I wish I was back in Dumaguete,

with a soft bed, warm hugs, a dark room, and airconditioning.

With no worries,

good food in the morning and a walk around the board walk before and after breakfast,

staring at the blue sea and neighboring islands.

Sitting under trees, with the grass under my feet, feeling the breeze,

listening to street performer ballads.

Sipping sweet flavored milk, the memory of the curry squid, and fresh vegetables in the chopsuey still on my mind.

An afternoon in the library reading about the history of Filipino literature and pre colonial poetry and traditions.

Past the fire department with its red fire trucks,

just behind the group of old men huddled and crouched on the street, arranging their dama pieces, preparing for another game.

An island where the playground in the park, is inviting,

with its colorful metal structures calling out to grown secret children.

7 foot monkey bars that you can climb and play in,

reliving your childhood days under the sun.

Spiraling metal slides with tall ladders, where I scraped my hand on the ground after falling with abandon.

Seesaws and swings reminiscent of the 90s without technology.

Children playing tag and playground etiquette.

Ice cream on a lazy day, with sweat on your brow,

more from running around than the heat.

On top of the spiraling metal you had conquered.

Feeling like the queen of your domain until you have to move on, to accommodate the others who are slowly climbing around you.

Where you can take a leisurely walk and observe the old men in park tables playing their games, contrasting the running children beside them.

Wonder at the dilapidated staircases leading to the top of an ancient bell tower.

Evenings enjoyed with dinners listening to live music.

Not thinking nor worrying about transportation, traffic, carbon monoxide, and curfews, or money.

A beer while listening to ska and reggae.

Where 20 pesos with a group can net you a liter of juice and a tanduay drinking session in the dark, happily crowded concrete seats beside the sea,

across the locally famous live band playing 80s tunes.

Talking about everything and nothing with people, away from mundane everyday topics.

An island huge droves of people consider their own personal Neverland.