Written by Briones, Ana Liza M.
My father always said in a very serious unreadable face that there's a family reunion whenever we're around. Anyone who heard that didn't wonder why and just laughed with my father. It was a father's welcoming joke. It's because my parents are living in the province, my brother is studying in Diliman, my sister is residing in Baguio, and I am here in Manila. That is our set up for almost five years now.
Living away from my family and only seeing my parents once or twice a month for a day or two was a big thing for me. I was not use being away from them for too long. That too long meant a day for me because way back in my elementary and high school days, my parents didn't allow me even a single field trip. They didn't want me out of their sight. But everything changed when they announced that I will study in Manila and will rent a room in there. Suddenly, our lives changed. The everyday conversation over a meal and television stopped. The regular "family conference" in the master's bedroom became rare. Only Christmas season brings back all of these. Christmas is coming home and going back to Manila with the memories to reminisce that would lead you back home. That will always be my every year's best gift.