Dulag is a place I’ve written about before. It is where my mom’s side of the family is from and where I spent most weekends when I was in my teens, the high school and college years. The old house is still there, although it doesn’t look the same as what I grew up with. Renovations. We were there for the annual fiesta.

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I think my favorite part of going back is seeing family. Noticing the changes in everyone. Everyone’s ageing. It’s both amazing and scary at once. I look at my nieces and nephews and remember being able to carry them when they were babies, or the times my cousins and I would baby sit them when their parents were out.

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They’re so much like how we were when we were their age. We thought we ruled the house. We hogged the videoke machine then too. We laughed a lot. We ate to our heart’s content. We played games. We didn’t care about the guests.

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I am now the pesky aunt that asks for hugs or tells them how much they’ve grown, reminiscing about the times when they were young, and I was still in high school or college. It’s weird, this reminder that you are a grown up. They are the children now. You catch yourself murmuring, while you shake your head in disbelief at their antics. When did this start to happen? This getting old thing?

(Dulag, 2015)

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