No, we’re not leaving our hearts in San Francisco

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - September 19, 2018 - 12:00am

DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA – In a day or two, we are leaving the US and flying to San Francisco, from there to Metro Manila and back to the realities of traffic, hard work, and too much politics. We just want to savor every moment here in the city by the bay, the place perhaps friendliest to Filipinos. Of course, there may be more Pinoys in LA and San Diego, but even those living in the south love to come here and enjoy the San Francisco ambiance. This is the city nearer to Sacramento, the capital of California, the US state with the biggest Pinoy population.


We landed here a couple of weeks ago, and here we will depart for our country. We will go to Chinatown to relax and buy pasalubong for friends and relatives. They won’t believe your Facebook post that you really did visit the land of milk and honey, the land of the brave and the home of the free, if you did not bring home some keychain or souvenir. We are going to cross the Golden Gate Bridge for the nth time to experience being on top of it. It’s not really golden but a cross between dark brown and grey.

We are going down to Sausalito to take selfies and groupies in that handsome little town, as we watch the sunset in these last days of summer this side of the Pacific.

Then we’ll take a boat to Alcatraz from the Fisherman’s Wharf and see for ourselves The Rock where convicts used to be confined. I don’t know why there seems to be a magical magnet always beckoning us to go back to Alcatraz, people would wonder why it’s worth seeing in an old prison island. I don’t know the answer, but whenever I come here, I always go see it. There is something mysterious that attracts me to this abandoned national penitentiary, the US counterpart of Bilibid in Muntinlupa.

It’s been a very hectic two weeks for us, quite exhausting, as we wanted to cover too many places within a limited time. From San Francisco, we went to Auckland, Seattle, then Tacoma. We explored the Federal Way, Fife, and climbed up Mt. Rainier, visiting an authentic Indian indigenous community, like our Aetas. We spent a couple of days with our bedridden 94-year-old dad in Fife, and then we flew to New York, in a quite circuitous way; from Seattle to Dallas, Texas, then the Big Apple. We saw Broadways shows and then flew to Washington D.C. and ultimately to Vegas, where we explored Reno and Tahoe. We visited Stockton, Silicon Valley, and Sacramento, then back to where we began.

Now, we are drinking California white wine in a mansion owned by my Arab client. As we watch the sunset in the city by the bay, and see the rhapsody of colors in the horizon, we contemplate about Manila Bay. And while we listen to Frank Sinatra singing, we have come to our senses, and say: “No way, we are not leaving our hearts in San Francisco. We love the traffic, the floods, the garbage and the politics in our dear islands of much fun and cruel excitement. We’d rather be home in funny Manila by the bay. It is our own Alcatraz in so many ways.”


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