ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - December 10, 2020 - 12:00am

We set our goals because we want to build our future with a sense of order and certainty. And there are current goals that will be set aside to accommodate new ones. When we grow old, this is valid as priorities do change. We prefer to set personal happiness aside just for others to be happy instead.

In response to changing times or when there are untoward events that happen in our lives, goals change. For example the current pandemic has changed our priorities. In order to prioritize what we basically need, plans for home renovation might have been canceled. Owing to limitations and health protocols, long-scheduled trips abroad have been foregone.

Personally, what might have been a landmark in my creative endeavor was when I was casted in a feature film which is one of the selected entries in a prestigious annual film festival in Manila, the Cinemalaya. Side by side with big stars in Manila, I consider this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. The film requires me to be in the province of Quezon to take essential scenes for a number of days, basically celebrating Christmas season away from home, away from family. And because of the recent development in relation to the pandemic, requiring to spend fourteen days in quarantine in Manila before I can come back to Cebu, an arduous effort.

It is a struggle to be away from my family for these number of days, needing emotional stamina, peace of mind, especially for my 91-year-old mother who is adamant of me joining the film production outside of Cebu, this in spite of the fact that she has been supportive ever since to my artistic endeavor. But I have resolved, only during this pandemic that health is at stake. And for both of us who regard being with the family a precious and priceless moment.

We worked so hard, got promoted and saved economically. Our contributions in company or in other areas of discipline will not be on our tombstones. But it will be our family. We need to remember that it's not where we live, it's the people around us who make us feel at home.

Home is people. Not a place. If after the people are gone, we go back there then what we can see is what is no longer there.

We have been traveling all our lives in search of what makes us happy, only coming home to discover the true meaning of happiness. And it is Jesus Christ's birth that completes the picture of a family in which, after their long journey, His parents find peace and love.

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