Saturday, June 4, 2005

The Other Side of the World

I was expecting it all along, that he’d leave us for good. His parents are all in the States, working because there’s a greener pasture in that side of the world. His mother is a grade school teacher; his father, I think, is studying in a nursing school, hoping perhaps to be able to get a job in line with that course. His younger brother, a clever, stout boy, studies there, too, and has so far reaped national awards in the US in Maths and Sciences. It must be in the blood: it has to be.
It wasn’t surprising at all, that he’d leave us for good. I guess that’s part of this thing we call life. Friends do get apart, and there are so many things that could cause this separation: conflicts, disagreements, coldness, forgetfulness, or, in this case, a crucial decision.
A couple of days ago, he sent a brief email of more than four paragraphs. It was a brief one because he didn’t really say everything (I know he tried, but it was a hard thing to accomplish altogether): at least, the words did not completely illustrate the truth. He feels pained, I guess, at having to leave the Philippines for good. After all, it’s the country he has referred to as home for the past 16 years of his life. He grew up, made friends, learned his lessons, and did things in this country.

“I will be leaving you, UP and the Philippines. My parents have decided to transfer me here for good - I agreed to them when we talked about it last month. I will be studying at the University of Texas - Pan American, and will be taking up pre-pharmacy, which will take about 2 years. Hopefully after that I'll be going to pharmacy school at the University of Texas-Austin for another 3 years. I will then have a Doctor's degree on Pharmacy - after completing a year of internship, and passing the pharmacy board exams. You will perhaps be still seeing me - I'm going home on June 6 because I need to apply for my high school and college transcripts. Sigh. Malungkot, oo, sobra. Leaving a home I've grown to care for makes me sad. Leaving the people I've grown to love makes me even sadder. But we have to go on. There's no use of much grieving, or brooding over the pain of separation. Change is, well, permanent. But, who knows, we might see each other somewhere, after 15 or 20 years from now. I'll surely miss you. No doubt about it, I will...”
I wasn’t at all surprised, but I’m a bit bothered. Will we ever see him again? Will he recognize us 10 or 20 years from now? Will he be as vocal and active in his Christian faith as he is now? Will he sound like an American later on?
Only God knows, Jef. He knows what’s best for us.
I just feel uneasy about the present state of things, but they’ll turn out okay, I’m sure. It’s God’s promise to His children.

I’m banking on that.

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