By Justine C. Tajonera
My last trip there was for a funeral.
There was a brass band playing and it
was very hot. We went back to the old
house for pancit and coke. There were
framed pictures on the walls of graduates in togas,
this one became a doctor and now lives in
San Francisco, that one lives in Las Vegas.
In the bathroom there are Bath & Bodyworks
liquid soaps from children long gone.
Our family is from here, this dusty town,
the birthplace of my grandfather who
died when I was a child.
We visit the land that has yet to be parceled
out. It is green and flat and will be sold.
We say goodbye and prepare for the
long journey back to Manila. Decades ago,
a lifetime ago, soldiers died on the march here during
The war. Now, it is a place I have left behind.