Manila, Philippines | March 17-24
Prior to the flight from Paris to Abu Dhabi, I was secretly hoping to be upgraded from economy to business class. Lo and behold! One flight later, despite having checked-in online, I was so surprised to know upon boarding that I was bumped to the front section of the Abu Dhabi-Manila segment. Hello business class with built-in massage chair! Thanks Etihad Airways!
Sunday right after I arrived, I got the chance to attend the The Feast at the PICC and heard Bro. Bo preach again. This was a constant source of inspiration and happiness for me when I was still in the Philippines. Good thing there’s live streaming and YouTube.
I spent three days at work that week and it was quite surreal to be back at the office in Manila. It felt as if I’m just on an expat assignment. Happy to see my former friends and colleagues again. Lunch outs and dinners kept me satiated, catch-up conversations kept me in touch.
Last year, I promised Elaine, one of my closest friends, that I would do everything I could to see her walk down the aisle. Happy that I was provided with the means to see her and the love of her life Bernard get married in Subic. Since we practically belong to the same group of friends, this also served as a reunion with our high school and college friends.
Before I left again for France, it was fun to see my family’s reaction when I gave them a surprise gift and when I finally told them the real reason why I am able to go places. The company decided to pay for my school fees and that really literally wiped away my financial concerns.
I’ve always anticipated the feeling of going back to France after being home. For some reason, it felt right returning here. I no longer have to fight any tears. I’m not a stranger anymore and I feel that the world is getting smaller and smaller.