One of the things that I was looking forward to in visiting home was in allowing myself to "regress" into a somewhat child-like state where I allowed myself to be taken cared of by other people. A welcome relief from my New York routine of grocery-shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry - as well as a recovery period from an extremely busy (and somewhat stressful) apartment moving process. In spite of still a number of errands and medical appointments in Manila, for a couple of days I allowed myself to sleep, eat and spend time with family.
Because of the threat of a typhoon, my best friend and I aborted our plans of going to La Union. I didn't want to spend 5-6 hours on a bus only to be greeted by rains on a beach. We instead spent a number of days food-tripping and museum-hopping around Manila.
The National Museum of Natural History opened May this year. I was so psyched to find out that we finally have a space where we can view our physical history, specifically endemic to the Philippines. We didn't have a lot of time to get around the museum because it took us a while to hail a cab from the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and the line at the Museum of Natural History entrance was long (a good sign). So I specifically requested that we spend time only on those things that speak about our "largeness" as a country - a part of us that I believe has been largely overlooked. A lot of that has to do with colonialism, wherein our American colonizers have once chosen certain species that are "small" as our national symbols - a propaganda to make us feel "small." I am largely interested in subverting that, as well as understanding who we were before our colonizers came - but that's another blog post.
I am back in New York City now, coping with an internal tantrum of having to do "adult" errands again. This time though, in a new apartment with a bigger room and more responsible roommates. I think I'll allow myself to take it easy. I feel like this summer has been a lot - even though it has turned out for the better.
As I do my best to take care of myself the way my family has taken cared of me, I will look back on these photos with some nostalgia. I am still opening myself up to new ways of living and being even as the demands of my life and work require me to deal with situations with greater complexity.
I am a Filipino actress alternating between New York and Manila. I received my acting training at The Juilliard School. Take a look around!