again find our lives secured, happy and content in a place we can  really call our own.


  1. Thanks for liking my story . Sometimes , I am amazed how  I recall every corner of our old home .

  2. It really was .  I know one day , I will know the reason behind of it all.

  3. we kind of have the same story...although nobody drove us out of our own home, but since at the time our place don't have jobs available we had to move to manila and live here for the most part of our lives...though it's kind of saddening that now i wanted to go back, there's been issues about inheritance...still, have faith :)

  4. The inheritance issues are the reason why some families get divided. I hope everything goes well in your end. Thanks for dropping by .

  5. thanks! i think i'd like to build something on my own, less heartache hehehe.

  6. This post moved me. What a wonderful tribute to a family and home that formed you. My children are half Filipino and so I have visited your country many times. I think you would also enjoy my daughter's blog,

  7. Stopping by From Finally Friday! Keep your head up..such a moving story. made me tear and it is so true about losing a home - it's like ripping out your heart.

  8. New follower here from Finally Friday blog hop. Hope you'll stop by soon and follow me back. Also, if you could cast your vote on my left side..can't miss it!!

  9. Thank you for dropping by . I will . Life is like a wheel. when you are down, there is no place to go but up.

  10. Thank you for visiting my country, and fro dropping by . I will definitely visit both of your blogs. 

  11. It really was hard. In time I will know the answers why it happened, hope that when I look back , the good memories will outweigh the bad ones.

  12. FaithfilledfoodformomsMay 5, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Oh Sarah what a beautiful but sad story.  I'm so sorry for your heartaches. You are such a beautiful person and I just know that God has great plans for you.  I look forward to hearing the blessings that will be coming..they will my sweet friend.  Take care of yourself and keep your eyes on the One who sees every little thing.

  13. Thanks Shari for dropping by . I will.

  14. I am so sorry that happened to your family--I can't imagine how hard that must have been for all of you! 

  15. Sarah Mallari BucuMay 11, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    It really was hard . There are days I cannot bear to look at the vacant lot where it used to stand. But I also know it wont' be long that  such sadness will be replaced by happiness . I just need to continue counting my blessings.

    Thanks for dropping by. 

  16. That must have been such a hard time for your family!

  17. It was .  My eldest daughter who took that picture was hesitant to read my post because she will remember how hard it was for all of us . But I know one day , we will know all the answers why fate chose to have it done differently.

    Thanks for dropping by !

  18. As the child of an Air Force officer, I understand the pain of leaving behind a home that you love. I still have such good memories of our last home before we moved. Oddly, no other place I've lived has ever felt like HOME in the same way. Beautiful post.

  19. Thanks for liking my post.  It really is hard to forget  a home where you grew up with . Even my kids dream of our old home still . I am glad this post had touched as well .

  20. That is a wonderful but heartbreaking and poignant story, Sarah. I feel so badly for your family having the only home you ever knew yanked out from under your feet like that; I am very touched by this post. It's especially sad given the heritage in your family with your uncle being a hero of WWII and this house being built by your aunt from his pension, coupled with the death of your father and all of the other good and bad times your family weathered there. Only to be destroyed by someone who coveted it (I suppose motivated by greed, or at least envy), and he happened to be a blood relative. That had to be a terribly hard time for your family.

    I also wanted to say sorry for not getting back to you sooner both here and on my blog! Thanks for your Happy Father's Day greetings, that was very kind of you to remember me! Father's Day was my 2nd-to-last day in the Philippines, so I've been back to work since then and catching up with everything since I was gone. But I'll always respond sooner or later :-) . I hope to post more about our visit to the Philippines soon; my wife and daughter stayed a little longer (until July 9th) but I had to be back at work here in the U.S. on the June 19th.

    All the best to you and your family, God Bless!

  21. Thanks for liking my story Buzz. I will be looking forward to your stories about our country. Blessings to you and your family as well.