Allow me to leave Manila for a while to go to a place I called home for 7 years.
I first came to Cagayan de Oro when I was 7 years old to stay with my Mom, who was then working for a multinational company based in Bukidnon. It would be the beginning of many summers to be spent in the chilly mountains of CDO's neighboring priovince.
CDO was home to me for years. I transferred there to finish High School, and to attend Xavier. We eventually had a house built in Gusa, in a village which is located at the foot of the hills and yet very near the seashore from where I can view the paradise island of Camiguin on a clear day (I've never been there, would you believe?!).
This visit will probably be my last in a long time. I am renting out our house to Salesiana Publishing, the publication arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the Philippines. It will be used as a distribution center for their products in the Mindanao and Visayas regions, as well as a transient house for travelling clerics.
It saddens me to give up this house, albeit on an annual basis only, because it is very, very special for me and my Mother. With the new occupants (books, mostly, and a caretaker), at least somebody's got to take care of it now while we temporarily call Manila home.