Home is in one big room -

where weekends were sacred VHS / VCD nights with our classic favorite Magoo's Pizza (gheez, how old are y..*coughs* am I?) that soon became stuffed crust pizza and dear darla's. That big room was where I spent the first 15 years of life  - learning, studying, playing, reading, and basically growing up...with mama, and my little sister. It was where we prayed the rosary everyday and chaplets on fridays, it was where we had the biggest arguments about extra curricular activities and me joining a christian church + youth band, it was where my mom and I started becoming best friends. It was where I shared many firsts, cried many tears, and laughed the most. It was where my mom built a space for us to feel safe, content, and enough...because home is in one big room.

Home is at the dinner table -

where home cooked meals, often from scratch, were served with the best stories shared by my late grandmothers (yes, all three of them). It was where we spent afternoons talking about mornings by the sea, siesta under lolo's mango trees, and the farm's grimm tales of night monsters. It was where milestones were announced, emotions were laid, and where the most words were spoken. It was always the best place to prepare papa's first meal after coming home, the place to celebrate festive and handmade birthday spreads, the place that gathered us in advent wreath prayers and lenten season's readings, the place of solitude to listen to stories of grief, and overpowering love. . . because  home is at the dinner table

Home is in every inked page -

since the moment I learned to write letters to papa. There were pages inked with tears, while there are colorful others filled with stories about new discoveries and decisions I had to make. It was my means to tame the rumblings of my mind and listen to the echoes of my heart. It was how I connected connected because even if I knew He could hear my faintest cries, my emotions painted into words like a letter brought me closer to Him. Pages filled with childhood daydreams, pages engraved with the deepest desires of my heart, pages to keep memories alive,  pages marked by darkness, pages that turned into songs, pages voyaging through seasons, pages of every piece of me. . . that I can always come back to anytime, because home is in every inked page

Home is in a cup of coffee -

the sweet taste of inspiration on days I wandered in writing, the much needed late night energizer prepared by mama while finishing term papers and thesis document revisions, the 2AM morning breaks by the pond with my favorite colleagues (back in my first job), my 7am morning ritual companion to prepare for a long day ahead, the perfect afternoon pick me-upper to calm my senses. Yes, it was in every chestnut or caramel macchiato, iced americano with heavy cream, and shakeratto bianco that made me feel I could conquer the moment, that's why home is in a cup of coffee.

Home is where my heart is -

whether it's losing myself in praise or finding myself in a dark place... it's that surreal bliss of writing a new song while fiddling guitar strings, the mood-led scribbles on blank pages of my journal, the captivating trance of a day dream, the meticulous-taste-inspired cooking and meal preparations, the stream of a passion-filled ensemble of words through speaking or writing, and the heightened sense of contentment after teaching. . . there are days it's as simple as being engrossed in a netflix series, or taking a stroll along memory lane. Sometimes it's the deepest and most daring desires, but it is often states and motives, because home is where my heart is.

Home is in moments -

surprising my mom with her first puppy, papa's random "love you's" and kisses in a day, heart to heart stories with my sister by the kitchen counter, pillow talks with R before we sleep. Sometimes it's a stranger's hello, our street sweeper's 'goodmorning', and heartwarming "well done's". Its also being held closely when I'm most vulnerable, being looked in the eye for assurance, being reminded of better days, and simply being listened to. Yes, it's the precious first glimpse of my newborn's face and so many firsts in between, how he holds my tummy and reaches out for my hand, his endearing voice when he calls out "mama" now that he's two. Though seemingly fleeting, they hold the biggest space in our hearts because home is in moments.

Home is here, now;
home is where we are