June 10, 2004
26 May 2004 | A roadtrip arm-out-the-van-window shot of the Pacific Ocean as we drive south of Manila to Grandma’s house in Bicol. The roads were rough, but the sea looked calm.

* * *

I’m back, refreshed and recharged, slightly changed and hugely inspired, and mostly, oh mostly, incredibly moved — whether to tears or to roaring laughter — by my faraway family.

Whenever I leave home for awhile, I begin to remember what’s really important. What moves me. Who matters most. It tumbles forth when I’m looking out a plane window, walking down a crowded street or lying in a stranger’s bed. It’s as if leaving is the only way to discover where I’ve been.


  1. Kim says:

    Welcome back, Christine! It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    Beautiful photograph, too! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Stephanie says:

    What a beautiful photo! :)

  3. stef says:

    So happy to see and hear you’re back! Welcome back!

    The photo is gorgeous and I so understand about leaving and coming back inspired and ready for life!

    Here’s to vacations!!!!


  4. stef says:

    yay, glad u are back!

  5. Brandi says:

    Thats a really cool photo.

  6. mishi says:

    “It’s as if leaving is the only way to discover where I’ve been.” Aww.. Lovely.

  7. tonigrrrl says:

    “It’s as if leaving is the only way to discover where I’ve been.”

    This is so beautiful. Thanks for that very moving insight.

  8. leesa says:

    i’ve never seen anything like that in real life. only in photos. it takes my breath away. so beautiful.

    glad you’re back safe and now rested.

    ex oh.

  9. the stinkowitz says:

    did i ever tell you about the first children’s book that i wrote? the theme was similar to what you wrote here.

  10. kaleine says:

    OMG! you went to Bicol? my dad’s from Bicol, and i’ve only been there twice. did you get a chance to see Mayon Volcano?

    my brother has this picture with Mayon Volcano in the background, and everyone thought it was just a painting. it was really beautiful. :)

    i’m glad you’ve never forgotten your roots. :)
    Philippines is such a great place.

  11. stef says:

    welcome back :) i’m glad you had a great time and return only to be even more aware of what it means to be where you are.

  12. penelope says:

    That is one beautious blue photograph!

  13. ninds says:

    Welcome back :)

    I’m going home in August for a good 2 weeks (Indonesia, so relatively close by to the Phillipines). I’ve been nomadic for so long that it feels good to go back and remember where my roots really are. It’s so good to hear that you’ve enjoyed and are inspired by yours too :)

  14. Lisa says:

    Welcome Back!

  15. mel says:

    the next time you visit bicol, do go whale watching in Sorsogon. Natives call these peaceful creatures “butanding”.
    You can go snorkelling beside whale sharks ;)

  16. Rubber-Sol says:

    Welcome back.
    What a beautiful shot! I love your line, “It’s as if leaving is the only way to discover where I’ve been.” You’ve captured a feeling that I’ve often had, but rarely had the words to express sufficiently.

  17. flow says:

    oh my, what a beautiful photo. I always love sea. happy summer time! and nice to know your journal :-)

  18. Gracey says:

    “It’s as if leaving is the only way to discover where I’ve been.”

    This is exactly how I feel. I’ve been homesick for days now.. I miss home.

    Thanks for sharing it. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed yourself in Pinas. :)

  19. Kristin says:

    Didn’t know where else to post a comment on your site so here I go…I found a pic of the Getty Center in your Photo Album. I knew it before I scrolled down enough to get the whole picture. I used to work there! Isn’t it a beautiful place, the gardens are my favorite!

    Thanks for sharing!

  20. Chrishawn says:

    Welcome back! Glad you had a wonderful time. It’s always nice to go “back home” and be close to family – remembering old times, family secrets, the warmth of just being with them.

    Love the picture. I love the Ocean.

  21. kristina says:

    more pictures, please!

    my dad just came home from a visit to the motherland, and he brought all these national commission for culture and arts magazines and booklets home, and they’ve sparked my curiousity about the place my parents call home. it’s a shame how i thought it was ok to disconnect myself from the philippines. i would’ve been missing out on so much.

  22. Rochelle says:

    hi.. it’s my first time posting on your site. how i found your site is a long stroy, but yeah, this post makes me miss the Philippines even more. i’m glad you had a great time there. i was supposed to go this summer, but i just found out that i won’t be any longer :( thanks for sharing a bit of our Lupang Hinirang. post more, yeah? Thanks! i love your site, by the way!

  • I'm Christine, and this is a slice of my life—a sweet, rich, wildly indulgent slice that would taste really good with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. Read more >>

  • I run a darling, friendly, little graphic design studio.
    I look on the bright side.
    I take photos. Lots of photos.
    I wish on stars and on websites.

  • I built my first web site 7 years ago and got 15 seconds of fame. (It changed my life.)
    I launched, then relaunched, an online magazine.
    I admitted to several embarrassing crushes.
    I consumed more bacon than any human should and lived to tell the tales.

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