Departure area, 08:30PM

The Hubby was crying — big, fat cheeks staining his face.
He was hugging his mom tightly–never wanting to let go. Mum-in-law is going back to London for work following a month-long vacation in the Philippines. Aware that his mum is sick yet determined to provide a better future for her two kids, the Hubby mourns another temporary farewell with his mum, anguished on why she has to leave, wishing for more time to take care of her while she was here.

I tried to look away but can’t — the hubby, my mum-in-law and my sister-in-law was for a moment lost in their own world. But this was never an exception. This was a harsh reality for every Filipino family–a loved one goes overseas to look for a better life, leaving life and love ones here in the Philippines. In the departure area alone of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, I lost count on families saying goodbye to a lonely figure, wheeling a big suitcase mummified in duct tape on the Entrance area to the check in counters. The area was Siberia: cold, lonely yet never desolate. A sad queue forms, composed of fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, of children waving a lonely goodbye to tormented loved ones. My nephew (my SIL’s son) cries, prompting the grandma to rush back to the entrance, her face distraught by tears.

I tried to look away. tried.

The scene was too familiar and too painful for those who gets to see their mom and dad only once a year–usually around Christmas–only to lose them again once the new year sets in.

I tried looking around the airport, prepared to nitpick and see whatever might be wrong, just to be able to step away from the lonely scene unfolding at my left. Hmmmmn, the airport looks okay–well, the Window of the World restaurant still looks somber…but hey, I am all for looking for the positive. I tried to look away, yet as another batch of sad tears fall from the hubby’s eyes — it suddenly dawned on me that in this old departure lounge, one gets to be face-to-face with goodbye in its rawest form.

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