I just came back from a trip to Thailand last Sunday and as the plane readied for landing at Changi, it just hit me that hey, this is gonna be my home for the forseeable future. I mean, yes, I know on an intellectual level that Singapore is gonna be home for the next year or so, but I guess on a visceral level I still consider myself a visitor here—the Philippines is still home.
As the plane readied for landing, and I can hear the sighs of relief of people who are at journey’s end and looking forward to home, it struck me that while I was looking forward to a good night’s rest, it wasn’t the same as going home. Don’t get me wrong. I like Singapore and love my friends and I’m comfortable where I live but I still don’t feel like I’m part of the fabric of life here. Does this make sense?
During the trip I was always asked where I was from and there’s always a pause, barely discernible, before I answer Singapore; I guess I’m still not used to saying it. And when people hear where I’m from, I always get a confused reaction. I guess I don’t look and sound Singaporean. So I always follow it with, but I’m Filipino—and then their faces clear. All this has made me a bit unsettled—like a teenager trying to figure out where she belongs.
Anyways, enough moping. I’m here and I’m happy—for the most part—and I get to go places I won’t otherwise see. That’s a good enough reason to be here for now.