Exactly 12 years ago today I left the Philippines to be with my true love in Australia.
Corny, yes. But it’s the truth. There was no other reason for me to come here. I had made other plans before I met him. But all the plans went flying out the window when I realised I wanted to be with him.
So I left my family, my friends, the place I am so familiar with. I entered a new life and a new country, excited and unafraid.
When I first heard the news that I got the visa, I was ecstatic. I was riding the jeep with mama, on our way to the mall. I loved shopping with mama. We went out together as often as we could. While I enjoyed the success of the application, I also saw the sadness in mama’s eyes when she realised I was definitely going.
She wanted me to go, of course. But she’s my mother. A big part of her also didn’t want me to go.
She helped me prepare what to bring. She was there the whole way through. My parents were very supportive. They’ve always been supportive. Today, they cherish the time they get with us when we see them back in the Philippines.
I never regretted leaving the Philippines. Even during my darkest days here, when I felt so very alone, I never thought about going back.
But what I want, what my heart really wants is to have my family close by. It’s close to impossible, I know. Aside from the changes in the migration laws, my parents are also old and sick. Maybe one day we can have longer visitors’ visa when my parents’ health is better. But for now, the visits back will have to do.
It is said that home is where the heart is. Well, my heart has two homes. Australia and the Philippines. Every migrant understands that.
Although my roots will always come from the Philippines, my life and my new roots are here.