Part Three: The Flight Back to the Philippines (A Trilogy)

Giving everyone in the living room of our villa a goodbye hug was sentimental. Once again, I was carrying my heavy full-packed 70L backpack because I was going again. But only this time, I was going back home. I didn’t know how much to feel about. My emotions were all mixed-up and even though I was just going with the flow, I knew it wasn’t my happiest state.

My friends Kevin and Micah accompanied me going to the airport by riding the Metro one last time. I don’t think I will ever manage to carry my two bags and my yoga mat if I will be traveling by myself! While changing my last Dirhams in my wallet to USD, I knew there’s no turning back.

Fast forward to the final boarding announcement, I remember sitting in the middle seat calmly. The seat that I hated the most. The seat that I purchased cheaply in the last minute. Sitting quietly, there were a lot of things going on inside my head. It was 11 in the evening in Dubai and I felt like I won’t get to know sleep soon enough. Which I thought was a good thing if I was traveling West. But only I was about to fly back to the East.

Worried about getting bored for the next 8 hours, I ordered a couple of Heineken beers to keep me company. I remember the flight attendant jokingly told me if I was alright because I was the only one ordering that much on that flight. I said yes, because I know I will be. And I can’t remember sleeping all through that flight at all! I was journaling the whole fricking time.

I was thinking a lot more than I should, too. I don’t know how would I suppose to feel when my plane touch down in Manila. My only plan that time was to forgive myself first. I will figure everything else later.

I remember saying a prayer: Universe, it’s up to you now. I’ll let you take me where I’m supposed to be. Whatever it is, you know what’s deep inside my heart.

Around lunch time, I was back in Manila.

I messaged a couple of my friends if they could pick me up and asked them if they want to go straight to my favorite little surf town up north because I didn’t feel like going home yet. Unfortunately, they were all busy that time so no one came to welcome my lonely ass in the airport.

So I sat inside the airport for the next couple of hours. I was thinking of buying another domestic flight ticket to Siargao to spend a week there before I finally go home. Getting whatever temporary job in that island was also a plan.

But I did what a typical Filipino would do first once back in the Philippines: Eating in Jollibee.

I put back my Philippine sim card and booked myself a Grab car going home. Coming home was both happy and sad. Happy, because my mom cooked my favorite Filipino dish. And sad, because I wasn’t prepared to go home just yet. I shouldn’t be jet-lagged if I slept enough during my flight but I was so sleepy. So I slept the whole afternoon and wake up early in the evening.

Same night, I met with my friends and got drunk. After all, it was nice to be finally back home.

I felt like an athlete who went to compete in the Olympics and coming home without any placement. But I was positive. I told them about what happened and they said it’s going to be alright and that they were glad I was back.

I remember a couple of weeks back when I was still in Dubai, I was closing the bar in the studio that I was working where I had a moving conversation with a meditation guru.

I told her that I was worried about whether or not am I granted a residency. She told me to visualize myself receiving the good news before I sleep. And that it is already given to me by the Universe. “You’ll be okay. God will give you the right answer to your prayers.” That gave me comfort.

But I asked, “Neesha, what if it turned out the other way around?”

She said, “Then you pray again, ask God, ‘God, please show me the way.'”

It took me over a year to finally digest what she meant by “God will give you the right answer to your prayers.” It wasn’t the residency in Dubai after all! Maybe I wasn’t destined to be there. Maybe he sent me back to the Philippines because I have a greater purpose to live here.

My yogi friend also told me, “The Universe has its own science of where it wants things to be, it’s like an equation. It’s always adding or subtracting events from your life to line you up where you are destined to be.”

“When life brings hardships beyond our understanding, it’s not up to us to look for the silver lining. We are the silver lining. We become God’s well-tuned instruments of peace, His gift to one another, each of us a miracle, according to His strange and wonderful plan.”

Now it’s making sense and it’s been a year now.

I was in a really bad shape when I went back home. I hit rock-bottom but I persevered. I figured everything out just like I always have.

Because of all of it, I have been confident with the Universe’s plan that I don’t even get upset anymore when things don’t go my way.

Thank you reading.

Love always,


You might also want to read:

Part One: The Quick Visit to Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi (A Trilogy)

Part Two: My Last Day in Dubai on Top of Burj Khalifa (A Trilogy)


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  1. Markus + Micah

    Oh, you are back! I am glad you are trusting your own path. You are right – we always find ourselves where we are meant to be, even if it is the last place we would personally think of.

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      Marron Santillan

      Hey there! Sorry I’ve been hella busy lately that I already forgot to reply. That’s correct, glad it’s turning out well for me. Hope you guys are staying safe and well!

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